Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2007)
What makes a film like Sydromes and a Century great is almost impossible to explain to someone who hasn't seen it. It's a quiet yet vibrant film, full of immensely picturesque images but with a story that never follows a conventional narrative. The film is essentially the same story in two parts, with one focusing on a rural hospital setting and the second in a modern yet not real bustling metropolis. To really get the film, the focus has to be on the characters' interactions, to absorb all the small moments of the film and never look for any greater meaning. Reflecting upon this now, it becomes more clear that the relationship of the characters to the two worlds of the film is the most important aspect of it. There's not much greater meaning beyond the simple moments of sly humor and awkward interaction. Weerasethakul handles the scenes with a dream like delicacy, weaving his camera as easily through the lush rural landscape as he does the sterile lab environment of the city. I really don't know of anything better that I could say that would explain it any better. It's definitely not going to be for everyone but if you look beyond simple straightforward narrative, there's a lot to enjoy about Syndromes and a Century.