Sunday, November 02, 2008



1.HASHI (2008, Sherman Ong, Japan, A+++++++++++++++)
This film gives me the ultimate pleasure of narrative freedom, or freedom from narrative, or whatever. It’s the same kind of pleasure I experienced when I saw UP DOWN FRAGILE (1995, Jacques Rivette, A+++++++++++++++) and MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON (2000, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, A+++++++++++++++). These three films, or the stories in these three films, are the works of collaborative efforts between the directors and their cast. I love the indeterminable directions of the stories in these three films. Watching HASHI gives me the same kind of pleasure that I have when I talk with a group of friends. We can talk in any topics we like. We can change the topics whenever we want to. Some of us may be obsessed with some topics and keep returning to those topics. We can also sit still from time to time and enjoy the silence. I love many scenes in this film, because they seem to have no special meanings, no special messages. They are just scenes to experience. We don’t have to find any meanings or messages in these scenes.

2.LA RABIA (2008, Albertina Carri, Argentina, A+++++++++++++++)
This film reminds me of my own childhood. Watching this film is like having a great psychological therapy. I always wanted to scream out loud to express my suffering when I was a child, but I couldn’t find a place to scream out loud safely except in some amusement parks. Therefore, watching the girl scream out loud in this film is like releasing something which I have repressed for 30 years.

3.SAMAR (1998, Shyam Benegal, India, A+++++)

4.WALTZ WITH BASHIR (2008, Ari Folman, Israel, A+)

5.CHANTS OF LOTUS (2007, Indonesia, A+)
--CHANT FROM AN ISLAND (Fatimah Rony, A)
--CHANT FROM A TOURIST TOWN (Upi Avianto, A+++++)
--CHANT FROM A VILLAGE (Nia Dinata, A++++++++++)

6.SITA SINGS THE BLUES (2008, Nina Paley, animation, USA, A+)

7.SUMMER BOOK (2008, Seyfi Teoman, Turkey, A+)

8.FOUR DISHES (2008, Leon Cheo, short film, Singapore, A+/A)




1.LISTENER'S TALE (2007, Arghya Basu, India, documentary, A+++++++++++++++)

2.HASHI (2008, Sherman Ong, Japan, A+++++++++++++++)

3.LA RABIA (2008, Albertina Carri, Argentina, A+++++++++++++++)

4.EAT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY (2007, Michelange Quay, Haiti, A+++++++++++++++)

5.JUBILEE (1977, Derek Jarman, UK, A+++++++++++++++)

6.NEW AGE (2007, Keren Cytter, 75 min, Netherlands, A++++++++++)

7.THE HEADLESS WOMAN (2008, Lucrecia Martel, Argentina, A+++++++++++++++)

8.THE SKY, THE EARTH AND THE RAIN (2008, Jose Luis Torres Leiva, Chile, A+++++++++++++++)

9.SEVEN DUMPSTERS AND A CORPSE (2007, Thomas Haemmerli, Switzerland, A+++++)

10.SAMAR (1998, Shyam Benegal, India, A+++++)

11.ADRIANA (2005, Margarida Gil, Portugal, A+++++)

12.THE ANGELIC CONVERSATION (1985, Derek Jarman, UK, A+++++)

13.THE PATH (2008, Ishtar Yasin Gutierrez, Costa Rica, A+++++)

14.LA FRANCE (2007, Serge Bozon, France, A+++++)

15.HER NAME IS SABINE (2007, Sandrine Bonnaire, documentary, France, A+)

16.WORD WITHIN THE WORD (2008, India, Rajula Shah, documentary, A+)

17.WALTZ WITH BASHIR (2008, Ari Folman, Israel, A+)

18.CHANTS OF LOTUS (2007, Indonesia, A+)
--CHANT FROM AN ISLAND (Fatimah Rony, A)
--CHANT FROM A TOURIST TOWN (Upi Avianto, A+++++)
--CHANT FROM A VILLAGE (Nia Dinata, A++++++++++)

19.BHUMIKA (1977, Shyam Benegal, India, A+)

20.DEREK (2008, Isaac Julien, documentary, A+)

21.SITA SINGS THE BLUES (2008, Nina Paley, animation, USA, A+)

22.A JIHAD FOR LOVE (2007, Parvez Sharma, USA, documentary, A+)

23.SUMMER BOOK (2008, Seyfi Teoman, Turkey, A+)

24.ZUBEIDAA (2001, Shyam Benegal, India, A+)

25.WINGS OF BLUE ANGELS (2007, Tongpong Chantarangkul, Thailand, 30 min, A+/A)
I like this film more and more after some time has passed, because it inspires me to imagine a story which may not exist in the original film. I imagine myself as the prostitute in this film, yearning for the handsome middle-class man (Thiti Vechabul), but he is out of reach for me. So I have to abandon my real dream and choose a handsome poor blind man instead.

26.JERUSALEM: THE EAST SIDE STORY (2007, Mohammmed Alatar, Palestine, documentary, A+/A)

27.FOUR DISHES (2008, Leon Cheo, short film, Singapore, A+/A)

28.LOST AND FOUND (2008, Noth Thongsriphong, Thailand, A)

29.SELL OUT (2008, Yeo Joon Han, Malaysia, A)

30.THAT DAY (2007, Jacob Berger, Switzerland, A)

31.THE PAST (2007, Hector Babenco, Brazil, A)

32.THREE MONKEYS (2008, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey, A)

33.CHERRY BLOSSOMS-HANAMI (2008, Doris Doerrie, Germany, A)

34.OUT OF FOCUS (2007, Tomer Heymann, documentary, Israel, A)

35.ADULTS ONLY (2007, Yeo Joon Han, Malaysia, short film, A/A-)

36.THE WATERCOLORIST (2008, Daniel Rodriguez, Peru, maybe A-)

37.WAY (2008, Khemupsorn Sirisukha, short film, B+)

38.G16G17 (2007, Saw Tiong Guan, short film, Malaysia, B+)


direk said...

Crazy list. I would love to watch even just half, a fourth of this.

Anonymous said...

HASHI(A++++++++++++++) remonding me of NOW SHOWING(A+++++++++++++++++) too. I thinks these 2 films share some moement that capturing ' simple moment' not for moving story foward , not for metaphor some symbol but just happen i think it was bliss

celinejulie said...

I thought of NOW SHOWING, too, while I was watching HASHI. I have to thank Filmsick and some cinephile friends a lot for our conversations after these two films, because they notice many things in these two films which I hadn’t noticed, such as the fact that some situations in the first half of NOW SHOWING are repeated in different ways in the second half, the fact that the last part of NOW SHOWING may be shot by film, Filmsick’s idea that NOW SHOWING shows our lives as the history of reproduction, and the fact that the 20-year-old woman in HASHI has four identities, the 30-year-old woman has two identities, and the 40-year-old woman has one identity.

I’m very happy with the two international film festivals in Bangkok this year. Both these festivals choose to show the films which I like very much. I hope the economic and political situations in Thailand will be improved, so that there will be no obstacles in organizing great film festivals like these next year.