Tuesday, April 02, 2013

NOSTALGIA (2013, Ninart Boonpothong, A+30)

NOSTALGIA (2013, Ninart Boonpothong, A+30)


The story in this play is quite astounding. It spans many centuries. I think it begins with the time of Ptolemy, and also covers the pre-Soviet Russia, our contemporary time, and the future. Its ambitions and structure remind me a little bit of CLOUD ATLAS (2012, Tom Tykwer + Andy Wachowski + Lana Wachowski, A+), which also deals with many stories in many centuries. But I think NOSTALGIA is much better than CLOUD ATLAS, partly because the stories in NOSTALGIA cohere better than CLOUD ATLAS, and maybe partly because there are more poetic touches in NOSTALGIA than in CLOUD ATLAS.


What I like in NOSTALGIA includes:


1.The tangentially connected stories, which somehow cohere. When all these stories are combined together, they create a very touching feeling. The many centuries covered in this play somehow make me realize that we are just a tiny spot in the history of mankind. Many people suffered before us, and the struggles with tyranny and dictatorship will continue in the future. (Maybe like in 20TH CENTURY BOYS)


2.Personally, I seem to like many films/plays which present many stories which are tangentially connected to one another. NOSTALGIA is one of these. Many films/plays which have a structure like this make me feel as if they also create “gaps” between stories. And these gaps are very inviting for me. These gaps make me feel as if they are “spaces” which allow me to move a little bit freely inside. Some of these gaps make my imagination run wild. Some of these gaps give me indescribable feelings. Examples of this kind of gaps can be found in:


2.1  Many films directed by Alexander Kluge, especially THE POWER OF EMOTION (1983, A+30)


2.2 DREAMS (2012, Chertsak Pratumseesakhon, stage play, A+15)


2.3 GRINDHOUSE FOR UTOPIA (2013, Tani Thitiprawat, A+30)


2.4 HUNGARY MAN BOO (2012, Viriyaporn Boonprasert, A+30)


2.5 Films/plays in this list:


3.The structure of many plays within a play. In NOSTALGIA, we hear Macedonian characters talking about the play OEDIPUS. We see a play which seems to be adapted from Boris Savinkov’s novel (which was onced adapted into a film called THE RIDER NAMED DEATH (2004, Karen Shakhnazarov, A+)), and we see a play about a plot to overthrow a ruler in a graduation ceremony in the futuristic world.


4.The story about Jit (Tatchaky Ky), a son who has serious conflicts with his father, is the most impressive story for me in this play.  The anger, resentment, and frustration that Jit feels remind me of my anger, resentment, and frustration that I felt when I was about 10-20 years old. My problems at that time do not resemble Jit’s problems in this play, but the feelings are roughly the same. Jit’s story in this play makes me remember how many times I wanted to run away from home, wanted to scream out loud, felt as if I was gonna explode, felt as if some feelings inside were going to explode. I think Jit’s character in NOSTALGIA should meet the hero of HIMIZU (2011, Sion Sono, A+30), the hero of BLACK BREAD (2010, Agustí Villaronga, A+30), and the hero of BANG-KERD-KLOAW (2011, Kamontorn Eakwattanakij, A+30), because all of these four boys remind me of something I felt when I was young.


5.I like that the play deals with both the “big” and “small” things. For the big things I mean the history, the politics, the dilemma about whether we should kill the children of a dictator or not, the political conflicts between characters, etc. For the small things I mean the WHEN HARRY MET SALLY scene, the background love story of the father and mother of Jit, the talk about whether a girl should feign silly to attract more guys or not, and the ending scene.


This is one of the things that make me like NOSTALGIA a bit more than LADY MINA: VAMPIRE HUNTER (2011, Ninart Boonpothong, A), the story of which also spans many centuries. I think the story in LADY MINA: VAMPIRE HUNTER is a little bit too heavy or too serious to be digested in one viewing. NOSTALGIA is much lighter.


I also think that the combination of big things and small things in NOSTALGIA helps me see more aspects of life than when these big things and small things are separated from each other. Who can imagine that such a serious political film like THE RIDER NAMED DEATH and such a romantic comedy film like WHEN HARRY MET SALLY can be presented together in one story like this?

No comments: