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    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.


    A date with Travis Bickle

    Life, Published on 12/07/2018

    » 'He hates New York with a Biblical fury; it gives off the stench of Hell, and its filth and smut obsess him."


    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.


    Let the Star Wars hype begin

    Life, Kanin Srimaneekulroj, Published on 14/12/2017

    » December is the month of Christmas -- and something else too -- Star Wars.


    Back to school with American Vandal

    Life, Kanin Srimaneekulroj, Published on 10/11/2017

    » When I first came across American Vandal -- the mockumentary series recently released on Netflix -- my first impression of the show was that it felt like an over-elaborate penis joke.


    Method in the madness

    Life, Kanin Srimaneekulroj, Published on 10/11/2017

    » Whether it be Hannibal Lector, Norman Bates or even the Joker, psychopaths have long been some of the most fascinating characters in all of pop culture. As terrifying as they supposedly are, there is also a mystique to their madness, one that exists on the cusp of comprehensibility, divided only by that thin, elusive border we call sanity or morality or compassion.


    All fun and games

    Life, Kanin Srimaneekulroj, Published on 22/09/2017

    » To be fair, Kingsman: The Golden Circle -- the sequel to 2015's cheeky spy-parody Kingsman: The Secret Service -- manages to deliver on almost everything that made its original a surprise hit. The exaggerated sense of style, zany spy-gadgets and over-the-top fight choreography make their way from the first film, bolstered by an extended all-star cast that includes Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and Pedro Pascal.


    Life, love, liberation

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 15/09/2017

    » In the sole Thai film showing at Toronto International Film Festival this week, a soap opera star stuck in a loveless marriage tangles with an eccentric hitman and a powerful cult. Samui Song is the latest feature film by Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang, who's fashioned a crime thriller that also plays as a critique of many things: patriarchal oppression, faux-Buddhism, public healthcare and the act of cinema-making itself.


    Smuggling Thai culture by film

    Life, Karnjana Karnjanatawe, Published on 23/06/2017

    » A group of Chinese fans of Thai actress Davika Hoorne shouted her nickname -- "Mai! Mai!" -- as she slowly walked out from the gate at the arrivals hall of Shanghai International Airport. They had prepared bouquets of colourful flowers and a large bunch of 999 red roses for the admired star of Phi Mak Phrakanong and 20 Mai U-Turn Wai Huai Jai Return (Suddenly Twenty).


    Chasing the American dream

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 03/02/2017

    » They're brashly young, scantily clad, sexed up boys and girls, and they smoke and drink and party hard all night to throbbing rap music and EDM before hitting the road, knocking on the doors that are opened by lonely housewives of the American Midwest. They're a magazine sales crew, the wandering troop that haunts highways, truck stops and roadside motels. They're at once very literal and curiously sensual, the image of the American dream, ever out of reach, soul-crushing and rescued only by love (and perhaps, God help us, by Shia LaBeouf).

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