Monday, May 02, 2011


Prap's retrospective will be held by Bodin Theparat on the 9th floor of BACC on Saturday, May 7, at 1500-1800 hrs. The details are as follows:

"งานฉายหนังสั้นแนวการเมืองของปราปต์ บุนปาน 7 เรื่อง
7 พฤษภาคม 2554 เวลา 15.00-18.00 น.

-หนัง "ผี" 16 ปีแห่งความหลัง
-surprise film

ดำเนินรายการโดย ไกรวุฒิ จุลพงศธร

ที่ชั้น 9 หอศิลป์กทม. ตรงข้ามมาบุญครอง เข้าชมฟรี

"ออกแบบโปสเตอร์โดย บพิตร วิเศษน้อย""

This is what I wrote about Prap Boonpan in Indian Auteur's website:

" Prap Boonpan, whom I consider a leader of Thai political films, impressed me a lot with his Two Worlds in One World (2004, 18 min), which deals with the problems of the film The Siam Renaissance (2004, Surapong Pinijkhar), which may or may not present Thai historical facts, and may also present some wrong attitudes. Prap presents the problems of that film and his arguments very straightforwardly. He makes the characters in Two Worlds in One World talk about these problems and he uses his camera to focus on some historical textbooks in extreme close up, so that the viewers can read what is written on the textbooks. I like this kind of technique very much. It reminds me of some foreign essayistic films or some films by Jean-Luc Godard, but I had never found this kind of argumentative techniques employed in Thai films before. Prap uses this technique again in Letter from the Silence (2006, 5 min), in which he uses a camera to focus on a letter written by a Thai taxi driver who heroically committed suicide to protest the military coup in 2006. I had read this powerful letter before I saw this film. I liked the content of the letter very much, but it didn't have a strong effect on my feelings when I read it on a website. However, when the letter is presented in this film, the power of its words seems to increase exponentially and unexplainably, and this time the letter can make me cry. Maybe the film lends an "aura" to the letter. This technique is used again, but by a younger director, in a film called Women in Democracy (2009, Atthawut Boonyuang, 6 min), which is one of the best Thai films this year. This fact seems to indicate that Prap may have some influences on younger directors. Prap's masterpiece is The Bangkok Bourgeois Party (2007, 28 min), which condemns many bourgeois people who support the military coup. It contains an instant classic scene—a three-to-five minute blackout scene in which the viewers see nothing and hear nothing. This scene comes after the bourgeois characters kill a character who thinks differently. Though many films by Prap contain a lot of dialogues or texts, there are some films in which he turns to use some symbols, instead of texts or dialogues, to convey his messages. This group of films includes Culture and Nature (2008, 3 min) and the latter part of The White Short Film/The Candle Light (2009, 20 min), which earns him the R.D. Pestonji award. This award-winning film consists of two parts. In the first part, we see a man and a woman reading a script about the political situation in Thailand in late 2008 and early 2009. In the second part, we see a man watching a candle in a TV. This film, together with Culture and Nature, makes me contemplate about the future of Thailand. I think in the future if someone wants to write a book about Thai political films, Prap Boonpan is one of the names which must be included in that book."

If I have to screen Prap's films with some foreign films, I will choose:

1.THE PATRIOT (1979, Alexander Kluge)
Because both THE PATRIOT and TWO WORLDS IN ONE WORLD are about "problems with history and history telling".

2.LA CHINOISE (1967, Jean-Luc Godard)
Because I like the conversation in the train scene in LA CHINOISE as much as I like the conversation in THE SPECTRE: 16 YEARS LATER (2006, Prap Boonpan, 30 min).

3.DANTON (1982, Andrzej Wajda)
Because I like the hero of this film as much as I like the hero of THE BANGKOK BOURGEOIS PARTY.

4.THE NASTY GIRL (1989, Michael Verhoeven)
Because I like the heroine of this film as much as I like the hero of THE BANGKOK BOURGEOIS PARTY.

5.SOPHIE SCHOLL: THE FINAL DAYS (2005, Marc Rothemund)
Because I like the heroine of this film as much as I like the hero of THE BANGKOK BOURGEOIS PARTY.

6.THE PINOCHET CASE (2001, Patricio Guzmán)
Because this film makes me cry like LETTER FROM THE SILENCE.

7.DIVINE INTERVENTION (2002, Elia Suleiman)
Because this film makes me cry like LETTER FROM THE SILENCE.

Because this film presents some powerful poems like RESISTANT POEM (2009, Prap Boonpan, 20 min).

9.EUROPA 2005 - 27 OCTOBER (2006, Jean-Marie Straub + Danièle Huillet)
Because this film makes me feel as hurtful as Prap's films. You can watch the film in the link below:

10.THE INEXTINGUISHABLE FIRE (1969, Harun Farocki)
Because this film burns me as powerfully as Prap's films. And because the title of this film can explain my general feelings for Prap's films.

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