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"Worldly Desires" (2005 Short Film Thailand) Apichatpong Weerasethakul


“Worldly Desires” is a 2005 Thai short experimental musical adventure film that was dedicated to a filming set that was used from 2001 to 2005. This short film was directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and the story was told in the director’s perspective because this was a movie about making another movie. The main idea of this movie was that there was a couple walking around the jungle to find their “love for happiness” where the woman was told that her grandparents found this tree and they made a wish that resulted in them falling in love and getting married. This movie had a unique perspective that this a movie about making another movie.


At the start of the film, there was a lack of exposition to clearly separate the film crew and the couple walking around to find the love tree in the jungle, and there was a musical number that was repeated throughout the movie, only at nighttime. This appeared to be a representation of a dream sequence that the woman is so determined to find love. Several montages of long shots of a character of some kind which were leaving the scenes. Those montages likely represented the ending, but it was not clear. These montages were shown following when the woman walked off the camera.


The film looked like it was quite low budget because the camera quality was like a home video and the entirety of the film was mostly realistic and had no special video effects. Some filming techniques were overused at points, where long shots occurred when the song played and when the couple were walking around. Montages occurred in between each long slow scene, which prohibited viewers to grasp an idea of what the story will play out to be. Additionally, the storyline was obscure because there was not a clear distinction between the characters’ goal and the obstacle of their goal.


The Thai dating culture is quite unique compared to other Asian cultures. In this case, marriages are not pre-arranged in the culture. Women have the freedom of choice to decide who would be the best lifelong partner would be for them. This could explain why it was so important for them to find that tree because it is believed if he was the one for her this is how she would know. At the tree, the couple is to make a wish and there would be a treasure, which symbolizes their love. By the man misunderstanding the interpretation of the treasure of the tree, the woman disappears out of the frame in frustration. If the film had more exposition and narration, viewers would have a better grasp of what the characters’ goal was and how it was not achieved. Overall, Weerasethakul struggled to tell several certain aspects of this general storyline which confused viewers until the very end where the open-ended scenes of nothing took over the screen with the film crew having side conversations.

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