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» Immediately after the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Oct 13 last year, a team of Fine Arts Department architectural specialists began their work to design the royal crematorium. Kokiart Thongphud -- known as the trusted right-hand man of the late architect Arwut Ngernchuklin, who designed several previous royal crematoriums -- knew that the responsibility would fall on his shoulders. That night his brain began to whirl, his hands skilfully moving the pencil, rulers and paper, his eyes focusing on the details.
» This is the film you simply have to see this weekend. Uruphong Raksasad's Pleng Khong Kao (The Songs Of Rice) is a lyrical poetry of image and sound, as beautiful as 19th-century pastoral paintings and as evocative as murmured hymns. In a compact 75 minutes, we see muddied beasts stomping the paddies and whirring tractors aglow with nocturnal eyes; we hear the chanting for the Rice Goddess and rhythmic windpipe numbers for the harvest dance. We even marvel, unlikely as it seems, at a zonk-out sci-fi rendition of a northeastern rocket festival, ablaze with fire and sparks and songs and joy.
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