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  • News & article

    The skin I live in

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 11/01/2019

    » The body is a temple. But it can also be a torture chamber, from which escape, while possible, is soul-crushing. Lukas Dhont's Girl is an emphatic, moving story about Lara (Victor Polster), a Belgian trans teen at an elite ballet school who's going through male-to-female gender reassignment. That she has to contend with her own hormones and pre-assigned biological specifics, as well as the fact that her chosen career mandates extreme rigour in how the body should bend and behave, Lara's fight is nothing short of heroic. And in that vein, the film is as well.

  • News & article

    All eyes on Asia

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 05/10/2018

    » Asia's premier cine-event took off last night. The 23rd Busan International Film Festival once again draws all attention to the South Korean port city as it hosts the annual showcase of films, especially Asian films. One part to promote the South Korean film industry -- a formidable machine of creativity and commerce -- and one part to reign as a centre of filmmaking activity in this part of the world, Busan has gone through some bumps, political and managerial, but remains steadfast in being in the biggest in Asia.

  • News & article

    All in the family

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 14/06/2018

    » You know you're walking into a horror movie, but the brilliance of Ari Aster's Hereditary is the way it deftly hides its cards and stacks up mystery upon mystery, secret upon secret, madness upon madness, until everything unravels in demonic hellfire. The film ticks all the familiar elements of a ghost story -- a dead grandma, a spooky house, a grave robbery, a candlelit seance where spirits are summoned, a sleepwalker roaming the dim corridor, an occult sign written on the wall, a couple of headless corpses, etc -- but Hereditary rises above the genre formula with its coolly composed formalism, its deliberate pacing, and its sly psychological manipulation that almost convinces us at certain points that this is more of a domestic drama than a horror movie.

  • News & article

    Exhilarating escapism, Spielberg-style

    Life, Published on 30/03/2018

    » A breathless romp through virtual reality, Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One presents a T-Rex-size irony: A film that cautions us against the exhilarating escapism of digital simulacrum that divorces us from reality -- VR, 3D, Facebook, online games, movies -- is first and foremost an exhilarating escapism manufactured upon a massive digital simulacrum. Spielberg, one of the first directors to turn Hollywood into a factory of digital effects, certainly knows this. But with unruffled confidence and youthful velocity, the 71-year-old gambles that the thrills would override the insincerity -- that nobody would mind the self-defeating scruples as long as the breakneck ride keeps us glued.

  • News & article

    The inciting incident

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 06/10/2017

    » On Sept 24, 1976, two electricians were beaten and hanged to death from the top of a gate somewhere in Nakhon Pathom, victims of an escalating right-wing terror in Thai politics of that heady decade. Two weeks later, as protests against the return to the Kingdom of former dictator Gen Thanom Kittikajorn gathered steam, students at Thammasat University staged a play about the hanging of the two men. Soon the photographs of the play were used by nationalists to whip up anger and fear of communism, which led to the massacre on the morning of Oct 6 as police and militias laid siege to the university, killing, maiming and brutalising scores of people in one of the worst incidents of bloodshed in modern Thai history.

  • News & article

    For the days that remain

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 17/11/2017

    » Challenging taboos, one of Thailand's most popular directors returns with a film that looks death in the eye

  • News & article

    Horror film does double duty as social satire

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 07/04/2017

    » Hot on the trail of the Oscar-winning Moonlight and half-a-century after Katherine Hepburn gasped at her daughter's black fiancée in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, here comes Get Out, a "social thriller" about a black man trapped in a white horror. These weird white folk voted for President Obama -- they keep repeating that to assure themselves and others -- but their exaggerated civility is more creepy and menacing than ever in Trump-ruled America.

  • News & article

    Once lost, now found

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 01/02/2017

    » The 69th Cannes Film Festival begins today in southern France with its usual fanfare. Regarded as the world's most prestigious event of cinema professionals, the festival celebrates film as art, commerce, glitz and as cultural treasure. Fittingly, this year Cannes has invited only one Thai film to screen in the Cannes Classics programme -- the recently discovered 1954 Santi-Vina, which was once thought to be lost and has now been restored to its celluloid glory.

  • News & article

    Everything's hunky Dory

    Life, Melalin Mahavongtrakul, Published on 17/06/2016

    » It's been 13 years since the world has come to know every single clownfish on the planet as Nemo. And now our favourite fish are back in this sidekick-getting-its-own-story sequel in Finding Dory.

  • News & article

    Spotlight shines bright

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 15/01/2016

    » Journalistic courage is a timely topic, and the example given by the team in Spotlight shows how legwork, doggedness and conviction can rattle the pillars of the establishment when society needs it.

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