The Film Comment Podcast: Apichatpong Weerasethakul on SLEEPCINEMAHOTEL
One of the most curious entries at this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam (which runs January 24 to February 4) isn’t a film at all, but a new one-off project by Apichatpong Weerasethakul: SLEEPCINEMAHOTEL. True to the title, this is a fully operational hotel, conceived and designed by Apichatpong in tandem with IFFR curator Edwin Carels and a team of collaborators. Over the festival’s first five nights, guests could reserve (for a 75-euro fee) one of six beds, which are tiered within a tall metal scaffold and flanked by a wall-sized circular screen projecting assorted found footage courtesy of the nearby EYE Filmmuseum and The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Complete with bedside tables, lamps, and other accoutrements of a typical hotel—not to mention a fully stocked bar, breakfast options, and a balcony for public viewing—SLEEPCINEMAHOTEL fosters the sleep states so frequently conjured and portrayed in Apichatpong’s films.
Film Comment was joined by Apichatpong at the exhibition on its final day to discuss how this unique project came to be, the influences behind the look and feel of the hotel, and how dreams function as a very particular and personal form of cinema.