Malee and the Boy

Thailand 1999
26:45 minutes / Digital, 4:3, Stereo / Colour
Director / Editor: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Texts: from Satan Hew Rak [The Hungry Satan], a comic book by Daoneau, story by Kamnul, published by Mitrmitri Printing House, Bangkok
A Boy and His Microphone: Thanit Niyomprasit
Camera: Sirithorn Teerakulchanyut, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Production Assistant: Manita Niyomprasit
Sound Assistant: Atithaya Kongwichayakup
Stacks Image 645

Originally called Malee and the Boy and His Microphone and a Hungry Satan, this is a collaborative project dealing with image/sound apparatus. The subject is a 10 year-old boy who is in charge of the microphone. He roams to places around Bangkok to gather sounds for the video. The sound indicates the direction he headed during the filming and displays his point of interests. The filmmaker is in charge of the image, film roughly along at the boy’s locations. The narrative of the film, presented in texts, is taken from a Thai comic book available around the place of the filming. This faces and places documentation can be viewed as a one-afternoon diary of a day out in Bangkok.

Excerpts from New Narration and Meta-fiction by Apinan
Short Stories, curated by Roberto Pinto, La Fabrica de
Vapore, Milan Italy, April 2001:
“…Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s experimental films and video might come across to viewers as ironic, blank, and empty. Narratives are mediated by means of moving texts, recorded conversation in a phone booth or radio broadcasts of short stories. Mixed messages and confusing signs are part of our life. We are told in
Malee and the Boy (1999) of the girl whose sister was seduced and sacrificed for Satan who was hungry for love. The story of boy with his microphone is like a blank parody evoked through the boy’s chatter about buying the wrong flavor candy and singing a TV theme song. Images of the ordinary and mundane are captured as the camera focuses on the in- between spaces such as the corridor outside elevators…”