Empire is a film about searching and finding. There are, first of all, the things we can see: a diver wearing a gleaming white helmet, a cave or grotto the walls of which the Camera carefully travels along and finally a hand dipping into the sand to pick up some shells, playfully sliding them through the fingers. The images are accompanied by a polyphonous drone, rattle and clank whose origins remain in the dark. Has the diver been looking for something and someone else has found it? Possibly.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul once again leaves it up to his viewers’ imagination to fill in the gaps and come up with answers of their own. In view of Weerasethakul’s literally fantastic feature films you might be inclined to philosophize about jungle lights and the darkness of caves but while you do you are, without even noticing, following the hints the filmmaker has left for us. “You need an open mind to discover things”, says Weerasethakul and, very likely, that’s the perfect prerequisite for a festival trailer. Why is the film called Empire? Why not find out for yourself?
Empire (Viennale Trailer 2010)