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  • News & article

    Hot from Toronto

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 21/09/2018

    » Some highlights and award hopefuls from the film festival that will likely occupy the spotlight in the coming months

  • News & article

    Two grainy fists for resurrection

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/10/2018

    » Shot mostly in Thai prison, with a fair number of ex-cons as extras, A Prayer Before Dawn dives headfirst into the unfiltered squalor of prison life -- not the sociological or political dimension of state incarceration, but the physical, uncooked-meat kind of life in jail, particularly the Thai jail.

  • News & article

    Total lack of thought

    Life, Published on 06/08/2018

    » Kids under the age of 18 are being persecuted by adults for their special powers in The Darkest Minds, an adaptation of book one of Alexandra Bracken's young adult trilogy that's about five years and 15 movie dystopias too late to feel the least bit fresh or interesting.

  • News & article

    Close your eyes

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 13/09/2017

    » In June 13, 1981, Issei Sagawa, 32, was arrested after he was seen dumping two suspicious suitcases in the Seine. A student of comparative literature at Sorbonne, the Japanese man two days earlier had killed his Dutch classmate, raped her corpse, stored her body in his fridge and ate morsels after morsels of her flesh to stimulate his sexual desire. Only when the smell became unbearable did he pack what remained in the suitcases and threw them into the river. The French court declared Sagawa legally insane and released him. He returned to Japan, wrote a comic book about his world-famous case, became a food critic (no kidding), and starred in pornographic films. Today Sagawa, old and paralytic, still lives in a suburb of Tokyo.

  • News & article

    Asean films receive special showcase

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/07/2018

    » The riches of Southeast Asian stories and images are celebrated at the 4th Bangkok Asean Film Festival, which opens tonight at SF CentralWorld and runs until Sunday. Hosted by the Thai Ministry of Culture, this year's edition marks the 51st anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the regional body whose primary mission is economics and which increasingly pays more heed to cultural promotion.

  • News & article

    A look at prison muay Thai

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 24/05/2017

    » Thailand is splashed across the main screen of the Cannes Film Festival this year. A Prayer Before Dawn is not a Thai film, but this UK-France production takes place entirely in Thailand -- precisely in the rancid, violence-prone prison where inmates are crammed into small dormitories and fight to stay alive. Based on a book by ex-convict William Moore, who spent years at Klong Prem Prison for selling ya ba, the film, directed by Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, is an intense look at hard life in the hellhole, before Moore (played by British actor Joe Cole) finds redemption in the prison's muay Thai boxing programme.

  • News & article

    Sometimes transcendental, always relevant

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 25/05/2018

    » The American films were on short supply this year at Cannes -- which in turn deprived the assembly line of red carpet material -- but nobody seemed to mind that except, well, some American media and fashion bloggers. That superfluous caveat aside, the recently wrapped 71st Cannes Film Festival was nearly unanimously praised as one of the best editions in recent memory, with a string of good, sometimes very good, titles playing night after night -- and even the bad films weren't so offensively bad, as was often the case. In the midst of soul-searching following the question of relevance (the world wants Avengers), the rise of streaming (the world watches films on phones), the decline of arthouse popularity, Cannes insists on the sacredness of cinema, on the future of the art, and this year it paid off solidly.

  • News & article

    Image is everything

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 15/05/2018

    » Cinema, Jean-Luc Godard said via FaceTime, is X+3 = 1. The X, of course, is -2.

  • News & article

    Hoping to take the top prize East

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 16/05/2018

    » Asian filmmakers have so far fielded a strong force at the 71st Cannes Film Festival, and when the Palme d'Or is decided on Saturday by the Cate Blanchett-led jury there's a real chance that the top prize might go to one of the Asian titles -- after a Turkish film in 2014 (Winter Sleep) and a Thai film back in 2010 (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives).

  • News & article

    Captain Thailand?

    Life, Published on 07/10/2016

    » Thanks to the success of their superhero film franchise, beginning with Iron Man in 2008, Marvel has elevated itself from a well-known comic book publisher to a global entertainment icon, setting new standards for superhero films that no competing brands have yet to successfully imitate.

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