Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Favorite quote from Philip Cheah

"In my 20 years of being in film festivals, I know that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to know what audiences will like or not understand. It’s an illusion to think that audiences can be predicted. This illusion is a legacy of colonialism and imperialism that believes that there are a chosen few who understand the masses more than them, and knows what is good for them.

One of the chief virtues of film selection is honesty and the spirit of sharing. If you honestly like and believe in a film, no matter how strange or foreign it may look, then the only reasonable response is a desire to share this experience with your audience."

Monday, December 26, 2011

Favorite Thai Songs 7: MY HUSBAND IS THE WIFE OF SOMEONE ELSE'S HUSBAND (2011) -- Jintara Poonlarp

คำร้อง-ทำนอง บอย เขมราฐ

*ผัวๆๆๆๆ มีผัวผิด ล่ะคิดจนวันตาย ผัวเอย ผัวข้อยเปลี่ยนไป (ซ้ำ) ผัวนอกใจ ล่ะแอบไปมีผัว....

1.ก่อนแต่งล่ะเพิ่นดู แม๊นแมน..เด๊ะ เป็นแฟนเมื่อแรกก็ว่า แมนดีเล่นกล้ามหนวดเครา เข้มขรึม..นะ สาวตรึม ล่ะตอมกันปานแมงหวี่ใครๆเขารุมอิจฉา(ซ้ำ) ได้เข้าวิวาห์ หนุ่มหน้าตาดีนึกว่าสามีเป็นชาย(ซ้ำ) แต่ที่ไหนได้.. เป็นเก้งกวางชะนี.....

2.จับได้ล่ะคาหนัง คาเขา..ช๊ะ หม้อข้าวล่ะก็ยังบ่ ทันเปื้อนหนวดเหนิดขนหน้าแข้ง ก็โกน..สั้น คบหากะเทย ข้างบ้านเป็นเพื่อนแต่ก่อนมิเคยเข้าครัว(ซ้ำ) นี่นั่งตำถั่ว จนบ้านสะเทือนถ้าบ่ได้เห็นกับตา(ซ้ำ) บ่เซื่อดอกค่ะ.. ว่าผัวหนูสิเป็นเมียผัวเพื่อน..

3.ผัวข้อยล่ะเป็นเมียผัวเขา..ช๊ะ ผัวเขาล่ะก็เป็นผัวๆข้อยผัวข้อยล่ะก็เป็นเมียผัวเขา.. ช๊ะ ผัวเขาละก็เป็นผัวๆข้อยทั้งอายล่ะทั้งอยากจะหนี(ซ้ำ) ที่คุณสามี ทำตัวด่างพร้อยกอดลูกทั้งน้ำตาไหล(ซ้ำ) สิเอาผัวใหม่ ล่ะก็จะกลัวซ้ำรอย..

Friday, December 23, 2011

AL QAEDA CONFIDENTIAL (2011, Paul Jenkins + Georges Malbrunot, documentary, A++++++++++)

THE OLD HERMIT AND THE DREAMY DOG (2011, Somporn Kongrod, A+++++)

One of my most favorite animations I saw this year

THAT NAWENG'S TALE (2011, Arnon Saiyotha, A+++++++++++++++)

You can watch the film from the link below:


I just visited the exhibition PROXY (2011, Proxy, curated by Josef Ng, A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++) at WTF Gallery and learned from this exhibition that the film which was shown in Thailand around the time I was born (February 1973) is the horror film KRASUESAO (1973, S. Naowarach). I think it is very appropriate that this film was shown while I was born.

Talking about my birthday, I also noticed that Philipp Rösler, the economy minister of Germany, was born in Vietnam in February 24, 1973, or just two days before me. His life seems like a total success, while mine is not. Hahaha.


Apichatpong Weerasethakul talks about his exhibition PRIMITIVE in the link below:

I like this sentence very much "I always select actors that have a lot of experience that I don’t have. People say, they are not professional. But for me they are very professional, professional at being human beings. They’ve gone through so much."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE (2009, Claudio Centimeri, A+/A)

This black comedy is suitable for those who like ABNORMAL FAMILY (1984, Masayuki Suo) and SITCOM (1998, François Ozon).

LOVERS AND ENEMIES (2010, Dilmana Yordanova + Mihaela Kavdanska, Romania, A+++++++++++++++)

This is one of my most favorite films of the year.

IN TRANSIT (2008, Joanne Richardson, Romania, A+)

SKHIZEIN (2008, Jérémy Clapin, animation, A+)

This animation about a mental problem should be screened together with I LOVE SYNDROME (2011, Ninart Boonpothong).

GHOST ORB (2011, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, exhibition)

PLANKING (2011, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, A+++++++++++++++)

JELE-BEAUTIE (2011, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, A+++++)

9 MONTHS SELF-PORTRAIT (2007, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, A+)

GHOST ORB (2007, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, A+)


Friday, December 16, 2011

The poem THE RED CARNATION (1871) by Louise Michel

"If were to go to the black cemetery
Brothers, throw on your sister,
As a final hope,
Some red 'carnations' in bloom.
In the final days of Empire,
When the people were awakening,
It was your smile red carnation
which told us that all was being reborn.
Today, go blossom in the shadow of the black and sad prisons.
Go, bloom near the somber captive,
And tell him/her truly that we love him/her.
Tell that through fleeting time
Everything belongs to the future
That the livid-browed conqueror
can die more surely than the conquered."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Favorite quote from Louise-Michel (1830-1905)

"“Since it seems that every heart that beats for freedom has no right to anything but a little slug of lead, I demand my share. If you let me live, I shall never cease to cry for vengeance.”"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Favorite quote from Dave Kehr

" . I have a general suspicion of big theme movies—when you look at big life-affirming epics from [William] Wyler or [George] Stevens or something, every individual shot is just so dead that it contradicts whatever humanist message they're trying to put across, whereas someone who seems to be as nihilistic asGeorge Romero is just so alive imaginatively on the level of shots and how he's arranging things, and that seems to me a much more life-affirming experience than so many of these big lumbering humanistic classics."

The photo comes from DIARY OF THE DEAD (2007, George A. Romero). You can read about George A. Romero in Thai from the book FILMVIRUS 5: LOW BUDGET FILMS IN COMBAT (2007).

Saturday, December 03, 2011

LEASTWAYS/MODERATE WAYS/EXTREME WAYS (2011, Tritos Termarbsri, 90 min, A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++)

อย่างน้อย/อย่างกลาง/อย่างมาก (ไตรทศ เติมอาบศรี)

(I can't remember any details in the film now. I apologize if I remember anything wrongly.)

This is one of my most favorite films I saw this year, and is definitely one of my most favorite Thai films of all time.

What I like very much in this film includes:

1.It made me cry a lot at the end of the film. It seems as if the pain of the protagonist has been transferred to me. I'm very surprised that the film can make me feel as hurtful as this, because I don't share the same experience with the protagonist of the film. I don't have a dead friend whom I'm always think about. But the film is successful in making me fully sympathize with the protagonist and his pain.

2.I'm not sure why the film can have that powerful effect on me, but I'm sure this film doesn't follow the formula of tear-jearking films. This film doesn't tell a straightforward story. It doesn't tell "one" story of a man who misses his dead friend very much, but it tells seven stories, each of which varies a lot in tones, styles or genres. So I like it very much that the film can make me cry uncontrollably by telling stories in a way that is radically different from most tear-jerking films.

3.I like the structure of the film very much. It consists of seven stories, each of them has a plot or subplot concerning a dead friend. The structure of the film is one of the things that makes the film unique.

The structure of the film, which consists of tangentially-connected stories, may be comparable to such films as DON'T WARM EGGS IN MICROWAVE OR ELSE THEY WILL EXPLODE! (2005, Tossapol Boonsinsukh), LIFE IS SHORT 2 (2006, Tossapol Boonsinsukh), 71 FRAGMENTS OF A CHRONOLOGY OF CHANCE (1994,Michael Haneke), or DISAPPEAR (2010, Tani Thitiprawat), because these films also tell barely-connected stories and can also give us some kinds of emotional climax. However, I think LEASTWAYS/MODERATE WAYS/EXTREME WAYS is interesting because the mini-stories in this film vary a lot in tones, styles, or genres, while the mini-stories in other films don't vary a lot in tones.

In a way, I think LEASTWAYS/MODERATE WAYS/EXTREME WAYS is as successful as VIDEO 50 (1978, Robert Wilson), because VIDEO 50 also consists of barely-connected segments which vary a lot in tones, styles or genres, and can give us some emotional climax. I consider VIDEO 50 one of my most favorite films of all time, and I think it is extremely hard for any filmmakers to make a film with this kind of structure and can also affect the audience tremendously. There are very few filmmakers who can pull off this kind of thing. Robert Wilson can do it. And now Tritos Termarbsri proves that he can do it, too.

What about the comparison with Alexander Kluge, the master of this kind of cinema? I think Tritos' film is radically different from Kluge's films, because Kluge's films affect the brain, while Tritos' film makes me cry. However, the films of Kluge, Robert Wilson, and Tritos may affect my subconscious, because all of them have a profound effect on me in an unexplainable way.

4.Each of the seven stories is very interesting in itself, so when they are all combined together in this film, it results in one of my most favorite films of the year.

The seven stories include:

4.1 LEASTWAYS อย่างน้อย (14 min)
It is about two male friends who talk about some funny things in a bookshop. At first it looks like a low-budget comedy focusing on a dialogue, but the film changes its genre in the second half, when one of the friends reveals that a ghost of his friend is always around him. I like the low-budget look and the playful tone of this segment very much. The abrupt change of genre reminds me of such films as FROM DUSK TILL DAWN (1995, Robert Rodriguez).

4.2 MODERATE WAYS อย่างกลาง
This segment is about an ex-boyfriend and an ex-girlfriend who meets each other in a park. After they talk for a while, they find out that the failure of their past relationship is caused by white lies. If only they hadn't lied to each other with good intentions, their relationship wouldn't have failed. I like it very much that the film doesn't support white lies.

This segment's tone is a little bit like BEFORE SUNSET (2004, Richard Linklater). It has a natural feeling and features some long dialogues. I like many scenes in this segment, especially the scenes in which the hero and the heroine talk with each other in a small boat under a bridge, and the scene in which they talk on a park bench near a pond. The acting in both scenes are excellent. I also like the reflection of water in the park bench scene very much. I think the park bench scene is one of my most favorite scenes in Thai films this year because of these reasons: it is shot very beautifully but the beauty is not overemphasized; it features great acting and lets the actors continue their performances for a long time without interruptions; it doesn't try to arouse the audience too much; and it is very human.

There's a cute thing I like very much in the boat-under-a-bridge scene. It's the moment in which the heroine wants to sing, so the hero announces something like, "Let the music play!", and then both the audience and the characters hear the music, which originates from an ambiguous space. The music does not come from anywhere "in the park", but the characters can hear it and control it. That moment makes me feel as if the film is saying to the audience, "You are watching a film, and the characters know that they are in a film." And this moment seems to blur the line between diegetic sound and non-diegetic sound or something like that.

The main characters from LEASTWAYS become supporting characters in MODERATE WAYS.

4.3 DINING TABLE โต๊ะอาหาร
The tone of this segment is a little bit like LEASTWAYS. It features some long dialogues between friends. The dialogue is not serious and reminds me a little bit of some cute dialogues in PULP FICTION. After the first half, the segment seems to change its genre, when the characters begin to wonder if they are in a dream, whose dream they are in, or if any of them is a ghost or not. The segment is partly inspired by INCEPTION, and it adapts the idea from INCEPTION in a very lovely way.

I also like the look of the ghosts in this segment very much. These ghosts do not look like "frightening ghosts in standard horror films", but they look half-creepy, half-funnily-low-tech. These ghosts remind me of the ghosts in CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974, Jacques Rivette) and THE BODY BENEATH (1970, Andy Milligan).

4.4 INTERVIEW สัมภาษณ์
This segment is like a TV program about ghosts. A man is giving an interview on his ability to see a ghost of his friend. What I like very much in this segment is that its tone surprises me. At first I assumed that this segment would be either a comedy or a horror. But it turns out to be neither of them. Its tone is half-serious. The man seriously believes that he can contact a ghost of his friend, and the film neither ridicules the man nor confirms his ability. The viewers must judge by themselves whether the man is believable or not.

4.5 THE MAN WHO IS BECOMING A FATHER ชายผู้ที่กำลังจะเป็นพ่อคน
I like this segment the least in the film. In this segment, a man and a woman is discussing about the case of Annie Brooks and Film Rathapoom, and then they discuss about their own relationship. Then, it is revealed that they are in a dream, but I can't remember many details in it, including:

4.5.1 Whose dream they are in

4.5.2 Whether the woman is pregnant or not pregnant

4.5.3 If the woman is pregnant, who is the father of her child?

4.5.4 Whether the woman was pregnant and lost her child in the past

4.5.5 Whether the woman is already dead

4.5.6 What is the real motivation of the man

Though I think the emotion in this segment falls flat, I still like some aspects of this segment very much, including the fact that this segment enables the film to talk about some topical issues, which might not be related to the main plot of the film.

4.6 MEETING AGAIN พบกันอีกครั้ง
This segment is excellent. I like it very much. In this segment, a university student accidentally meets his old friend. They talk for several minutes. His old friend seems to remind him of a mutual friend who is dead. The performance in this segment is very natural.

What I like very much in this segment is that it is "a slice of life". It doesn't give us any obvious conclusion. It just presents "several minutes" in the life of a man. Several minutes in which nothing important seems to happen. But these several minutes are so true, so heartfelt, so subtle, so deeply moving.

4.7 POOM ปุ้ม
The last segment of this film is extremely powerful. A man and a woman is watching ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004, Michel Gondry) in a theatre. From their conversation, we understand that they are the main characters from LEASTWAYS. The woman is the ghost of the man's friend. There are other viewers in the theatre, too. And these viewers are the male protagonists from other segments in the film.

The man tries hard not to fall asleep, because he realizes that if he falls asleep, his ghost friend will disappear from his life forever. He tries very hard, but in the end he falls asleep in the theatre. Then, we hear the song FUN LUM-IANG by La-ong-fong. A part of the lyrics of this song talks about things like, "if you want to meet that person, you must close your eyes, and think of that person, and dream of that person, because you can't meet that person in reality anymore."

The ending of this film brings tears to my eyes and reminds me of the last few minutes in the documentary TU AS CRIÉ: LET ME GO (1999, Anne Claire Poirier, Canada). In the documentary, the director mourns the untimely death of her daughter. Anne Claire Poirier seems to make this documentary as a way to heal herself, to come to terms with the death of her own daughter, to understand her own grief and deal with it. In the ending of TU AS CRIÉ: LET ME GO, the director says to the spirit of her daughter, "I LET YOU GO."

Every time I think of this four-word sentence in TU AS CRIÉ: LET ME GO, I cry, and I'm not sure why it has such a tremendous effect on me. Anyway, I think that this sentence indicates that, at last, Anne Claire Poirier can come to terms with the untimely death of her daughter. She will always miss her daughter, but she will not be too much obsessed with this death any more. She now can accept this tragedy as a fact of life, and can now go on living.

The ending of LEASTWAYS/MODERATE WAYS/EXTREME WAYS makes me feel the same way. It makes me feel that, finally, the protagonist of this film can accept the fact that his friend is dead and he can't change it. He can think of his dead friend, but he can't be too obsessed with it, and he must continue living his own life. The ending of Tritos' film makes me feel as if its protagonist wants to say to the spirit of his dead friend, "I DON'T WANT TO LET YOU GO, BUT NOW I MUST LET YOU GO."

Life is sad. The longer you live, the more you will see your beloved ones die. No one can stay with each other forever. What is left is only a memory of the good old times we spent together.

5.LEASTWAYS/MODERATE WAYS/EXTREME WAYS is one of the most powerful films dealing with grief for the death of a loved one. In this film, we never see the protagonist lament for the death of his friend. The topic is even dealt with comically, instead of seriously. But in the end, the film is extremely successful in making me understand the grief of the protagonist.

If I have to screen this film with other films, I may choose to screen it with my favorite films dealing with grief, such as

5.1 ALONG TOGETHER พบ (2009, Wuttipan Deepanya, 9 min)

5.2 ALWAYS (1990, Steven Spielberg)

5.3 COMING TO TERMS WITH THE DEAD (1994, Pascale Ferran)

5.4 THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR (2004, Tod Williams)

5.5 PAPA (2005, Maurice Barthélémy)

5.6 THREE COLOURS: BLUE (1993, Krzysztof Kieslowski)

Tritos' film also reminds me of two songs I like about grief for loved ones. These two songs are:

5.7 I'LL BE THERE -- The Escape Club

5.8 TOGETHER AGAIN (1997) -- Janet Jackson

In conclusion, LEASTWAYS/MODERATE WAYS/EXTREME WAYS is one of my most favorite Thai films of all time, because it makes me cry uncontrollably, and because the structure of the film is unique: it is composed of seven stories whose styles/tones/genres are different from one another.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thai films seen on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

1.HI-DEFINITION GIRL (2011, Tanakit Kitsanayunyong, 3:33 min, A++++++++++)
หญิงสาวแห่งความคมชัด (ธนกฤต กฤษณยรรยง)
This film makes me think about something I have never thought about before--the size of the image frame. What I like very much in this film is the fact that I know nothing at all. I don't know what happens in the film, who the girl is, when the action takes place, why it happens, etc. But what makes it very different from other enigmatic films I have seen is the fact that I didn't even know "the real size of the image frame" until the end of the film.

In this film, we see a girl doing something inside a small image frame. The image frame is placed in a vast darkness. We don't know if the darkness surrounding this image frame is "inside" or "outside" the story until the end of the film.

I find this thing very brilliant. Tanakit also directed QUOTATION MARK (2010, A++++++++++), which is one of my most favorite Thai films I saw in 2010.

2.MY ROOM AND I (2010, Ka-nes Boonyapanachoti, 20 min, A++++++++++)
ห้องของฉันและเรื่องของผม (คเณศ บุญยะปานะโชติ)
My favorite scene in this film is the one about the director's trip to the beach with a group of university friends. This part of the film reminds me of one of the best times in my life--the time when we spent with friends and did many crazy things that we can't do it again when we grow old.

The joy among friends depicted in that scene is enormous. I also like it very much that the scene recorded a spontaneous dialogue (or some playful verbal attacks) among friends. I think this spontaneous dialogue is very important, because if you don't record it, it might be lost forever.

I learn from my own experience that when we are among our close friends, we are inclined to invent some new words, some funny phrases, or some funny sentences to talk to our close friends, and if we don't record these funny phrases, we will forget them forever, and we will never hear them again in our lifetime whether from our close friends or other people. I regret that I can note down only 1% of what my friends said when we were young. When I grow old and read this 1% of what my friends said twenty years ago, I find it very precious and is one of the best things in my life.

MY ROOM AND I also tries to depict other aspects in the life of the director and gives a hint at the end of the film that some parts of the film might be fictionalized and not a pure documentary.

3.DOG LOVE CAT (2011, Weerasak Suyala, 27 min, A++++++++++)
หมากับแมวไม่แคล้วกัน (วีระศักดิ์ สุยะลา)

4.MAD DOG (2011, Pongtawee Srilasuk, 7:19 min, A+)
หมาบ้า (พงษ์ทวี ศรีลาศักดิ์)

5.SHOWING IMAGES OF MY LOVE FOR YOU (2011, Wachara Kanha, 2 min, A+)
แสดงภาพในความรักที่ฉันรักเธอ (วชร กัณหา)

6.BOOKBIKE (2010, Wiroon Kingpaiboon, 29 min, documentary, A+/A)
หนังสือติดล้อ (วิรุฬห์ กิ่งไพบูลย์)

7.LOOP (2010, Adit Matayapirom, 5:32 min, animation, A+/A)
ห่วง (อดิษฐ์ เมธยาภิรมย์)

8.STOP HERE (2011, Twatpong Tangsajjapoj, 2:30 min, animation, A+/A)
หยุด (ธวัชพงศ์ ตั้งสัจจะพจน์)

9.OVER THE RAINBOW (2010, Phattaramon Urahvanicha, 2:40 min, animation, A+/A)
หลังฟ้าหม่น (ภัทรมน เอื้อวาณิชชา)

10.THE ESCAPE (2011, Pavin Kittikovit, 12 min, A+/A)
หนี (ปวีณ กิตติโกวิท)

11.DRY COLOURS TUBE (2011, Weerapat Tembundit + Chotika Parinayok 11 min, A+/A)
หลอดสี (วีรภัทร เต็มบัณฑิต, โชติกา ปริณายก)

12.NONGPO, FOR BETTER LIFE (2011, Kangwan Jaimun, 9 min, A)
หนองโพยั่งยืน (กังวาน ใจมั่น)

13.MAKPRAO (2010, Sarida Pao-aroon, animation, 4:07 min, A)
หมากพร้าว (สริดา เผ่าอรุณ)

14.THE TELEPHONE NUMBER (2010, Kritmongkon Peantong, 19:51 min, A-)
หมายเลขที่เธอเรียกจะติดต่อให้ได้ในขณะนี้ (กฤษณ์มงคล เพียรทอง)

15.MY A DAY (2010, Kawit Kittikun, 5:16 min, A-)
หนึ่งวันของฉัน (กวิศ กิตติกูล)

16.THE BOOK IS PIGGY BANK (2010, Prachuab Plittapolkarnpim, 12 min, A-)
หนังสือคือออมสิน (ประจวบ ผลิตผลการพิมพ์)

17.BLACK HOLE OF THE UNIVERSE (2011, shadow play aka Teeranit Siangsanoh, 2:56 min, B+)
หลุมดำแห่งจักรวาล (คล้ายเงา)
I think this film is the weakest film among many apocalyptic films made by Teeranit.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


1.WHEN I SLEPT OVER THE NIGHT OF THE REVOLUTION เมื่อผมหลับในคืนปฏิวัติ (2007, A+++++++++++++++)

2.PORNOGRAM เปลือยแล้วฆ่า (2010, A+++++++++++++++)

3.CASTRATED DOGS หมาตอน (2004, A+++++++++++++++)

4.NEVER LET ME GO (2011, A+++++++++++++++) seen on August 28

5.LOVE OF THE ECONOMIST เกมรัก/นักเศรษฐศาสตร์ (2011, A++++++++++) seen on June 24

6.ALT-CTRL-DEL (2008, A++++++++++)

7.APT PUPIL วิปริต (2011, A+++++) seen on July 29

8.ADD AS A FRIEND (2009, with Thanyanan Kooanupong, A+++++) seen on August 29


The more I watch Ninart's plays, the more I hope someone adapts his plays into films. His plays are great, and the films made from his plays will surely be ranked as ones of the best Thai films made in that year.

Ninart Boonpothong's stage plays that I have watched:

(in roughly chronological order)

1.CASTRATED DOGS หมาตอน (2004, A+++++++++++++++)

2.RED BUILDING ตึกแดง (2005, A+)

3.MISSING YOU (2006, A+)

4.MISERY คลั่ง (2006, with Pornpen Faumnuay, A-)


6.WHEN I SLEPT OVER THE NIGHT OF THE REVOLUTION เมื่อผมหลับในคืนปฏิวัติ (2007, A+++++++++++++++)

7.ALT-CTRL-DEL (2008, A++++++++++)

8.LOST GIRLZ (2008, A+) seen on September 14

9.FRIENDS (2009, A+) seen on January 25

10.THE PRINCESS OF WOLF AND THE PRINCE OF NIGHT เจ้าหญิงหมาป่ากับเจ้าชายรัตติกาล (2009, with Wanatsanan Sasom and Jirawat Chantaseelkul, A-) seen on May 9

11.WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (2009, with Rattapong Pinyosophon, A+/A) seen on June 5

12.ADD AS A FRIEND (2009, with Thanyanan Kooanupong, A+++++) seen on August 29

13.ASURAKAI อสูรกาย (2009, A+) seen on September 4

14.HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN'S THE SNOW QUEEN ราชินีหิมะ (2009, with Jirawat Chantaseelkul, Chinnat Nopkhum, Chatchai Sattayadit, A+) seen on December 27

15.THE P-R-I-N-S-E-CC เจ้าหงิญ (2010, with Pornpen Faumnuay, A+) seen on January 22

16.GHOST OF THE ECONOMISTS (2010, A+) seen on February 6

17.THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH มรรคบาท/ฆาตกรรม (2010, A+/A) seen on March 20

18.PORNOGRAM เปลือยแล้วฆ่า (2010, A+++++++++++++++) seen on June 13

19.THE RULE OF THE GAMES ความรักของตุลยา: ตีไข่ใส่ฟองรัก (2010, A+) seen on September 11

20.LADY MINA: VAMPIRE HUNTER (2011, A) seen on March 25

21.HOLD ON ME (2011, A+/A) seen on May 22

22.PHAYATHAI JUNCTION สี่แยกรัก...พักติวหน่อย (2011, A+) seen on June 5

23.LOVE OF THE ECONOMIST เกมรัก/นักเศรษฐศาสตร์ (2011, A++++++++++) seen on June 24

24.APT PUPIL วิปริต (2011, A+++++) seen on July 29

25.PETER PAN (2011, A-) seen on August 7

26.NEVER LET ME GO (2011, A+++++++++++++++) seen on August 28

27.I LOVE SYNDROME (2011, A+) seen on November 19

I LOVE SYNDROME (2011, Ninart Boonpothong, A+)

Things I like very much in this stage play include:

1.The Stockholm Syndrome story, which is about a man who kidnaps a famous male singer in order to get revenge on the elder brother of the singer, but the captor and the captive fall in love with each other. It's like a gay version of Pisarn Akaraseranee's films, because there's some sadomasochistic pleasure involved in the love between them.

This story is very romantic for me and fulfills my sexual fantasy. In this way, it satisfies me like FORGET ME NOT (2010, Naphat Chaithiangthum, 30 min, A+++++++++++++++), which is one of my most favorite films I have seen this year. FORGET ME NOT is about the love between two boys in a rural Thai setting, and the story happens 70-80 years ago. It's like a gay version of Cherd Songsri's films.

Both FORGET ME NOT and I LOVE SYNDROME use some old formulas of heterosexual stories/forms/styles and adapt them for gay stories. And I find both of them very fulfilling and satisfying.

Will this become a trend for Thai gay films and Thai gay stage plays? I don't know, but I think it will be interesting if it becomes a new trend. In the past, there have been many gay experimental films, gay films about AIDS, and gay films about unequal rights or prejudices. Recently, there have been some Thai gay TV series about real gay lifestyles, such as LOVE AUDITION, which is a very good trend, though I haven't had time to watch them yet. And now gay films/gay stage plays which use old formulas of heterosexual stories are made. It is very satisfying to see that some genres of films which have been dominated by heterosexual stories in the past are now being adapted for gay stories. And there are still many genres for Thai gay films to explore, including the folklore genre, the martial-arts genre, the rural action genre, the melodrama about love-between-different-classes genre, the conscript (ทหารเกณฑ์) genre, etc. I hope to see more Thai gay films made along these genres in the near future.


Example from the folklore genre

the martial-arts genre

the rural action genre

the love-between-different-classes genre

I also hope that the Stockholm Syndrome story will be adapted into a feature film. The role of the captive singer may be played by someone like Poppy. The role of the kidnapper may be played by someone like Peerawat Herabut.


Peerawat Herabut

2. The fact that the Asperger Syndrome story does not have a happy ending. However, I think its ending is still a little bit too forced. In the ending of this story, which is also the ending of the play, the heroine accepts the fact that she cannot cope with her Asperger boyfriend any more, and decides to dump him no matter how pitiful or innocent he is. Later, when she reads a book about a neglected cat, it reminds her of him, and she feels very sad and wants to cry.

I like it very much that the heroine decides to dump her boyfriend, because I might do the same as her. Both the heroine and I are not virtuous or strong persons. We are just flawed human beings who are selfish, unable to solve every problem in life in a graceful manner, and we just want to survive. However, the ending scene is not successful in making the audience cry, and I think it is partly because the play doesn't spend enough time on this couple. We don't truly understand how much love the heroine might have for her boyfriend or how wonderful her boyfriend can be when they are together. It is understandable that the play contains four stories, so we cannot spend enough time on the Asperger couples. But this fact makes me able to sympathize only with the heroine's frustration with her boyfriend, but I cannot sympathize with the heroine's love for her boyfriend or her regret for having lost her boyfriend. I think this problem can solved if the story is adapted into a 60-90 minute play/film.

3.The play indirectly teaches the audience "not to trust the rumor or appearance", especially in the Stockholm Syndrome story and the Bipolar story. I like it very much that in the Stockholm Syndrome story, the rich elder brother seems like a wicked, crooked businessman at first, and the kidnapper seems like a Robin Hood or a victim who tries to get revenge. But later it turns out that the rich businessman is not as crooked as what we has assumed, and the kidnapper is the crooked one.

The Bipolar story is very interesting if you analyze it politically. But I won't analyze its politics because I know very little about politics. But I like it very much that this story about a superheroine who tries to fight a gang of bad men under an evil mafia (or politician?) is very complicated. Everything is not what it looks like. The superheroine may be a "false personality" of a girl. This false personality may be created by a person who secretly controls the girl and who may gain some profits for himself if the girl destroys the mafia. In this story, the son may betray the father, the follower may betray the leader, and the girl may betray herself.

In a way, I think this Bipolar story is at least as complicated as SHATTERED IMAGE (1998, Raul Ruiz). If this story is adapted into a feature film, its story and its political implications may be more interesting than RED EAGLE (2010, Wisit Sasanatieng, A+/A) and HEADSHOT (2011, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, A+).

4. The structure of the play. The play tells 4 four stories, each one of which has roughly three acts. What is amazing is that the play doesn't tell one story from start to finish before it starts to tell another one. But the play tells act one from each four stories, then tells act two from each four stories, then tells acts three from each four stories or something like that. But I LOVE SYNDROME is very easy to follow, and in fact, it can be considered one of the easiest plays to follow among Ninart's plays. Ninart is great in writing highly complicated stories with obscure messages. I LOVE SYNDROME has a complicated structure, but at least its message is clear (the play wants us to understand people who suffer from each of the four mental syndromes), so that's why I think I LOVE SYNDROME is one of the easiest plays to understand among Ninart's works.

5.Though I like the story of the Stockholm Syndrome the most, I think the performers in I LOVE SYNDROME are most successful in the Asperger story, partly because they play "normal university students" in this story. There is much fun in watching them talking in a fake birthday party scene in the Asperger story. In this story, the young actors play some characters who are not so far from their real lives. That may be one of the reasons why their performances can enliven the scene very much in this story.

FORGET ME NOT (2010, Naphat Chaithiangthum, 30 min, A+++++++++++++++)

This gay film makes me cry a bucketful of tears. One of my most favorite films I saw this year.

NÉNETTE (2010, Nicolas Philibert, A++++++++++)

Talking about the gaze of monkeys reminds me of a film I just saw: NÉNETTE (2010, Nicolas Philibert, A++++++++++). There are a few scenes in this film which let us watch the face and the eyes of the female orangutan for a few minutes, while the orangutan is doing nothing except staring at the camera. After watching the eyes of the orangutan for a few minutes, I felt like crying, and I don't know why. The gaze of the orangutan in this film is extremely powerful, and its tremendous power is unexplainable for me.

I also like it very much that this documentary talks about the three husbands of Nénette and the fact that the zookeepers try to prevent Nénette from having sex with her own son.

I also wonder why there have been many films about monkeys made lately, including:


2.PROJECT NIM (2011, James Marsh), but I haven't seen it yet.

3.RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2011, Rupert Wyatt, A++++++++++)

4.ZOOKEEPER (2011, Frank Coraci, B)

Favorite Old Songs 124: OVERSEA CALL (1985) -- Anri

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


This comes from the Argentine comic strip MAFALDA (1964-1973) by Quino.

Monday, November 21, 2011


This list is made for Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa. :-)

My favorite films about racism

1.LES AMANTS DE L'OMBRE (2009, Philippe Niang, France)

2.AUSTRALIAN RULES (2001, Paul Goldman, Australia)

3.BETRAYED (1988, Costa-Gavras, UK)

4.ELISE, OR REAL LIFE (1970, Michel Drach, France)

5.THE HEART OF WHITENESS (2006, Rehad Desai, South Africa, documentary)

6.PATIALA HOUSE (2011, Nikhil Advani, India)

7.ROSEWOOD (1997, John Singleton)

8.THIS IS ENGLAND (2006, Shane Meadows, UK)

9.WE SHALL OVERCOME SOMEDAY (2004, Kazuyuki Izutsu, Japan)

10.WHITE MAN'S DOG (2006, Sipho Singiswa, South Africa, documentary)

Film wish list in this topic: SHOOT THE MESSENGER (2006, Ngozi Onwurah, UK), which is described as a cross between TO SIR WITH LOVE and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.


Sonthaya just told me about this blog entry, which is about the shooting of an episode in a Swedish TV series directed by Reza Parsa. Parsa directed BEFORE THE STORM (2000), which is one of my most favorite films of all time. Ingmar Bergman also praised him. Unfortunately, Parsa hasn't become famous during the past 10 years. :-(

My old review on BEFORE THE STORM

Sunday, November 20, 2011

VAMPIRE STRAWBERRY (2011, Widit Thunyapun (aka Nati Punmanee) + Itthinop Opas (aka Boonchu Chearnyim), A+ as guilty pleasure)

It is easily one of the worst films I have ever seen in my whole life. Everything in it is indescribably bad: bad acting, bad script, bad dialogue, bad editing, bad lighting, bad colorist, etc. The film is full of meaningless dialogue, meaningless shots, meaningless scenes, etc.

Why do I give it A+? Because VAMPIRE STRAWBERRY is the film that makes me laugh the most this year, especially in the first 30 minutes, though I think 90% of what I laugh in this film is "unintentional".

Examples of what I like because it makes me laugh in this film:

1.The mentioning of the Syrian civil war in the opening scene. I think it is the first Thai film I have seen which mentions the Syrian civil war.

2.The bad editing in the following scene. I can't stop laughing at the editing in many action scenes in this film. The shots in these scenes seem not to match with one another.

3.The extremely wooden acting of some actors.

4. The shower scene, which is totally unnecessary.

5. The abrupt cut to the face of one female victim, and the look on that face

6.The repeated shot of the Vampire Sue when his fangs come out. The shot is not funny, but the repeating use of the shot is very funny

7.The shot in which two female victims stand guarding the coffins

8.The heroine's exclaiming in extreme amazement, "I have never seen anything like this before," when she sees the police troop.

9.The portrayal of police officers

10.How the vampire's story is being interrupted many times by the meaningless stories of various police officers.

In conclusion, VAMPIRE STRAWBERRY is as bad as, if not worse than, RACING LOVE (2011, Jetnipat Sasing, F). But while RACING LOVE doesn't give me a laugh, VAMPIRE STRAWBERRY is the film that makes me laugh the hardest this year. A classic shit.


I think everything in this film is very boring, except its mise-en-scène, which reminds me a little bit of KATZELMACHER (1969, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, A++++++++++).

"เสียงเท่าฟ้า หน้าเท่ากลอง" เราดูแล้วรู้สึกเบื่อมากพอๆกับมิดไมล์นะ แต่เราให้ D ไม่ได้ให้ F เพราะเราว่าการจัดภาพในหนังเรื่องนี้มันน่าสนใจดี มันไม่เหมือนหนังไทยยุคปัจจุบัน แต่มันไปเหมือนหนังอย่าง KATZELMACHER (1969, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, A++++++++++) แทน เราว่าการจัดภาพ ในเสียงเท่าฟ้า หน้าเท่ากลอง มันประหลาดๆและมันแหวกแนวดีมาก อย่างเช่นในหลายๆครั้งตัวละครที่คุยกันจะไม่หันหน้าคุยกัน แต่ทุกตัวละครที่คุยกันจะหันหน้าเข้าหากล้องกันหมดทุกตัว อะไรอย่างนี้เป็นต้น

อีกอย่างที่ประหลาดใจก็คือว่า ตอนแรกเรานึกว่าหนังเรื่องนี้จะเป็นหนังแนว "ซาบซึ้ง สมานฉันท์" หรืออะไรทำนองนี้ แต่เนื้อหาของหนังกลับเน้นไปที่การทรยศหักหลังโกงเงินกัน และดูเหมือนตัวละครที่พยายามจะรวบรวมนักดนตรีก็ทำอะไรแทบไม่สำเร็จสักอย่าง เราก็เลยไม่แน่ใจว่า "สาร" ที่หนังเรื่องนี้ต้องการจะสื่อคืออะไรกันแน่

Favorite Thai Songs 4: TRANSVESTITE ALERT -- Jojo Dominant

I wish to see the three transvestites in this mv battle against the other three in the mv Nicki Minaj's SUPERBASS (Parody version) and Azis.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Celine and Julie Go Dancing 54: YEAH YEAH (2011) -- Waifs & Strays


I like what Michel Foucault and Christoph Schlingensief talked about Werner Schroeter's films very much.

Michel Foucault talks about THE DEATH OF MARIA MALIBRAN (1973, Werner Schroeter, A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++) and WILLOW SPRINGS that "They express something that is not attempting to explain what is happening, something that allows you to not even have to begin asking the question.”"

When Werner died Christoph Schlingensief wrote in his blog that he hoped his films would become accessible to a younger audience and find their way into the film school curriculum, not merely because his films were uniquely radical, but also because they were generally unique.

Thanks to Ratchapoom for telling us about this interview:

There is a funny mistake in the interview: the name "Werner Herzog" is used instead of "Werner Schroeter" in one place.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thai films seen on Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I can't remember any details of any films now. I apologize if I remember anything wrongly.

1.THE LIGHT HOUSE (2011, shadow play aka Teeranit Siangsanoh, 43:13 min, A++++++++++)
แสงสุริยะ (คล้ายเงา)
Teeranit has made many films about apocalyptic world. This is one of his best. This film is different from many films of Teeranit, because this film is silent, while other films of his usually have powerful soundtrack.

I totally agree with what Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke said about this film. He said that this film might be inspired by, or is reminiscent of, Andrei Tarkovsky, especially NOSTALGHIA (1983).

2.LOSE (2011, Wachara Kanha, 70 min, A+++++)
สูญ (วชร กัณหา)
There are three scenes that I like very much in this film. First, it's the scene in which we see a woman brushes her hair for a very long time. Second, it's the scene in which we see a baby moving around and we hear numerous voices at the same time. Third, it's the scene in which a woman in red dress lying in bed, dying, saliva flowing out of her mouth.

Wachara shows that he still excels at making films which are reluctant to tell their stories. I think he has a story in his mind, but instead of telling it straightforwardly, he only shows us some disconnected images from his story. His films are puzzling, and I like them because of this puzzling quality.

3.HAPPINESS (2011, Chadchon Nonthichan 5 min, A+++++)
สุขขี (ชัดชล นนธิจันทร์)
This is the kind of short films that I like very much. It shows a slice of life, or only an impression of an ordinary moment in an ordinary life. In this film, we see a little boy riding a bicycle, going to swim in a little pond, looking happy, getting out of the pond, and getting on the bicycle.

Yes, this is the real definition of happiness. I totally agree with that. Just enjoy a brief swim in a little pond. I like it very much that the film doesn't try to overemphasize its message, but presents the hero's action in an almost realistic, documentary-like way.

My favorite kind of films don't need great stories, great acting, or great budget, but they need to correspond to my attitude towards life or human beings. This film really fits the description of a kind of films that I like. Just present your true impression of an ordinary moment in an ordinary life. HAPPINESS is an extremely small film, but it gives me tremendous happiness.

4.PARALLEL (2010, Rasika Prasongtham, 6:29 min, A+)
เส้นขนาน (รษิกา ประสงค์ธรรม)
A very lovely lesbian film.

5.UNBEAUTIFUL BOXER (2010, Sirinapa Senapol, 19:21 min, A+)
สู้นะฮ๊า! (ศิรินภา เสนาพล)
UNBEAUTIFUL BOXER is a queer film made by high-school students. The film is funny.

6.TIGER (2010, Phanupong Hongprayoor, 9:03 min, A+)
เสือ (ภาณุพงศ์ ฮงประยูร)
A nice action film.

7.STRINGS (2011, Nattaphon Sakulvanaporn, 9 min, A+/A)
เส้นด้าย (ณัฐพล สกุลวนภรณ์)

8.SOUND ATTACK (2011, Kritmongkon Peantong, B+)
เสียงยึดโลก (กฤษณ์มงคล เพียรทอง)
I think this film can be easily adapted into a feature mainstream film.

Thai films seen on Sunday, July 31, 2011

I can't remember any details of any films now. I apologize if I remember anything wrongly.

1.DISTANCE (2010, Chonlasit Upanigkit, 55 min, A+++++++++++++++)
สิ่ง-ไหน (ชลสิทธิ์ อุปนิกขิต)

I'm very impressed with the naturalistic tone of the film. I even prefer it to NIGHT BLIND (2010, Chonlasit Upanigkit + Rasika Prasongtham, 40 min). I think NIGHT BLIND reminds me a little bit of some Malaysian arthouse films because NIGHT BLIND has both naturalistic moments and enigmatic moments. But the enigmatic moments are not to be found in DISTANCE.

I also like it very much that the hero of this film is very passive. If I remember it correctly, I think he may like his lesbian friend, but he does not try to act macho at all. He behaves like a really good friend, watching her from afar and helping her when necessary. I also like it very much that the film likes to shoot the hero from behind.

Many scenes in this film seem very real for me. The film is great at capturing some aspects of university students' lives, especially the tumultuous love relationship, the one-sided love, and the time spent with friends. Though these aspects can be found in many Thai short films, I think DISTANCE presents these aspects of students' lives much more realistically and convincingly than others.

Extremely human.

2.HEART (2011, Suppasit Sretprasert, 21:24 min, A++++++++++)
สิ่งเล็กๆที่เรียกว่าหัวใจ (ศุภสิทธิ์ เสร็จประเสริฐ)

The film is unique and very memorable for me. It fuses a fiction story and some clips of famous actors together. I don't know how this film originated, but my friends and I guess the filmmaker might fist have the clips of these famous actors, then he tried to weave these clips into a fiction film by asking ordinary persons who appeared in these clips to star in his film, and then wrote a story which could connect these people, these stars, and these clips together. It's a very interesting idea, and it yields a film which features famous actors but feels very homely at the same time.

I also like the attitude of this film very much. This film is about an elder sister who does not like the fact that her younger sister is very crazy for Mario Maurer. But instead of trying to preach to the audience that you should not be too obsessed with a handsome actor, the film instead seems to say to us that liking a star very much is not wrong at all, because it doesn't harm anyone. The elder sister ends up giving her younger sister a DVD of Mario Maurer.

I like this attitude very much. It doesn't look down on young people, and it corresponds to my belief that people should do whatever they want to do as long as it doesn't harm anyone.

The film features a long scene of Mario Maurer giving a talk about his acting practice to university students, and I think Mario in that scene is much more adorable than in most of his other films.

Suppasit Sretprasert also makes another homely film called LOVE (ครั้งหนึ่ง...เราเคยรักกัน, A++++++++++), which features unconvincing acting, dialogue, and story, but in his films, the word "unconvincing" means "charming". He also makes TIME (2010, 6 min, A+++++) and DREAM (2010, 13 min), which pose some interesting questions about ethics. In conclusion, I like his films very much. His films are unique.

3.FLUORESCENT (2011, Chaiwat Wiansantia, 13 min, documentary, A++++++++++)
สารเรืองแสง (ชัยวัช เวียนสันเทียะ)

This is a very poignant documentary about a talented artist who comes to terms with the fact that he may not become rich, famous and successful, and the fact that though we are talented, our life may not give us many chances to use our full talent. This is the sad truth about human life in general, or about us ordinary people. The artist seems to accept this sad fact, continuing living a simple life, and making his art works in his spare time.

4.WHAT!!! (2011, Prempapan Plittapolkarnpim, 14 min, A++++++++++)
สิ่งประหลาดในสวนหลังบ้าน (เปรมปพันธ ผลิตผลการพิมพ์)
This film is very haunting. I'm not sure what it's about. I guess it is about a man who locks up a kid in his house until the kid becomes psychotic. The kid ends up killing the man and escaping from the house. But the film does not tell us this story straightforwardly. It shows us some striking, haunting images and lets us connect the story by ourselves.

This film shows that Prempapat has advanced a lot. I hope he continues making haunting films like this.

5.A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT MY FAMILY (2011, Wachara Kanha, 97 min, documentary, A+++++)
สารคดีครอบครัวของฉัน (บันทึกเรื่องราวส่วนหนึ่งในครอบครัวของฉัน) (วชร กัณหา)

6.ESSAY CINEMA OF THE COUNTRY-SIDE (2011, Tani Thitiprawat, documentary, 50 min, A+++++)
สารคดีครอบครัวแห่งความสุขของเค่อร์ ภาค 2 (ธนิ ฐิติประวัติ)

7.WI-TE-HUI-TOM (2010, Atipat Kamonpet, 58 min, documentary, A+
สารคดี วิถีห้วยต้ม (อธิปัตย์ กมลเพ็ชร)

I like the ethnic language in this film very much. I think some ethnic languages are rapidly dying, so it is good to preserve these ethnic languages by recording them in films.

8.GOLDEN HEART AGENT (2011, Palakorn Kleungfak, 40 min, A+)
สุดเดชสายลับหัวใจทองคำ (พลากร กลึงฟัก)

9.THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE (2010, Pipat Adeedto, 18min, A+)
สำเริง (พิพัฒน์ อดีตโต)

10.TOILET 3 (2010, Koranan Chuenpichai, 27:11 min, A)
สุขขา 3 (กรนันท์ ชื่นพิชัย)

11.VISIBLE (2010, Phawin Chokethaweesak, animation, 5:24 min, A)
สิ่งที่มองเห็น (ภวิล โชคทวีศักดิ์)

12.COLOURMIND (2010, Zaikwan Khaengkhan, animation, 2:20 min, A-)
สีสันแห่งจินตนาการ (สายขวัญ แข่งขัน)

13.WATER COLOUR (2010, Teerachot Jivorasetkul, 6:54 min, A-)
สีน้ำ (ธีรโชติ จิวรเศรษฐ์กุล)

14.PRECIOUS THING (2011, Thanvimon Onpaphil, 7:57 min, A-)
สิ่งมีค่า (ธารวิมล อ่อนพาปลิว)

15.TRUE COLOUR (2011, Somphob Sanggerd, 8 min, B+)
สี (สมภพ แสงเกิด)

16.HAPPY LITTLE TIME (2010, Ittisak Euahsunthornwattana, 12:36 min, B)
สุข เล็ก น้อย (อิทธิศักดิ์ เอื้อสุนทรวัฒนา)

Thai films seen on Saturday, July 30, 2011

I can't remember any details of any films now. I apologize if I remember anything wrongly.

1.GAZE AND HEAR (2010, Nontawat Numbenchapol, 10 min, A+++++++++++++++)
สายตา รับฟัง (นนทวัฒน์ นำเบญจพล)
This film tells us a Thai-styled folklore tale via voiceover while showing us images of beautiful geometric patterns. The tale is very intriguing. The soundtrack is one of the most powerful soundtracks I have heard this year. But what I like the most in this film is the fact that the story and the visual may or may not correspond to each other. Thus, the film provides me two images at the same time: the first image is the geometric patterns that I see with my own eyes; the second image is the image of the king, the queen, the Mother Earth, the mole rat king, and other characters in the story that I see in my mind. Because this film gives me two images at the same time, the pleasure I get from this film is at least double the pleasure I get from any average film.

The film reaches its climax and gives me an orgasm when we can't hear the voiceover for a while. We don't know what happens in the story for a few minutes. But the visual and the sound become more and more intense, and they inspire me to imagine the story by myself. In these few minutes, I don't need the voiceover to tell me the story any more. The picture of the geometric patterns and the electronic music can inspire the audience to imagine what happens next in the story. The ability of the audience to "imagine" is maximized in these few minutes. Before these few minutes, the audience imagines "some pictures" in his mind based on the story told by the voiceover. But in these few minutes, the audience imagines both "the story" and "some pictures of the story" in his mind based on the pictures of the geometric patterns and the electronic music.

Most films don't inspire the audience to imagine anything. The audience is very passive while seeing these films. This film is the opposite of that kind of films. GAZE AND HEAR arouses my imagination to the utmost.

If I have to screen GAZE AND HEAR with other films, I may choose the following films:

1.1 RHYTMUS 21 (1921, Hans Richter), because this film also presents us some geometric patterns

1.2 MV: GIVE IT TO ME SLOW -- Greymatter

1.3 Possibly some films of Oskar Fischinger and Jordan Belson. I haven't seen the films of these two, but I guess the visual of the abstract films of these two might be comparable to GAZE AND HEAR.

1.4 INDIA SONG (Marguerite Duras), because the voiceover and the visual in INDIA SONG do not correspond totally with each other. The voiceover in INDIA SONG sometimes arouses the audience to imagine things which are not present on the screen.

1.5 DECODINGS (1988, Michael Wallin), because the voiceover and the visual in DECODINGS do not correspond totally with each other.

1.6 30 (2010, Tossapol Boonsinsukh), because Tossapol also uses voiceover to tell the story in this film, while presents us the pictures of geometric patterns. However, the geometric patterns in 30 correspond to the story much more than the ones in GAZE AND HEAR.

2.CRYSTALLIZATION TIME (2011, Krisda Phongphaew, 21 min, A++++++++++)
วาเลตกผลึก (กฤษฎา ผ่องแผ้ว)
This film is very unique. I have never seen anything like this before. The film talks about a weird metaphysical theory by showing us a scene of a university classroom in which a lecturer discusses this theory with some curious students. The film only resembles a normal sci-fi film only in its last five minutes when some actions happen. Most sci-fi films about parallel universes are action-thrillers, such as THE ONE (2001, James Wong) and MASTER KEY (2009, Patrice Sauvé, Canada, A+/A). But CRYSTALLIZATION TIME resembles an essay film, instead of an action-thriller film.

3.SIAM PARK CITY (2011, Chonlasit Upanigkit, 45 min, documentary, A++++++++++)
สวนสยาม (ชลสิทธิ์ อุปนิกขิต)
Chonlasit proves it again that he is one of the most promising Thai directors/cinematographers. SIAM PARK CITY captures the daily activities of people who use various public parks in Bangkok. The images are beautiful, but not too beautiful. The film doesn't try to give us a lot of information or messages, but lets us observe these normal people and their normal activities calmly.

4.IN TRAIN (2011, Boripat Plaikeaw, 83:30, documentary, A++++++++++)
เวียนหัว และ เมื่อยก้น (บริพัตร พลายแก้ว)
The film has some boring moments, but a few months passed after I saw this film, I find this film is very memorable. The film makes me envy younger generations very much. I used to go on a trip like this with my friends twenty years ago, but we didn't have a digital video camera at that time, so our trips are only recorded in photos, written diaries, and our own memories which are getting weaker and weaker, not in videos like this.

Korn Kanogkekarin is the star of this documentary. He goes on a trip upcountry with his gay friends, but he carries an upper torso of a handsome mannequin with him, paying no attention to the way other people might think of him. I worship his self-confidence.

My most favorite scene in this film is the scene in which a friend of Korn seems to have a crush on a guy on the train, and consults with his friends if he should make the first move or something like that. I like this kind of lovely moments very much.

Another scene that I like very much is the one in which a straight guy is leaving the group and the camera follows him for a long time for some unidentified reasons. :-)

IN TRAIN may be about a trip, but what I'm interested in this film is not "the location element", but "the human element". I like it very much that the film doesn't focus on "information" about places they visit, because you can find this information elsewhere. What I'm interested is the human reaction to the places and the human reaction to one another. That's why I find this film much more charming than CHAI-LAI: I LOVE YOU (2010, Kowit Daekhuntod, 53:13 min) and HOSPITAL VOLUNTEERS' TRIP TO KANCHANABURI (2010, Tivapon Vongpan, 120 min), which are also documentaries about trips, because IN TRAIN focuses on the deeper side of human beings than the other two documentaries.

IN TRAIN deserves to be analyzed, compared and contrasted with some documentary films about friends, such as I REMEMBER (2011, Authawut Boonyuang, 90 min), DEAR HOME LETTER (ถึงเธอ) (2011, Pattaraporn Werasakwong, A-, (not sure if it's a documentary or not)), 6 OR 5 (2006, Sarawan Weerawat, 56 min), and OUR LAST NIGHT TOGETHER (2010, Wachara Kanha, 48 min). I think the charms of these films depend on

4.1 How close the friends are. The closer the friends are, the more interesting the films will be.

4.2 If the friends dare to express themselves in front of the camera or not. If the friends dare to talk about their private lives, their families, their problems, their fears, their hopes, their love, their hatred, etc, in front of the camera or not. If the friends dare to quarrel with one another in front of the camera or not.

Among this group of films, OUR LAST NIGHT TOGETHER may be my most favorite, because the three friends in this film are close friends and they dare to talk about many things in front of the camera.

5.THE GOLF COURSE (2010, The Underground Office, 5 min, documentary, A++++++++++)
สนามกอล์ฟ (สำนักงานใต้ดิน)
I like many films which possess the power of anger or vengeance within them. THE GOLF COURSE is one of them. It is about some villagers who are angry about the big flood in Nakhon Ratchasima in 2010. The villagers say that some golf courses belonging to aristocratic people are the cause of this big flood, because building these golf courses means destroying large areas of forests which would have helped prevented the big flood. I hadn't heard about this thing before I saw this film. The film gives me a very useful information. There's "the fire of anger" in this film, and it reminds me of such films as THE BANGKOK BOURGEOIS PARTY (2007, Prap Boonpan) for this aspect.

6.KITE (2011, Nuntawut PooPhasuk, 7:30 min, A++++++++++)
ว่าว (นันทวุธ ภูผาสุข)
I like the presentation of beautiful rural areas in this film very much. Rural areas may be not really "heavenly" as presented in this film, but at least the film gives me the "blissful feeling of heaven". For some people who have time and money, they can go on a vacation to some rural provinces and enjoy the real thing. As for me who don't have much free time or money, I can only enjoy "the images of beautiful rural areas" via this kind of films, which include some films by Uruphong Raksasad and Chaiwat Wiansantia.

7.ONE DAY YOU WILL LOVE ME LIKE I LOVE YOU (2011, Wachara Kanha, 50 min, A++++++++++)
สักวันเธอจะรักฉันอย่างที่ฉันรักเธอ (วชร กัณหา)
It's like what I wrote about IN TRAIN. ONE DAY YOU WILL LOVE ME LIKE I LOVE YOU has some boring moments, but a few months passed after I saw this film, I find this film is very memorable. I like the use of music and cheap digital effects in this film very much. This film is like a 50-minute music video of a broken-heart song. There's not much story in this film. But some scenes are very memorable, especially the scene in which the camera focuses on a woman in a train for a long time, and the scene in which the still image of Wachara is increasingly destroyed by some digital effects.

8.ONE NIGHT STAND (2011, Pongtawee Srilasuk, 3:17, A+)
วัน ไนท์ แสตนด์ (พงษ์ทวี ศรีลาศักดิ์)

9.V (2010, Thee Boonkreangkrai, 23:25, A+)
วี (ธีร์ บุณย์เกรียงไกร)

10.GOOD DAY OF KORNLY (2010, Korn Kanogkekarin, 3:51, A+)
วันสบายสบายของน้องกร (กร กนกคีขรินทร์)

11.WHERE IS THE TRUTH LIE (2010, Pirun Anusuriya, 3 min, A+)
ศาลไคฟง (พิรุณ อนุสุริยา)

12.SANAM LUANG (2010, Wuttipan Deepanya, 28 min, A+)
สนามหลวง (วุฒิพันธ์ ดีปัญญา)
Wuttipan also directed ALONG TOGETHER (พบ) (2009, 9 min, A++++++++++).

13.DISCOURSE, CARELESS TALKS, FLYING BIRDS (2011, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, 21 min, A+)
วาทกรรม คำจร วิหคเหินลม (จุฬญาณนนท์ ศิริผล)

14.LOCKED (2011, Non-Touch Promsri, 6 min, A+/A)
สะเดาะ (นนทัช พรหมศรี)

15.MUKRIN'S UTOPIA (2011, Boonyakorn Vanichtantikul, 11:44, A+/A)
โลกสวยของมุกรินทร์ (บุณยกร วาณิชตันติกุล)

16.RUN ALEY, SPOIL ALEY (2011, Krichtiya Suwankasin, 9 min, A+/A)
วิ่งกระแดะฟัด (กฤชติยา สุวรรณกสิณ)
The film shares a scene with TONG, YOU ARE SO DUMP! (ต๋อง นายแน่มาก!) (2011, Porntip Wongnakpan, 12 min). It's the scene in which the main character of TONG, YOU ARE SO DUMP! walks past the heroine of RUN ALEY, SPOIL ALEY. These two films belong to the same film project.

17.STATE, SYN AND TIME (2011, Nuttorn Kungwanklai, 4:58, A+/A)
สถานะ, สภาวะ และกาล (ณัฎฐ์ธร กังวาลไกล)

18.SLEEPING DIRTY (2010, Dollada Chunjuen, A+/A)
สลีพพิ่ง เดอร์ตี้ (ดลลดา ชื่นจันทร์)

19.MINIMAL ANIMAL (2011, Sorayos Prapapan, 1:30, animation, A+/A)
สัตว์เล็ก (สรยศ ประภาพันธ์)

20. WAR GAME (2011, Bunnita Patchana, 1:54, animation, A+/A)
สงครามกลางเมือง (บัญนิตา พัฒน์ชนะ)

21.SIKH COMMUNITY TEMPLE (2011, Manasawee Kitpisut, 10 min, documentary, A)
วัดซิกข์ (มนัสวีร์ กิจพิศุทธิ์)

22.TATTOO COLOR (2010, Thapana Wannapream, 2:38, A)
สัก-ศรี (ฐาปนา วรรณเปรม)

23.WANLEE 2010 (2010, Chaweng Chaiwan, 11:15, A-)
วัลลี 2010 (เชวง ไชยวรรณ)

24.I FEEL THE RAIN. (2010, Prempapat Plittapolkarnpim, 11:33, A-)
สายฝนบนทุ่งนาแห่งความรัก (เปรมปพัทธ ผลิตผลการพิมพ์)

25.THE PROMISE (2011, Tikampon Pupanna, 20, B+)
สัญญาหน้าเสาธง (ทิฆัมพร ภูพันนา)
The film is cinematographically very beautiful, but I'm not personally interested in this kind of story.

26.KARMA (2010, Nujira Pongchaoumdee, 32 min, B+)
เวรกรรม (นุจิรา พงษ์ชะอุ่มดี)

Favorite Old Songs 121: WIGGIN (1988) -- Mayday

Favorite Thai Songs 3: KRONGTONG PUNYANO -- FH featuring Wongtanong

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I just finished reading a great article "POLITICS AND AESTHETICS IN THE STRAUBS' FILMS", which is mainly about Jacques Rancière's opinions on the films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. You can read it here:

Some favorite quotes from the article:

" these distinguished people, seated in a garden, make us understand that the logic of profit, the permanence of economic interests and class struggle underlies wars, revolutions, changes of leadership or forms of government. It is a straightforward lesson given across a series of processes of disassociation, gaps between bodies, texts and space."

" in Workers, Peasants: on one side, there are workers and what one could call the soviet ideology that wants to put nature to use, to make roads, to transform it and so on, and to order total mobilization, and, on the other side, one finds peasants, those who agree on the time of germination, of waiting, of the harvest, of rest, of respect for the earth. That is the first aspect. Next, there is nature, which is before speech, and which eventually gives up its place and its power to speech. It’s what is there, what is always there without reason, before all reason, and what does not stop acting, reproducing itself and altering itself at the same time. From which comes the importance of the continual agitation while the men and women are talking: nature doesn’t stop moving. These are insect noises, bird songs, the effects of light on the plants, the trees, on the moss-covered rocks and the dead leaves... The activity of this undomesticated nature is constant. "

"There is most certainly an important evolution over time. I would say that, if an open-air theater is involved, we nevertheless pass from a one kind of theater to another: let’s say from Brecht to Hölderlin or, if you prefer, from a dialectic dispositif to a lyrical dispositif. This is a change of thedispositifs meaning that, I believe, is also a change of Marxism and of Communism between the films of the 1960s and their latest films. here is most certainly an important evolution over time. I would say that, if an open-air theater is involved, we nevertheless pass from a one kind of theater to another: let’s say from Brecht to Hölderlin or, if you prefer, from a dialectic dispositif to a lyrical dispositif. This is a change of thedispositifs meaning that, I believe, is also a change of Marxism and of Communism between the films of the 1960s and their latest films."

" In any case, films continue to live within us, even without commentary: we make our own commentaries on them. In eight or ten days, this film that you have seen this evening will become another thing. Shots, words will leave; a new film will be constructed. You can’t ignore this extension. Memories of films are not uniquely memories of what has been before our eyes at a given moment. Memories of films are memories of everything that, afterward, gets buried. The cinema is made of this sedimentation. Also, if I don’t think that films have to be explained, I believe that one can try to extend them outside of all commentary, interpretive aims."

" The “normal” viewing of a film channels 80% of the elements—the story, the meaning, everything is so mediated that you don’t need to watch everything—whereas the Straubs’ films assume that you must practically integrate all the elements of each shot. In a way, this cinema can be qualified as exemplary because everything in it is visible but this is precisely what is puzzling."

" For the Straubs, the child is not the future of the world."

" the Straubs’ nature is absolutely not a pastoral nature, it is savage, worrisome, cruel and inhuman. It is not idyllic."

" The Straubs seem to think that nothing or almost nothing can be done with actors. Above all because they advocate a certain kind of relationship to the text and actors are not necessarily trained to say or to read texts. Actors are trained to interpret characters, which the Straubs don’t want. They want people who speak and read texts. This means that they are looking for a very material relationship with the text itself. What interests them is to work with actors who not only are not professionals but who are also outside the world of the university and culture"

" The Medvedkine group, or groups actually, stems from another idea. It started in 1967, it lasted until 1974; France was restricted, the France of de Gaulle and Pompidou, in which the workers at Peugeot decided to use cinema to understand their life, their working conditions, because they didn’t see themselves in the media. Except at the time there were no video cameras like today and images couldn’t be made without a minimum of technical knowledge. So they asked filmmakers and technicians close to them in terms of social activism to introduce them, help them, and, concretely, give them lessons. That lasted several months, then, from there, for seven years they made films in which their struggles, their married lives, strikes and doubts appeared. They appropriated their image little by little. It’s a cinema of intervention, reaction and action based on urgency."

" They construct: they construct a very specific space with a precise relationship of voices and bodies. They create a very particular visible universe that assumes an education because it demands attention to the slightest articulation, for example. In Where Lies Your Hidden Smile?, we see a long sequence where the Straubs question the way of pronouncing a letter and the position of the eyes that has to correspond to it. There is such a minutia in the constitution of a space in their work that it is rare for there to be viewers who immediately get it."