Sunday, October 07, 2012
6TH OCTOBER PARTY (2012, Wichaya Artamat, A+30)
6TH OCTOBER PARTY (2012, Wichaya Artamat, A+30)
Things I like very much in this stage play include:
1.It is something I have never experienced before. I think of it as a conceptual stage play, verging on a performance art. The play is very natural and very low-key, reminding me of such great films as AFTERNOON (2007, Angela Schanelec, A+30).
I have never seen a stage play or a performance art like this before. Most stage plays I have seen are much more "dramatic" than this. Most stage plays I have seen rely on melodramatic or dramatic situations/performances to capture the audience's attention. This is not the case here. The performance here is very much like in real life/daily life. There is almost no attempt to capture the audience's attention. The performers in this play act as if they are in a real party, not on the stage.
There are some stage plays which rely on extremely natural performances, too, such as YARM PLOB 2 (2007, Jarunun Phantachat) or YOU AND I (2011, Saifah Tanthana). This kind of plays is as natural as the performances/situations in Eric Rohmer's films. But 6TH OCTOBER PARTY goes a step further than this, because there seems to be no catharsis or no obvious climax in the play. In some of Eric Rohmer's films, there is a climax, or at least a moment of an extreme emotion, such as at the end of THE GREEN RAY (1986) or A WINTER'S TALE (1991), but there is no such thing in 6TH OCTOBER PARTY.
Another difference between 6TH OCTOBER PARTY and Rohmer's films + some natural stage plays such as YARM PLOB 2 is that it is much harder for me to identify with any characters in 6TH OCTOBER PARTY or "to know what I should feel" at any moment in the play. The performances in 6TH OCTOBER PARTY may be as natural or as lifelike as the ones in Eric Rohmer's films or other stage plays, but it is easier for me to identify with the characters in Rohmer's films/other stage plays or to know how I should feel at any moment in these films/plays. Most narrative films/plays tell us if we should feel happy or sad at some exact moments, or take us to a rollercoaster ride of thrills, feelings and emotions, but 6TH OCTOBER PARTY is not like this.
It is very interesting for me that though 6TH OCTOBER PARTY lets the audience participate a little bit in the play, such as eating food given by the performers, there is no real emotional attachment between me and the characters. I mean 6TH OCTOBER PARTY may allow "more physical involvement" from the audience than some other stage plays, but there is "less emotional involvement" between me and the characters.
I also think 6TH OCTOBER PARTY is situated at an interesting point in the spectrum of performances, ranging from highly energetic performances to extremely slow performances. The highly energetic performances at one end of the spectrum are the ones in Andrzej Zulawski's films, Warit Deepisuti's films, or the stage play THE WAY OF THE WORLD (2012, Jirawan Aroonpairojanakul, A+). The extremely slow performances at the other end of the spectrum are the ones in Marguerite Duras' films, Sharunas Bartas' films, in the stage play THE FLOATING PROJECT (2012, Vidura Amranand), or some pieces of performance art by Yeh Tzu-chi. Most performances in narrative films/plays are situated near the highly energetic group. The performances in Eric Rohmer's films and YARM PLOB 2 are near the middle of the spectrum, because they are extremely natural and lifelike, but their stories still have climaxes, which mean their stories may not be exactly lifelike. The performances/situations in 6TH OCTOBER PARTY, AFTERNOON, or such films as LIVING ON SUNDAY (2002, Suparirk Kanitwaranun, A+30) occupy the middle point in this spectrum. They are exactly lifelike. If you go further down this spectrum, you may find slow or quiet performances/situations like the ones in Tossapol Boonsinsukh's films, and then you find Marguerite Duras' films at the end of the spectrum.
2.The play 6TH OCTOBER PARTY talks about the murder of Sharon Tate by the Manson Family, and unintentionally or intentionally reminds me of the violence on the macro scale, such as the violence by political mobs in Thailand a few years ago, or the massacre in Bangkok on 6th October, 1976. Are there any similarities between the micro massacre by the Manson Family and the macro massacre in Bangkok in 1976 or in recent years? Are some Thai people as deranged inside like the members of the Manson Family? Was the massacre in Bangkok on 6th October 1976 led by some persons as evil as Charles Manson? What kind of WORSHIP caused the murder of Sharon Tate? What caused the massacre in Bangkok?
3.Unintentionally, the play talks about one of the topics that I like the most. It is the topic of female serial killers or female psychopaths. The play talks about:
3.1 The Manson Family which include some female psychopaths
3.2 Brenda Ann Spencer (I DON'T LIKE MONDAYS)
3.3 The Papin Sisters
3.4 Jitlada Tantiwanichayasuk จิตรลดา ตันติวาณิชยสุข
I'm not sure about the intentions of the play creators. What do they try to say by mentioning about these female psychopaths? I'm not sure. As for the Papin Sisters case and Jitlada case, these cases might be involved with the class struggle, or about the conflict between the rich and the poor. As for the "I DON'T LIKE MONDAYS" case, this case might not be about social problems at all. It may be just about the fact that some people are just like this.
Whatever the intentions of the play creators, I like it very much that the play talks about these female psychopaths. It's the kind of topics that I rarely find in Thai stage plays or Thai films. Though 6TH OCTOBER PARTY doesn't exactly focus on this topic, I still like it very much. By not focusing on this topic, the play just acknowledges the fact that we are living in the same world as these female psychopaths. It is the kind of fact that we should not worry too much about, but we shouldn't forget about this fact at the same time.
4. Apart from these female psychopaths, the play also talks about other things which make me feel sad about this world, such as the political conflicts in Thailand after 2006 (via video clips), the big flood in Thailand last year, and the story about the massacre on October 6, 1976 (via the title of the play and the mentioning of Jin Gunmachon).
I find this thing the most impressive thing for me in this play. Maybe the play doesn't try to say anything about it. Maybe it is unintentional. But what I like the most in this play is that it makes me think about one fact about myself. It is the fact that I always try to create an imaginary space in my head, an imaginary paradise, in order to cope with all these things that make me feel sad about my life and this world.
There are many things in this play which make me feel sad about this world, for example,
4.1 The brutal murder of Sharon Tate and her friends, which is talked about in this play, is one of the things that make me feel insecure the most in my life. I mean this kind of news or stories makes me wonder how I can really feel safe anymore. Unintentionally, this story and other things in the play also remind me of a brutal murder of a foreign friend several years ago. I am not close to that friend, but I always think of him as an angel. So when I got the news that a person who looks so much like an angel to me was brutally murdered, it made me feel so bad about this world. If this kind of thing can happen to us and people dear to us, how should we continue living? How can we be happy again? How can we be happy while we know that we can be brutally murdered any day in the future?
4.2 The story about the massacre on October 6, 1976, makes me feel that we are living in a country which could not tolerate people who think differently, and that Thailand was not exactly different from Cambodia.
4.3 The story about the recent political conflicts in Thailand makes me feel that we are living in a country which cannot tolerate people who think differently, and that Thailand is not exactly different from Rwanda.
4.4 The story about the big flood in Thailand reminds me of my fear last year. In this play, the characters worry about the flood and are happy at the same time. A character tries to prevent the flood by building a small wall at the entrance to the room, causing trouble for people who come in or go out. Inside the room, the characters are happy partying, while news about the big flood is shown on the screens from time to time.
This aspect of the play reminds me of myself. Last year I also worried about the big flood very much, because my mother who is more than 70 years old lived alone in a house which was damaged by a higher-than-1.2-metre flood. But while I was worried about the flood, I also tried to find a way to be happy at the same time. I tried to be happy by saying to myself that I should not worry too much, because I was very poor, didn't own a house, didn't own a car, etc, so the flood could not make me lose many things, because I didn't own many things in the first place.
What the characters do in this play really reminds me of myself. The characters in this play talk about brutal murders, female psychopaths, and the class struggle (via the story of the Papin Sisters), while listening to a song written by Jin Gunmachon, and watching clips about political conflicts in Thailand and the big flood in 2011. They are living in a world full of tragedies and insecurity, but they are happy partying in a room barricaded by a fake wall, and talk about being environmentalist, pubic hair, etc. And the song IMAGINE by John Lennon is played near the end of the play.
This really reminds me of myself. I try to cope with many tragedies in my own life and the tragedies I have heard of by building a fake wall, too. After I heard the news that my angelic friend was brutally murdered, I told myself again for the thousandth time that at least there is one safe place for me in this world--my own imagination. I can always spending my time imagining about a safe world full of alive teddy bears or horny handsome men or something like that, and there are no psychopaths, no massacres, no brutal murders, no political conflicts, no natural disasters in this imaginary world. I find myself I can be temporarily happy again. I am living in a world full of tragedies, but I can do nothing about it. I am not an activist. I am not a good person who wants to devote myself for the better of this world. And I can always live in a world devoid of tragedies but full of teddy bears in my own imagination.
There are not so many stage plays or films which remind me of this aspect of myself. So that's why I love this play very much. This play reminds me of myself. I am like Justine (Kirsten Dunst) in MELANCHOLIA (2011, Lars von Trier, A+30) when she builds a fake shelter near the end of the film, knowing that it is fake and cannot prevent the disaster at all. Tragedy may strike us one day. We cannot prevent it. But let us calm our minds and not worry too much about it. Because worrying or not worrying, tragedy still strikes us.
5. This play lets us choose what to focus our attention to by ourselves. This is what makes this stage play different from films shown in a theatre, but like some multi-channel video installations. In most films, the audience knows what to focus or what to look at. But in this play, some characters speak at the same time. Who should we listen to? The play doesn't tell us. So we should decide by ourselves. We also cannot watch every character at the same time, because some characters move to different parts of the room. If we look at one character, we cannot watch another character who sits at another part of the room. We must decide by ourselves who we should watch. There are also two big screens in the room, and sometimes these two screens don't show the same clips. So we must decide by ourselves which screen we should look at, for how long, and how often or how fast we should move our eyes from one screen to the other screen or to another character.
6.There are also many other topics talked about in this play, such as flash mob and the death of Steve Jobs. But I don't care about Steve Jobs at all, because I am a very low-tech person. I only care about female psychopaths or something like that. Hahaha. Anyway, what I mean is that there are many other interesting things or topics in this play. But I don't want to "write about this play". I just want to "write about why I love this play". So I will not write about other topics in this play which may be of interest to other people. You should read other people's reviews of this play to find out about other topics or other aspects of this multi-faceted play, for example:
6.1 Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke's statement
6.2 Joe Chalat's reviewhttp://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=443491695691995&set=a.310957102278789.72023.100000935059064&type=3&theater
6.3 Chayanin Tiangpitayagorn's review
6.4 Non-Touch's review
7.This play contains video clips made by Pairach Khumwan, Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke, Nophand Boonyai, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, Witit Kamsakaew, Patana Chirawong, and Yingsiwat Yamolyong. These clips are interesting in several ways, for example,
7.1 Because these clips were made before the play is staged in front of the audience, these clips are surely not "the improvised part" of the play, and can therefore hint at the real intentions of the play creators. These clips also help anchor the play, and not letting the play drift away too much by the improvisation.
7.2 These clips should be interesting, but not drawing all the attentions away from the characters.
Among these clips, I like the music video made for Jin Gunmachon's song by Chulayarnnon the most. This music video confirms that Chulayarnnon is one of the most interesting Thai filmmakers, and one of the most interesting found-footage filmmakers in the world.
Chulayarnnon's music video for Jin Gunmachon is made of many karaoke music videos featuring sexy women. The images of sexy women in this music video contrasts sharply with the image of Jin Gunmachon.
In conclusion, I like 6TH OCTOBER PARTY very much, because it is different from anything I have ever experienced, and more importantly, because it reminds me of my own defense mechanism. In order to cope with all the tragedies in the world that I have heard of, I always create a fake psychological barricade, and escape into an imaginary world in order to be temporarily happy.
APPENDIX 1: Found-footage films made by Chulayarnnon Siriphol
1.1 081-456-1286 (2011)
This film is made of scenes from Amway promotional video.
1.2 JELE-BEAUTIE (2011)
This film is made of scenes from an advertisement.
1.3 MV: CLICK LIKE FOR ME PLEASE -- Tai Orathai (2012)
This film is made of scenes from the film THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010, David Fincher).
1.4 MV: LEVEL -- Afternoon (2012)
This music video is made of found footage films shot by Wachara Kanha.
1.5 a karaoke music video for Jin Gunmachon's song (2012)
You can read more about Chulayarnnon at:
APPENDIX 2: MY STAGE PLAY WISH LIST
2.1 A stage play inspired by the Club Silencio scene in MULHOLLAND DRIVE (David Lynch, A+30), but instead of singing LLORANDO, the singer should sing PLEARNG PAI. The play should be staged at 0300hrs in the morning at a rundown second-class theatre.
One of my most favorite scenes of all time in MULHOLLAND DRIVE
2.2 A high-school stage play about one disastrous day in the school, featuring characters inspired by
2.2.1 CARRIE (1976, Brian De Palma)
2.2.2 NOTHING CAN TOUCH ME (2011, Milad Alami, Denmark, A+30)
This film is about a girl who is frustrated that a serial killer doesn't want to kill her !?!?!
2.2.3 SKIRT DAY (2008, Jean-Paul Lilienfeld, A+25)
This film is about a female teacher in a nervous breakdown.
2.2.4 SOUND AND FURY (1988, Jean-Claude Brisseau, A+30)
This film is about a boy whose friend belongs to a severely disturbed family.
2.2.5 THE TWO GIRLS (2010, Warit Deepisuti, A+30)
2.2.6 WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (2011, Lynne Ramsay, A+25)
I really need to see which character from which film will survive at the end of this play.
The photo is from a cookie box. The cover of this cookie box represents an imaginary world which I use to cope with the tragedies in this world.