Thursday, April 28, 2011


The retrospective of Chaloemkiat Saeyong, who is one of my most favorite directors of all time, will be held this Saturday on the 9th floor of BACC at 1500-1800 hrs. The details of the event can be found here:

The event is organized by Bodin Theparat. The poster is designed by Nattaphan Boonlert.

This is what Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke wrote about Chaloemkiat's films:
" Chaloemkiat's films are structured like a vast, dazzling labyrinth in which being lost is considered less like a loss than a reward, the complex yet never tiring one to wander into. Challenging experiment inducing pleasure deserves to be seen and enjoyed. A must for the adventurous!"

This is what I wrote about Chaloemkiat in INDIAN AUTEUR:
" Chaloemkiat Saeyong’s masterpiece is Politically Lawyer and Narrative Cinema (2009, 27 min), which plays with many elements of cinema. The film tells a fictional story about a murder in an airport and uses this murder to remind the viewers of the real case of Somchai Neelaphaijit, a Thai political lawyer who disappeared in 2004. Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa, a Thai film critic, makes an interesting observation that the film seems to both tell a story and destroy its story at the same time. The film is extremely self-reflexive and has numerous weird things in it. For example, both the English title and the Thai title of this film are “intentionally” grammatically wrong. The film shows us a lecture room or a corridor in a building, while a text appearing on the screen says that the audience must imagine that what they see is an airport. The film reminds me of some weird and wonderful films by Jean-Luc Godard. Chaloemkiat also made Peru Time (2008, 18 min), which lets us watch a sunset for 18 minutes while some unreadable texts keep appearing on the screen. Wiwat compares this film to the opening scene of India Song (1974, Marguerite Duras). Chaloemkiat also made A Place of Different Air (2008, 24 min), in which the images appearing on the screen change their sizes from time to time. This semi-documentary, semi-experimental film is about a family who has just moved to a new place, and the different image sizes seem to emphasize the contrast between the old place and the new place."

My comments on other films of Chaloemkiat:

Chaloemkiat's interview in Thai:

How to financially support Chaloemkiat's new film:

EMPLOYEES LEAVING THE LUMIERE FACTORY (2010, Chaloemkiat Saeyong, A+++++++++++++++) is my most favorite Thai film I have seen so far in 2011.

What I like very much in this film include:

1.Its trance-like quality. While I was watching this film, I feel as if I was having a trance. It's the same kind of feeling I get from watching AUTOHYSTORIA (2007, Raya Martin, A++++++++++).

2.Its darkness, its dim light, and the image of a woman in the dark.

3.Its sound effects. These sound effects might be just a room tone in most films. But in this film, this "room tone" becomes enormous, becomes something very special.

4.The film arouses my imagination very much by its darkness and its "room tone". The "dark scenes" in this film make my imagination explode.

5.Its repetitive structure. The same event seems to happen 3-4 times in this film, with slight differences each time. This structure reminds me of some films by Jean-Marie Straub.

6.The man lying on the stair. I think this is very weird and wonderful. Chaloemkiat said that this man performs "a sculpture" in this film.

7.The mysterious woman who walks in a very strange manner near the end of the film. Chaloemkiat said that he doesn't know who this woman is. She just walked into the frame of this film by accident.

8.Its minimalism

9.Its uncompromising quality. I think it should be screened together with RUHR (James Benning).

10.The film can be greatly enjoyed no matter whether you understand this film or not. I had seen this film before I had a chance to listen to Chaloemkiat's explaining about why he had made this film. So while I was watching it, I had no clue at all what this film is all about. I didn't understand anything in this film, but I enjoy it very much.

After I had seen the film, Chaloemkiat explained to the audience that the film is about some film education in some Thai universities, which is like keeping the film students in total darkness.

Though this film has its real meaning, what I like very much about it is that I don't have to understand its real meaning to enjoy it. Even though I know its real meaning by now, I don't think I will focus my mind on its meaning when I have a chance to see it for the second time or third time. When I see this film for the second time or third time, I will forget its real meaning, I will let my imagination explode again, I will use the "sound" and the "images" in this film to imagine "other films" and "other stories" that I like.



2.THE FESTIVAL OF DEMON SPIRIT (2011, Sittiporn Racha)

3.RESIST (2009, Teeranit Siangsanoh, 54 min)

4.ME AND MY VIDEO DIARY (Tani Thitiprawat, 30 min)

5.EROTIC FRAGMENTS NO. 1, 2, 3 (2011, Anucha Boonyawattana)

6.PANYA RENU (2011, Bhin Banluerit)

7.HUG NA SARAKHAM (2011, Tanwarin Sukkhapisit)

8.I HOPE WE WILL PASS THROUGH THIS NIGHT (2011, Wattanapume Laisuwanchai)

9.DINING TABLE (2011, Wararak Thienkunakorn)

10.PIG'S STORIES (2011, Amrit Chusuwan, video installations)

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