Blissfully Yours

Sud sanaeha

Year: 2002
Country: Thailand
Running time: 125 mins

Production co: Kick the Machine/La-ong Dao/Anna Sanders Films
Producers: Eric Chan, Charles de Meaux
Screenplay: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Photography: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
Editor: Lee Chatametikool
Production designer: Akekarat Homlaor
Sound: Teekadet Vucharadhanin, Lee Chatametikool

Roong: Kanokporn Tongaram
Min: Min Oo
Orn: Jenjira Jansuda

Festivals: Cannes (Un Certain Regard), Toronto, Vancouver, London 2002; Rotterdam 2003
Few feature filmmakers encourage us to remain curiously aware that we are watching people we don’t know, behaving in ways we don’t quite understand. Blissfully Yours is a sweet, vicarious reverie taking us into intimate proximity with three people whose business with each other on a hot summer day we can only gradually infer. Most of what happens eventually occurs in a dense jungle on the banks of a deep, flowing river where a young man and woman are dallying with a picnic, while their older friend makes an ungainly retreat from a less satisfactory tryst nearby. Camera placement suggests that we’re spying, but the hushed tenderness and sexual excitement we observe takes us disconcertingly close to the mysteries that two young lovers hold for each other. — Bill Gosden

Apichatpong is at the forefront of two of contemporary cinema’s most important movements: the collapsing barriers between documentary and fiction (he’s very deft at erasing the distinction between what he’s created and what he’s observed), and between art and porn. By the film’s end, after our senses have been tuned to the natural by so much skin, eating, sunlight, greenery, and flowing water, the image of a penis being lazily coaxed to erection by a woman’s hand takes on a wondrous quality, not unlike Painlevé’s film about seahorses. — Kent Jones, Film Comment, 7-8/02

It opens wittily with the longest pre-credits sequence in film history: an introduction to the main characters, gradually revealing the binds that tie them. Min is an illegal immigrant from Burma, in need of a forged ID. His Thai girlfriend Roong has hired Orn and her office-manager husband to help get it. Orn wants to get pregnant again before she’s too old for it, but her husband isn’t keen – so she’s having an affair with an office colleague. The credits finally show up as Min guides Roong to a secluded spot in the countryside where they’ll eat, laze, bathe and eventually make love. By chance, Orn has chosen a spot nearby for sex with her lover… There’s more going on here than meets the eye: the shattered Thai economy and the Burmese military junta lie just off-screen, and unvoiced tensions and fears simmer in the sweltering heat. But the film takes its sensual tone from the uncomplicated Min, whose diary notes and sketches it sometimes shows us. This is a languid, real-time celebration of the pleasures of the moment – especially the sexual pleasures. — Tony Rayns, Vancouver International Film Festival, 2002