Perhaps no Asian film director since Akira Kurosawa has received the critical attention bestowed on 39 year-old Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. His "Blissfully Yours" won a major Cannes Festival prize in 2002; "Tropical Malady," took the 2004 Jury Prize and the Tokyo FilmEx first prize; and his latest film, "Syndromes and a Century" (2006), was the first Thai film shown at the Venice Film Festival and recently won a major prize at the inaugural Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong.

In addition, the director (who, like many Thais with "difficult" names, has adopted a Western monicker — Joe) is active in the creation of shorter films, video works and installations. These have been commissioned by such varied sponsors as the Jeonju International Film Festival, Louis Vuitton, the United Nations, Christian Dior, a major Munich museum and (Sept. 25-Nov. 29, this year) Liverpool's Foundation for Art and Creative Technology.

All of this work is distinguished by its originality and integrity. As David Bordwell, America's leading film scholar, has said: "Joe's movies tease your imagination while captivating your eyes."