Sunday, May 29, 2011


I just found a novel called LAI KRARM (1977), written by Apichart Phopairoj (อภิชาต โพธิไพโรจน์).

If I understand it correctly, Apichart Phopairoj who wrote LAI KRARM is the same Apichart Phopairoj (อภิชาติ โพธิ์ไพโรจน์ หรือ อภิชาติ โพธิไพโรจน์), who directed SEARCHING FOR LOVE (ถามหาความรัก) (1984, A+) FRIENDS (เพื่อน) (1986, A-), LHORN (หลอน) (2003, B-), THE AGE OF LONELINESS (วัยแตกเปลี่ยว)(1979), THE VINYL RECORD IS BROKEN (แผ่นเสียงตกร่อง) (1979), THE SECONDHAND WOMAN (ผู้หญิงมือสอง) (possibly 1980), FROM THE HEARTS OF TEACHERS (จากครูด้วยดวงใจ) (1980), JUST TELL ME LOVE (เพียงบอกรักฉันสักนิด) (1985), and TWO DOZENS TWENTY FIVE (สองโหลยี่สิบห้า) (1986).

There are various Thai spellings for the name Apichart Phopairoj, so I'm not sure if there are 1, or 2, or 3 Apichart Phopairojs in the Thai entertainment business, but I guess there is only one.

I wanted to see THE SECONDHAND WOMAN very much. If I understand it correctly, this film won the best film award in the Tashkent Film Festival in USSR, which is in Uzbekistan now. I hope and pray that THE SECONDHAND WOMAN is not lost forever. There are many Thai old films which are lost forever due to the serious lack of film preservation in Thailand.

Thanks to Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa for leading me to the novel LAI KRARM, and for Tone Tipayanon for telling Wiwat about the old bookshop which has this novel.


The model in this photo is Nualjaree Jumnongthai, whom I like very much in the 1980's. The image is from the cover of Preaw Magazine in 1984. Nualjaree passed away because of cancer in January 2011.

Friday, May 27, 2011

How I argue with myself over CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS (2011, Rouzbeh Rashidi, 100 min, A+++++)

"I believe in invisible pictures. If you have two pictures cut correctly, that makes a third picture sometimes." –Alexander Kluge

What I'm going to write may not be exactly about the film CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS, but about my random thoughts concerning many other things after I watched this film. I'm sorry if my writing tells more about myself than this indefinable film.

Among the six feature films of Rouzbeh Rashidi that I have seen, CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS is the most challenging for me, partly because the film is so unique or so different from other films I have seen that I don't know how to deal with it, how to approach it, or how to think about it. It is also partly because I didn't know about how the film was made before I watched it.

CLOSURE OF CATHARIS consists of a man (James Devereaux) sitting on a park bench talking to the camera, while some mysterious scenes intervene from time to time.

On the surface, the film should be easier to understand than REMINISCENCES OF YEARNING (2011, Rouzbeh Rashidi) and ZOETROPE (2011, Rouzbeh Rashidi), both of which seem to tell no obvious stories. However, because I have seen a few surreal films and a few atmospheric films, it is easier for me to attune to the wavelengths of REMINISCENCES OF YEARNING, which is super-surreal, and ZOETROPE, which is extremely atmospheric, than to the wavelengths of CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS, which is unlike anything I have seen before.

After my first viewing of CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS, there are many questions left on my mind, including:

--How much of the film is planned beforehand?
--Is the monologue improvised, or scripted, or half-improvised, half-scripted? If it is scripted, who wrote it? Rashidi or Devereaux?
--Are the passers-by fictional characters or real people or both?
--How much of what is said is true or fiction? For example, did Devereaux really have a black-and-white TV?
--How many takes did Rashidi shoot for this film?
--Is all the monologue kept in the film? Did Rashidi cut some "meaningful talk" from the film to make the talk seem more meaningless? Or did Rashidi cut some "meaningless talk" from the film to make the talk seem more meaningful?
--What is the purpose of this film?
--If the film is scripted, are there any hidden meanings in the film, the mise-en-scene, the monologue, or the enigmatic inserted scenes? Are there any symbols or metaphors I need to decode? Do the dog, the squirrel, the public library, the black-and-white TV, or other things mentioned in the monologue carry special meanings?
--Is the film in black-and-white partly because a topic in the monologue concerns a black-and-white TV?

I watched CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS the first time on May 16, but I dared not write about it for fear that I might not understand some deep layers in this film. The film does not give us a conclusion, does not give us any obvious lessons, does not give me a climax or a catharsis. It is just a man talking about some events in his past, which seem to be unimportant compared to the events happening or talked about in most films. I felt that I didn't really understand the true value of this film. I thought that the film might be scripted and had some hidden meanings or some deep layers in it that I couldn't decode or fathom. I felt a little troubled by this film.

Fortunately, I just had a chance to read James Devereaux's blog on May 26. His blog post is about the making of this film:

After reading Devereaux's blog post, many questions I had about this film are answered. I now know how I should approach this film, think about it, or attune my wavelengths to it. I can watch the film for the second or third time with a liberated mind.

I use the word "liberated mind", because I feel very "free" when I watch this film for the second time. After I know that the acting and the monologue in this film are mostly improvised, I can really "enjoy" watching it. I can really enjoy watching the tiny movements on Devereaux's face, and not burdening myself with such questions as, "What does the director want to convey to the audience when James raises his eyebrows?" or "What is the director's MESSAGE when James moves a muscle in his face?"

Now I can enjoy the film and many things in the film without having to find "meanings" in them, without having to ask, "Is this thing significant or not?" I can sit back, relax, watch, listen to, and observe many things in the film with a free mind. Now I think of many things in the film as natural, real, life-like, or documentary-like things. If they are real, I don't have to find reasons to justify their existence in the film. If they are fictional, I feel the urge to understand why they are presented in the film.

Talking about this topic, please let me digress from CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS for a while:

If I hadn't read Devereaux' blog, I might not have been sure how I should approach this film. I would have asked myself, "Should I deal with the monologue in this film as a story of real life like the stories presented in Raymond Depardon's documentaries?" "Or should I deal with the monologue in this film as a fictional tale like in TEN TINY LOVE STORIES (2002, Rodrigo García)?

Why did I assume wrongly that CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS might be scripted or fictional? It is mainly because I had misunderstood many fictional films that they were documentaries, including TEN TINY LOVE STORIES, which deal with ten monologues, some of which concern sad experiences like in CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS. When I first watched TEN TINY LOVE STORIES, I thought it was a documentary. I learned from a friend later that the film is fictional.

Many mockumentaries are also successful in making me believe for a while that they were documentaries. These mockumentaries include THE LOVE MACHINE (2000, Gordon Eriksen), WANTANEE RETROSPECTIVE ENCORE (2008, Wantanee Siripattananuntakul), PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (2007, Oren Peli), and THE FOURTH KIND (2009, Olatunde Osunsanmi). Moreover, TV news in Thailand, which should present us something real, is not actually trustworthy. All of these things make me unable to trust anything easily. So when I encounter some real things in CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS, I did have a great doubt whether they are real or not.

It is funny for me to think that when I saw some mockumentaries, I thought that they were documentaries, but when I saw CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS, I thought that many things in it might be fictional. Is it only me who can't separate reality from fiction, or documentaries from fictions anymore? Is there anyone else who suffers from the same problems as me? Hahaha.

Talking about this problem, I would like to add that I don't know if one of my most favorite films I saw last year is a documentary or a fiction. GOD IS AMERICAN (2007, Richard Martin-Jordan, A+++++) claims to be a documentary, but the story in this film is so weird that I can hardly believe that the film is a documentary.

My wrong assumption that CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS was fictional made me believe that the film might have some deep layers in it that I couldn't fathom. This problem of mine results partly from my recent experience with CERTIFIED COPY (2010, Abbas Kiarostami, A+). I like CERTIFIED COPY very much when I first saw it. After I saw it, I think the film has "something" in it that makes it stand above other films dealing with "problematic couples", but I couldn't pinpoint exactly what that thing is. However, after I had talked with Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke, a cinephile friend, for an hour, I began to understand another layer in CERTIFIED COPY, which makes me admire the film much more. This experience also emphasizes to me that there are many films I can't understand without the help from others. Thus, I was afraid to "interpret" CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS for a while, believing that the film might have some deeper layers in it.

I also asked myself why I felt the urge to interpret or decode CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS, but not other films which are obviously more difficult. I think it is because I felt that the hidden meanings in CLOSURE OF CHATHARIS might not be beyond my ability to understand. That's why I reacted to this film in a different way from such films as TAKE THE 5:10 TO DREAMLAND (1976, Bruce Conner), RUHR (2009, James Benning), and THE COLOUR OF POMEGRANATES (1969, Sergei Paradjanov). I love these three films very much, but I don't understand them at all, and I don't feel the urge to "understand" them. I think that TAKE THE 5:10 TO DREAMLAND and RUHR may have nothing "to be understood", so it would be a waste of time for me to try to assign meanings to things in them. I think that THE COLOUR OF POMEGRANATES has many things to be understood, but it is obviously beyond my ability to grasp their meanings, so it would also be a waste of time for me to interpret this film by myself. On the contrary, I assumed that CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS had something to be understood, and it might be within my ability to comprehend it, so I felt an urge to decode the film, if the film was fictional. I also felt something like this for UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES (2010, Apichatpong Weeresethakul, A+). I wanted to decode the film after I had seen it, but after a while I gave up that thought.

Another reason for my wrong assumptions on CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS is the play A ZOO STORY, written by Edward Albee. Something in CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS unintentionally reminds me of A ZOO STORY, which is about two guys talking to each other on a park bench, and their talk also concerns a dog like CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS. In A ZOO STORY, the talk is "meaningful" or has something "to be interpreted". The dog in A ZOO STORY is not merely a dog. It can be interpreted as a symbol or metaphor for something else. That's why I suspected for a while that the talk and the dog in CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS might carry special meanings, too.

Apart from what I have written above, other things I like in CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS include:

1. It gives me such a unique experience. It unintentionally makes me learn a new way to approach a film.

CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS doesn't give me "enjoyment" in the same way as most films. Like what I have written above, the film does not give us a conclusion, does not give us any obvious lessons, does not give me a climax or a catharsis. What do we "learn" from Devereaux's experiences? Maybe nothing. What do we learn from watching this man and the park? Maybe nothing. What is the climax of this film? I'm not sure.

I'm not even sure what "closure", "catharsis", or "closure of catharsis" mean, so I have to look them up in Wikipedia. I think that the film may offer "closure" or "catharsis" to Devereaux, because the film lets him speak about a traumatic event in his life, so that he can bring it to a closure. Wikipedia says that catharsis can also mean "experiencing the deep emotions often associated with events in the individual's past which had originally been repressed or ignored, and had never been adequately addressed or experienced.", which I think is what Devereaux might have experienced while talking in this film.

However, I think the film is unique because it doesn't offer me the usual "emotional conclusion" or the usual "catharsis" (an extreme change in emotion, occurring as the result of experiencing strong feelings ) found in most films. It presents Devereaux's talk as it is. The film doesn't try to give a nice conclusion to it. The film doesn't try to make us draw some profound lessons from it. The film doesn't try to make us cry for his dog, and doesn't try to give us some big truths. No matter what Rashidi's intentions actually are, the film presents us something in our real life, something which can be either meaningful or meaningless, but this kind of thing is always underrepresented in most films.

In a way, I like CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS for the same reason as RUHR and ZOETROPE, because these three films present us something which is not always presented in most films. RUHR and ZOETROPE present us long, static, landscape shots. CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS tells us some events in a man's life, and these events may seem unimportant to some viewers. CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS also lets us observe a man while he is thinking. This is in contrast to most films which let us watch a person only when he is talking or doing some meaningful things, not when he is sitting in silence. Thus the first seven minutes of CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS is simply wonderful, when we see nothing except Devereaux sitting in a park in silence.

CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS unintentionally makes me realize how I may be too attracted to "emotional conclusion", "climax", or "catharsis" in most films. CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS helps make me realize that in reality, or in our real lives, we can't draw conclusions on everything, everyone, or every event. Life goes on. Some events occur in your life. It may make you feel a little bit sad, but you can do nothing about it. The event may not drastically change you, but it is a part of your life. One day you might recall it when the wind blows through your hair on an ordinary day. You think of it for a while, then life goes on just the same.

CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS may remind me a little bit of such talky films as
MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ (1981, Louis Malle) and LUDWIG'S COOK (1973, Hand Jürgen Syberberg), though CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS is still unique in my eyes, because the monologue in CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS seems to be less concerned with important things and less coherent than in the other two films.

I think my earlier problem with how to approach this film reflects my "need for closure" or my "need for definite understanding of a film". I thought that if I found the hidden meanings or the deeper layers of the film, they would lead me to a real understanding of the film, or a catharsis, or a kind of conclusion. Now I understand that I should get rid of my "need for closure", and embrace the film as what it is: a film about an ordinary man talking about some arguably unimportant events in his life on an ordinary day. The absence of conclusion and catharsis for the viewers of this film makes ithe film more unique and more lifelike.


While most films present us coherent stories and coherent talking, CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS denies us these things, but the film is still enjoyable. I like three kinds of interruptions in this film very much. They are:

2.1 Topic interruptions. Devereaux talks about many things which seem to be incoherent, or things which are not obviously connected to each other, such as Vodafone, his fear of boring old life, black-and-white TV, a public library, and his dead dog.

2.2 Monologue interruptions. Devereaux's monologue is interrupted from time to time when he turns to focus on the passers-by.

2.3 Scene interruptions. Devereaux's scenes are interrupted from time to time by strange scenes, which may or may not be logically connected to the monologue scenes. These inserted scenes help making this film less stagey.

3.Though some topics and some scenes are not logically connected, I think they are "imaginatively" connected. I mean they are connected if the viewers use their own imaginations to connect them together. For example, I imagine that the topics of the dead dog and the television sets are connected by the comparison between the sister's possession and the man's own possession when he was a little child. The reason why the topic of the dead dog and the TV sets unexplainably came up successively in his mind might be because he thinks about his sister's owning of a better TV set and a strong dog, while he had an inferior TV set and a weak dog at that time. This is just my own funny imagination towards a character in this film, anyway. I don't presume that the actor actually thinks like this in his real life. Though the film portrays some real things, I think the viewers also have the rights to imagine some fictional things by using the film as a springboard for their own imagination, as long as the viewers don't confuse between their imagination and reality.

Another imaginative connection of mine is the one between the scene in which Devereaux nearly finishes talking about his dead dog and the scene in which a young man puts up a suitcase over a bridge railing or something like that. I imagine that the connection between these two scenes is the feeling of throwing away the burden. By talking about his dead dog, Devereaux is cleansing some burdens out of his mind. By throwing the suitcase into a river, the young man get rids of some burdens in his life.


I quote Alexander Kluge in the opening of this post, because CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS and BIPEDALITY (2010, Rouzbeh Rashidi) unintentionally remind me of something in Alexander Kluge's films. In many of Kluge's films, scenes which are not logically connected are juxtaposed together, resulting in "the third picture", "the invisible picture", or "the picture in the viewers' head". In BIPEDALITY and CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS, we also see the juxtaposition of scenes which are not logically connected to each other, resulting in "puzzlement", "thought provocation", "unexplainable feelings" or "invisible pictures" from time to time.

For example, after we see a scene in which Devereaux talks about his dog getting sick, we see a scene in which a middle-aged couple with arguably unhappy faces sitting in a train, holding a newspaper with the word NURSES printed on it. The juxtaposition of these two scenes results in "a third picture" in my head. It's the imaginative picture of that couple visiting their small son suffering from a disease in a hospital. This "third picture" is inspired by the sadness Devereaux had because of his sick dog and the image of that couple.

If I have to vote for "a climax" in this film, I might vote for this scene of the middle-aged couple, because the sadness for the dog which has been built before that scene seems to arguably reach its climax in this scene with the help of my imagination.

However, after we see that couple, we see an old man eating a donut in the train or something like that. How is this image connected to the whole story? I don't know. But I like this unexplainable quality very much.


Apart from "the third picture", I also like the use of offscreen space and imaginative space in this film very much. I mean:

5.1 The offscreen space: The passers-by, the big dogs, and the squirrel are offscreen in this film, but their presences are very important to the story. The viewers must use their own imagination to visualize these figures, based on the reactions Devereaux has towards them.

5.2 The things which Devereaux talks about, such as his sister and their dogs. The viewers also have to use their own imagination to visualize these figures, based on Devereaux's memory.

5.3 Most importantly, the things Devereaux does not talk about, but think about in silence. There are a few minutes in the film in which Devereaux is thinking about something. I love these moments, because they are not presented in most films. The viewers must use their own imagination to guess, or maybe freely imagine, what Devereaux has on his mind in those moments, based on tiny movements in Devereaux's face.


The use of offscreen space is most effectively used in the invisible gangsters' scene. I mean the scene in the minute 50 or so, in which Devereaux seems to fear some people who pass nearby, and we hear some footsteps, but we never see the owners of the footsteps or the clear faces of the gangsters (if I hear what Devereaux said correctly).

The presence of invisible danger in a real situation like this is very thrilling. It reminds me of a scene in the documentary DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND (2002, Lucy Walker), in which the filmmaker and her crew suspect some killers or bad men might be outside the house of an interviewee, and a scene in the documentary HUNTING THE LION WITH BOW AND ARROW (1967, Jean Rouch), in which the filmmaker and his crew ran for their lives to escape from a lion.

Another thing I like very much in the invisible gangsters' scene is the fact that in most fictional films, a man like Devereaux, who looks very strong, doesn't always have a chance to show his fear for big dogs or gangsters strolling in a park, but this film shows it, and it unintentionally points to how dangerous our real world is.

Another scene I like very much in CLOSURE OF THE CATHARSIS is the scene of the schoolgirls. I think it is the most cheerful scene in this film.

7. The excellent performance of James Devereaux

The film hugely depends on the performance of Devereaux. If he had done the job badly, the film would have been utterly boring. However, his presence in the film is never boring. I like observing the movements in his face very much.

8. The similarities and the differences compared to other films by Rashidi

I think it is interesting to compare and contrast CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS with other films by Rashidi. Structurally, the film reminds me a little bit of BIPEDALITY, in which the main talking scenes are also interrupted from time to time by some enigmatic shots.

Another thing which reminds me of BIPEDALITY is the repeated talk of Devereaux. He talks about Vodafone twice, and seems to repeat some sentences about his TV and his dog. It reminds me of the third act of BIPEDALITY, in which some sentences seem to be spoken twice.

However, what makes CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS different from other feature films of Rashidi is that the film doesn't give me "visual pleasure" as much as ONLY HUMAN (2009), BIPEDALITY, REMINISCENCES OF YEARNING, and ZOETROPE. I think the visual beauty in CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS is as much as the one in LIGHT & QUIET (2008). Both of them are cinematographically satisfying, but the cinematography in ONLY HUMAN, BIPEDALITY, REMINISCENCES OF YEARNING, and ZOETROPE is in the level of "extremely stunning".

Though CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS is very different from other films of Rashidi I have seen, there are some small similarities among them, such as the use of static shots, the sound of birds, and the playing with sound: we see someone blow a musical instrument in CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS, but we hear no music. This reminds me of LIGHT & QUIET and REMINISCENCES OF YEARNING, in which we see some characters speaking, but we don't hear their voices. There are also some strange electronic noises near the end of CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS.

9.The visual effect used in the inserted scenes to make the characters move jerkily. This visual effect is very haunting.

10. The stunning opening shot. The first shot of this film lasts 30 minutes before the first cut appears in the film. This is as stunning as the opening shot of AUTOHYSTORIA (2007, Raya Martin).

11. As for the monologue, the topic I like the most is the boredom of life. Devereaux says that he doesn't want to live until 95, going through the routine every day until that time. This part of the monologue unintentionally reminds me of one of my most favorite scenes of all time from THE DEVIL, PROBABLY (1977, Robert Bresson)

--There's one thing I'm not sure I like in this film or not: it is the use of the extreme close-up near the end of this film. I like it a little bit because it is very strange. I rarely see an extreme close-up like that. But I'm not sure if I really like it or not, because it makes me feel "uncomfortable". I'm not sure if this uncomfortableness is what Rashidi intends or not. I'm not sure if this uncomfortable effect will still be felt by the audience or not when the film is shown on a big screen. I'm not sure what the intention for the use of extreme close-up in this film is. Does the move from close-up to extreme close-up in this film correspond to the move into the deeper part of Devereaux's mind?

--If I have to screen CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS with other films, I will choose to screen it with WHEN THE MOVIE LISTENS (2007, Tulapop Saenjaroen, Thailand, 11 min), which shows a man listening to something.The showing of these two films together might cause a funny effect, especially if it is done like a video installation in a gallery. One film speaks, the other film listens.



This is my comment in a friend's Facebook:

Melvil Poupaud is very handsome and he has played in at least 10 films by Raoul Ruiz, though I have seen only one film of their collaborations (TIME REGAINED). I wonder if the Poupaud-Ruiz collaboration is very interesting or not. Their collaboration is not as well known as the female star-male director collaborations of Liv Ullmann-Ingmar Bergman, Carmen Maura-Pedro Almodovar, Margit Carstensen-Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Kati Outinen-Aki Kaurismäki, Magdalena Montezuma-Werner Schroeter, etc.

The Melvil Poupaud-Raoul Ruiz collaboration reminds me of the male star-male director collaborations of Jean-Pierre Léaud--François Truffaut, Lee Kangsheng—Tsai Mingliang, Randolph Scott—Budd Boetticher, and Chai Chaiyachit—Prap Boonpan.


"DEATH IS BLISS" film program at Thammasat University Library

Favorite quote from Laurie Anderson:

"When your alarm clock rings, you don’t get up and say, Why am I in the world? You get up because you have to be at your job on time. It’s simpler to think of small things."

Favorite quote from Alexander Kluge in 1989:

"The new world of the next century will be very indirect; it will totally occupy the mind. No one will have time to reflect, to have experiences."

I think it would be very interesting if a person wakes up each morning and wonders, "Why am I in this world?" However, I hope that person would not end up like the protagonist of THE DEVIL, PROBABLY (1977, Robert Bresson, A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++), which will be shown at Thammasat University Library on June 5, 1230hrs.

One of my most favorite scenes of all time from THE DEVIL, PROBABLY:

DEATH IS BLISS film program at Thammasat University Library





Monday, May 23, 2011


1.MITTELWERK EXPRESS (Jean-Baptiste Alazard, France, A+++++++++++++++)
This film shocks me as much as EDEN AND AFTER (1970, Alain Robbe-Grillet) and SOMBRE (1998, Philippe Grandrieux).

2.WHY DO YOU JUMP? (โดด) (Korn Kanogkekarin, A+++++++++++++++)

3.WHERE WE DISAPPEAR (Akihiro Hata, France, A+++++)

4.EWA AND MARCIN (Matej Bobrik, Poland, A++++++++++)

5.DREAM BABY DREAM (Christophe Nanga-Oly, France, A+++++)

6.CHARCOAL BURNERS (Piotr Zlotorowicz, Poland, documentary, A+++++)

7.SOMETHING RED HAIRY UNFOCUSED (2010, Laura Victoria Delgado, Czech, animation, A+++++)

8.MODERATELY TREMENDOUSLY (อย่างกลาง อย่างมาก) (2011, Tritos Termarbsri, A+++++)

9.LAUGH & CRY FOR VIVA (หัวเราะร่า น้ำตาร่วง) (Sirapachr Niamfong, A+++++)

10.CYBER CHIMPLEE (ไซเบอร์ฉิมพลี) (Pakawat Phanmanee, A+++++)

11.SUGAR BASIN TALE (Květa Přibylová, Czech, A+++++)

12.MOON (Eunsue Kim, Czech, animation, A+++++)

13.TOMÁŠ (Viktória Dzurenková, Czech, documentary, A+++++)

14.MUSHROOM 17'22" (Charlotte Butrak, France, A+++++)

15.DAZZLING FAKE (เปลือกสุข) (Patti Buntuwanich, A+++++)

16.GRAFFITIGER (Libor Pixa, Czech, animation, A+++++)

17.WILD DOGS (Daniel Najenson, Israel, A+)

18.MC. MAN OF VINYL (2010, Bartosz Warwas, Poland, A+)

19.ALL SOUL'S DAY (Jan Bohuslav, Czech, animation, A+)

20.ESSENCE DE FEMME (Chama Lekpla, A+)

21.GIRL 180 (Tomasz Mielnik, Czech, A+)

22.LIFE IS A BITCH (Michaela Hoffova, Czech, animation, A+)

23.MILAN KUNDERA STORY (Jan Rendl, Czech, A+)

24.A COR ET A CRI (Brice Pancot, France, A+)

25.SUSPENDED ERROR DREAM (directed by Jazme Jehtae, edited by Chaloemkiat Saeyong, A+)

26.LIKE LOVE (Sarah Cunningham, France/UK, A+)

27.MASCARA AND THE SAD GIRL (สาวช่างเศร้า) (Dollada Chunjuen, A+)


29.IN A NOSTALGIC MOOD (2011, Arnun Rodprasert, A+)

30.NOWHERE BLUES (2009, Bartosz Warwas, Poland, A+)

31.HAND MAID (Mo Hyung-shin, South Korea, A+)

32.YAYAYA (Pakawat Phanmanee, A+)

33.MY SISTER (Lukáš Hrdý, Czech, A+/A)

34.HOUSE OF DEATH (Matej Bobrik, Poland, A+/A)

35.084-06615... (Korn Kanogkekarin, A+/A)

36.ME.YOU.US (Tomáš Hájek, Czech, animation, A+/A)

37.FIRST AID (Yarden Karmin, Israel, A)

38.BATTLEFIELD LOURDES (Jan Rendl, Czech, documentary, A)

39.SAYING (Sangeun Won, Czech, animation, A-)

40.TRIATHLON (2007, Bartosz Warwas, Poland, A-)

41.ENCOUNTER (Sangeun Won, Czech, animation, A-)

42.CLOSE TO ME (รักแช่แข็ง) (2011, Kochakorn Juantongrak, A-)

This is a portrait of Krzysztof Zanussi, who appears in the film MC. MAN OF VINYL.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

HOLD ON ME (2011, Ninart Boonpothong, A+/A)

For those who want to see this stage play, the details are in the link below:

There is a scene in this stage play that I like very much. It is a scene in which the characters try to make a porn film. In this porn film, a soldier is dancing, keeping humming "KILLING COMMUNISTS IS NOT A SIN. KILLING COMMUNISTS IS NOT A SIN," and then the soldiers try to rape a female university student, saying that raping her will turn her from a revolutionary student into a good wife and mother.

This scene is very funny, and extremely scary, especially in a time of intolerance like this.

I give this scene A++++++++++.

THE DAY COMRADE STORM COMES HOME (2011, Rattapong Pinyosophon, A++++++++++)

For those who want to see this play, the details are in the link below:

I would like to compare this stage play with other Thai political stage plays I saw:

1.In a way, I think this play is the opposite of IMPROPER FRACTION: A STUDY ON FRAGMENTATION (2011, Thanapol Virulhakul + Vidura Amrananad, A+) and CHUI CHAI (2011, Pichet Klunchun, A+/A), because IMPROPER FRACTION and CHUI CHAI are very oblique for their political messages, while THE DAY COMRADE STORM COMES HOME is straightforward.

2.I'm not sure if I agree with the political message of THE DAY COMRADE STORM COMES HOME or not, but at least I think its message is much more agreeable to me than LITTLE BASTARDS (ลูกคุณหลวง) (2007, Pa-un Jantarasiri, A) and ONE-LEGGED RABBIT (2007, Pichet Klunchun).

3.THE DAY COMRADE STORM COMES HOME is much "smaller" than LIGHT OF FAITH OVER CHAO PHRAYA RIVER (2010, Jirayuth Sinthupunt, A+), KUE POO APIWAT (2010, Sineenadh Keitprapai, A+), and THE OTHER LAND (แผ่นดินอื่น) (2008, Teerawat Mulvilai, A+), though I think THE DAY COMRADE STORM COMES HOME is as "effective" as these three bigger stage plays.

4.THE DAY COMRADE STORM COMES HOME, which uses three actors, is a bit bigger than HIS GARDEN (2010, Rattapong Pinyosophon, A+), which uses only one actor. However, I prefer THE DAY COMRADE STORM COMES HOME to HIS GARDEN, partly because I think the actor (Wasu Wallayangkoon) in COMRADE STORM is a little bit more convincing than the actor (Rattapong Pinyosophon) in HIS GARDEN. I think Rattapong's acting in HIS GARDEN is fine, but he has a kind and young face and a calm voice, so his face may not fit very well with the role of a political science professor.

5. THE DAY COMRADE STORM COMES HOME is less daring, complicated, ambitious, or thought-provoking than LADY MINA: VAMPIRE HUNTER (2011, Ninart Boonpothong, A). However, I prefer THE DAY COMRADE STORM COMES HOME to LADY MINA: VAMPIRE HUNTER, partly because I think LADY MINA is too complicated and too ambitious, though I like the daring quality of LADY MINA very much.

6.I'm not sure if I like THE DAY COMRADE STORM COMES HOME as much as WHEN I SLEPT OVER THE NIGHT OF THE REVOLUTION (2007, Ninart Boonpothong, A+++++++++++++++) or not. COMRADE STORM is much more heartfelt and straightforward than WHEN I SLEPT OVER, but I like the narrative structure of WHEN I SLEPT OVER very much. I think there is a "cerebral" quality in many plays of Ninart. Sometimes the cerebral aspect of Ninart results in such a wonderful play as WHEN I SLEPT OVER, sometimes it results in some plays which are too difficult for me.

7.I'm not sure if the ending of THE DAY COMRADE STORM COMES HOME is "too optimistic" or not. Is it too optimistic compared to the current Thai political situation? Maybe it is just too optimistic for my own taste. I think its semi-peaceful ending is as optimistic as CHEER'S (2009, Gawintorn Sangsakorn, A+).

Judging from the ending alone, I may prefer the massacre ending of PICNIC ON A BATTLEFIELD (2010, Thianchai Isaradej, A) to the ending of COMRADE STORM.

The optimistic, peaceful tone of COMRADE STORM is the main reason why I may not like this stage play as much as THE CRUCIBLE (2010, Malinda Pamornsuwan, A+++++++++++++++), which I think is my most favorite stage play (unintentionally) concerning current Thai political situation.

8.The reason why I give A++++++++++ to THE DAY COMRADE STOME COMES HOME is because of its "heartfelt" quality. This stage play really touches my heart, though it is partly because of a very personal reason. The story in this play reminds me of something in my own family.

I think COMRADE STORM is as heartfelt as THE BROKEN-HEARTED PAPAYA POKPOK VENDOR (2007, Sawanee Utoomma, A++++++++++) and 17 MAY MY VALENTINE (2008, Sawanee Utoomma, A++++++++++).

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I just knew that Stan Brakhage wanted to commit suicide when he was 26 and also wanted to make a film out of his own suicide!!!!!!.

An excerpt from an interview with Stan Brakhage by P. Adams Sitney in 1963, taken from the book FILM CULTURE READER:

Brakhage: ...Certainly by the age of 26, I was getting too old to still be alive and around and fulfilling the myth of myself. ANTICIPATION OF THE NIGHT was the vehicle out.

Sitney: Do you mean you were actually going to kill yourself at the completion of the film?

Brakhage: I didn't think this through consciously. Occurrences that happened afterwards made it clear that's what I'd intended. For months, I'd been getting more and more ill with neurotic diseases, some of them, like asthma, which had a long history in my life, and others that were completely new. At that time the fourth and fifth fingers of my left hand, that is the marriage and death fingers, were completely crippled with arthritis; I couldn't move them, I was practically on a cane (at the age of 26, mind), I was defeated in all searches of love, trying to reach out of myself, except in relation to film.
On the other had, I was saying, "When I come to the hanged man sequence, I'll shoot it spontaneously. I will go out and put a rope around my neck and photograph as the feelings arrive and just attach that section to the end of the film." I didn't really become aware of what I had intended until months after our marriage.
A month after we were married, I was out on the front lawn with Jane, whom I wasn't yet seeing deeply beyond sex desire, and I was putting a rope around my neck and standing on a kitchen chair in a suburb of Denver with all the neighbors gathering on porches to wonder what that madman was up to now.
So I was on a chair with rope around neck photographing and, then, fortunately a friend dropped by and was also watching the process, and I handed the camera to Jane and said, "Well, that's that," meaning I'm finished, and without realizing or remembering that the rope was around my neck, stepped off the chair and swung in midair for a few seconds, was grabbed by the friend, put back up on the chair, and suddenly had the full realization of what had been intended. I was sure that I had intended for months to finish the editing of ANTICIPATION OF THE NIGHT up to that point, go out into the yard, climb up on a chair, camera in hand, jump off the chair, and while hanging run out as much film as I could, leaving a note saying, "Attach this to the end of ANTICIPATION OF THE NIGHT."

Fortunately, Brakhage didn't commit suicide at that time, and went on making about 355 films after that.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Tanwarin Sukkhapisit's retrospective will be held on Saturday, May 21, at 1500-1800 hrs, on the 9th floor of BACC. The event is held by Bodin Theparat. The poster is designed by Akira Kangwanpat. The details are as follows:

"ฉายหนังสั้นของธัญญ์วาริน สุขะพิสิษฐ์ 7 เรื่อง
ในงาน "You Say You Want a Revolution: เปลี่ยนเถิดชาวไทย"
21 พฤษภาคม 2554 เวลา 15.00-18.00 น.

-I’m Fine สบายดีค่ะ
-กะเทยนรก (Queer)
-ตุ๊กตาอยู่ไหน (Where’s My Doll)
-แหวน (The Ring)
-เด็กหลง (Lost Child)
-เปลือก (Deep Inside)
-รักผิดบาป (In the Name of Sin)

ดำเนินรายการโดย ชญานิน เตียงพิทยากร
ที่ชั้น 9 หอศิลป์กทม. ตรงข้ามมาบุญครอง เข้าชมฟรี"

--You can financially help Tanwarin fighting the Censorship Board in Thailand via the link below:

--Wise Kwai's review on PHONE MOOD (2007, Tanwarin Sukkhapisit)

--Filmsick's review in Thai on INSECTS IN THE BACKYARD (2010, Tanwarin Sukkhapisit)

--Filmsick's review in Thai on HUG NA SARAKHAM (2011, Tanwarin Sukkhapisit)


Things I like in Tanwarin's films include:

1.How she presents different viewpoints of different characters, or distorted viewpoints of some characters. Tanwarin's films show us that our viewpoints are actually very limited, and often lead us to misunderstanding or wrong conclusions. Films in this category include:

1.1 THE RING (2001, 29 min)
If I remember it correctly, this film tells the same story three times; each time with a different viewpoint.

1.2 DEEP INSIDE (2001, 23 min)
If I remember it correctly, this film also tells the same story three times; each time with a different viewpoint.

1.3 FAKE WORLD (ลวงโลก/โลกลวง) (2007, 13 min)
If I remember it correctly, this film shows us the life of an actress, and then shows us this actress' life again but via the distorted viewpoint of the media.

1.4 WHERE'S MY DOLL? (2008, 5 min)
If I understand it correctly, this film tells us the story of a blind man who loves a woman. But because he is blind, he doesn't know that his lover is actually a transvestite.

1.5 INSECTS IN THE BACKYARD (2010, 93 min)
This film shows us the life of a father, a son, and a daughter, and how wrongly they may perceive one another.

2.The contrast between your appearance and your real self.

This film shows us a male teacher who looks like an ordinary male teacher, but actually he is not. This film shows us a woman who looks like a tough prostitute, but she is also a university student.

2.2 IN THE NAME OF SIN (2006, 36 min, co-directed with Nikorn Sripongwarakul)
This film shows us a male teacher who has trouble with keeping up the appearance of "a respectable male teacher".

2.3 UNDISCOVERED HEART (2007, 22 min)
This film shows us a gay, who may look slutty on the outside, but has a real heart on the inside.

This film shows us a drag queen who likes to dress glamorously, but he is also a father, and his life is not as glamorous as his dresses.

This film shows us a handsome university student who lies to his fellow students that he comes from Bangkok, though in fact he comes from a rural province. He has a talent in singing and performing in a traditional folk style, but he tries to hide his talent from his friends.

In contrast, this film also shows us a doctor who is not ashamed to be a traditional folk performer. This doctor doesn't have the problem of "your appearance vs. your real self".

3. Queer desire
Tanwarin's films satisfy my romantic imaginations. Compared to some other queer Thai filmmakers, her films are not as experimental as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, not as provocative as Michael Shaowanasai, not as structurally interesting as Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke, and not as funny as Poj Arnon (with the exception of HUG NA SARAKHAM, which is funnier than Poj's films), but I find her films very romantic, though it often comes with a bitter taste. Tanwarin's films which satisfy my romantic imaginations include:


4. Strong or memorable female characters. Some female characters in Tanwarin's films are far from being the object of male desire, but they are very interesting.

I like the female university student in this film very much. She is very tough and very scary.

4.2 TOP SECRET (2005, 18 min)
I think Tanwarin looks very good as a female spy in South Korea in this film, though the film is not as interesting as her character.

4.3 PHONE MOOD (2007)
I like it very much that PHONE MOOD presents many female characters who look like normal people, instead of looking like "adorable female stars".

I like the daughter in this film very much. She is a very tough character.

I like the character of Sudarat Bootprom in this film very much. She plays a horny female character, which is a kind of character who is often relegated to a supporting role in most Thai films, but in this film she is the leading role.

5.Some interesting ideas
Some of Tanwarin's films have interesting ideas, though I think only some of them are successful in presenting their ideas, while others fail a little bit, because the latter group of films don't have the poetic touches which can keep the whole things flow smoothly. I think the successful one is I'M FINE (2008, 4 min), which presents some social/political ideas. I think its success is partly due to the fact that the film is not too ambitious.

I like some of Tanwarin's films very much, especially THE RING, DEEP INSIDE, UNDISCOVERED HEART, INSECTS IN THE BACKYARD, and HUG NA SARAKHAM. Though I don't like some of her films that much, I still like some ideas, some weird moments, or some memorable moments in them, such as:

5.1 INTO THE SEED (ในเปลือก) (2006, 30 min)
The film tries to tell its story in a non-chronological way. I like this idea or the attempt to make a film in this way very much, though the film ends up confusing me a lot.

5.2 LOOK AT ME! (2007, 5 min)
I don't know what this film means, but I still think it is interesting. The film shows us a view of a house from the outside on a dark, rainy night. I expect some bad things to happen, such as a murder, a burglary, or a crime. I saw someone move inside the house, but I don't know what he or she does in the end.

I like the idea of this film very much, and I admire the attempt to make a film like this. It shows us many female characters while they are telephoning. But I think the film suffers from the same problem as INTO THE SEED. Both films don't flow smoothly and don't have a satisfying emotional trajectory.

5.4 PENGUIN (2008)
I like Tanwarin's attempt to remake PENGUIN (2007, Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit) in her own way. I don't remember any details in Tanwarin's PENGUIN, except that it is a little bit weird and lovely film.


(in alphabetical order)

1.ALONG THE RIVER (2004, Anucha Boonyawattana, 52 min)

2.ALTERNATE ROUTE (ทางเบี่ยง) (1999, Tanon Sattarujawong, 14 min)

3.BANK IS SEXUALLY HARASSED IN A CLASSROOM (น้องแบงค์โดนอีกแล้ว) (2011, Joburnz, 1 min)

4.BIRTHDAY (วันเกิด) (2001, Suwan Huangsirisakul, 21 min)

5.BODILY FLUID IS SO REVOLUTIONARY (2009, Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke, 41 min)

6.BUS STOP (ที่หยุด-จุดเริ่มต้น) (2004, Tosaporn Mongkol, 30 min)

7.CHAN POOCHAI NAYA (THE BOYS IN THE BAND) (1987, M.L. Bhandevanop Devakul)

8.EARTHCORE (2005, Chookiat Sakveerakul)

9.GOGO (ลงสนาม) (2010, Jurarak Kongpol, 3 min)

10.HASAN (2008, Attapon Pamakho, 29 min)

11.HERSTORY (เรื่องของเธอ) (1999, Buddhiporn Boossabarati, 18 min)

12.HOW TO CAST MY DEAR FRIENDS? (เพื่อนรัก เพื่อนร้าย) (2010, Pichet Smerchua, 25 min)

13.IN BROAD DAYLIGHT (กลางวันแสกๆ) (2003, Tayart Datsathean + Phisan Sangjan, 10 min)


15.KKK (KHOB KHUN KHRAB) (1996, Michael Shaowanasai, 8 min)

16.MAHJONG (2009, Napha Sasalak, 15 min)

17.ONE TRUE THING (2007, Vichart Somkaew, 80 min)

18.PASSION SONATA (2009, Suphisara Kittikunarak)

19.POPULAR (สมัยนิยม) (2009, Korn Kanogkekarin, 16 min)

20.SCAR (2010, Arthawut Boonyuang, 12 min)

21.SURREPTITIOUS (ซ่อนเร้น) (2010, Thitikarn Kanchanapakdee, 13 min)

22.TOM/TRANS/THAI (2011, ComPeung + Jai Arun Ravine)

23.THE TRANSVESTITE IS THE CAUSE (กระเทยเป็นเหตุ) (1947, Ledger Group of Monthol Bank, 10 min)

24.TROPICAL MALADY (2004, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

25.THE XFREE (2000, Wasanta Samrong, 5 min)

26.YES OR NO (2010, Sarasawadee Wongsompetch)

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Paisit Panpruksachart's retrospective will be held on Saturday, May 14, at 1500-1800 hrs, on the 9th floor of BACC. The event is held by Bodin Theparat. The poster is designed by Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa. The details are as follows:

"งานฉายหนังสั้นของคุณไพสิฐ พันธุ์พฤกษชาติ 5 เรื่อง
14 พฤษภาคม 2554 เวลา 15.00-18.00 น.

-take off
ดำเนินรายการโดย ศาสวัต บุญศรี"

--Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa wrote about Paisit's films in Thai here:

--Apichatpong Weerasethakul wrote about Paisit in the brochure of THE BANGKOK EXPERIMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL 3 (2001). Here is what he wrote:

“Paisit Phanprucksachat (Kiang)

One can look at Kiang’s life as a representation of a state of Thai independent video. In his desperation to tell stories, he equipped himself with sound recorders, home made microphones, and a still camera. In my opinion, he was, consciously or not, made to become the first modern experimental filmmaker in Thailand. His progression from stills, sounds, and finally to video mirrors the struggling path of other independent filmmakers.

Familiarized with him through working together on MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON (2000) in early 1998, I had a chance to see his photographs. They are mostly somber, black and white depiction of ruins and details of buildings, evoking the mood not unlike Derek Jarman’s or science fiction’s narrative. And by hearing his idea for several films, I incorporate these images with the stories in my mind. I found that Kiang’s filmic world is filled with dark and apocalyptic humor. He combines Thai popular cultures (i.e. pop songs, celebrities) with his own chosen environs (his cramp flat, junk yard, Chao Praya river). These fantasies are creepily modern yet filled with nostalgia. They are like homemade dishes cooked by a remote control.

When Kiang made videos, however, he chose to present them in a documentary style. One of his early works was a six-hour video recording his chat with his roommate Klass (who was also my crew, working as a sound recorder). The camera was fixed on a tripod and was never moved. It documented the two in their room arguing about the existence of gods and their religious teachings, in the most unpretentious way one can think of. It feels like they were always discussing the matter and the camera happened to capture the event that night. They talked until they were drawn out and until their speeches were slurred. The morning radio was heard, and we saw them slept, engulfed by the slowly shifting light of dawn. I thought this work was a documentary. But when I knew him better, I was not quite sure that he would not lead the unsuspicious Klass to his direction, to fulfill his planned structures and contents.”

--May Adadol Ingawanij wrote about ESCAPE FROM POPRAYA 2526 (2007, Paisit Panpruksachart) in the catalog of the Fifth Bangkok Experimental Film Festival in 2007. Here is an excerpt from what she wrote:

"Without making any overt statement of its own at all, POPRAYA asks a lot of me. What do I think it means? What does it say about violence? How does the filmmaker put together a short that captures the mood of anarchic defiance that I sorely craved at the point when we were meant to go out in the streets and give roses to the tanks? All good moving images work on the emotion as well as the intellect, and they give us images to dream by – and this is what Khun Paisit's video gives me too. It's the little girl who stares back at the camera that's putting her under duress repeating the same insolent 'no'."


What I like the most about Paisit's films is that his films invite me to create stories out of everyday images or create fantasy out of images of real things, including these films:

Paisit creates a sci-fi world out of mundane images in this film. This film is my most favorite Thai feature film I saw in 2008.

This film inspires me to imagine some stories out of images of children running on the street.

3.BROTHERS (ห่านน้อยคอยรัก) (2007, 10 min)
This film creates a fantastic story out of images of ordinary animals.

Paisit uses images of our present time to tell a historical story which happened a few hundred years ago. He doesn't need a lot of money, historically-accurate costumes, or any elaborate set decorations for this period tale. He only needs a voiceover, his brain, and the imagination of the viewers. This technique reminds me of LUDWIG'S COOK (1973, Hans Jürgen Syberberg, A+++++++++++++++) and A MISCHIEVOUS SMILE LIGHTS UP HER FACE (2009, Christelle Lheureux, A+).

5.SHORTCUT TO HEAVEN (2008, 10 min)
This film inspires me to imagine some stories out of images of tsunami-ravaged landscape.

--If I have to screen Paisit's films with other films, I will choose the films in the list below, because these films also inspire me to create stories out of reality images, or imagine a fantasy world out of images of real things.

1.DUELLE (1976, Jacques Rivette)

2.FATA MORGANA (1971, Werner Herzog)

3.FIREMAN E. A. WINTERSTEIN (1968, Alexander Kluge)

4.I KNOW THE WAY TO THE HOFBRAUHAUS (1991, Herbert Achternbusch)

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

6.FUMIYO IS A DESIGNER (2001, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

7.LAST OF THAILAND (ความทรงจำของเศษดาว) (2009, Teeranit Siangsanoh, 24 min)

8.THE LIVING WORLD (2003, Eugène Green)

9.MASUMI IS A PC OPERATOR (2001, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

10.PLOT POINT (2008, Nicolas Provost)

11.POLITICALLY LAWYER AND NARRATIVE CINEMA (2009, Chaloemkiat Saeyong, 27 min)

12.THE STRANGERS IN THE SEA (2008, Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa)

13.VACANCY (1999, Matthias Müller)

--Paisit will work for the sound of the DOMINO FILM PROJECT

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Chulayarnnon Siriphol's retrospective will be held this Friday on the 9th floor of BACC at 1500-1800 hrs. The event is held by Bodin Theparat. The poster is designed by Nattaphan Boonlert. The details can be found in the link below:

Films shown in this retrospective:
Bang-Sing-Tee-Hai-Pai / บางสิ่งที่หายไป
Hua-Lam-Pong / หัวลำโพง
Golden Sand House / บ้านทรายทอง
Mrs.Nuan Who Can Recall Her Past Lives / มิสสิส นวล ฮู แคน รี คอล เฮอร์ พาสต์ ไลฟ์
Karaoke: Think Kindly / คาราโอเกะเพลงแผ่เมตตา
Thai Contemporary Politics Quiz / แบบทดสอบวิชาการเมืองไทยร่วมสมัย
A Brief History of Memory / ประวัติศาสตร์ขนาดย่อของความทรงจำ
Danger(Director's cut) / ภัยใกล้ตัว(ฉบับผู้กำกับ)

This is what I wrote about Chulayarnnon in Indian Auteur:

"Chulayarnnon made Hualampong (2004, 12 min) when he was a high-school student. This film observes an old man who frequently came to a railway station to take photos. There is nothing dramatic happening during the whole film. The film observes this man very patiently. This film drastically changed the attitude people had had towards Thai high-school students-filmmakers. Before this film, we used to think that high-school students only made funny films. After this film, we know we can never underestimate these teenagers any more. Chulayarnnon's masterpiece is Danger (Director's Cut) (2008, 14 min), which tells a story about a murder in an apartment building. What makes this film extraordinary is that the script of this film and some harsh comments on this film are also inserted into the film. We see texts from the script and texts commenting on the film appearing on the screen from time to time. This film is originally made as a thesis in a university. The harsh comments were made by a teacher. When we watch this film, we don't only see a murder story, but we also learn about its narrative structure and the bias against this film. I have never seen a film as self-reflexive as this before. An instant classic!"


I think at least 8 of Chulayarnnon's films have broadened my cinematic experience. I mean these films shock, surprise, and delight me by things which I have never thought would be found in films, or things I have never thought would be interesting in films. These eight films are:

1.GOLDEN SAND HOUSE (2005, 19 min)

The novel GOLDEN SAND HOUSE has been adapted into countless Thai films and TV series. I have never been interested in them, because I can't identify with the heroine. However, Chulayarnnon's version of GOLDEN SAND HOUSE is very interesting, because in this version he casts his own family and a female servant from Myanmar. The film doesn't try to look realistic. These amateur performers never try to act convincingly. But that's the charm of the film. The use of amateur performers, and the extreme contrast between the looks of these performers and what we usually expect from the looks of these characters remind me of HAUNTED HOUSES (2001, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 60 min) and I-SAN SPECIAL (2002, Mingmongkol Sonakul).

2.1013 (2007, 10 min)

If I remember it correctly, the first part of this film is a little bit like PSYCHO. We see a woman who is going to be killed by a man. Suddenly, in the second half of the film, the act of murder is interspersed with scenes of buildings crumbling down and old photographs. I was shocked. I don't know what happens.

Many films shock us by showing the murder on screen. This film shocks me by showing scenes of murder, dilapidated buildings, and old photographs alternately. Thus, it thrills me three times more than other films.

3.CHULAYARNNON (2008, 3 min)

If I remember it correctly, this film shows us the photograph of Chulayarnnon. The photograph is slowly burning. There is nothing more in this film. But this is powerful enough.

4.DANGER (DIRECTOR'S CUT) (2008, 14 min)

This is the first film that I saw that interweaves a thriller story, its script, and its criticism into the film.


I think this is the first "instructional video" that I paid real attention to. I still can't decide if this video is just meant to be a simple instructional video or if it is more than that.

6. THAI CONTEMPORARY POLITICS QUIZ (2010, 8 min, co-directed with other members of SCENE 22)

This is the first film that I saw that comes in the form of a quiz with multiple choices.

7. A BRIEF HISTORY OF MEMORY (2010, 14 min)

This is one of my most favorite films I saw in 2010. This film makes me cry when it interviews a mother who lost her son in a political violence in Bangkok. But what shocks, surprises, and delights me in the film is the inclusion of strange scenes of head lice, the spirits of head lice, hair suffering from head lice, and hair free from head lice. I don't know what these scenes mean. But they are extremely sublime and feel so spiritual to me.

8. 0814561286 (2011, 2 min)

This film is made from a found footage of Amway promotion video. It makes us laugh uncontrollably. I had never thought that a corporate promotion video can be adapted into such an interesting film like this before I saw this film.

If I have to screen Chulayarnnon's films with other films, I think I may screen his films with these 20 films, because these 20 films also broaden my cinematic experience like his films. Some of these films push the boundaries or limits of documentaries. Some of these films present me new ways of storytelling or new ways of making films.

(in alphabetical order)

1.AUTOHYSTORIA (2007, Raya Martin, Philippines)

2.BAND OF NINJA (1967, Nagisa Ôshima, Japan)

3.THE BASIS OF MAKE UP I (1983, Heinz Emigholz, West Germany)


5.LETTER FROM THE SILENCE (2006, Prap Boonpan, Thailand)

6.LUDWIG'S COOK (1973, Hans Jürgen Syberberg, West Germany)

7.MOTHER (UNFINISHED VERSION) (2011, Vorakorn Ruetaivanichkul, Thailand)

8.MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON (2000, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)

9.THE PAINTBALL PROJECT (2007, Wafaa Bilal, USA/Iraq)


11.THE RETROCHRONOLOGICAL TRANSFER OF INFORMATION (1996, Tad Ermitaño, Philippines, 11 min)

12.RUHR (2009, James Benning, USA/Germany)

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

14.S21: THE KHMER ROUGE KILLING MACHINE (2003, Rithy Panh, Cambodia)

15.TREES (2002, Sophie Bruneau + Marc-Antoine Roudil, France)

16.VIDEO 50 (1978, Robert Wilson)

17.The mockumentary which is shown in the exhibition WANTANEE RETROSPECTIVE ENCORE (2008, Wantanee Siripattananantakul, Thailand)

18.THEM (2007, Artur Zmijewski, Poland)

19.VIDEOGRAMS OF A REVOLUTION (1992, Harun Farocki + Andrei Ujica, Romania)

20.WHAT THE WATER SAID NOS. 13 (1997-1998, David Gatten, USA, 16 min)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

THE CINDERELLA (2011, Saravuth Intaraprom, A)

I like the article written by Anusorn Tipayanon in Bioscope Magazine Issue 114 (May 2011) very much. This article is about the horror film THE CINDERELLA (หนังผี) (2011, Saravuth Intaraprom, A). I think I even like this article more than the film.

What I like in THE CINDERELLA includes:

1.It really looks like a grade-B film.

2.The performance of Anchalee Saisoontorn (WONDERFUL TOWN, PANATIPATA)

3.The scene in which Anchalee tries to "perform" to deceive the serial killer.

4.The opening sequence.

5.How the film exploits male actors.

6. If I remember it correctly, there is a poster of MIMIC (1997, Guillermo Del Toro, A-) in this film. I think the inclusion of this poster is very apt.

Saravuth has also directed BOYFRIEND THE MOVIE (2007, B+), CROC (2008, A+), BORING LOVE (2009, A-), and THE SNOW WHITE (2010, A+/A). BOYFRIEND and BORING LOVE are gay films. THE SNOW WHITE and THE CINDERELLA are horror films. CROC is a gay horror film. I think I prefer his horror films to his gay films because his films lack "the human elements". I mean his characters don't really look like "human beings" to me. There is something crude in how he treats his characters. This weak point is a very important thing in gay films, but it is not an important thing in a horror film.

This photo shows Siwawat Suppinyo and Haris Nopparit, two supporting actors in THE CINDERELLA.

More photos from THE CINDERELLA can be viewed from the link below:

Saturday, May 07, 2011


The link below leads to an article on IMPROPER FRACTION: A STUDY ON FRAGMENTATION (2011, Thanapol Virulhakul + Vidura Amranand, A+), written by Pawit Mahasarinand.

Thanks to Merveillesxx for telling me about this article.

IMPROPER FRACTION reminds me of A RIPE VOLCANO (2011, Taiki Sakipisi, A+) in a way, because both IMPROPER FRACTION (A+) and A RIPE VOLCANO didn't make me feel sure that they were about politics when I first experienced them. If I hadn't read the statement of A RIPE VOLCANO and if I hadn't read this article about IMPROPER FRACTION, I might have thought that these works are about something else.

I also hadn't thought that DELUSIONAL (เชลยแห่งความรัก) (2010, Wachara Kanha, A+) and H2-OH (น้ำ ผีนองสยองขวัญ) (2010, Ong-art Jiamcharoenpornkul, A) were about politics when I first saw them. It's when I read Filmsick's reviews that I started to think that they are about politics.

I also didn't think that EAT (กินข้าว) (2007, Sittipong Patchagow, 14 min, A) was about politics when I first saw it. But after I had seen it for the second time, I started to suspect that this film might be political, but I'm still not sure.

I AM MURDERER (ไอ้ฆาตกร) (2010, Panit Jirawattananunt, 12 min, A+/A) is another film which reveals its political side to me after I saw it for the second time.

FAVORITE MUSIC VIDEOS 16: JUDAS – Lady Gaga (2011, Lady Gaga + Laurieann Gibson)

Thanks to Graiwoot for telling me about this music video.

This music video unintentionally reminds me of the band ARMY OF LOVERS.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


1.THE KILLER QUEEN (LA TUEUSE) (2009, Rodolphe Tissot, A+)

2.LIES (LES MENSONGES) (2009, Fabrice Cazeneuve, A+)

3.ANTI GAS SKIN (2010, Kim Gok + Kim Sun, South Korea, A+)

4.MONSTERS (2010, Gareth Edwards, A+)

5.THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010, David Fincher, A+)

6.HANAMIZUKI (2010, Nobuhiro Doi, Japan, A+)

7.THE INCITE MILL (2010, Hideo Nakata, Japan, A+)

8.FAIS DANSER LA POUSSIÈRE (2009, Christian Faure, A+)

9.LA MENACE (1977, Alain Corneau, A+/A)

10.POUIC-POUIC (1968, Jean Girault, A+/A)

11.THE SUCKER (LE CORNIAUD) (1965, Gérard Oury, A+/A)



14.TAKERS (2010, John Luessenhop, A+/A)

15.THE NEXT THREE DAYS (2010, Paul Haggis, A+/A)

16.EN CAS DE MALHEUR (2009, Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe, A)

17.EASY A (2010, Will Gluck, A)

18.THE BUTTERFLY (2002, Philippe Muyl, A-)

19.TEES MAAR KHAN (2010, Farah Khan, India, A-)

20.YOGI BEAR (2010, Eric Brevig, A-)

21.TRON 3D (2010, Joseph Kosinski, A-/B+)

22.BRUCE LEE MY BROTHER (2010, Wai Man Yip, B+)

23.SAW 7 (2010, Kevin Greutert, B+)

1.YES OR NO อยากรัก ก็รักเลย (2010, Sarasawadee Wongsompetch, A+)

2.BANGKOK KNOCKOUT โคตรสู้ โคตรโส (2010, Panna Rittikrai + Morakot Kaewthanee, A)

3.LULLA MAN (ผู้ชายลัลล้า) (2010, Ped Chernyim, A/A-)

4.COOL GEL ATTACKS (กระดึ๊บ) (2010, Jaturong Phonboon, A-)

5.YAMADA (ซามูไรอโยธยา) (2010, Nopporn Wartin, D)


2.A FUEL FILLING LIFE (RECRUED' ESSENCE) (2006, Colas Riffkiss + Mathias Riffkiss, A+)

3.MANON ON THE ASPHALT (2007, Elisabeth Marre + Olivier Pont, A+)

4.NIGHTFALL (2008, Rouzbeh Rashidi, Ireland, A+)

5.720 DEGREES (2010, Ishitaque Zico, Bangladesh, A+)

6.STRICNINA (1969, Pierfrancesco Bargellini, Italy, A+)

7.DANS LA JUNGLE DES VILLES (2010, Stéphane Demoustier + Denis Eyriey, A+)

8.OMEGA GENERATION (Tasman Richardson, A+/A)

9.APOLLO SHRAPNEL: PART 3 (2001, Tasman Richardson, A)

1.TERRIBLY HAPPY (2010, Pimpaka Towira, A+)

2.SIX TO SIX (2010, Aditya Assarat, A+)

3.THEY COME FROM THE SKY (ผู้มาจากฟากฟ้า) (2010, Alwa Ritsila, A+)

4.THE BEAUTIFUL FAMILY (2010, Prempapat Plittapolkranpim, A+/A)

5.SUPERSTITIOUS (2010, Nonzee Nimibutr, A)

6.LIFE CYCLE (วงจรเสียใจ) (2010, Gorragod Nonkhukedkong, A-)

7.THE GREATEST LOVE (2010, Sirisak Koshpasharin + Pranpaporn Srisumanant, B-)

1.WAGING WAR ON BEAVERS IN BAVARIA (2009, Holger Riedel, Germany, A+)


3.HOW TO PICK BERRIES (2010, Elina Talvensaari, Finland, A+)

4.CAVIAR, A TREASURE FROM IRAN (2008, Dariusch Rafiy, A+)

5.THE PHILIPPINES: FOR THE LOVE OF AN EAGLE (2007, Virginie Guiton-Agneray, A+/A)

6.SALT OF THE INCAS (2009, Andrea Oster, Peru, A+/A)

7.THE REAL WINNERS (LES VRAIS GAGNANTS) (2009, Jean Fontaine, Canada, A-)


1.THE KINGDOM (1994, Lars von Trier, 265 min, A+)

2.LA PROPHÉTIE D'AVIGNON (2007, David Delrieux, 416 min, A+)


1.A BRIEF VIEW OF EVERYTHING (2010, Justin Mills + Franco Angeloni, exhibition)


2.BIRTH ALIVE RELEASE (2010, Kitti Sornmanee, exhibition)

3.SOFT POWER (2010, exhibition)

4.GRACEFULNESS OF OUR HOME (2010, Sa-ngad Pui-ock, exhibition)

This is the photo of Soranut Yupanun, who stars in YES OR NO.

A BRIEF VIEW OF EVERYTHING (2010, Justin Mills + Franco Angeloni)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011



A. 75 Films seen in the World Film Festival of Bangkok 2010


1.MACADAM (1946, Marcel Blistène + Jacques Feyder, France, A+)

2.I, PIERRE RIVIÈRE (1975, René Allio, A+)

3.FAIR GAME (2010, Doug Liman, A+)

4.HAUTOT FATHER AND SON (2007, Marc Rivière, A+)

5.UNSTOPPABLE (2010, Tony Scott, A+)

6.LE SILENCE (2004, Orso Miret, A+)

7.TOINE (2007, Jacques Santamaria, A+)

8.PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 (2010, Tod Williams, A+)

9.MISS HARRIET (2007, Jacques Rouffio, A+)

10.OLD AMABLE (2007, Olivier Schatzky, A+)

11.MY SOUL TO TAKE 3D (2010, Wes Craven, A+/A)


13.LET ME IN (2010, Matt Reeves, A/A-)

14.SKYLINE (2010, The Brothers Strause, A-)

1.L'ÂGE ADULTE (2009, Pierre Daignière, A+)

2.INFRAROUGE (2006, Lionel Mougin, France, A+)

3.LE VACANT (2007, Julien Guetta, France, A+)

4.LE NÉGOCIANT (2009, Joachim Weissmann, Belgium, A-)

5.LE TECHNICIEN (2009, Simon-Olivier Fecteau, Canada, B+)

1.BROWN SUGAR 2 (2010, A+)
--THEORIES ON THE DINING TABLE (Pratchaya Lampongchat, A+)
--CATCH (Surawat Chupol, A+)
--COUPLES ON PLANET EARTH (Anurak Chanlongsin, A+)

2.H2-OH (น้ำ ผีนองสยองขวัญ) (2010, Ong-art Jiamcharoenpornkul, A)

3.DOG, GOD & FULL WATER (2010, Amorn Harinnitisuk, B+)


2.TAKE GRANNY MORN TO THE GARDEN (พายายหมอนไปชมสวน) (2010, Wachara Kanha, A+)

3.SO BORED WITH MIDDLE CLASS (ไม่มีภาคกลาง เพราะเบื่อชนชั้นกลาง) (2005, Manussak Dokmai, A+)

4.DELUSIONAL (เชลยแห่งความรัก) (2010, Wachara Kanha, A+)

5.THE CITY OF SOME HAND PRESSING (นครพนมมือบ้าง) (Manussak Dokmai, A+)

6.THE CITY OF SOME HAND UNPRESSING (นครไม่พนมมือบ้าง) (Manussak Dokmai, A+)

7.SECRET ABOVE LOVE (ความลับเหนือความรัก) (Manussak Dokmai, A+)

8.HAUNT (หลอก) (Manussak Dokmai, A+)

9.MATHS-PHYSICS (2005, Theepisit Mahaneeranon, A+)

10.GOOD DREAM (2010, Gorragod Nonkukedkong, A)

11.DO IT YOURSELF AND YOU'LL BE FINE (ทำเอง สบายเอง) (2010, Prempapat Plittapolkranpim, B+)

1.OPERATION UNDERWEAR (2002, Vitold Grand'Henry, A+/A)

2.THE BUSH ON A TAXI-BIKE (2008, Winnie Gamisha + Andreas Frowein, Uganda, A-)

ADRESS INCONNUE: episode 9-10 (2009, Alain Wermus, A+/A)

1.EIGHT CARBOARD BOXES (2009, Vichaya Mukdamanee, A+)

2.THREE METAL FENCES (2010, Vichaya Mukdamanee, A+)

3.FIVE STOOLS (2009, Vichaya Mukdamanee, A+)

4.CONSTRUCTED (2008, Vichaya Mukdamanee, A+)

5.DEATH OF THE ISLANDERS (2010, Vichaya Mukdamanee + Nattawut Poonpiriya, A+/A)

6.JOURNEY OF 100 MERLIONS (2010, , Vichaya Mukdamanee, A-)

1.RE-APPEARING (2010, Vichaya Mukdamanee, exhibition)

--BRIGHT RAY OF LIGHTS ANNOUNCING THE COMING OF DAWN AGAIN (ประกายแสงเจิดจ้าเบิกอรุณรุ่งอีกครั้ง) (Chatchawal Panyapemjit)

--DREAM (Chaturaporn Devakula)

--THE EMOTIONS OF COLORS IN ARCHITECTURE (อารมณ์สีในสถาปัตยกรรม) (Sippakorn Yamkasikorn)

--FARMERS (กสิกร) (Vatcharin Bhumichitr)

--FEELINGS TOWARDS NATURE 1 (ความรู้สึกที่มีต่อธรรมชาติ 1) (Chantamas Roumwong)

--FIRE (Sippapas Thienmee)

--IN REVERIE (ในห้วงคำนึง) (Muangsing Janchai)

--MOTHER AND ME NO. 7 (Manthanee Napanang)

--SIMPLE (Wartist Rasta-nawong)

--WAI 2 (ไหว้ 2) (Somyot Sawasdee)

3.MA SELL DU CHOM (มา เซล ดู ชม) (2010, exhibition on jewellery at Silpakorn University)


5.LOKIYA-LOKUTTARA (2010, Siriwan Janehuttakarnkit, exhibition)

6.THE DARKNESS OF BRUEGEL (2010, Pongdej Chiyakut, exhibition)

7.BELIEF (2010, Krissana Boontien, exhibition)

8.ONE STROKE PAINTING (2010, Montree Moungkun, exhibiton)

This is the photo of Weerachaiseewanig Wannigkul, who stars in BROWN SUGAR 2.


SIMPLE (Wartist Rasta-nawong)

SURFACE #1 (Seksan Tanyapirom)

THE FRAME OF SAMSARA (Supanika Tironparin)