"The reason I call the audience ghosts is because it reminds me of a short story I read a few years ago. It was said to be a true story that took place in Udon Thani province. Coincidentally, I just found out that it is about to be made into a film by Five Star Productions. As far as I can remember, the story went something like this: The main character was a man with a travelling cinema show, he made open-air presentations in villages and temples. One day a very mysterious man hired him to show a film in a temple that was a long way off. By the time he had arrived and set up the projector and film screen, it was after dusk. Gradually people started to arrive in the darkness. While the film was running, the audience all sat still in an orderly fashion, their eyes looking up at the screen. They did not show any emotion, nor did they speak to one another until the film ended. Then they all got up and wandered away. At dawn the next day the film-show owner realized that he was in the middle of a cemetery, and that he had been paid to show a film for ghosts.
"When I finished reading this story, I felt sad: even ghosts wanted to watch films, just like everyone else. They were ghosts that still wanted to dream; they paid their final offering of money to buy dreams, which was film. If you notice the people around you while watching a film, you will see that their behaviour is like that of ghosts, lifting up their heads to look at the moving images in front. The cinema itself is like a coffin with bodies, sitting still, as if under a spell. The moving images on the screen are camera records of events that have already taken place; they are remains of the past, strung together and called a film. In this hall of darkness, ghosts are watching ghosts.
"I felt the same way last month, when I had the opportunity to visit an arthouse cinema in Taipei called Spot Cinema. It is run by a well known film director, a god, Hou Hsiao-hsien, and is supported by the government which had donated the premises. The decoration inside was marvellous. There was a bookstore, a shop selling DVDs, a restaurant and a coffee shop called Café Lumière. In several corners there were stills from Hou’s films, proudly used as decoration. On the stairway ceiling was a large black and white photo of a man riding a motorcycle with a girl sitting behind him, a scene from one of his classic films. The person showing us around was a man well past middle-age; he pointed to the picture of the young man on the motorcycle and said that they had been in the same class at school. It affected me deeply as I heard this; it wouldn’t be long now before everyone here would become ghosts. The old man showing us around was wearing glasses and already showing grey hair, but his friend on the motorcycle would always remain the same age."
— Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Ghosts in the Darkness