Sunday, September 04, 2011


Below is what I copied from a letter to my new friend, who asked some questions about my life as a cinephile:

As for your list of favorite filmmakers, this is what I think about them:

1.Ozu: I have seen only four films of his and have some personal problems with them, because Ozu seems to portray "family members who like one another". .. my personal life prevents me from "feeling connected" to his films.

However, among the four films I saw, I like EARLY SPRING (1956) very much, because this film doesn't deal with the bond between parents and children.

2.Antonioni: I like him very much, especially THE ECLIPSE. I like how he deals with landscape and the emptiness inside the characters' souls.

3. Bergman: I like him very much. My most favorite of his is THE SILENCE.

4.Buñuel: I like him very much, too. My most favorites of his are BELLE DE JOUR, THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE, and THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY.

5.Almodovar. I like him a lot, but I'm not very crazy about him now, because my most favorite of his is PEPI, LUCI, BOM (1980).

6.Hiroshi Teshigahara: I have seen only WOMAN IN THE DUNES. I like it a lot, though if I were the hero in this film, I would kill the woman and myself instead of continue living in the dunes.

7.Masaki Kobayashi: I have seen only KWAIDAN (1964) and HARAKIRI (1962). I like them a lot.

8.Vittorio De Sica: I haven't seen any of his directorial works yet.

9.Jean-Pierre Melville: I like his films a lot, especially UN FLIC (1972).

10. Jean-Luc Godard: I worship him, though I don't always agree with everything he says. I find his films extremely fascinating. My most favorite of his is LA CHINOISE. I wrote about this film here:

11.François Truffaut: I don't feel connected to some of his films, but my most favorite of his is TWO ENGLISH GIRLS (1971).

12.Milos Forman: I have seen only 6 films of his. I think his films are good. I give A+ to almost most of them, but they don't excite me personally. As for his early films, I have seen only BLACK PETER (1964).

13.Bernardo Bertolucci: I have seen only 8 films of his. I think of him like Milos Forman. He makes great films that don't excite me personally. Maybe my most favorite of his is THE GRIM REAPER (1962), because it is very Pasolini-esque.

14. Eric Rohmer: One of my most favorite directors of all time. THE GREEN RAY makes me cry a bucketful of tears.

15.Robert Bresson: One of my most favorite directors of all time.

16.Victor Erice: I worship THE QUINCE TREE SUN (1992), but I don't feel personally connected to THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (1973).

17.Akira Kurosawa: I think his films are great, but they don't excite me personally. I think I have seen only 13 of his films. My most favorite is IKIRU (1952).

18. Ang Lee: I like some of his films very much. My most favorite is, of course, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.

19.Zhang Yimou: My most favorite of his is NOT ONE LESS (1999).

As for myself:

1.I think I came to love films because I like handsome actors. When I was about 13 years old, I became so crazy for Tom Cruise that I decided to go to see a film in a theatre by myself for the first time. The first film that I saw alone is THE COLOR OF MONEY (1986, Martin Scorsese, A++++++++++). I like it very much. So I went to see many Hollywood films after that.

2.I enjoyed seeing Hollywood films and mainstream films for many years, then in early 1995, I watched THE GARDEN (1990, Derek Jarman), and it blew me away. It made me realize that non-mainstream films like this can give me such an intense pleasure.

3.My life changed completely in late 1995 when I decided to go to see a film at the Goethe Institute in Bangkok for the first time. The film shown there is CLASS ENEMY (1983, Peter Stein, West Germany, A+++++++++++++++). I worship it. It also made me realize that there are many great films in the world which are not famous. I had read film magazines since 1987, but from 1987 to early 1995 these film magazines had never mentioned that there's such a great film as CLASS ENEMY exists in this world. So I realized that from then on I should explore the world of film by myself, instead of relying on the famous quality of the films.

4.After seeing CLASS ENEMY, I think I have become a cinephile. I went to see many films at Alliance Française, Goethe Institute, and Duangkamol Filmhouse (a Thai cinematheque) in late 1990's and early 2000's. I have also seen many films in various film festivals in Bangkok until now.

As for my favorite filmmakers, they include:
(In alphabetical order)

1.Alexander Kluge

2.Apichatpong Weerasethakul

3.Bruce Baillie

4.Chaloemkiat Saeyong

5.Derek Jarman

6.Eric Rohmer

7.Herbert Achternbusch

8.Jacques Rivette

9.Jun Ichikawa

10.Lav Diaz

As for my favorite films, I have made a list of 100 of them here:

I haven't directed any films yet, but I have produced 11 films directed by Wachara Kanha. If you want to know the details, you can read it here:

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