Sunday, January 06, 2013


I'm very impressed by a seminar on Poonsuk Banomyong on Saturday, January 5, at Pridi Banomyong institute. I like what all the speakers said very much, especially what Nattanop Palaharn said, because I think some filmmakers can adapt what he said to make essay films in the styles of Mark Rappaport and Agnès Varda.

Nattanop talked about some great characteristics of Poonsuk and made surprising links to many women, including Gagi (a fictional female character in Thai mythology), Lawan Upa-in, Samantha Smith, and Nadezhda Krupskaya. This kind of surprising links reminds me of the film FROM THE JOURNALS OF JEAN SEBERG (1995, Mark Rappaport, A+30), which links Jean Seberg to Lev Kuleshov and his Russian montage experiment !?!?!

Nattanop also interpreted a well-known photo of Poonsuk in a very interesting way. One thing which is interesting in this photo is a frowning policeman who is walking Poonsuk in this photo. The link below is for the photo he interpreted.

After the seminar, Chulayarnnon Siriphol talked to me about another photo of Poonsuk. He wondered if the policeman who is walking behind Poonsuk in this photo is the same policeman who is frowning in the  photo mentioned above.

I encouraged Chulayarnnon to make a film about this. The film I imagine is a little bit like CINÉVARDAPHOTO (2004, Agnès Varda), in which Varda interviews a man who appeared in a photo she took 30 years before the interview.
" The springboard for “Ulysse” is a photograph, taken by Varda on a beach, in 1953 or 1954. A naked man approaches a young boy, also naked, who is tending to his own thoughts and space; a third figure, a dead goat, participates in the image. About thirty years later, Varda interviews the man whom the boy has grown up to become. He doesn’t recall the incident at all—not even the goat. Varda’s fantastical photograph doesn’t cross the interviewee’s “reality.”"

I think it would be interesting if some filmmakers track down the policeman or the policemen in both photos of Poonsuk to see if they are one person or not, and interview the policeman's descendants and their political thinking. I assume that the policeman in both photos might have been dead by now.

Thanks to Chulayarnnon Siriphol for inspiring my imagination.

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