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  • News & article

    Tongue-in-cheek

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 19/01/2018

    » It has been a while a since I smiled while reading a book. My sense of humour is good and I don't hold back my laughter at something that tickles my funny bone. I find Thai double-entendres most amusing. This reviewer wishes books were funny. Those called hilarious by critics simply aren't.

  • News & article

    A writer of versatility and promise

    Muse, Melalin Mahavongtrakul, Published on 13/01/2018

    » When Jidanun Lueangpiansamut sat down in front of me, we had a purple book rested between us on a glass table. On its cover, a green silhouette of a timid lion stood out from a roaring crowd -- quite an appropriate design considering its title: Singto Nok Kok. The lion doesn't fit in or conform with the rest of the pack.

  • News & article

    Report from the far South

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 15/01/2018

    » The first issue of The Melayu Review has the clean sophistication of a respectable literary journal. The layout is unfussy, the photographs black-and-white, and the text in Thai, in shipshape blocks. An editor's note on the first page quotes Dostoyevsky: "But how could you live and have no story to tell?"

  • News & article

    Artificial intelligence

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 12/01/2018

    » There are Vatican scholars. Then there are novelists who research the Vatican library to give the plots of their imaginative religious stories the aura of authenticity. It turns out that the lay writers usually pen more interesting books. Less authentic, yet more believable.

  • News & article

    Image problem: Madrasas resist Modi portraits

    Asia focus, Narendra Kaushik, Published on 22/01/2018

    » Maulana Altaf Hussain Mazahiri is an angry man. The target of his outrage is the government in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, which has issued an order that a portrait of Prime Minister Narendra Modi be displayed in the school he runs.

  • News & article

    On unhappy women and clumsy hitmen

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 19/01/2018

    » Pen-ek Ratanaruang's movies -- eight of them in the past 20 years and the ninth slated for a Feb 1 release -- are often inhabited by unhappy women and clumsy hitmen. Unhappy, yet those women are neither resigned nor passive. Clumsy, yet those hitmen have aspirations, dreams and worries like people in other respectable professions. A genre geek, Pen-ek likes crime thrillers, but one of Thailand's best-known directors is also a diligent investigator of human relationships and man-woman dynamics, their eccentric and mysterious rapport and misunderstandings that determine the course of the world, and of cinema.

  • News & article

    A battle worth fighting

    Life, Kanin Srimaneekulroj, Published on 19/01/2018

    » Towards the end of 12 Strong -- the new Jerry Bruckheimer-produced war movie that hit Thai theatres this week -- there is a scene featuring protagonist Captain Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth), in full US army war-gear, leading a charging column of Afghan freedom-fighters on horseback into a Taliban gunline, complete with tanks and missile-launchers. In true Hollywood super-soldier fashion, the captain picks off jihadists left and right while holding his assault rifle one-handed, sprinting his horse headfirst into a flurry of scything machine-gun rounds. He comes out the other side unscathed of course, thanks to his prodigious plot armour, and proceeds to save the day as scores of freedom fighters are cut down all around him.

  • News & article

    In search of big ideas

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 18/01/2018

    » BangkokEdge Festival, billed as an "idea festival", returns to its old quarters of Bangkok this weekend. Spearheaded by MR Narisa Chakrabongse, the two-day event is a vibrant smorgasbord of literature, music, art, history and politics, anchored in the charming venues of Museum Siam, Chakrabongse Villas and Rajini School. There will be talks -- plenty of panels and discussions, on subjects ranging from "What Makes The Chao Phraya A World Monument?" to "The Power Of Slam Poetry", from "Populism, Religion and Neo-Nationalism In The 21st Century" to "Years Of Living Dangerously: A Woman's Take On War". The list of participants is starry, including writers, journalists, poets, historians and artists, Thai and international. Come evening, the lawn of Museum Siam will play host to film screenings (Pop Aye on Saturday and Citizen Dog on Sunday), as well as concerts by Hugo, Yena, Rasmee Isan Soul and more.

  • News & article

    The chosen one

    Suwitcha Chaiyong, Published on 13/01/2018

    » Since the release of its spectacular trailer, there has been a major buzz around the new Thai animation, 9 Satra: The Legend of Muay Thai.

  • News & article

    Leave Yingluck be

    Oped, Postbag, Published on 13/01/2018

    » Re: "Officials 'must capture Yingluck'," (BP, Jan 12). We should all extend our sympathy to the government for having to resist pressure from various sources to pursue extradition proceedings against Yingluck Shinawatra.

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