TROPICAL MALADY (2004) in 35mm with filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Block Museum - Northwestern University
Skip to main content

TROPICAL MALADY (2004) in 35mm with filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Two young men with medium skin tone sit side to side smiling in a movie theater
6 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Mon April 24, 2023
6 PM


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


TROPICAL MALADY (2004) in 35mm with filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul

(Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004, 35mm, Thai with English subtitles, 118 min)


Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 2004 feature TROPICAL MALADY (Sud Pralad) was a breakthrough in every sense of the word. Building on the narrative experimentation and languid sexuality of his early features, TROPICAL MALADY boldly foregrounds the themes of spirituality, supernaturalism, and queer desire that would run throughout the Thai filmmaker’s subsequent films. The film begins as an understated romance between soldier Keng (Banlop Lomnoi) and an ice factory worker (Sakda Kaewbuadee), but veers suddenly into a hushed and mystical jungle pursuit between Lomnoi’s soldier and the spirit of a shapeshifting shaman. The boldly bifurcated structure of TROPICAL MALADY dramatizes how erotic and spiritual forces can disrupt everyday reality; it also led to a deeply divided reception at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, where it was the first Thai feature to appear in competition and to win a Jury Prize. Nearly 20 years later, the film remains an utterly transfixing, elemental experience, whose idyllic landscapes and enveloping shadows are best experienced in its original 35mm format.

Following the screening, director Apichatpong Weerasethakul will appear for conversation and Q&A with Lakshmi Padmanabhan, Assistant Professor of Screen Cultures at Northwestern University.

35mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Rights courtesy of Strand Releasing.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul is a 2023 Hoffman Visiting Artist for Documentary Media, a short-term filmmaker residency at Northwestern’s School of Communications funded by a generous gift from Jane Steiner Hoffman and Michael Hoffman.

Co-presented with support from the Michael and Jane Hoffman Visiting Artist Series, the MFA in Documentary Media, the Department of Radio, Television, and Film, the School of Communication, and the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs at Northwestern, and in partnership with Conversations at the Edge at the Gene Siskel Film Center.


About the artist:

Apichatpong Weerasethakul is recognized as one of the most original voices in contemporary cinema. His works draw upon the interplay between lived and cinematic time, Buddhism, and science fiction to explore memory and complex social issues. Weerasethakul’s features, short films, and installations have gained widespread international recognition and numerous awards, including the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2010 for UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES, the Cannes Jury Prize in 2021 for MEMORIA and in 2014 for TROPICAL MALADY, and the Cannes Un Certain Regard Award in 2002 for BLISSFULLY YOURS. His installations have been exhibited and collected by institutions around the world. He is the recipient of the Sharjah Biennial Prize, the prestigious Yanghyun Prize in South Korea, and the 2016 Principal Prince Claus Award from the Netherlands.


A Note on Attendance:

This event is free, but RSVP through the Block Museum Eventbrite listing is required. RSVPs are limited to 1 per person. Registration does NOT guarantee a seat. Admission for registered guests will begin at 5:15 PM. A standby line will open at 5:00 PM for guests who were not able to register online; at 5:50 PM, unclaimed seats will be opened to standby attendees. Please email with any questions.


Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at