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  • LIFESTYLE

    Once upon a time on the French Riviera

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 14/05/2019

    » The spectacle ahead will -- hopefully (cinema sages are an optimistic bunch) -- be spectacular. The 72nd Cannes Film Festival opens tonight and there are all manner of curiosities to look forward to: an army of hipster zombies; Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate; Korean parasites; a Maradona doc; an Elton John biopic; Islamic extremism in Belgium; British miserabilism (Brexit and other demons); and, of course, Elle Fanning on the red carpet for 11 days straight, performing jury duty at the world's most reported, most hyped and most influential film festival.

  • OPINION

    Thai TV not yet destined for global love

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 24/03/2018

    » The soap series Bupphaesannivas (Love Destiny) is all the rage these days in Thailand. I enjoy some parts of it, especially one memorable episode a few weeks back when the female lead, a beautiful vixen in 17th century Ayutthaya, displays her vituperative talent by shouting at her servant, "Shut up or I'll smack your mouth with my piss pot." Neither did we see the piss nor the pot, but we get the picture. There's even a YouTube clip of that.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Soulful, sorrowful, tragic

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 28/08/2015

    » Amy is a biographical documentary of the singer Amy Winehouse, but it is also a horror film. Watching it is like watching a ghost, a confused, tortured ghost of a woman who has boundless talent in singing and none in living. As we watch Amy Winehouse -- in home video footage, concert recordings, TV interviews, etc -- it hits us that we're watching her being killed slowly at every passing minute; killed by herself, her addiction, and by the cruel ecosystem of the fame industry that feeds first on her gift then more voraciously on her downfall. This is one of the best documentary films this year, and in some parts it's also one of the hardest to watch.

  • NEWS

    All that glitters

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 17/08/2018

    » The director as a priest, the camera a confessional box, and the idols worthy of worship become teary girls choked by emotion.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Sometimes transcendental, always relevant

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 25/05/2018

    » The American films were on short supply this year at Cannes -- which in turn deprived the assembly line of red carpet material -- but nobody seemed to mind that except, well, some American media and fashion bloggers. That superfluous caveat aside, the recently wrapped 71st Cannes Film Festival was nearly unanimously praised as one of the best editions in recent memory, with a string of good, sometimes very good, titles playing night after night -- and even the bad films weren't so offensively bad, as was often the case. In the midst of soul-searching following the question of relevance (the world wants Avengers), the rise of streaming (the world watches films on phones), the decline of arthouse popularity, Cannes insists on the sacredness of cinema, on the future of the art, and this year it paid off solidly.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Hear her roar!

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 12/04/2018

    » Katy Perry, pixie-haired and ever ebullient, roared through her second appearance in Bangkok on Tuesday night with professionalism, humour and ease. This pop-spectacle is as much a visual experience as it is an aural one -- in fact, the visual overwhelmed our attention for the most parts of the 120-minute gig. The stage -- and wardrobe -- dripped with red at one point, shimmered with silver at another, and Perry's team deployed a full arsenal of wacky props, girlish delight and zany sight gags. We even had a fart joke at one point, perhaps the first I ever heard live on the stage from Impact Arena. Perry's appeal cuts a broad swathe across the demographic, and we had a rainbow of humanity thronging the hall: office types, teenagers, party animals, hipsters, Cosplay queens, the LGBT camp, celebrities, people who think they're celebrities, girls in candy-coloured wigs, parents and children -- I mean, first-graders and stuff, lots of them in fact, arriving in cheerful anticipation and looking tired when the proceedings advanced past 11pm. In all, it looked like a cross section between the crowd at a Madonna gig and Disney On Ice. Such is the strange pull of Perry.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Luang Prabang film fest moves forward

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 14/12/2017

    » There was the crowd, the spontaneous chaos, and the outdoor screening that has become a hallmark of the Luang Prabang Film Festival. Its eighth edition ending last night, the film festival in a town without cinemas has grown into an annual highlight every December, with its eyes firmly fixed on Southeast Asian titles and an attempt to expand its role and relevance to regional audience and filmmakers.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Shooting star

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 11/12/2017

    » In Europe, the angle at which sunlight hits Earth is lower than in Thailand, says Sayombhu Mukdeeprom. In Europe, he explains, the air also has less humidity, meaning the suffusion of colour in the light is more intense.

  • LIFESTYLE

    For the days that remain

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 17/11/2017

    » Challenging taboos, one of Thailand's most popular directors returns with a film that looks death in the eye

  • LIFESTYLE

    Human traffic

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 03/11/2017

    » Edmund Yeo started writing the film Aqerat before the word "Rohingya" would make world news headlines -- entirely for a distressing reason. Now the Malaysian film, which had its premiere in the main competition of the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival this week, has proved prescient as over 500,000 of Myanmar's Rohingya minority have fled violence for Bangladesh in one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in years.

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