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  • LIFESTYLE

    The skin I live in

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 11/01/2019

    » The body is a temple. But it can also be a torture chamber, from which escape, while possible, is soul-crushing. Lukas Dhont's Girl is an emphatic, moving story about Lara (Victor Polster), a Belgian trans teen at an elite ballet school who's going through male-to-female gender reassignment. That she has to contend with her own hormones and pre-assigned biological specifics, as well as the fact that her chosen career mandates extreme rigour in how the body should bend and behave, Lara's fight is nothing short of heroic. And in that vein, the film is as well.

  • OPINION

    Hanuman help us from a 'happy' ogre

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 24/09/2016

    » The crusader has returned to the gate, ready to crush the infidels. I thought the new buzzword was "Thailand 4.0", whatever that means, and yet this week we're still arguing if a portrayal of a mythical ogre in a music video is blasphemy, a transgression against the high culture of Siam, the culture that stares down from a pedestal, that exists like a taxidermied animal on the altar of an abandoned temple.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Keeping it real

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 11/10/2018

    » Boonsong Nakphoo keeps making movies, regardless of the obstacles. A champion of small people and small stories, he has lamented the difficulties of surviving in the movie business for years and yet he keeps churning out film after film, usually on a meagre budget. His latest output is now in cinemas: Nane Kradod Kampaeng (The Wall) recounts his own early struggle to make it as a filmmaker.

  • LIFESTYLE

    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

    Thai film to retell cave rescue drama

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 10/09/2018

    » A Thai film retelling the story of the Tham Luang cave operation will start filming in November, said its director and producer.

  • LIFESTYLE

    House RCA retrospective honours Japanese Palme d'Or winner

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 27/07/2018

    » Hirokazu Kore-eda's Shoplifters will open in Thailand on Aug 2, two months after the film won the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival. Among modern Japanese filmmakers, Kore-eda has amassed the strongest following in Thailand, largely due to the fortunate fact that most of his films -- not all, mind you -- have opened commercially here since 2004. To pave the mood for Shoplifters, a gem of a family drama that finally brought the 56-year-old director one of the highest honours in international cinema, the Thai distribution Mongkol Major brings back seven films by the master in a Kore-eda Retrospective programme at House RCA, starting today.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Really, who gets to walk the red carpet?

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

    » This is the question I've been asked several times -- not because I'm a veteran of the fabled Cannes red carpet (it's long, intimidating and tedious, plus I'll never invest in a tuxedo that would make me look like a waiter anyway), but because I've been a ringside witness to the said red carpet in the past 16 years of my visiting the festival. All the thousands of photographs of stars, models, actors -- beautiful people of planet Earth, or planet Cinema -- preening down the tapis rouge at Cannes have become even more famous, more recognisable, more awe-inspiring than most of the films shown here. The aura of glamour, fame and radiance actually makes a lot of people think of Cannes as the red carpet, and not the films it shows or its coveted top prize, the Palme d'Or.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Time is not on our side

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 25/01/2018

    » This is a note on an important Thai film that is unlikely to be shown in Thailand. Such is the fate of home-grown cinema in a time of disease, the time of a black hole.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The inevitability of farewell

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 16/02/2018

    » A truly remarkable Thai film, Malila: The Farewell Flower takes big risks and makes it seem the most natural thing in the world.

  • LIFESTYLE

    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.

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