Thursday, August 15, 2013




6. HER LIFE (Kanvara Lomthaisong)


BELLE DE JOUR (1967, Luis Buñuel)


A PREVIOUS TIME (แด่อดีต) (2011, Janenarong Sirimaha, 10min)


CHUTIMA (2007, Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke)


MA-LAI  (2007, Weera Kempetch, 22min)

มาลัย (วีระ เข็มเพ็ชร)


Each of these five films presents a heroine who becomes a prostitute with no regret. I identify myself very strongly with the heroine of HER LIFE. She does what I really want her to do. The first part of HER LIFE, which shows the heroine stalking her female neighbor, unintentionally reminds me of CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974, Jacques Rivette), DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN (1985, Susan Seidelman), and BIRDCAGE INN (1998, Kim Ki-duk), each of which also presents a scene in which a woman is stalking another woman.


The first part of HER LIFE also unintentionally reminds me of 301/302 (1995, Park Cheol-su), because both films present a strange relationship between two female neighbors living in the same building.


What I like very much in these five films is the fact that these five films don’t condemn prostitution. The heroine of HER LIFE reminds me of the heroine of BELLE DE JOUR, because each of them sells herself without obvious reasons. Each of them has her own reasons, but their reasons are not as obvious as the financial reasons which motivate the heroines of A PREVIOUS TIME and MALAI to become prostitutes.


CHUTIMA is the most radical among these five films. I don’t remember the details of CHUTIMA. If I remember it correctly, the heroine of CHUTIMA has sex with many men, and she  doesn't want money from them, but she treats the men as if they are the prostitutes themselves. Comparing these five heroines together, I think the heroines of HER LIFE, A PREVIOUS TIME, and MALAI are like real human beings, while the heroines of BELLE DE JOUR and CHUTIMA seem like symbols or representations of some theories or concepts. The heroines of BELLE DE JOUR and CHUTIMA provoke us to think.


Another thing I like very much in HER LIFE is that it shows that human beings are very complicated. Some of us need something which is very difficult to explain. What the heroine in HER LIFE does unintentionally makes me think about what the heroine of GILLES’ WIFE (2004, Frédéric Fonteyne) does at the end of the film. Why does the heroine of HER LIFE try to be a prostitute when she has enough money and a boyfriend already? Why does the heroine of GILLES’ WIFE do that thing when she has already accomplished what she seems to want the most in her life? The heroines of HER LIFE and GILLES’ WIFE are the kind of characters I love the most. It’s the kind of characters who seems to do something which is against logic and reasons, but deep down inside I know I really understand them. These are the characters I really sympathize with and want to see more and more in films.

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