Penek Ratanaruang's Last Life in the Universe, released last summer, takes the notion of the Odd Couple to dizzyingly philosophical heights, while the director, who earlier gave us the ingenious musical Mon-Rak Transistor (2001), speculates on time, space and narrative itself. The seemingly mismatched pair here are a meek Japanese librarian in Bangkok (Tadanobu Asano) whose frustrated suicide wish is matched in intensity only by his obsessive need for order, and a lovely but slovenly Thai beauty (Sinitta Boonyasak) who's just been involved in a fatal car accident. Limited by language and their clashing temperaments, the strangers try to connect in an intriguing tale interspersed with violence. The Village Voice called Last Life "a serene experiment in dissonance [in which] long snatches of boy-girl quiescence [are] occasionally broken by snarling bursts of gangster mayhem."
Last Life in the Universe will screen Friday and Saturday, November 19 and 20, in Muenzinger Auditorium on the University of Colorado's Boulder campus as part of the school's International Film Series. There will be two shows each night, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. For information, go to www.internationalfilmseries.com