Tilda Swinton is haunted by spellbinding sound in the trailer for Memoria

British arthouse star Tilda Swinton has always cast a palpable spell over her audience: whether playing a literal witch in Suspiria, or an otherworldly noble out of time in the enchanting Orlando.

In Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria, though, it’s she who is haunted, by a series of mysterious banging sounds from the rural depths of Colombia’s capital city. Memoria screens in Australian cinemas from April 7, a cavernous and eerie trip in many senses of the word.

Swinton plays Jessica, an isolated Scottish woman living in Colombia’s second-biggest city who visits her sister in the capital of Bogotá. Whether due to her sister’s mystery illness or some fomenting inner conflict all her own, Jessica is tormented in her sleep by a loud sonic boom.

“It’s like a rumble from the core of the earth”, she tries to explain in the trailer below, shots of the verdant landscape around her only adding to the lush sense of mystery. If you’re already feeling uncertain and perhaps a bit spooked, sit with that feeling: it’s Weerasethakul’s whole bag, and we’re unlikely to land on any simple, logical answers for any of it by the end of the film’s two-hour runtime.

Director Weerasethakul has been appreciated at the Cannes Film Festival for the last decade or so, with his sensational fantasy Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives becoming the first Thai film to earn the coveted Palme d’Or in 2010.

In 2021, Memoria premiered at Cannes to rapturous reception, winning the Jury Prize and also getting selected as Colombia’s entry for Best International Feature Film to the 94th Academy Awards. It was sadly edged out of the nominees by more accessible, human stories like The Worst Person In The World and Flee, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort to catch Memoria in cinemas: an out-of-body experience with the ineffable Swinton as your spirit guide.