Bifurcation, pairing, doubling, and dualism are, of course, everywhere in Apichatpong, but ‘Primitive’ suggests that his terms (reality/fantasy, human/animal, fiction/documentary, light/dark, etc.) operate not in a dialectical manner, opposed to each other and moving toward synthesis, but as simultaneous phenomena on a single plane of being. You can sense this principle at play in ‘Boonmee’ by the way different articulations of energy - ghosts, stories, structural shifts - arrive with matter-of-fact ease, suggesting not the eruption of the transcendent into the everyday, but a conception of the everyday as inclusive of limitless possibilities and potentials. Apichatpong doesn’t uncover new worlds; he activates more of the world as given.
Nathan Lee in Film Comment
, discussing Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s video installation Primitive
and the ways it sheds light on his 2010 film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives