Mysterious Object at Noon / Dogfahr Nai Meu Marn

83 minutes, 35mm (blown up from 16mm), 1,85:1, Dolby SR, B/W, Thailand 2000
Remastered version: 2013

Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Story: The villagers of Thailand
Cast: Somsri Pinyopol, Duangjai Hiransri, To Hanudomlapr, Kannikar Narong, Duangjai Hiransri
Camera: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Prasong Klinborrom
Editors: Mingmongkol Sonakul, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Sound: Teekadetch Watcharatanin, Sirote Tulsook, Paisit Phanpruksachat, Adhinan Adulayasis
Producers: Gridthiya Gaweewong, Mingmongkol Sonakul
Production: 9/6 Cinema Factory, Firecracker Films, Bangkok. Supported by The Hubert Bals Fund, Netherlands; Toshiba, Thailand; James Nelson Awards, USA
Remastered version supported by World Cinema Foundation and Austrian Filmmuseum

Premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, 26 January – 6 February 2000

Stacks Image 48

Mysterious Object at Noon
is part fiction, part documentary, and part pseudo-documentary about several unrelated lives in Thailand.

The film crew set out on an expedition across Thailand, from the north to the south, documenting several lives along the way. In the process, each subject filmed is required to continue a story.

A next person in another city is asked to resume the story with total freedom of expression. The person can even come back to any point in the story, make changes, and continue the tale alternatively. The film emphasises a documentary approach that presents people with different professions rather than looking for a perfect and unbroken narrative of the fiction's storyline.

After the journey from the south, the crew set back for Bangkok, where the collaborated story is shot in a fiction-drama style with non-professional actors.

“Mr. Weerasethakul's film is like a piece of chamber music slowly, deftly expanding into a full symphonic movement; to watch it is to enter a fugue state that has the music and rhythms of another culture. It's really a movie that requires listening, reminding us that the medium did become talking pictures at one point.” Elvis Mitchell (The New York Times, November 1, 2001)

“Nobody has made such a film in Thailand before. It’s clear that something rich and strange is happening in Thai film culture.” Tony Rayns (London Film Festival Catalog, 2000)

“…how many documentarians have focused on the act of constructing stories themselves? Mysterious Object at Noon, a weird, wonderful and altogether sui generis new documentary from Thailand does just that, and in the process engages, unhinges and forever deranges the way that stories and cultural histories could, and perhaps should, be told.” Chuck Stephens (Filmmaker Magazine, USA )

“…the two most memorable Thai filmmakers I've encountered -- the radically different Pen-ek Ratanaruang and Apichatpong Weerasethakul -- confound the stereotypes so thoroughly they make it clear that we Americans don't know what Thai cinema is.” Jonathan Rosenbaum (Chicago Reader, March 2, 2002)

2nd Prize, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Japan, 2001
NETPAC Special Mention Prize, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, 2001
Grand Prix - Woosuk Award, JeonJu International Film Festival, Korea, 2001
Special Citation, "Dragons & Tigers," Vancouver International Film Festival, Canada, 2000