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  • LIFE

    A night of surprises, some splendid

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 28/05/2019

    » The odds weren't in Asia's favour, since there were only two films from the continent in competition. But South Korea did it, just like Japan had last year. Bong Joon-ho's Parasite won the Palme d'Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, making it the second year in a row that an Asian film has won world cinema's most coveted prize, after last year's victory of Hirokazu Kore-eda's Shoplifters.

  • LIFE

    Into the strange forest

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 09/09/2016

    » The dirt road is dry and red, scorched by the Isan sun. The headmaster is wary, sardonic, and enervated by the heat. The students, or at least some of them, are bored and ironic ("What do you want to be when you grow up?" a teacher asks. "A bank robber," he deadpans.) Next to this poor state school is a forest, sun-dappled, mysterious and probably haunted. Girls are warned not to go in there because they may never come back out.

  • LIFE

    Asean films receive special showcase

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/07/2018

    » The riches of Southeast Asian stories and images are celebrated at the 4th Bangkok Asean Film Festival, which opens tonight at SF CentralWorld and runs until Sunday. Hosted by the Thai Ministry of Culture, this year's edition marks the 51st anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the regional body whose primary mission is economics and which increasingly pays more heed to cultural promotion.

  • LIFE

    Devil on the doorstep

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 22/02/2018

    » You go into a Lav Diaz's movie as if you were going into a church, or a trench war, or an ultra-marathon: you prepare for the epic length, the brutal transcendentalism and the implacable burden of history that hit you like a blow.

  • LIFE

    Four inspiring tales for the price of none

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 25/10/2017

    » The gift of love, kindness and generosity from the late King Bhumibol lives on in the minds of all Thais. It serves as the inspiration behind the anthology film Khong Kwan (The Gift), comprised of four short films by four Thai directors to be screened free of charge beginning Saturday at cinemas nationwide.

  • LIFE

    Lao cinema hits the jackpot

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 19/05/2017

    » In this Lao film, a nearly-blind woman is visited by ghosts that come to tell her winning lottery numbers. Her young caretaker, a girl from the countryside, takes advantage of her mistress' impairment and cashes in on the phantoms' fortunetelling, scoring win after win. On paper, it all sounds preposterous. Ghosts that give out lotto jackpots? How superstitious! How Southeast Asia! But don't be mistaken: you should go and watch Nong Hak (Dearest Sister), a well-made Lao production that spins the supernatural premise into class critique and psychological horror, ripe with atmospheric suspense. In fact, this is simply a better film in terms of script and technical standards than many Thai flicks released each year.

  • LIFE

    Dissecting a nation

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 19/06/2017

    » Pasuk Phongpaichit's and Chris Baker's house is a verdant abode at the end of a maze in an Ekamai sub-soi. The garden at the back has tall trees and a small, tea-coloured pond. The whole area used to be a swamp, said Baker. The couple, both highly respected scholars in Thai studies, have been living there since 1987, or in their lexicon, "just before the boom" -- the high-flying economic expansion whose seismic shifts forever transformed Thailand in the early 1990s. Had they wanted to purchase the plot slightly later than they actually did -- after the boom had set in -- they wouldn't have been able to. "We came just before the high-rises."

  • LIFE

    EU film fest brings many shades of modern Europe

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 18/05/2017

    » The stories of Europe are told in the 13 films at the European Union Film Festival 2017, which begins tonight at SF CentralWorld.

  • LIFE

    Northern lights

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 23/09/2016

    » With over 400 movies on the slot, the Toronto International Film Festival was a feast and a maze. The latest edition of this North American showcase concluded last Sunday, with Damein Chazelle's La La Land winning the People's Choice Award, a bellwether for the bright Oscar season (Toronto, unlike other major festivals, has no prominent juried competition, instead letting the audiences decide the big winner). The festival is known as a launch pad for Oscar hopefuls as well as independent titles looking for distribution. It also features a strong experimental section that casts its radical net far and wide.

  • LIFE

    Ground reality

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 15/09/2016

    » In The Road To Mandalay, young Myanmar migrants hide in the cargo of a truck trundling past the borders into Thailand. In Bangkok, they look for jobs with the dream that every Myanmar worker dreams: to save money and return home, or better, to go somewhere else where life is kinder. They both find work in a textile factory in the outskirts, the female weaving yarns and the male lifting machines. To them, Thailand is a land of hope, though they'll soon find out, like many Myanmar workers do, that it's also a limbo, a perpetual transit, a non-place where hope can be dashed in seconds and desire can turn into tragedy.

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