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» Thai cinema saw a new horizon open 20 years ago up this month. On July 23, 1999, a little film called Nang Nak opened in cinemas. An adaptation of the country's most popular ghost tale about a wife who died in childbirth but stuck around as a spirit waiting for her husband to return from war, the film arrived carrying high hopes -- and exceeded all of them. Nang Nak, directed by Nonzee Nimibutr and written by Wisit Sasanatieng, unleashed an unprecedented momentum of enthusiasm and became the first Thai movie to blaze past the 100-million-baht mark at the box office.
» There's a shot of a manta ray in Manta Ray, and one is invited to read into the symbolism of the gliding creature whose journey transcends man-made boundaries. Kraben Rahu (Manta Ray) is the most anticipated Thai film of the year, and after almost a full year of travelling the film festivals of the world, like the majestic fish itself across the ocean, it has come ashore in select Thai cinemas this week.
» There is a newly-invented subgenre of the rock biopic: the queer, British, 1970s-set rock biopic, preferably with family trauma and cruel (or at least unsympathetic) parents. First was Bohemian Rhapsody, the shoddy Freddie Mercury flick, whose status as an Oscar-nominated title still befuddles. Now comes Rocketman, in which Taron Egerton preens and struts in Elton John's greatest hits of wardrobe flamboyance, even at his AA session.
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