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  • LIFE

    Pandemonium

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 30/09/2022

    » The first shot of Athena will be discussed in every writing about the film. A bravura choreography of movement that begins with an intimate close-up of a face and ends, after 10 blood-rushing minutes, with an explosion of revolutionary rage -- a la Les Miserables and Do You Hear The People Sing? transported to a predominantly-Muslim Paris suburb -- that opening shot is so hypnotising and immersive in its non-stop kineticism that we're led to forgive that it's also an earnest show-off, a proud enshrinement of style and attitude over everything else. Romain Gavras, a filmmaker known for making music videos for Jay Z and M.I.A, will cement that approach with many similar shots throughout the film -- long, seemingly uninterrupted shots with parkour camerawork full of angry bodies -- more than enough for aspiring filmmakers of the world to slobber over.

  • LIFE

    Changing the narrative

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 02/09/2022

    » A man returns home from work in Malaysia after Covid-19 struck, then gets lost in a bureaucratic labyrinth trying to get government handouts. Another woman finds a job at a factory, but the rules require her to compromise her faith. In Yala, a skater boy sets out in search of a friendly park where he can enjoy his ride. A hijab-wearing K-pop fanatic is getting married to a man who has just converted to Islam. And in a Pattani family, a young man watches his mother being possessed by a spirit, possibly a black-magic attack from his business rival.

  • LIFE

    The passion of Pasolini

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 10/06/2022

    » Pier Paolo Pasolini was born in Bologna on March 5, 1922, and died in a violent, mysterious circumstance on the outskirts of Rome in November 1975. This year marks the centenary of the Italian poet's and filmmaker's birth, and this Sunday at 1pm, the Thai Film Archive will screen Pasolini's first film as director, Accattone, a gloriously austere ode to underclass plight. It will be the first time the 1961 film is screened in Thailand.

  • LIFE

    The next step in evolution

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 27/05/2022

    » The maestro is teasing us, with his favourite instrument: the scalpel. Mechanical, electrified scalpels that split open the flesh -- often, the belly -- like a bulging purse being unzipped. This time, what comes out of the belly is a menagerie of grotesque organs -- organs with neither names nor functions, grown inside the body primed for involuntary evolution.

  • LIFE

    Deep in the paradox

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 25/05/2022

    » In Cairo, a religious student at the prestigious Al-Azhar Islamic University is recruited by secret police to infiltrate a Muslim Brotherhood cell. In Mashad, a holy city in Iran, a serial killer prowls a seedy suburb and strangles head-scarfed prostitutes. In the first film, bloodlust officials torture dissidents with abandon. In the second film, religion is evoked and the name of God is cited as a justification for murder. This begs the obvious question: Will Boy From Heaven be banned in Egypt, and Holy Spider Iran?

  • LIFE

    Of zombies and fairy tales

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 20/05/2022

    » The opening films across the three programmes at the 75th Cannes Film Festival speak of disparate destinies of contemporary cinema, from the poetic to the political and the pointless. Let's start with the latter.

  • LIFE

    In Cannes, it's cinema as usual

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 17/05/2022

    » After the cancellation in 2020 and a bump to the month of July in 2021 -- with smaller attendance as international travel was still interrupted -- the Cannes Film Festival returns to its usual mid-May slot, keyed up and fully prepped to show the world that it's cinema, and the cinema business, as usual.

  • LIFE

    The way I see it...

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 25/03/2022

    » Ahead of the Academy Awards on Monday, our film critic shares his thoughts on the big runners.

  • TRAVEL

    Return to paradise

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 13/01/2022

    » At Maya Bay, hawk-eyed park officials patrol the sandy stretch, whistles at the ready. It was a gorgeous morning last Thursday, just days after the fabled beach on Phi Phi Leh Island had reopened after three years of closure, and the 300 or so holidaymakers, masked or otherwise, were ambling or striking catwalk poses on the pillow-soft sand, awestruck by the emerald splendour around them.

  • LIFE

    It's alive!

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 21/12/2021

    » Doomsayers will have to hold out a little longer. Cinema -- as in people sitting in the dark taking in a communal experience of audiovisual sensations -- is still breathing, moving, enlightening.

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