Uncle Boonmee also has a coincidental connection to quite a few other monkey-based movies and monkey-based urban legends.
Take the most iconic/memorable shot from the movie. Right away, what are we reminded of when we look at this side/profile shot of a humanoid/monkey looking directly in to the camera?
|Uncle Boonmee/Big Foot|
But it doesn’t stop there. Take some more notable images from Uncle Boonmee like this one…
|Uncle Boonmee/Princess Mononoke|
Uncle Boonmee also has some strong connections to another monkey-heavy film in the form of Jumanji. Here we see characters from both films transitioning to monkeys...
|Uncle Boonmee/Harry & The Hendersons|
|Uncle Boonmee/Max Ernst|
It is my personal opinion that Uncle Boonmee is one of the five best movies of the decade so far, but that doesn’t mean I blindly recommend it to any & everyone. Those key words I just used do very much describe this movie (slow, minimal dialogue, surreal, strange, mildly pretentious, etc). But if you have an open mind I do recommend checking it out (after having a cup of coffee and a strong attention span). And perhaps if you think of the subconscious influences & references to more popular films like Juamnji, Max Ernst & Harry & Hendersons, perhaps it will help you enjoy Uncle Boonmee a little more.
If I could just divert for a second and be the black guy to talk about racial stuff for a minute, it doesn’t take too much deep thought to perceive that both movies could be seen as alternative theories about white people’s fear of Black people. The N-word isn’t the only racial slur that people have used to describe Black people over time. Monkey has certainly been used as coded language to describe black people. And when you take a movie like Planet Of The Apes which deals with a group of monkeys taking over the world, or the way black people are depicted in King Kong – it really isn’t too far-fetched to see the possible racist undertones. But that’s a whole other conversation that we don’t need to get in to right now. Sorry if I ruined King Kong or Planet Of The Apes for everyone in the audience right now. I’m certainly not implying that if you like these movies you’re a racist or anything like that. I could totally be clutching at straws with my theories on these films.
Back to the movie at hand…
On a lighter note, I will say that my father wanted to come to the January show and he was super excited to see me present (he liked movies quite a bit). So I’d like to dedicate this presentation to my dad. Without him I probably wouldn’t have the obsessive love for cinema that I have today.
I don’t want to leave things on a completely down note so I end this presentation with a hilarious monkey-themed scene that got cut from Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back…