Morakot (Emerald)


Thailand / Japan 2007
Cinema version and single screen installation, 11 minutes (looped) / Digital, 16:9, Dolby 5.1 / Colour
Director / Camera / Editor: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Cast: Jenjira Pongpas, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Nitipong Thinthupthai
Post Production Supervisor: Lee Chatametikool
Sound Designer: Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr
Art Director: Akekarat Homlaor
Special Effects: Blur Sky Studio
Assistant Director: Suchada Sirithanawuddhi
Prop Master: Nitipong Thinthupthai
Continuity: Manita Niyomprasit
Project supervisor: Gridthiya Gaweewong
Supported by The James Thompson Foundation, Bangkok; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture, Bangkok

Presented at the group exhibition
Space for Your Future: Recombining the DNA of Art and Design, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 27 October 2007 – 20 January 2008, curated by Hasegawa Yuko.
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In
The Pilgrim Kamanita, a Buddhist novel written in 1906 by the Danish writer Karl Gjellerup, the protagonists are reborn as two stars and take centuries to recite their stories to each other, until they no longer exist.


Morakot is a derelict and defunct hotel in the heart of Bangkok that opened its doors in the 1980's: a time when Thailand shifted gears into accelerated economic industrialisation and a time when Cambodians poured into Thai refugee camps after the invasion of Vietnamese forces. It was a hosting time. Later, when the East Asian financial crisis struck in 1997, these reveries collapsed.



























Like Kamanita, the unchanged Morakot is a star burdened with (or fueled by) memories. Apichatpong collaborated with his three regular actors, who recounted their dreams, hometown life, bad moments, and love poems, to re-supply the hotel with new memories.





















































JEN
Tong...Tong... Goh
Are you two here?
You look handsome today.
I dreamt about going home to Nong Khai.
It was raining so hard. The electricity was out… It was pitch black.
Mom lit a wood stove to keep us warm.
So we roasted potatoes…
Dad, mom, everyone was there.
We listened to country music on the radio.
From a station in Udon.
The DJ's voice was so handsome.
But in real life he’s bald…with a pudgy face.


GOH
No one’s as pretty as you.
You still smiled even when your motorbike crashed

JEN
Yes, you helped me lift it back up.

TONG
You dreamt about your home?
I dreamt of Kanchanaburi.
The soldiers dragged me out of bed.
And let the dogs chase us.
I hid in a tree that night.
All I could see were small green lights in the distance.
So I floated that way.
Turns out they were squid boats.

JEN
Dreaming of soldiers brings you luck.

GOH
Bloody lucky, I say…

JEN
No, bad things bring you good luck.
Like an ugly face with a good voice. Nature always compensates.
This guy had a crush on me in school.
He never spoke.
And only smiled. But helped with my garden.
And send notes, saying if I liked him, please go to the window.
So I rushed to the window.
…and smiled at him.

TONG
Nowadays, all it takes is a passing glance.
And that’s it.

GOH
Or just elope.

JEN
No, not in my time.
If my family knew that I had a boyfriend, they would not let me study. That's it.
I still have regrets.
One time he got on the same bus with me.
But I chased him off because didn’t want my parents to know.

TONG
Did you love him?

JEN
I did... but...