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  • LIFESTYLE

    Finding Freedom

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 22/06/2012

    » Eighty years ago, on June 24, 1932, the People's Party seized power and transformed Siam from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional democracy. A film crew recorded the historic revolution of that day on 35mm film, and the "movie" went on tour around Bangkok cinemas.

  • LIFESTYLE

    B-movie goes big

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 12/07/2013

    » Brace yourself, otaku boys across the globe, Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim is the most expensive B-movie ever! And that's a big, big compliment in the season of sterile blockbusters, for this is an immensely imaginative, wildly exhilarating ride through kaiju geekery, Godzilla roars, apocalyptic frenzy and robot fetishism. In short, an East Asian monster flick begotten from the unlikely womb of a Mexican director by way of Hollywood surrogates. Move over Marvel heroes and Superbore, Pacific Rim is the most shamelessly entertaining summer movie we've seen so far this year.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The end is now

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 10/04/2015

    » The final instalment of The Legend Of King Naresuan franchise is a surprisingly lean 100-minute tribute to the ancient king. It feels less overblown than the previous three parts (which each ran over two hours), with more compact storytelling and an unexpected sense of mournful panegyric. After eight years, countless delays, hiccups and political undercurrents, and a combined 800-million-baht receipt, the country's longest-running film project — a clumsy shot at militaristic patriotism that began four months after the 2006 coup d'etat and ends this month, in another post-coup period — is now over. But at least this epilogue finishes with a faint glimmer of grace that has been largely missing over the years.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Roll credits

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 17/04/2015

    » On April 2, the oldest active filmmaker in the world died. Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, 107, began his career in the silent film era in the 1930s, took a pause to tend his vineyards during the mid-century dictatorship, and had a resurgence in the 1980s. He kept making films — at least one a year since the 1990s — until 2014. The man was almost as old as cinema itself when he passed away.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Art under stress

    Life, Published on 02/12/2015

    » Life's critics take a look at how artists in different fields reflected upon Thailand's political situation over the past 18 months — or why they chose not to.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Sleep, dreams, splendour

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

    » In Apichatpong Weerasethakul's new film, the ghosts are awake and the people are asleep. A war is being fought, but that war is invisible. Above the ground, soldiers are sleeping. Underneath, an ancient graveyard hums. At the centre of it all is a middle-aged lady, her leg damaged, her dreams interrupted, her memory luminous. She stares into the past, or maybe the future, and what she glimpses, in that limbo between sleep and life, is a cemetery of splendour.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Stolen moments

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

    » In Kongdej Jaturanrasmee's new film Snap, a wedding photographer returns to his hometown in Chantaburi with a group of high school friends. In that picturesque small town, Boy (Tony Rakkaen) takes happy prenuptial pictures of his old flame Phueng (Waruntorn Paonil), who's marrying a high-ranking soldier. That word, "soldier", carries a weight so leaden here: Snap is a soulful romance about a man searching for lost time, but the film is contextualised as a personal aftermath of the larger social tremors, namely the military coups d'etat of 2006 and 2014.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Colonia misses mark

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 22/04/2016

    » Chile, 1973. General Augusto Pinochet stages a coup against the democratically elected Salvadore Allende and rounds up radicals, opponents, students and left-wing activists. That's the story we all know. In the film Colonia, German director Florian Gallenberger turns our attention to a sidebar -- the rise of Pinochet mirrored by the dark faux-Christian cult led by an ex-Nazi, headquartered in a fenced-off commune in a rural setting and specialising in brainwashing young people into mindless zombies. The dictatorship of the state fuels the dictatorship of the mind, and vice versa. It should have been a good story, only that, as told here, it is not.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Thai independent films going strong

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 12/08/2016

    » History, identity, cavemen, dwarves -- independent Thai films taking on those subjects (and curiosities) are making the rounds at the film festival circuit this season. While the big multiplex release of the year is likely to be Fanday, the first output from GDH 559 (previously GTH) slated for Sept 1, some Thai indie titles are busily injecting necessary edge and provocation to the scene.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Filming history

    Muse, Kong Rithdee, Published on 01/10/2016

    » Anocha Suwichakornpong's first degree is in jewellery design, but you won't see any gleaming items on her. A small woman with a pixie cut, the film director is more interested in crafting images than making necklaces (or wearing one) -- and that's good for her and even better for us on this side of the screen. On a recent afternoon she showed up to meet us, and the long talk was about film, memory, feminism, frozen ovum, political heartbreak and how the scourge of history has found a way into her latest film.

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