Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Among many short films I saw last December, one of my most favorites is THE SONG, which is a Thai animation directed by Suporn Decharin. It is a part of the Bioethics project. I like the story of THE SONG very much, though I think it is very cruel. It is about a boy and his clone. The boy is an evil child, while his clone, who is locked up in a room all through his life, is a very good child. The clone develops a lovely relationship with a worm, which later grows up to be a butterfly. One day the boy loses his arms, so the cloning organization cuts off the arms of the clone to give them to the boy, and the boy uses his new arms and hands to kill the butterfly.

I think the animator is successful in making the clone looks very lovely. This character looks so pure, so innocent. And the more innocent and lovely this character looks, the more the audience will feel bad in the end of the film. (Somehow this kind of thing reminds me of the Italian film TO BE TWENTY.)

At first I felt that the story of THE SONG is too pessimistic. I thought this kind of thing can’t happen in the future, because no governments would allow this kind of cruelty towards the clones. However, after I thought about the history of human beings, such as what happened in World War II, I changed my mind. I believe that human capability of being evil is beyond my imagination. THE SONG does not look too pessimistic to me anymore.

The story about an evil boy in THE SONG also reminds me of my childhood. If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to my childhood to correct some evil things that I did. I used to kill some little animals like the evil boy in THE SONG, and though I’m not a real Buddhist, somehow I think my fragile health is the karmic result of these bad things that I did. A doctor just told me that I may have a tendency to have glaucoma, and I can’t help thinking I deserve this kind of eye suffering because I once hurt an eye of a little cat when I was a little child. Maybe it’s time for me to pay the price for my bad deeds.

Seeing THE SONG also makes me want to make a list of cruel animations. So here it is:

(in alphabetical order)

1.ACHILLES (1996, Barry Purves, UK)

2.ALICE (1988, Jan Svankmajer, Czechoslovakia)

3.A CHILD IN THE CUPBOARD (1998, Chanatip Kunasayeamporn, Thailand)

4.HOW WANG-FO WAS SAVED (1987, Rene Laloux, France)

5.THE KILLER MAN (Dissapong Wong-aram, Thailand)

6.PANDA (2006, Nathan Homsup, Thailand)

7.PERFECT BLUE (1998, Satoshi Kon, Japan)

8.RABBIT (2005, Run Wrake)

9.THE SONG (2007, Suporn Decharin, Thailand)

10.THE THREE INVENTORS (1980, Michel Ocelot, France)



ท่าทางหนังเรื่องนี้จะน่าดูมากๆเลย วันหลังต้องหาหนังเรื่องนี้มาดูบ้างแล้ว

ชอบตรงที่คุณกาฬวนาลัยเขียนว่า “คนบางคนไม่ต้องลงทุนลงแรงอะไรมากมายแต่กลับประสบความสำเร็จในชีวิตอย่างงดงาม ในขณะที่คนบางคนทุ่มไปจนสุดตัวและหัวใจแต่กลับไม่ได้อะไรตอบแทนมาให้ชื่นชมเลยแม้แต่น้อย ”

รู้สึกว่ามันตรงกับชีวิตจริงดี ล่าสุดนี้ได้ดูละครเวทีเรื่อง “PUSH UP” หรือตาดูดาว เท้าเหยียบเธอ ก็มีพูดถึงประเด็นนี้เหมือนกัน โดยผ่านทางตัวละครสองคน คนหนึ่งเป็นอาจารย์ชายวัยกลางคนที่ทุ่มเทให้กับการทำงานมานานเป็นสิบปี โดยหวังเป็นอย่างยิ่งว่าการตั้งใจทำงานจะช่วยให้ผอ.มหาวิทยาลัยส่งเขาไปดูงานที่ฝรั่งเศส ส่วนอีกคนเป็นอาจารย์เกย์หนุ่มที่ใช้เวลาตลอดทั้งคืนไปกับการดูรูปผู้ชายเปลือยทางอินเทอร์เน็ต แต่ปรากฏว่าผอ.มหาวิทยาลัยกลับตัดสินใจส่งอาจารย์เกย์หนุ่มหล่อไปดูงานที่ฝรั่งเศส และอาจารย์เกย์หนุ่มหล่อก็ดูเหมือนจะประสบความสำเร็จในชีวิตดีหลังจากนั้น ในขณะที่อาจารย์ชายวัยกลางคนตัดสินใจฆ่าตัวตาย

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


This is my comment in Girish's blog:

I think LITERATURE/FILM QUARTERLY is interesting. It has great articles on Alain Robbe-Grillet among other things. You can browse the topics of the articles here

I sometimes read German Films Quarterly online, but only when they have articles on interesting directors. You can read this magazine here

Or you can go directly to articles about interesting directors here


My tenth poll is inspired by the stage performance PAST IS SIMULATION: THE LADIES OF THE SEA VS. NORA, AND OTHER STORIES OF THE SOCIETY, which is performed by HERSTAY, and directed by Monica Emilie Herstad from Norway. I think this performance may be about women. Though I don't understand many parts of the performance, I still think it is truly stunning. The parts that I like very much include the one in which two women try hard to wear high-heeled shoes, while a woman walks comfortably without that kind of shoes.

Seeing this performance makes me want to make a list of my favorite films about women. So I come up with this list:


1.ANOTHER WOMAN (1988, Woody Allen, USA)

2.THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT (1972, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany)

3.LES BONNES FEMMES (1960, Claude Chabrol, France)

4.FEMALE PERVERSIONS (1996, Susan Streitfeld, USA)

5.FULL MOON IN NEW YORK (1990, Stanley Kwan, Hong Kong)

6.GIRL (2002, Dorothee Van Den Berghe, Belgium)

7.THE INSANE (2006, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Thailand)

8.JULIET OF THE SPIRITS (1965, Federico Fellini, Italy)

9.MADAME X: AN ABSOLUTE RULER (1978, Ulrike Ottinger, West Germany)

10.OUR TIMES (2002, Rakhshan Bani Etemad, Iran)

11.PERSONA (1966, Ingmar Bergman, Sweden)

12.PHANTOM LOVE (2007, Nina Menkes, USA)

13.PRASART (1975, Pieak Poster, Thailand)

14.RADIANCE (1998, Rachel Perkins, Australia)


16.THE SLEEP OF REASON (1984, Ula Stockl, West Germany)

17.TEN TINY LOVE STORIES (2001, Rodrigo Garcia, USA)

18.WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS (1960, Mikio Naruse, Japan)

19.THE WOMEN (1939, George Cuckor, USA)

20.WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (1988, Pedro Almodovar, Spain)

You can cast multiple votes.


My ninth poll ended with 9 votes, including my vote for HEAVEN OF GLASS and TATORT: AUSGEKLINKT. Thank you very much for everyone who participated in it. The result is as follows:


1.CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974, Jacques Rivette, France)
It got 4 votes or 44 %.

2.THE LADY VANISHES (1938, Alfred Hitchcock, UK)
+THE SEVENTH VICTIM (1943, Mark Robson, USA)
Each of them got 2 votes or 22 %.

4.AMNESIA (2001, Martin Koolhoven, Netherlands)
+HEAVEN OF GLASS (1987, Nina Grosse, West Germany)
+I KNOW WHO KILLED ME (2007, Chris Sivertson, USA)
+THE MURDER OF MARY PHAGAN (1988, William Hale, USA)
+TATORT: AUSGEKLINKT (1988, Sylvia Hoffmann, West Germany)
Each of them got 1 vote, or 11 %.

9.BROTHER’S KEEPER (1992, Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, USA)
+COP AU VIN (1985, Claude Chabrol, France)
+DEATH ON THE NILE (1978, John Guillermin, UK)
+DEATHTRAP (1982, Sidney Lumet, USA)
+DEEP RED (1975, Dario Argento, Italy)
+DOGWOMAN: DEAD DOG WALKING (2000, Rowan Woods, Australia)
+EDEN AND AFTER (1970, Alain Robbe-Grillet, France)
+THE LAST ONE OF THE SIX (1941, Georges Lacombe, France)
+MURDER OF THE INUGAMI CLAN (2006, Kon Ichikawa, Japan)
+THESIS (1996, Alejandro Amenabar, Spain)
+TICK TOCK (2000, Kevin Tenney, USA)
+WEB OF DECEPTION (1989, David Chung, Hong Kong)

Each of them got no vote.

I'm very glad that CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING won the most votes, though the film is very far from whodunit genre. I like Jacques Rivette very much, because his films seem to use some elements of thriller in a strange way. Many of his films have mysteries or secrets, such as VA SAVOIR, SECRET DEFENSE, UP DOWN FRAGILE, GANG OF FOUR, LE PONT DU NORD, and PARIS BELONGS TO US, but these films seem not to belong to any obvious genres.

I'm also glad that I KNOW WHO KILLED ME and THE MURDER OF MARY PHAGAN won a vote. I know many people hate I KNOW WHO KILLED ME, so it's nice to know that someone out there also loves this film like me. I also love a film review in Thai last year which mentions PERSONA in the review of I KNOW WHO KILLED ME.

THE MURDER OF MARY PHAGAN made me cry a bucketful of tears when I saw it nearly twenty years ago. It's a miniseries about the lynching of an innocent man. I have heard that there's also a stage play using the same story.

Monday, January 21, 2008



This is Filmsick’s comment on his film in my wordpress’ blog:

“thankyou very much for your comment it was the first comment i’ve got for my moving images sorry for my broken english !!!

i made MY MOTHER AND HERDARKNESS accidentally (as sames as every moving images of mine) at first i want to capture the moment that my mother have to stay alone in the darkness because when th moths comes out she has turn allthe lights out about half hour or more to let the moth come outside and it was alotof them come often in the summertime and it means my mither always have to stay alone in the dark i just want tocapture this moment but while i was shooting my mother startedto say what you’ve heard on this movie it was accidentally and for me it was the magic moment i just want to keep that

sorry for no subtitle becazuse i made this movies by using the video mode in cheap digital camers and i edited it on WINDOW MOVIE MAKER program in my pldies compute because it was the only program that my commputercan support until now i stilldon’t know how to put a subtitle into this movie so it decided to make HANDMADE subtitle for two of you thankyou veryvery very very much foryour comments it was helping me much!

1. the moth scene
: the tourist are looking at you

2. the moth and the light
: auntie are calling she ask me why telephone is not available?

3. the door seen
: we are lucky cause we finished dinner before it comes , wecouldn’t eat in the dark

you still don’t dump the garbage out don’t leave it if the aunite come shee will blame me and it stinks

: iwant to eat that youknow, curry stuffed fish buy the fish and clean it put the gut out then umade up curry mix with coconut then stufed it in , stuffed it in fired and eat with rice itwas smell good it was called curry stuffed fish

the door scene
: it will makeyou itching
: turn on TV close the door before u go and the u can go anywhere you want after that

repetitive of this verse
: iwant to eat that youknow, curry stuffed fish buy the fish and clean it put the gut out then umade up curry mix with coconut then stufed it in , stuffed it in fired and eat with rice itwas smell good it was called curry stuffed fish”




--I think I may be very busy this week, and may don’t have time to write anything. So I think I should post something I wrote in the past. It is again my film wish list. I sent this film wish list to a friend many months ago, but forgot to post it here. I think I should post it now. I heard about most of these films from Film Comment magazine, (especially from the writings of Olaf Moller), and from many bloggers.

1.A CARA QUE MERECES (2004, Miguel Gomes, Portugal, 108 min)
Produced by O Som e a Furia

2.AUGUST DAYS (2006, Marc Recha, Spain, 93 min)

3.BAMBI HEART BONE (2004, Noriko Shibutani, Japan, 78 min)

4.THE BEGINNING AND THE END (2005, Eduardo Coutinho, Brazil, Documentary, 110 min)

5.BENEATH THE COGON (2006, Rico Maria Ilarde, Philippines, 83 min)
produced by DuduyPlus Company

6.BITTER SWEET (2004, Meike Mitsuru, Japan, 64 min)
produced by Kokuei Company Ltd.

7.BLOCKADE (2006, Sergey Loznitsa, Russia, Documentary, 52 min)

8.BLUE EYELIDS (2007, Ernesto Contreras, Mexico, 98 min)

9.BLUSH (2005, Wim Vandekeybus, Belgium 55 min)
produced by CCCP

10.CA BRULE (2006, Claire Simon, France)

11.THE CAMDEN 28 (2007, Anthony Giacchino, Documentary, USA)

12.CANDIDO LOPEZ – THE BATTLEFIELDS (2005, Jose Luis Garcia, Argentina, Documentary, 102 min)
produced by Anan Aizenberg Producciones

13.CLOSE TO THE CLOUDS (2005, Aldo Garay, Uruguay, Documentary, 74 min)
produced by Teve Ciudad

14.CONVERSATION ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON (2005, Khalo Matabane, South Africa, 80 min)
produced by Matabane Filmworks

15.DEALER (2004, Benedek Filegauf, Hungary, 160 min)
produced by Filmteam

16.DEEP WATER (2006, Louise Osmond + Jerry Rothwell, UK, Documentary, 92 min)

17.THE DIGNITY OF THE NOBODIES (2005, Fernando E. Solanas, Argentina, Documentary, 120 min)

18.DUNIA (2005, Jocelyn Saab, Egypt, 112 min)
produced by Catherine Dussart Productions (CDP)

19.EL COBRADOR: IN GOD WE TRUST (2006, Paul Leduc, Mexico, 90 min)
produced by Arca Difusion

20.EM4JAY (2006, Alkinos Tsilimidos, Australia, 87 min)
produced by Rescued Films

21.ENCOUNTER POINT (2006, Ronit Avni + Julia Bacha, Documentary, USA, 89 min)
produced by Just Vision Films

22.EUROPE NEXT DOOR (2005, Zelimir Zilnik, Serbia, Documentary, 61 min)
produced by Terra Film Produktion

23.EUPHORIA (2006, Ivan Vyrypayev, Russia, 74 min)

24.FANTASMA (2006, Lisandro Alonso, Argentina, 63 min)
produced by 4L

25. A FEW PEOPLE, A LITTLE TIME (2005, Andrzej Baranski, Poland, 104 min)

26.FLOR DE BAIXA (206, Mauro Santini, Italy, 77 min)

27.FRIDAY OR ANOTHER DAY (2005, Yvan Le Moine, Belgium, 120 min)

28.GIRL IN A MIRROR (2005, Kathy Drayton, Australia, Documentary, 55 min)
produced by Toi Toi Films

29.HAMBURG LECTURES (2006, Romuald Karmakar, Germany, 133 min)
produced by Pantera Film

30.HEART, BEATING IN THE DARK (2005, Shunichi Nagasaki, Japan, 105 min)

31.THE HILLS OF DISORDER (2006, Andrea Tonacci, Brazil, Documentary, 135 min)

32.HOTEL HARABATI (2006, Brice Cauvin, France, 95 min)
produced by Mille et Une Productions

33.THE HOURS GO BY (2005, Ines de Oliveira Cezar, Argentina, 99 min)

34.I DON'T CARE IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES (2006, Guillaume Malandrin, Belgium, 70 min)
produced by La Parti Productions

35.ILLUMINATION (2004, Pascale Breton, France, 135 min)
produced by Gemini Films

36.LA INFLUENCIA (2006, Pedro Aguilera, Spain, 84 min)
produced by Mantarraya Producciones

37.INNER CIRCLE LINE (2006, Eunhee Cho, USA, 95 min)

38.INTO THE PICTURE SCROLL: THE TALE OF YAMANAKA TOKIWA (2004, Sumiko Haneda, Japan, 100 min)

39.IT HAPPENED JUST BEFORE (2006, Anja Salomonowitz, Austria, 72 min)
produced by Amour Fou Filmproduktion

40.DER KICK (2006, Andres Veiel, Germany, 82 min)

41.KINETTA (2005, Giorgos Lanthimos, Greece, 95 min)
produced by HAOS FILMS

42.LEAVING HOME, COMING HOME: A PORTRAIT OF ROBERT FRANK (2005, Gerald Fox, UK, Documentary, 85 min)
produced by Granada Production

43.THE LEGEND OF TIME (2006, Isaki Lacuesta, Spain, 109 min)

44.LETTERS FROM THE SAHARA (2006, Vittorio de Seta, Italy, 100 min)
produced by Metafilm

45.UM LOBISOMEM NA AMAZONIA (2005, Ivan Cardoso, Brazil)
produced by Diler & Associados

46.LOVER OTHER (2006, Barbara Hammer, Documentary, USA, 55 min)

47.LA LUNGA OMBRA (2006, Jon Jost, Italy, 77 min)
produced by Jon Jost Productions

48.LE MALENTENDU COLONIAL (2005, Jean-Marie Teno, Cameroon, Documentary, 78 min)

49.MAS ALLA DEL ESPEJO (2006, Joaquim Jorda, Spain, Documentary, 112 min)
produced by Ovideo TV S.A.

50.MAURICIO’S DIARY (2006, Manuel Perez Paredes, Cuba, 135 min)
produced by ICAIC

51.MITTEN IM MALESTREAM (2005, Helke Sander, Germany, Documentary, 92 min)
produced by Helke Sander Filmproduktion

52.NOTES BY A TRACKMAN (2006, Zhanabek Zhetyruov, Kazakhstan, 64 min)

53.NOTES ON FILM 02 (2006, Norbert Pfaffenbichler, Austria, 96 min)

54.OH, UOMO (2004, Yervant Gianikian + Angela Ricci Lucchi, Italy, Documentary, 71 min)

55.PAINTING TODAY (2005, Stefan Hayn and Anja-Christin Remmert, Germany, Documentary, 61 min)
produced by Stefan Hayn Filmproduktion

56.PANORAMA EPHEMERA (2004, Rick Prelinger, USA, 89 min)
produced by The Prelinger Archives

57.THE PAPER WILL BE BLUE (2006, Radu Muntean, Romania, 95 min)

58.PAVEE LACKEEN: THE TRAVELLER GIRL (2005, Perry Ogden, Ireland, 87 min)

59.EL PERRO NEGRO: STORIES FROM THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR (2005, Peter Forgacs, Netherlands, Documentary, 84 min)
produced by Lumenfilm

60.PINE FLAT (2006, Sharon Lockhart, USA)

61.PROFILS PAYSANS: LE QUOTIDIEN (2005, Raymond Depardon, France, Documentary, 83 min)
produced by Palmaraie et Desert

62.RAZZLE DAZZLE (2007, Ken Jacobs, USA, 92 min)

63.REALITY SHOCK (2005, Stanislaw Mucha, Poland, 79 min)

64.RETURN OF THE POET (2005, Harutyun Khachatryan, Documentary, Armenia, 88 min)

65.RUNNING ON EMPTY (2006, Bulent Akinci, Germany, 100 min)

66.SANGRE (2005, Amat Escalante, Mexico, 90 min)
produced by Mantarraya Producciones

67.SA NORTH DIVERSION ROAD (2005, Dennis Marasigan, Philippines, 97 min)
produced by Creative Programs

68.SARATAN (2005, Ernest Abdyjaparov, Kyrgyzstan, 84 min)
produced by Icon Film

69.SCHUSS! (2006, Nicolas Rey, France, Documentary, 123 min)
produced by L’Abominable

70.THE SEA AND THE CAKE (2003, Edgar Honetschlager, Italy, 60 min)

71.SHIN SUNG-IL IS LOST (2004, Jane Shin, South Korea, 103 min)
produced by Shinjaneland

72.SHOOT THE MESSENGER (2006, Ngozi Onwurah, UK, 90 min)
produced by BBC Films

73.THE SLEEPING CHILD (2004, Yasmine Kassari, Morocco, 110 min)

74.SLUMMING (2006, Michael Glawogger, Austria, 100 min)
produced by Coop 99

75.SOLITARY FRAGMENTS (2007, Jaime Rosales, Spain)
produced by Wanda Vision S.A.

76.SONGBIRDS (2005, Brian Hill, UK, Documentary)

77.SVYATO (2005, Viktor Kosakovsky, Documentary, Russia, 45 min)

78.THE TEMPTATIONS OF BROTHER SEBASTIEN (2006, Jose Araujo, Brazil, 147 min)
produced by Tupa Films

79.THESE GIRLS (2006, Tahani Rached, Egypt, Documentary, 68 min)
produced by Studio Misr

80.TO GET TO HEAVEN FIRST YOU HAVE TO DIE (2006, Jamshed Usmonov, Tajikistan, 95 min)
Produced by Elzevir Films

81.TOMORROW MORNING (2006, Oleg Novkovi, Serbia)

82.TRANCE (2006, Teresa Villaverde, Portugal)

83.THE VIOLIN (2005, Francisco Vargas, Mexico, 98 min)

84.WAITING FOR SOMEONE (2007, Jerome Bonnell, France, 95 min)
produced by Les Films des Tournelles

85.WELT SPIEGEL KINO (WORLD MIRROR CINEMA) (2005, Gustav Deutsch, Austria, Documentary, 93 min)

86.WORM (2006, Aleksei Muradov, Russia, 100 min)
produced by Kinokompaniya AMA

87.WRESTLING GROUNDS (2005, Cheikh Ndiaye, Senegal, 105 min)

88.WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY (2006, Goran Dukic, USA)

89.WRONG TIME, WRONG PLACE (2005, Tamara Milosevic, Germany, Documentary, 60 min)

90.YACOUBIAN BUILDING (2006, Marwan Hamed, Egypt, 161 min)

91.YOKOHAMA MARY (2006, Takayuki Nakamura, Japan, Documentary, 92 min)
produced by Hito-hito Film

92.YOLDA (2005, Erden Kiral, Turkey, 90 min)

93.YOU AND ME (2005, Ma Liwen, China, 88 min)


This is Merveillesxx’ Favorite Film list of 2007

(Merveillesxx is a famous Thai blogger.)


20. Look of Love (2006, Yoshiharu Ueoka, Japan)
19. amour-LEGENDE (2006, Wu Mi-Sen, Taiwan)
18. Little Children (2006, Todd Field, USA)
17. Fallen (2005, Fred Kelemen, Latvia)
16. Love Songs (2007, Christophe Honore, France)
15. Phantom Love (2007, Nina Menkes, USA)
14. Before We Fall in Love Again (2006, James Lee , Malaysia)
13. 28 Weeks Later (2007, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, UK)
12. The Page Turner (2006, Denis Dercourt, France) + Pingpong (2006, Matthias Luthardt, Germany)
11. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006, Guillermo del Toro, Mexico)
10. Eternal Summer (2006, Leste Chen, Taiwan)
9. Memories of Matsuko (2006, Tetsuya Nakashima, Japan)
8. Demented (2006, Laurent Achard, France)
7. Lust, Caution (2007, Ang Lee, Taiwan)
6. The Man from London (2007, Bela Tarr, Hungary)
5. Egg (2007, Semih Kaplanoglu, Turkey)
4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007, Cristian Mungiu, Romania)
3. SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY (2006, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)
2. The Fountain (2006, Darren Aronofsky, USA)
1.LOVE OF SIAM (2007, Chookiat Sakvirakul, Thailand)

For full article in Thai, pls go to


--Last Friday I went to Patravadi Theater to see some performances, including PAST IS SIMULATION – THE LADIES OF THE SEA VS. NORA, AND OTHER STORIES OF THE SOCIETY, directed by Monica Emilie Herstad from Norway. The performance is inspired by the writings of Henrik Ibsen, Susan Sontag, and Elfriede Jelinek. I like it a lot. It is now one of my most favorite stage performances of all time. I don’t know how to describe it. I think I can say that its power is like the power of PHANTOM LOVE (2007, Nina Menkes) mixing with the power of PERSONA (1966, Ingmar Bergman).

This is a clip from PAST IS SIMULATION:

--This is a short film called THE LITTLE CHAOS (1966, Rainer Werner Fassbinder). Thanks a lot to Filmsick who told us about it.


This is my comment in Bioscope Webboard:

ชอบ LOVE CONQUERS ALL มาก เพราะหนังมันตรงกันข้ามกับชื่อเรื่อง มันทำให้เห็นว่าความรัก (หรือความลุ่มหลง หรือความยึดติดในบางสิ่งบางอย่าง) มันทำให้เราทำตัวโง่ๆได้อย่างไม่น่าเชื่อ ดิฉันอาจจะไม่เคยรักใครแบบนางเอก LOVE CONQUERS ALL แต่ดิฉันก็คิดว่าดิฉันยังลุ่มหลงหรือยึดติดในบางสิ่งบางอย่างอย่างไม่มีเหตุผล อย่างเช่นลุ่มหลงในภาพยนตร์, เพลง, นิยาย, สิ่งของฟุ่มเฟือยที่ไม่ใช่ปัจจัย 4 ของชีวิต แล้วพอดิฉันได้เห็นพฤติกรรมที่โง่อย่างไร้เหตุผลของนางเอกหนังเรื่องนี้ ก็เลยทำให้ฉุกคิดขึ้นมาได้ว่าบางทีดิฉันก็ "ยึดติดกับสิ่งที่ไม่ใช่ปัจจัย 4" อย่างโง่จนไร้เหตุผลแบบนางเอกหนังเรื่องนี้เช่นกัน

วันที่ 25-27 ม.ค. มีการแสดงละครเวทีเรื่อง KAFKA LISTENING TO THE WIND ที่ภัทราวดีเธียเตอร์ด้วย แสดงเวลา 20.00 น. ค่าตั๋ว 600 บาท แต่ได้ดูละครเวที 3 เรื่อง (บวกกับเรื่อง MAGPIE MELT BANGKOK และ A MAN'S REQUIEM FOR THE LONELY) การแสดงนี้ได้รับแรงบันดาลใจมาจากบทประพันธ์ของมุราคามิเรื่อง HEAR THE WIND SING, ALL GOD'S CHILDREN CAN DANCE และ KAFKA ON THE SHORE

หนังของ RAYA MARTIN ก็น่าดูมากๆ หนังของเขาเฮี้ยนสุดๆๆๆๆๆๆๆๆๆๆๆๆๆๆ อ่านบทวิจารณ์หนังของเขาได้ที่


This is my comment in Screenout Webboard:


ประทับใจ “ท้องฟ้าจำแลง” ในโรงแรมมากๆเลยค่ะ เหมือนจริงมากๆ

ตอบน้อง MATT

เมื่อวันอาทิตย์ ดิฉัน, NOINONG, KICHO, OLIVER หรือเรียกสั้นๆว่า “สี่ดรุณี” ได้ไปดูละครเวทีเรื่อง SUNFLOWER กันค่ะ กำกับและนำแสดงโดยนพพันธ์ บุญใหญ่ ซึ่งเคยเล่นเป็นพระเอกภาพยนตร์เรื่อง “โบอา งูยักษ์” (C-) พวกเราประทับใจกับคุณนพพันธ์มากเลยค่ะ

ดิฉันชอบ SUNFLOWER ในระดับ A ค่ะ รู้สึกว่าละครดูเพลินดี แต่ประเด็นเกี่ยวกับปัญหาชีวิตรักของตัวละครในเรื่องนี้ เป็นประเด็นที่ดิฉันไม่ค่อยอินเท่าไหร่ ดูแล้วทำให้นึกถึงเพื่อนๆของดิฉันสมัยเมื่อราว สิบกว่าปีก่อน ตอนนั้นเพื่อนๆของดิฉันซึ่งเพิ่งจบมหาลัยใหม่ๆจะจริงจังกับความรักอย่างรุนแรงมาก เหมือนกับตัวละครในละครเวทีเรื่องนี้ แต่หลังจากทุกคนเริ่มมีอายุย่างเข้า 30 ปี ก็ดูเหมือนว่าเพื่อนๆส่วนใหญ่จะลดความจริงจังกับความรักลง ดิฉันคิดว่าอาจจะเป็นที่วัยของดิฉันด้วยค่ะ ที่ทำให้ดิฉันชอบ SUNFLOWER แค่ในระดับ A ดิฉันคิดว่าถ้าหากตัวเองได้ดูละครเวทีเรื่องนี้เมื่อราวปี 1995 ดิฉันอาจจะอินกับละครเรื่องนี้จนถึงขั้น A+ ก็ได้ เพราะดิฉันคงจะรู้สึกว่าตัวละครในเรื่องนี้มันทุ่มหัวใจให้ความรักเหมือนกับเพื่อนๆดิฉันในยุคนั้นอย่างมากๆ

หลังจากนั้นพวกเราก็แดกข้าวกันค่ะ จริงๆแล้ววันนั้นพวกเราก็แดกข้าวกันทั้งวัน หลังจากนั้นคุณ KICHO ก็แยกตัวไปทำงานต่อที่บ้าน และสามดรุณีที่เหลือก็เลยไปดูหนังผีเรื่อง THE GHOST STORY OF YOTSUYA (1959, Nobuo Nakagawa, A) หรือ “ผีมุ้งลอยฟ้า” กันต่อ เป็นหนังผีที่โบราณดีมาก ดูแล้วมีอะไรหลายๆอย่างที่ทำให้รู้สึกฮา แต่เป็นความฮาที่ผู้สร้างคงไม่ได้ตั้งใจ สิ่งที่ชอบที่สุดในหนังเรื่องนี้คือการที่ผีมาปรากฏตัวในบางฉากพร้อมกับมี “มุ้งลอยฟ้า” เหาะมาหลอกคนด้วย

Sunday, January 20, 2008


This is the film program in the 2008 BANGKOK FRINGE FESTIVAL at Patravadi Theatre. I copy this program from the brochure. For more information, visit

FEBRUARY 2, 2008

1300 hrs


BE QUIET, EXAM IS IN PROGRESS (2006, Ifa Ifansyah)
LOSE OR WIN (2005, Donny Prasetyo Utomo)
STILL LIFE (2006, Ariani Darmawan + Hosanna Heinrich)
TROPHY BUFFALO (2007, Vanni Jamin)

1500 hrs
LOVE CONQUERS ALL (2006, Tan Chui Mui, Malaysia)

1700 hrs


4 DAYS 3 NIGHTS (2007, Ming)
BLOOD TIES (2007, Chai Wee Wei)
DREAM A RAINBOW (2007, Ming)
THE MOLE (2007, Victric Thng)
REMEMBER ME (2007, Chris Chong Chan Fui)
STRANGER (Boo Junfeng & Adrian Tan)
SUNAT (2007, M. Raihan Halim)
INVISIBLE CITY (2007,Tan Pin Pin)



1300 HRS

ABCD (1985, Roxlee)
CHICKEN SOUP 2 (1998, R. A. Rivera)
IT FEELS GOOD TO BE ALIVE (2005, Antoinette Jadaone)
LINE DRAWING (1998, Poklong Anading)
A STUDY FOR ‘THE SKIES’ (1989, Raymond Red)
TAG ALONG (Antoinette Jadaone)

1500 hrs
BEFORE WE FALL IN LOVE AGAIN (2006, James Lee, Malaysia)

1700 hrs
STORIES FROM THE NORTH (2005, Uruphong Raksasad)



1300 HRS

POOL (2007, Chris Chong Chan Fui)
QALAM (2007, Hadi Koh)
WESTBOUND (2007, Kubhaer T. Jethwani)
A DAY IN THE LIFE (2007, Syed Omar)

1500 hrs
TULI (2006, Auraeus Solito, Philippines)

1700 hrs
BIRTH OF THE SEANEMA (2004, Sasithorn Ariyavicha, Thailand)



1300 HRS


SHOPPING CART BOY (2007, Hou Chi-jan)
STREET SURVIVOR (2007, Lin Jing-jie)

1500 hrs
THE LAST COMMUNIST (2006, Amir Muhammad, Malaysia)

1700 hrs
A SHORT FILM ABOUT THE INDIO NACIONAL (2006, Raya Martin, Philippines, 96 minutes)

Saturday, January 19, 2008


This is my reply to Harrytuttle in my English-only blog:

--I’m glad you like MY MOTHER AND HER DARKNESS. I will tell Filmsick about it. I also like the shot of the insects in the light very much. It is interesting that something which is very irritating in real life can turn to be very beautiful when it is presented in film.

I don’t know if this kind of insect thing happens abroad or not, because I have never been abroad. But I find it very annoying when these insects (I think it is a kind of moth) gather around fluorescent lamps in my apartment. It is very annoying because after they gather around the lamps for a few minutes, they will drop dead. And I have to get rid of their bodies. Sometimes they gather around the lamps above my bed, and then their dead bodies will spread all over my bed. When this kind of insect thing happens in my apartment, I must switch off the lamps in my apartment very quickly and switch on the lamps outside to draw the insects away from my apartment.

MY MOTHER AND HER DARKNESS makes me feel a little bit sad, though that may not be the intention of the filmmaker. I feel sad because whenever I see these moths, they remind me of something which can live for a very short period of time. These moths remind me of the transience of life.

In my personal opinion, I think MY MOTHER AND HER DARKNESS can be a part of an unintentional trilogy. The other two parts of this unintentional trilogy are THIS AND MILLION MORE LIGHTS (2003, Apichatpong Weerasethakul) and WAR OF FLUORESCENT (2006, Nontawat Numbenchapol, 8 minutes). THIS AND MILLION MORE LIGHTS focuses on a fluorescent light and a boy who is hesitating to jump from a springboard in a swimming pool. WAR OF FLUORESCENT is a documentary about the director’s fight with the moths in his house. What makes MY MOTHER AND HER DARKNESS stands apart from these two films may be Filmsick’s love for his mother. In this film we can hear his mother talking to him in Thai, showing her care for him. (I’m sorry that his mother’s talk is not subtitled in English.)

--I love Fred Kelemen’s films very much, though I think what I wrote doesn’t represent the real greatness of his films. I can write about my opinions for his characters and his stories, but I think the real greatness of his films may not be the characters or the stories, but something which is beyond my ability to verbalize. I wish Fred Kelemen’s films are released as DVDs soon, so that some great critics can have a chance to see his films and write worthy reviews of his films.

This is my reply to Wisekwai in my English-only blog:

I hope you will have a chance to go to see BIRTH OF THE SEANEMA in this Fringe Festival. I think this film is rarely screened. I’m not surprised many people haven’t seen it. It was shown in the Thai Short Film Festival in 2004, then it was shown at Thammasat University Library in 2004, then it was shown in the Bangkok International Film Festival in 2005. That means it may have been shown only three times in Bangkok in the past. So don’t miss this upcoming chance. The brochure says it will be shown at Patravadi Theatre on February 16 at 17.00 hrs.



My ninth poll is inspired by MURDER OF THE INUGAMI CLAN (2006, Kon Ichikawa, A+), which I just saw last week. I like the style of this film very much. I think most films dealing with murder mystery make you feel excited while you are watching it. But the excitement decreases rapidly after you know the killer and the film ends. However, there are some films dealing with murder mystery, or just dealing with murder, or just mystery, which have other interesting things besides the excitement. MURDER OF THE INUGAMI CLAN are full of interesting styles, and I like this aspect of the film very much.

MURDER OF THE INUGAMI CLAN also reminds me of a Japanese film I saw many years ago from television. I think that film deals with a murder on an island, and there is a scene in which some people move a huge temple bell along the side of the island. Later, the detective, which may be Kindaichi, found out that the corpse is hidden inside the bell. I can’t remember the title of this film. Maybe it is THE 8 TOMB VILLAGE (1996, Kon Ichikawa), Maybe it is ISLAND OF EVIL SPIRITS (1981, Masahiro Shinoda). I don’t know. If anyone knows the title of this film, please tell me.

After I saw MURDER OF THE INUGAMI CLAN, I think I should make a list of my favorite films which deal with murder or mystery. The films in this list are varied. Some are about murder mystery, such as THESIS. Some are about mystery with or without murder, such as BROTHER’S KEEPER. Some are about murder without mystery about the murderer, such as WEB OF DECEPTION. Some treats the murder mystery in a very strange way, such as CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING, in which the heroines treat the murder in the haunted house as if it is a game. Some are not thrillers, but a powerful dramatic film/miniseries, such as THE MURDER OF MARY PHAGAN.


1.AMNESIA (2001, Martin Koolhoven, Netherlands)

2.BROTHER’S KEEPER (1992, Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, USA)

3.CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974, Jacques Rivette, France)

4.COP AU VIN (1985, Claude Chabrol, France)

5.DEATH ON THE NILE (1978, John Guillermin, UK)

6.DEATHTRAP (1982, Sidney Lumet, USA)

7.DEEP RED (1975, Dario Argento, Italy)

8.DOGWOMAN: DEAD DOG WALKING (2000, Rowan Woods, Australia)

9.EDEN AND AFTER (1970, Alain Robbe-Grillet, France)

10.HEAVEN OF GLASS (1987, Nina Grosse, West Germany)

11.I KNOW WHO KILLED ME (2007, Chris Sivertson, USA)
I love the blue color in this film very much.

12.THE LADY VANISHES (1938, Alfred Hitchcock, UK)

13.THE LAST ONE OF THE SIX (1941, Georges Lacombe, France)
The screenplay of this film is written by Henri-Georges Clouzot.

14.THE MURDER OF MARY PHAGAN (1988, William Hale, USA)
This 251-minute miniseries is adapted from Larry McMurtry’s story.

15.MURDER OF THE INUGAMI CLAN (2006, Kon Ichikawa, Japan)

16.THE SEVENTH VICTIM (1943, Mark Robson, USA)

17.TATORT: AUSGEKLINKT (1988, Sylvia Hoffmann, West Germany)

18.THESIS (1996, Alejandro Amenabar, Spain)

19.TICK TOCK (2000, Kevin Tenney, USA)

20.WEB OF DECEPTION (1989, David Chung, Hong Kong)


My eighth poll ended with 14 votes, including one vote from me for BIRTH OF THE SEANEMA. Thanks a lot to everyone who participated in it.

The result is as follows:


1.GOODBYE, DRAGON INN (2003, Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan) got 8 votes, or 57 %

2.BLISSFULLY YOURS (2002, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand) got 7 votes, or 50 %

3.DAMNATION (1988, Bela Tarr, Hungary)
+THE SUN (2005, Alexander Sokurov, Russia)
Each of them got 4 votes, or 28 %

5.LA BELLE NOISEUSE (1991, Jacques Rivette, France)
+ QUINCE TREE OF THE SUN (1992, Victor Erice, Spain)
Each of them got 3 votes, or 21 %

7.ANGEL’S FALL (2005, Semih Kaplanoglu, Turkey)
+ BIRTH OF THE SEANEMA (2004, Sasithorn Ariyavicha, Thailand)
+ FATE (1994, Fred Kelemen, Germany)
+ RAIN DOGS (2006, Ho Yuhang, Malaysia)

Each of them got 2 votes, or 14 %

11.ARIES: A POEM FOR KATIA (2004, Faozan Rizal, Indonesia)
+AUTOHYSTORIA (2007, Raya Martin, Philippines)
+ DYING AT A HOSPITAL (1993, Jun Ichikawa, Japan)
+ THE KITE (2002, Aleksai Muradov, Russia)
+ THE LEFT-HANDED WOMAN (1978, Peter Handke, West Germany)
+ THE LONG DAY CLOSES (1992, Terence Davies, UK)
+ NATHALIE GRANGER (1972, Marguerite Duras, France)
+ NO PLACE, NOWHERE (2004, Jose Luis Torres Leiva, Chile)
+ OURS DOESN’T WORK (2003, Nicolas Alvarez, Ivan Wolovik, Argentina)
+ SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT (2003, Daniel Eisenberg, USA)

Each of them got 1 vote, or 7 %

--I’m glad GOODBYE, DRAGON INN won the most votes, because I like this Tsai Ming-liang’s film very much. I think I like it because its lack of story and its lack of humor. GOODBYE, DRAGON INN certainly has some humor, but maybe not as much as THE WAYWARD CLOUD (2005). I think the humor and the stories in Tsai Ming-liang films create some distance between me and his films, but when the story and the humor are reduced, such as in GOODBYE, DRAGON INN, I can get more pleasures from watching it. I also love A CONVERSATION WITH GOD (2000, Tsai Ming-liang) very much, and I think it is because this film also lacks story and humor.

If anyone loves Tsai’s films but feels some distance from Tsai’s humor like me, I strongly recommend JACKY (2000, Fow Pyng Hu, Brat Ljatifi, Netherlands, A+).

--I just got a brochure of 2008 BANGKOK FRINGE FESTIVAL, and I screamed in delight when I saw the film program in this festival. Films in this festival include INVISIBLE CITY (2007, Tan Pin Pin, Singapore), A STUDY FOR THE SKIES (1989, Raymond Red, Philippines), TULI (2006, Auraeus Solito, Philippines), A SHORT FILM ABOOUT THE INDIO NACIONAL (2006, Raya Martin, Philippines), and BIRTH OF THE SEANEMA (2004, Sasithorn Ariyavicha, Thailand), which is one of my most favorite films of all time.

I don’t know why the website of Patravadi Theatre doesn’t include the film schedule yet. I just knew about it from the brochure. I hope Patravadi’s website will publish the film schedule soon.

Unfortunately, I have to work on 2-3 February, so I can’t go to see Tan Pin Pin’s and Raymond Red’s film, but I think I will go to see TULI and BIRTH OF THE SEANEMA on February 16 at 15.00 hrs, and A SHORT FILM ABOUT INDIO NACIONAL on February 17 at 17.00 hrs.


This is my reply to Carlos Ferrao in my blog:

--I like ALICE (2005, Marco Martins) very much, though I felt a little bit confused during the first half of the film and couldn’t follow the story. It is because I felt sleepy during that time due to my lack of sleep during the film festival. But after the first half, it seemed like I could begin to understand the feelings, the frustration, and the suffering of the hero. I think the film portrays the hero’s obsession very powerfully. It seems like the film is obsessed with the hero’s obsession. The hero couldn’t stop thinking about his daughter, and the film couldn’t stop focusing on his suffering. Everything in the film is great—the acting, the atmosphere, the rhythm. I also like very much that the hero has to smile in front of his audience nearly every day, though inside he must feel like hell. I think losing a daughter is the worst thing in the world already, but losing a daughter and having to smile in front of other people every day is like doubling the worst thing.

Coincidentally, last year I saw three films which deal with people who lose their children—ALICE, BUG, and GHOSTS (2005, Christian Petzold).

--I have seen so few Portuguese films, maybe not more than 20. I saw most of them in the European Film Festival in Bangkok. Fortunately, the people who choose Portuguese films to show in the festival seem to share the same taste with me, because I nearly love all of them. On the other hand, the people who choose Spanish films for the same festival seem to choose only unworthy ones. I know Spanish cinema have a lot of great films, but those great ones are not chosen to be shown in Bangkok for reasons unknown to me.

My favorite Portuguese films include:

(in alphabetical order)

1.ADEUS, PAI (1996, Luis Filipe Rocha)

2.ALICE (2005, Marco Martins)

3.O FANTASMA (2000, Joao Pedro Rodrigues)

4.GLORIA (1999, Manuela Viegas)

5.MANO (2005, George Felner)

6.THE MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE (2002, Fernando Matos Silva)

7.MURMURING COAST (2004, Margarida Cardoso)

8.THE POLICEWOMAN (2003, Joaquim Sapinho)

9.THE ROOT OF THE HEART (2000, Paulo Rocha)

10.A TALKING PICTURE (2003, Manoel de Oliveira)

PRASADTAEK (2007, Panpassa Thoobthien, A+)

This is my comment in Dechito’s blog:

Thank you very much for bringing me to see PRASADTAEK (2007, Panpassa Thoobthien, A+). I also like the third story (office scene) very much, and I like the fourth story (two old women) the second. I’m not sure why, but I guess it may be because the first and second story are a little bit far from my real life. It’s like watching other people’s stories, not watching stories which may be compared to my life. The fourth story is also a little bit far from my real life, but somehow I love the old murderess. She’s a fascinating character. The moment when she and her friend were panicking is also a moment which is truly frightening for me. I mean the situation in the first story (a suspected bomb in an airport) and the situation in the second story (a woman was tied up) are something which can hardly happen in my daily life. But I can imagine that our daily life can be shockingly interrupted like the old women’s lives when we begin to fear that there might be a random killer targeting us.

The fifth story is not far from real life, but it doesn’t cause heightened emotion as the third and fourth story.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


This is my reply to Carlos Ferrao in my blog:

--What a wonderful teacher you had! Well, I don’t know if Sapinho is a good teacher or not. But taking his students to go to see FROST is surely one great thing a teacher can do.

What you wrote is a very interesting information. I don’t know if FROST inspired Joaquim Sapinho to make THE POLICEWOMAN or not, but I love both films very much. Both of these films may have something similar, but they are also great in their own ways.

What I like very much in THE POLICEWOMAN is exactly “the policewoman”. This character may appear for 5 minutes in the movie, but she surely leaves a long-lasting impression. My friend points out that the role of the policewoman in this film is like an angel. Or maybe we can call her an exterminating angel, because she passes on the power to judge (or exterminate) a bad man to the mother. I think THE POLICEWOMAN looks more like a feminist film than FROST.

I also love GLORIA (1999, Manuela Viegas), which is written by Sapinho very much. I hope both Manuela Viegas and Joaquim Sapinho will make more and more movies in the future. Though many people in seem to hate their films, I just want to say I love their films very much. I wrote comments for both films in, but it seems the majority don’t agree with me. (That happens a lot of times in my life, though.)

--I just noticed that Manuela Viegas worked as an editor for THE BLOOD (O SANGUE) (1989, Pedro Costa), BY THE SEASIDE (1986, Joao Cesar Monteiro), THE ASPERN PAPERS (1985, Eduardo de Gregorio), and SILVESTRE (1982, Joao Cesar Monteiro). I wish I could see all her works. Her background as an editor may help explaining why the editing in GLORIA is very powerful for me. I still don’t understand what happens near the end of GLORIA, because Viegas seems to edit the film until it becomes incomprehensible. But I like it that way.


This is my comment in Unspoken Cinema’s blog:

I don’t have the Sontag article in The Guardian. But in Fred Kelemen’s website, there is a Susan Sontag’s article, printed in New York Times in 1996, called THE DECAY OF CINEMA. The version appeared in New York Times doesn’t mention Bela Tarr.

You can read THE DECAY OF CINEMA from the link below:

In Chicago Reader in 1996, Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote about Susan Sontag’s article. From what Rosenbaum wrote, it seems to me that Sontag wrote about Tarr, but his name was omitted when the article was printed in New York Times.

This is what Rosenbaum wrote:

“Tarr is mentioned twice in Susan Sontag's provocative, passionate essay about the decline and dissolution of cinephilia printed earlier this year in various publications around the globe, both times in contexts that make it clear she regards him as one of the few important filmmakers in the world. But when the New York Times Magazine printed the essay in its February 25 issue, both references were omitted, along with allusions to other directors (Theo Angelopoulos, Miklos Jancso, Alexander Kluge, Nanni Moretti, Krzysztof Zanussi) who have not curried much favor in recent years with New York Times reviewers or U.S. distributors.”

You can read Rosenbaum’s article from the link below:


This is my comment in Screenout Webboard:

ขอบคุณคุณ noinong มากๆค่ะที่มาช่วยเชียร์ละครเวทีเรื่อง “ตาดูดาว เท้าเหยียบเธอ” (A+) ละครเรื่องนี้มีเนื้อหาเกี่ยวกับเกย์ด้วยค่ะ


This is my comment in Bioscope Webboard:

กรี๊ดดดดดดดดดดดด ชอบคุณนพพันธ์ บุญใหญ่มากๆๆๆๆๆๆๆๆๆ เลยค่ะ เขาเคยเล่นหนังเรื่อง "โบอา งูยักษ์" (C-)


The information below is from Patravadi Theatre


The Fringe Festival will start this week on Thu (17 Jan)! From this week onwards there'll be performing arts programs from over 15 countries, short films, workshops etc ... @ Patravadi Theatre for 5 weeks.

I would like to invite you to join the occasion to attend the opening week events this week, including a combination of music, light & sound installation, puppetry and various performances, some of which are FREE events.

17-18 January 2008 8pm (Theatre-in-the-Garden)

'Osmosis' mixed media solo acrobatics by Rajanikara Kaewdee in collaboration with Canadian director Jerrry Snell

'7 GRACES' contemporary Indian dance by one of India's dance icon!

'Past is simulation' An enigmatic new dance language from Norway's herStay

19-20 January 2008 2pm (Studio 1)

'@S' fun-filled puppetry theatre from Spain (performed in English) for kids and family!

19-20 January 2008 8pm(Theatre-in-the-Garden)

'Preservation (A Bird Mutation)' (performed in English) - a dark and satirical physical theatre work (US/Germany) by Fulbright scholar Abi Bausch.

'The Sound of Ashes" - an avant garde multimedia journey

In additon to the above performances this week will also feature FREE events:

"Korphai Ensemble" (Thai contemporary music by famous local group) 17-19 January 2008 6pm - 7:15pm

"Lightflashes" Light and sound installation by Daniela Zenhder 17-20 January 2008 7:30pm - 8pm & after shows

"Boundless" group exhibition of various media by Thaksinawat & 10 Artists 5-31 January 2008
Folk Dance Workshop by lecturers from ASWARA 19 January 2008 11am -1pm Free Admission

"Indian Dance Workshop" by Anita Ratnam 19 January 2008 3-5pm Free Admission

"Sound as Movement:Movement as Sound" workshop by Alex Dea 20 January 2008 3-5pm Free Admission

For more information about the program, please visit the event calendar of

Come and join us for evenings of music, installation and performances from various coutnries. Tickets are 600B (Theatre-in-the-Gardeb, whole session), 300B (Studio 1) & 100B (Short Films). Call 02412 7287 to book, or get your tickets at door 90 minutes prior to the performance time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


This is Filmsick’s new short film: MY MOTHER AND HER DARKNESS (2008). Somehow this film makes me smile and feel sad at the same time.


This is my reply to Noel Vera in my blog:

Yes, I just saw FROST this November. There was a Fred Kelemen’s retrospective in Bangkok in November, showing KALYI, FATE, FROST, NIGHTFALL, and DESIRE (a videotape recording of his stage play), while his latest film--FALLEN (2005)—was shown in the World Film Festival of Bangkok in late October. Kelemen’ retrospective is certainly one of the best things ever happen in my life. Kelemen also came to the retrospective to talk with the audience.

I’m glad you call FROST a masterpiece. I think it is, too. In my opinion, I think FROST is more accessible than FATE. Though FROST is much longer than FATE, seeing characters moving across a vast landscape in FROST is hardly anything boring for me. Maybe it is because I like images of vast landscape. The story of FATE happens in a town and gives a much more claustrophobic feeling than FROST. As for comparing the different feelings I get from watching FROST and FATE, I think it is a little bit similar to the different feelings I get from watching the first three hours of HEREMIAS and watching the youth-drug scene in the eighth hour of HEREMIAS. FROST is a little bit like watching the first three hours of HEREMIAS—slow, but very comfortable. FATE is a little bit like watching the youth-drug scene in HEREMIAS—depressing and very uncomfortable.

Kelemen is also a director whose films are beyond my ability to describe. Though I love his films very much, I find it is too difficult for me to describe the feelings I get from his films. I hope some great critics would write about his films as much as Bela Tarr or Chantal Akerman.

One thing I like about FROST very much is the ending. In most films, the characters try to improve themselves and have some progress in the end. But in FROST, we cannot escape from the fact that some people may try to improve themselves, but they will never succeed. It is sad, but true. While most films try to evade this sad truth, FROST, along with many of Claude Chabrol’s films, dare to show us this truth.

I was very glad that Kelemen gave a Q&A after this film. His talking made me realize that there were many things I overlooked while watching FROST. For example, in the scene in the church, the boy screams out loud and runs away. Some audience and I didn’t know why the boy acts like that. Kelemen explained that it is because the boy mistook the figure of Jesus Christ on the cross as a real corpse. The boy is frightened because he thinks he sees a real corpse. And that indirectly shows the background of the boy. It shows that the boy is raised in an atheist family (we know that his family comes from East Germany), and has no education, or else the boy would have known Jesus Christ.

The characters in FROST give me some ambiguous feelings, which is a good thing. I don’t know if I should love or hate this mother and son. I can say I hate the father in this film, though he shows some warmth in the opening scene. As for the mother and son, I think FROST gives me some unresolved feelings. I ask myself if I were the mother, what would I do? I think I may do the same thing as her. I would leave my husband immediately. But how can I avoid her tragic fate? I don’t know. In most films, some characters make a mistake, and the audience know that we can avoid the tragic fate of those characters if we don’t make the same mistake. But in FROST, the mother meets her tragic fate, but I can’t figure out how to avoid her tragic fate. It is another sad truth in this film. Some people really don’t have many choices in life. They have done the best things they can do, but our universe, our world, our society may not let them escape from their tragic fate.

As for the boy, his obvious mistake is that he calls his father near the end of the film. If he hadn’t called his father, everything would have been much better. But it is not the kind of mistake resulted from evil. The boy decides to call his father not because he has some evil desires, but because of other reasons. Therefore, what the boy does gives me ambiguous feeling. I feel bad that the boy calls his father, though I can’t hate him just because he makes this mistake.

Another thing which makes me feel very ambiguous for the boy is that his existence seems to cause his mother great suffering, though it is not his fault. It is just the fact that he exists. If the boy doesn’t exist, his mother would have been much happier. One scene that makes me feel very strongly about this is the scene in the church. In that scene, I feel a great pity for the mother. She has walked for a very long time. She is extremely exhausted, and really needs a place to rest for a while. She finds a church. She just wants to rest in it by pretending to be one of the churchgoers. But then the boy ruins everything. His scream and his running away from the church means that the mother cannot rest anymore. She must keep on walking. If I were the mother in this scene, I think I may just lie down on the snow and decide to die. I don’t have the strength to walk any more.

I think the presentation of the boy as the unintentional cause of great suffering for his mother is a very interesting thing for me. This thing doesn’t make the boy gain much sympathy from me, and lets me look at the boy with some distance, instead of making the audience love and care for him very much as what most filmmakers will do. At the same time, I cannot hate the boy, because he doesn’t do anything wrong at all. The great suffering of his mother is caused by the mere fact that he exists. FROST doesn’t make me love the mother and son, nor does it make me hate them. FROST just lets me look at them in a much more truthful way than in most films.

A film which should make a great double bill with FROST is THE POLICEWOMAN (2003, Joaquim Sapinho, Portugal, A+), which is also about a mother and son traveling in an extremely hostile world. However, I think it is much easier to sympathize with the mother and son in THE POLICEWOMAN than in FROST. The mother and son in THE POLICEWOMAN don’t give me as many ambiguous feelings as in FROST.


--Writing about FROST just reminds me of one song I like. It’s WHEN IT’S COLD I’D LIKE TO DIE by Moby. The song doesn’t have anything to do with the film. It just mentions coldness.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Filmsick wrote in Thai about FATE (1994, Fred Kelemen). Here is my translation of what he wrote (with some added information). I translate it to contribute to the Contemplative Blogathon 2 at :

FATE (1994, Fred Kelemen, Germany, 80 minutes)

FATE is a graduation film of Kelemen. He directed it in 1994, and Susan Sontag, a famous writer, called it a wonderful film in her essay THE DECAY OF CINEMA.

The opening scene of FATE consists of many gloomy images of people on the streets. The camera leads us through the streets to watch old people, little children, vagabonds, some men and women. The camera seems to take us by the hand to guide us to watch human faces, before it pauses to stare at a man who is playing an accordion on a roadside. The camera stops wandering to focus on this man before it starts to follow him. This musician is hired by a guy to play an accordion in his private room, but the customer looks down on the musician because the musician is a Russian, and he forces the musician to drink vodka. The musician doesn’t fight back. He just leaves the customer’s room and walks into a glowing fountain to try to cleanse something which is inerasable. After that, he goes to see a woman, but the woman doesn’t allow him to get inside her room. He gets so angry that he breaks down her door and meets a male stranger in the room. He passes on his cruel fate to other characters. Then the camera shifts to focus on the woman, who wanders into the night with a half-naked body.

This film is shot on a video camera before transferred to 16mm film, so the images are very grainy and blurred as if it was shot long time ago. Some images look like pale shadows moving in the darkness, and darkness always embraces Kelemen’s films very tightly.

Kelemen usually made his films after long rehearsals with the cast, using just a rough script in the beginning. He let he cast share some opinions before the script was re-written in full details. After he was satisfied with the rehearsals and saw that the cast could take the film to the highest emotional point, he would start filming.

Kelemen said that he is against fast editing. In his opinion, an act of watching is not like watching a shot of a face, then a hand, then an eye. He thinks that an act of watching requires a long period of time, without unnecessary editing.

This 80-minute film only consists of twelve long scenes, and each scene depends on the power of the acting and the power of his expressionistic cinematography, while the camera rarely moves during a scene. Kelemen said that when you film a person in a room, if the person walks out of the room and you immediately cut away to another scene, then you treat that room as if it doesn’t really exist. Your film just presents the existence of human beings. But if you let your camera roll for a while to film an empty room, film it until the human atmosphere in the room fade away, you will start seeing that room as a real place, unconnected to human beings anymore. Human beings will become just something tiny in the vast universe. This way of filming is also a way to trace the marks left by human beings. It is like you sit on a chair, and then you stand up and walk away. If another person comes to sit on the same chair within a few seconds, that person will still feel the warmth in the chair, which is the result of your body temperature, though you have walked away from it. Kelemen tries to capture this kind of thing in his films. He intends to film an empty chair until the human warmth left in the chair fades away.

The situations in FATE are not unpredictable. The story seems to be very simple. It may look like a story told from an omnipresent viewpoint, with a satirical tone in the presentation of human failure. (Something in FATE may remind the viewers of some bad situations in Kieslowski’s films). But actually Kelemen’s point of view doesn’t focus on satirizing human weaknesses, but focuses on creating a universe of human failure. Therefore, human fate in this film is not a cruel joke of God, but it is the consequences of human’s own actions, the results of what we do to each other. This thing can be compared to the narrative strategy of FATE, which shifts focus from watching one character to another character.

Though FATE is full of pale, gloomy images, Kelemen said that he is attentive to every element of the film, including color which is a very important element in film. Making a movie is not just putting a camera somewhere to film anything, but you must choose very well for any color appearing in your films. FATE is filmed in color, but the technique of the film makes this film look like a monochrome film. This is not a black-and-white film, though it may look like one.

Characters in FATE don’t occupy spaces on the screen as if they are important people. The role of characters in this film is reduced to be just model of the movement of fate. This film doesn’t tell a sad story of a couple, but intends to show how a racist behavior of a man can lead to a serious assault of a woman, though that is not the end of everything. Men in Kelemen’s films are undependable, weak and try to cover up their weaknesses by being aggressive. Women in Kelemen’s films may look fragile and behave unreasonably, but they find a way to learn how to stand up on their own.

In the last scene of the film (the story of which happens in only one night), fate brings the main characters back together. The woman wakes up and doesn’t cry. She just puts on her clothes and walks on. We see her and the man walk further, being followed by a tractor which seems to be hungry for them. We see the couple and the tractor move out of the frame. The camera still doesn’t move. We begin to notice the movement of some dark shadows, causing by the clouds in the sky, in the pale, gloomy field. The couple never return into the frame. They leave the universe of unpredictable fate to stay on the screen.

--Filmsick also wrote a review of FALLEN (2005, Fred Kelemen, Latvia), but the review contains some spoilers. So some of you may want to read it after you have already seen FALLEN.

--The original writing in Thai can be read from the link below:




The more things change …

The 5th Bangkok Experimental
Film Festival, March 2008

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Governments come and go. So do coups. The West keeps drawing its ‘roadmaps’, but who’s driving? For some, having no elected government is a terrifying state of affairs. For others, it’s just business as usual.

Change is not impossible. It’s constant. Nothing is permanent. Traditional wisdom – especially in Buddhism – says that time is cyclical, a rhythm of renewal and regeneration. But modernity’s clock is ticking. Its history is linear, irreversible, a path towards a different future. Will our history be one of progress, or will it be looped?

Political, social, historical, biological, cosmic? What are the cycles that give shape to contemporary life? Can art interrupt them, or should it work with them, go along with them?

The 5th Bangkok Experimental Film Festival is seeking films and other screen-based work that explores the rhythms and cycles of contemporary life. All genres and styles will be considered, including experimental film and video, documentary, art film, animation, machinima, etc.

Experimental film is not just about technical innovation – it’s about new voices and new perspectives. It’s about yesterday and tomorrow. It can articulate the furtive connections between the ordinary and the extraordinary, the personal and the public.

BEFF5 is organised by Kick the Machine, Project 304 and the Thai Film Foundation, and is also supported by Multimedia Arts Asia Pacific.

To submit your work, please download the BEFF 5 Entry Form here: and send it with your submission to:

BEFF 5, c/o Jim Thompson Art Center,
6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
Deadline: Friday, 1 February, 2008

For more info please call +66 (0)86 311 6062, or email


The Festival is being organized by Project 304, Kick the Machine, and the Thai Film Foundation, and is supported by Multimedia Arts Asia Pacific. The previous editions of the festival took place in Bangkok in 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2005.

-- To present the latest experimental screen culture – by local, regional and international artists – to the Thai public, in Bangkok and other Thai cities;
-- To support the development of experimental film and art film in Thailand, and create opportunities for artistic expression in these experimental modes;
-- To allow artists and filmmakers to present their works, as well as share opinions and investigate new modes of creativity;
--To provide a forum for the arts and film community to expand its perspectives on contemporary society via experimental film, and for a wider discussion with the general public.

DVD (PAL, NTSC) with English subtitles

Screening Period
Bangkok, March 26 – 30, 2008
(Schedules for other cities TBA)

1) All submitted works must have been executed after 2006 (except in Retrospective and special sections, for which works will be selected by our curatorial staff). The length of the work is not limited. Productions whose themes show a commitment to promoting the creative art of the moving image are strongly encouraged.

2) The work should be with subtitles in English.

3) The works should be sent ‘freight pre-paid’, i.e. at sender’s cost.

4) The Festival is responsible for the screening schedule of the film.

5) The Festival has the right to reject material that is not relevant to the objectives of the festival.

6) After the festival, the DVDs and accompanying materials will not be returned. They will be kept as BEFF archives and will not be shown to the public without the consent of the filmmaker or the film producer.

1) Deadline for all applications is Friday, 1 February, 2008.
2) Entrants whose films have been selected will be notified soon after the selection.
3) DVDs, accompanying documents, and entry forms should be sent to:

BEFF 5, c/o- Jim Thompson Art Center,
6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand Tel./Fax. +662.219.2911 Email:


I just discovered an article by Jonathan Romney in the Guardian website. The article is called ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY? (7 October, 2000). It can be read from the link below:,,378684,00.html

In the article above, there is something said by Fred Kelemen which I like very much. Here is what he said:

“Even if you sit in your room and do nothing, time is passing and something is happening - which is a very big adventure."”


This is my comment in Pilgrim Akimbo’s blog:

Your writing about the walking scene in WRONG MOVE inspires me to think about something. Though what I think may not be directly related to the topic of your writing, it is still directly inspired by your writing. So I would like to share it with you.

Here is what I think:

--There are some outstanding non-narrative moments in narrative films, such as the walking scene in WRONG MOVE. Such moments may include:

1.The riding-on-a-train scene in SECRET DEFENSE (1998, Jacques Rivette), in which we only see the protagonist riding on a train for a long time. Nothing is really happening in the scene, except what the heroine may be thinking during that journey. Jared Rapfogel wrote about this important scene in Senses of Cinema.

2.Some moments in ALL THE VERMEERS IN NEW YORK (1990, Jon Jost). For the most parts, this film is like a Rohmer’s film, because it is full of characters talking naturally to each other. But some moments stand out from the film because they seem unconnected to the main story, such as the scene in which something is slowly moving across the sky, the one in which the camera just focuses on the patterns on the building floor, or the one in which the camera moves slowly between columns.

3.A blackout scene in THE BANGKOK BOURGEOIS PARTY (2007, Prap Boonpan, Thailand). This film is full of characters talking passionately and angrily to each other about the political problems of Thailand. But in the middle of the film, there is a blackout scene lasting 3-5 minutes. The viewers are forced to watch a black screen, in which nothing is to be seen, nothing is to be heard, for the whole of this scene. This scene really urges the viewers to spend the time to contemplate many things they just heard from the characters, before the debates between characters continue in the next scene.

In conclusion, I think these non-narrative moments are one of the best things in these narrative films. Some films can choose to tell stories. Some films can choose to discard stories. Some films can choose to tell story in one scene, and discard story in the next scene.

--I like walking-and-talking scenes in films very much. While the walking scene in WRONG MOVE is a part of the whole film, there are also some films which are dominated by the walking-and-talking scenes in them. These films are:

1.NIGHT TIME PICNIC (2006, Masahiko Nagasawa, Japan). In this film, a class of high-school students walk and talk for the most parts of the film. But I think this film is not a contemplative film, because there are many flashbacks and plot points in it.

2.MUSASHINO HIGH VOLTAGE TOWER (1997, Naoki Nagao, Japan, 118 minutes). In this film, two young boys keep on walking along the power lines in rural Japan. This film might be a mainstream contemplative film, because there is so very little happening in the film, except the characters’ uneventful journey. Highly impressive.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


--I have submitted Filmsick’s review of PHANTOM LOVE (2007, Nina Menkes) as a part of Contemplative Blogathon 2.

This is my comment in Unspoken Cinema’s blog:

This is a synopsis of THE KITE (2002, Aleksei Muradov, Russia) in TIME OUT FILM GUIDE, written by Geoff Andrew. I love this film a lot, but I think Andrew wrote this review by being conscious of different groups of his readers—those who love contemplative films and those who don’t.

“From the opening scene of an alcoholic boozing by night to the somewhat unexpected ending, this slow, sombre film refuses to make things explicit or easy for the viewer. The narrative shifts focus almost as much as the camera, demanding patience as it reveals only gradually what's going on or why. If anything, it's a vision of hell on earth: a couple row endlessly, drained by the difficulties of work and of caring for a disabled son. The film does finally reward the attentive viewer with revelations and moments of true tenderness, but it's probably a bit too gloomy and ungiving for most tastes.”

As for the kind of short review I like, I like what my friend Filmsick wrote for RAISED FROM DUST (2006, Gan Xiao Er, China) in his most favorite film list of 2007 in a Thai website ( , because it’s the review which makes me know instantly that this is a must-see film for contemplative film lovers, though he may use some words which may seem like a warning for those who don’t love contemplative films.

I tried to translate his review from Thai into English here. My translation is not 100 % accurate compared to his Thai review:

“This film is about a poor woman who has a sick husband staying in a hospital and a daughter who can’t pay tuition fees. What’s surprising is that the film contains no melodramatic scene. This is a low-budget film, full of static shots and stillness. The images seem to be transfixed by the empty atmosphere of rural China. Every scene is so natural, so life-like and so long that it can be a torture. The film is like a documentary without an ounce of sentimentality. We rarely see a close-up scene of the heroine. The story doesn’t seem to move forward. There is no music. Even in the climactic scene, we can only hear a sound of the wheels from her vehicle. This is not a kind of slow-but-deep films as Hou Hsiao-hsien’s, nor a kind of slow-bittter-humorous films as Tsai Ming-liang’s. But this is a film of stillness and silence which is extremely hurtful and powerful.”


Moalboalfilmsociety has left a comment in my blog about a music video shot by Taiki Sakpisit.

This is a music video of the song AGAETIS BYRJUN by Sigur Ros, shot on the streets of San Francisco. You can watch it in the link below:

I think this is a kind of documentary-music video. I think this music video can be viewed together with two films—ALABAMA: 2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME (1969, Wim Wenders, A+), which has some nice scenes of car moving, and SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT (2003, Daniel Eisenberg), which observes daily (or nightly) lives of ordinary people.

This is the synopsis of ALABAMA: 2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME in

“Because the driver is unable to fulfill correctly his order to kill somebody, he and his friends have to pay the price. "Alabama" is a road-movie. The camera is constantly in the back of the car shooting through the back window... But more important than this story is how the song "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan is changing when it is interpreted by Jimi Hendrix. And the recurring album of the Stones "His Satanic Majesty's Request".”

This is the synopsis of SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT in

“Composed entirely of long-take, stolen shots taken at night in Chicago, this dialogue-free, music-free film is an experimental meditation on urban spaces and the denizens who live in them.”

--Taiki Sakpisit directed a short film called BUNGALOWZEN: THE AMERICAN TRILOGY (2004, 19 minutes), which I like very much. It is full of scenes of car moving. He also shot a short video which was used as a background of a stage performance called NO TRANSLATION (2007, Terry Hatfield, A). Taiki also has a blog at . His blog is full of nice photographs, especially photographs of Butoh performances.

Thursday, January 10, 2008



My eighth poll is inspired by CONTEMPLATIVE BLOGATHON 2, which is being hosted by Harrytuttle at . I think CONTEMPLATIVE BLOGATHON is a real food for thought. It is very useful for me. Though I feel sorry I can’t write anything meaningful to contribute to the blogathon, I still feel very inspired by it, so I think I should make a poll which mostly consists of contemplative films and some slow films which may not be contemplative.

My eighth poll is also inspired by my forgetfulness. I forgot to include BIRTH OF THE SEANEMA in my seventh poll of favorite recent black-and-white films. How could I forget this film which is one of my most favorite films of all time? So I decided to create a poll for BIRTH OF THE SEANEMA, which is one of the slowest films I have ever seen.


1.ANGEL’S FALL (2005, Semih Kaplanoglu, Turkey)

2.ARIES: A POEM FOR KATIA (2004, Faozan Rizal, Indonesia)

3.AUTOHYSTORIA (2007, Raya Martin, Philippines)

4.LA BELLE NOISEUSE (1991, Jacques Rivette, France)

5.BIRTH OF THE SEANEMA (2004, Sasithorn Ariyavicha, Thailand)

6.BLISSFULLY YOURS (2002, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)

7.DAMNATION (1988, Bela Tarr, Hungary)

8.DYING AT A HOSPITAL (1993, Jun Ichikawa, Japan)

9.FATE (1994, Fred Kelemen, Germany)

10.GOODBYE, DRAGON INN (2003, Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan)

11.THE KITE (2002, Aleksai Muradov, Russia)

12.THE LEFT-HANDED WOMAN (1978, Peter Handke, West Germany)

13.THE LONG DAY CLOSES (1992, Terence Davies, UK)

14.NATHALIE GRANGER (1972, Marguerite Duras, France)

15.NO PLACE, NOWHERE (2004, Jose Luis Torres Leiva, Chile)

16.OURS DOESN’T WORK (2003, Nicolas Alvarez, Ivan Wolovik, Argentina)

17.QUINCE TREE OF THE SUN (1992, Victor Erice, Spain)

18.RAIN DOGS (2006, Ho Yuhang, Malaysia)

19.SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT (2003, Daniel Eisenberg, USA)

20.THE SUN (2005, Alexander Sokurov, Russia)

--I’m sorry many of the films in this poll are not available as DVD yet. But let’s blame it on the DVD companies who often overlook these wonderful gems.

--The title of this poll–“filming empty chair till there’s no warmth left” comes from what Fred Kelemen said. During the Fred Kelemen retrospective in Bangkok in November 2007, Kelemen gave many useful Q&A. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the exact words that Kelemen said during the Q&A. I just remembered some of his ideas, but after a few weeks, I guess some of his ideas that I tried to register in my memory have mixed with my own ideas. Now I’m not sure anymore how much of the ideas in my memory exactly comes from Kelemen, and how much comes from my own ideas. So I apologize in advance if I remember anything wrongly.

Filmsick wrote in Thai about one of Kelemen’s ideas that I like very much. It is about his method of editing. Kelemen said that in most films, the filmmaker may film a person sitting in a room, but after the person stands up and walks out of the room, the filmmaker will suddenly cut to another scene to follow that character. This kind of editing treats the room as if it doesn’t really exist. It only confirms the existence of the person, not the room. But if the camera doesn’t follow the person, if the filmmaker doesn’t immediately cut to another scene, if the filmmaker still films that empty room, or that empty chair, for a while until the atmosphere of the existence of human being really fades away, you will start to REALLY SEE THAT ROOM AS A PLACE, UNCONNECTED TO HUMAN BEINGS ANY MORE. Human beings will become only a tiny thing in the big universe. This method of filming/editing is also a way of tracing what human beings leave behind. Because when you stand up after sitting on a chair for a while, the chair will still contain your warmth, or some of your body temperature. Anyone who comes to sit on that chair in a few seconds will still feel the warmth on the chair you leave behind. Kelemen tries to capture this kind of thing in his films. Kelemen will continue filming the empty chair until there’s no warmth left, before he cuts to another scene.

I like Kelemen’s way of editing and his films very much, partly because somehow they make me more aware of any consequences of my decision, my speaking, or my action. Kelemen’s films seem to emphasize on the consequences of many little things the characters do. If our decision of some trivial things such as sitting or standing leaves unintentional but natural consequences, such as the warmth on the chair, no doubt our decision on other issues will leave bigger consequences. I think this aspect of Kelemen’s films may help improving the way of living of some audience, or help some audience to be a better person, without being didactic.

Another idea that I like very much in Kelemen’s films is the idea that he tries to MATERIALIZE EMPTINESS AND SILENCE, which is the opposite of what most filmmakers do. Most films don’t correspond to our real universe, because our real universe is exactly full of emptiness and silence. Human actions are only a tiny thing compared the emptiness and silence in our vast universe. Most films show continuous human actions, with maybe a few moments of silence in between those actions. But Kelemen’s films show long moments of emptiness and silence, with only a few moments of human actions in between. Thus, Kelemen’s films make us aware of the true proportion of our beings in the universe.

From what Kelemen said in the Q&A, his films make silence speak, show the real presence of silence, or make us hear the silence. Silence in Kelemen’s films is not just the absence of sound, is not just a period of time between one sound and another sound. Silence in Kelemen’s films is a sound in itself. His films give life to silence, give more space to silence. KELEMEN’S FILMS MAKE SILENCE AND EMPTINESS HAPPEN.

--Kelemen gave an interview to Kong Rithdee for the Bangkok Post newspaper in November 2007. This is a part of the interview:

“Kong Rithdee: Your films also use a lot of long takes, without cuts. Do you think that the longer a take is, the more real, the closer to the concept of time it becomes?

Fred Kelemen:The longer the take is doesn't always mean that it becomes more real. Sometimes the longer the take, the more boring it becomes. The length of a take is a question of tension. I try to keep scenes going as long as the tension is there, and cut the moment the tension fades. Even if a scene is long and almost nothing happens it doesn't mean that it's empty.

When you observe something for a long time, you start to understand more, and then it's more than just getting information. To use an image to give information is easy. Today everybody uses fast-cutting video clips, and you can get information on the visual level, but that's not important for film.

Maybe it's important for TV news, where you have info but not knowledge. But if you want knowledge, you need to go deep into it. You need time, when you observe something a little longer, then it goes beyond information and it starts to become metaphysical. You can go behind the skin or go through the eyes and you see something else. Maybe you catch a secret of the moment by doing that.

KR: Time as a cinematic concept?

FK: The concept of time in my films is much more influenced by music than by cinema. When I was young, I heard the music by Hungarian composer Bela Bartok, and I was deeply moved by the way the sound closed in and created a new variation and forced into itself and came back again. This idea of the flow of time, which is also present in traditional Indian music, was something I tried in my very first film in film school.

KR: But isn't Bartok's music very jolting, very rhythmic, like fast-cut editing?

FK: Not always. In some works by Bartok, and the early works of Schoenberg and the minimalism of Morton Feldman, time flows and the theme and melody are falling into each other. There's an incredible flow in it. I think I have a strong influence from music, maybe more so than from cinema.

KR: Are audiences today less patient when it comes to appreciating the passage of time?

FK: Yes, because life is very fast, because everybody is under commercial pressure. Time is money. In our society - mine and yours - the more time you spend, the less money you make. People are chasing material satisfaction and they lose the mental satisfaction. If we rush through everything we don't see anything any more.

We're reminded that time is passing away because we're mortal. If we could live forever, time would mean nothing. But we have an end, and the fact that we'll die makes the presence of time uncomfortable.

Mainstream commercial cinema tries to eliminate time because they know that time is uncomfortable. In commercial films, you have no presence of time, you only have the presence of action, which is quite empty. You have action, fast cuts, loud noise, it's more like an attraction park. All this is just to make people forget that they are alive, that they're mortal.

This kind of cinema is killing our time. But the other kind of cinema tries to preserve time by showing longer sequences. This kind of cinema gives us time. So for me, we should go to cinema to get time, not to kill time.

KR: And to remember, rather than to forget?

FK: Absolutely. ”

--As for THE LEFT-HANDED WOMAN, which is included in my eighth poll, I want to say that I like what TIME OUT FILM GUIDE said about this film very much.

This is the description of THE LEFT-HANDED WOMAN in TIME OUT FILM GUIDE:

“A train shatters the stillness of a Paris suburb, leaves a puddle on the station platform quivering with some unsolicited, mysterious, moving energy. This Romantic metaphor is at the very centre of Handke's grave, laconic film, produced by Wim Wenders, which begins where The American Friend left off: in the ringing void of Roissy airport. Here, the Woman (Edith Clever, superb in the role) meets her husband (Ganz) and, for no apparent reason, rejects him in favour of a solitary voyage through her own private void. In her house, with her child, the film records a double flight of escape and exploration, her rediscovery of the world, her relocation of body, home and landscape. This emotional labour makes its own economy: silence, an edge of solemnity, an overwhelming painterly grace. Self-effacement is made the paradoxical means of self-discovery, and the film becomes a hymn to a woman's liberating private growth, a moving, deceptively fragile contemplation of a world almost beyond words”

--Suggested Readings:



3.An interview with Sasithorn Ariyavicha

4.An article on Faozan Rizal by Nathan Andersen

5.An article on THE LEFT-HANDED WOMAN in the book NEW GERMAN FILM: THE DISPLACED IMAGE (1983) by Timothy Corrigan. The book is published by Indiana University Press.

This is an excerpt from Timothy Corrigan’s article:

“In this resistance to discourse, Marianne becomes almost pure image, a negation of social languages. It is more than twenty minutes into the film before this central character utters her first word, and for the remainder of the film she says extremely very little, a passive listener in most of her conversations with others. After her husband accuses her of mysticism, she regards herself in the mirror and says, “Say whatever you want; the more you say the freer I’ll be of you.” This confrontation is, on the one hand, directed at her absent husband and his attempt to bully and manipulate her with language. On the other hand, it is aimed at her own divided self as an image produced by that patriarchal discourse and as an image independent of those words, more distinguished in its difference, the more those words attempt and fail to claim that image.”

6.An article on NATHALIE GRANGER in the book NEW NOVEL, NEW WAVE, NEW POLITICS: FICTION AND THE REPRESENTATION OF HISTORY IN POSTWAR FRANCE (1998), written by Lynn A. Higgins. You can buy the book from

This is an excerpt from the book:

“The utter silence of the scene is also a particular feminine mode for the Duras of 1972. As she put it in an interview at that time, women’s writing is always translated into language from a nondiscursive darkness. Silence in NATHALIE GRANGER is a strong force, not simply an absence of speech or noise. “Men prevent the silence from being heard,” says Duras. Duras’s post-1968 literary efforts, particularly DESTROY, SHE SAID (1969), are informed by an angry and profoundly pessimistic vision of the bankruptcy of all language. This was presumably what turned her away from novel to film and, within film, her emphasis on nonverbal communication (e.g., Nathalie’s piano theme, which haunts each of the characters in turn, including the spectator). Film itself, erasing itself as it proceeds, offers both a method and an emblem for the destruction of language.”

--Other slow films, or strongly atmospheric films I like very much include

(Some of these films may not be contemplative.)

21.AND THE MOON DANCES (1995, Garin Nugroho, Indonesia)

22.BLIND SPOT (2002, Hanna Antonina Wojcik Slak, Slovenia)

23.BLUE CHA CHA (2005, Cheng Wen-tang, Taiwan)

24.BRIDE OF SILENCE (2005, Doan Minh Phuong + Doan Thanh Nghia, Vietnam)

25.BROTHER (GEGE) ( 2001, Yan Yan Mak, Hong Kong)

26.CHANGES IN THE VILLAGE (GAMPERALIYA) (1965, Lester James Peries, Sri Lanka)

27.CHASING BUTTERFLIES (1992, Otar Iosseliani, France)

28.COLD HOMELAND (1995, Volker Koepp, Germany)

29.DAY OF THE FULL MOON (1998, Karen Shakhnazarov, Russia)

30.DEATH OF A TEA MASTER (SEN NO RIKYU) ( 1989, Kei Kumai, Japan)

31.DREAMTRIPS (1999, Kal Ng, Hong Kong)

32.GATE OF HELL (1953, Teinosuke Kinugasa, Japan)

33.HOLE IN THE SKY (2001, Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, Japan)

34.ILE DE BEAUTE (1996, Dominique Gonzales-Foerster, Ange Leccia, France)

35.KOKKURI (1997, Takahisa Zeze, Japan)

36.LITTLE MEN (2003, Nariman Turebayev, Kazakhstan)

37.MOTHERLAND HOTEL (1986, Omer Kavur, Turkey)

Noel Vera wrote about the film here:

38.NIGHTSHADE (1972, Niklaus Schilling, West Germany)

39.OUT OF TIME (1995, Andreas Kleinert, Germany)

40.THE PASSENGER (2005, Eric Caravaca, France)

41.PLEASANT DAYS (2002, Kornel Mundruczo, Hungary)

42.THE PLIGHT (2002, R. Sarath, India)

43.SANKARA (2006, Prasanna Jayakody, Sri Lanka)

44.SCHULTZE GETS THE BLUES (2003, Michael Schorr, Germany)

45.SOCCER AS NEVER BEFORE (1971, Hellmuth Costard, West Germany)

46.SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN (2002, Tian Zhuangzhuang, China)

47.THE STING OF DEATH (1990, Kohei Oguri, Japan)

48.THIRST (2003, Tawfik Abu Wael, Israel)

49.ULTRANOVA (2005, Bouli Lanners, Belgium)

50.WORLD MASTER (1994, Zoran Solomun, Germany)