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  • News & article

    A hint of political maturation

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 25/09/2018

    » The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre has been put under bureaucratic pressure, its budget cut and its relations with Bangkok Metropolitan Authority strained. One way to support this hub of contemporary art in downtown Bangkok is simple: visit the place, admire the art and the events, and show that the city needs a modern, open-minded art and culture venue unshackled by the old guard.

  • News & article

    Finding salvation for the South

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 20/02/2017

    » When Muhammad Anwar bin Ismael Hajiteh was released on Jan 7 on a royal pardon, activists and civic groups in the deep South greeted the news with jubilation.

  • News & article

    Through the prism of history

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/10/2019

    » The book's title is printed on its spine: Prism Of Photography: Dispersion Of Knowledge And Memories Of The 6 October Massacre. Thereafter, from the first page on, we have only photographs with no captions.

  • News & article

    Saint and sensibility

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 16/05/2019

    » A Christian fable or a Marxist allegory? A magical-realist myth or a political cry against neoliberalism (or feudalism, which produces the same catastrophe anyway)?

  • News & article

    Cinema Politico

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 14/12/2018

    » The premiere of the social-commentary film Ten Years Thailand on Tuesday night saw a number of political celebrities in the vaulted foyer of the Scala, brushing elbows with journalists, film professionals and gawking onlookers. Sulak Sivaraksa was there, as well as historian Charnvit Kasetsiri, Thongthong Chandrangsu and several political-science scholars. Big names from political parties showed up: Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit from Future Forward, Parit Ratanakulserirengrit from the Democrats, Chatchat Sitthiphun and Wattana Muangsuk from Pheu Thai, Sombat Boon-ngamanong from Krian Party. Invitations had been sent out to all parties, according to the film producers, but no one from Palang Pracharat and Bhumjaithai attended the screening.

  • News & article

    Memories buried in soil

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 19/07/2019

    » Memories and war, illusory borders and invisible scars: These themes are resonant in two documentary films shown late last month at the SAC Film Festival (hosted by the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre). In the Thai documentary Din Rai Dan (Soil Without Land), a Tai Yai man in Shan state talks about his life as a waiter in Bangkok and as a soldier in his ethnic army. In the Vietnamese film The Future Cries Beneath Our Soil, a group of men in a rural village bear the indelible wounds of the Vietnam War, still stinging after 40 years.

  • 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

    Two grainy fists for resurrection

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/10/2018

    » Shot mostly in Thai prison, with a fair number of ex-cons as extras, A Prayer Before Dawn dives headfirst into the unfiltered squalor of prison life -- not the sociological or political dimension of state incarceration, but the physical, uncooked-meat kind of life in jail, particularly the Thai jail.

  • News & article

    The French Connection

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 09/05/2018

    » In the opening episode of Ten Years Thailand, a group of soldiers arrives at an art gallery to inspect a potentially subversive artwork. What constitutes a kernel of subversion, however, is hard to lay a finger on. So the story shifts: one of the soldiers begins to chat up a pretty maid, and as the Sun is setting the two of them look out from the gallery to the horizon full of shadows. Maybe of hope.

  • News & article

    Truth and lies

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 11/05/2018

    » By some description, this is one of the most political editions of Cannes Film Festival in recent memory, both on screen and off. After three days, the brouhaha over #MeToo (the festival has a dedicated hotline for sexual harassment report, which begs the question: why here and now?), the comment by Jury President Cate Blanchett on the small percentage of female filmmakers in the programme, and the fact that two of the directors whose films are in the competition are under house arrest in their respective countries (Iran and Russia) -- all of this cast a mixed shadow over the 71st edition of the world's largest film festival that still boasts influence and glamour while struggling to maintain its relevance.

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