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  • LIFESTYLE

    A note on Thailand Biennale

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 02/01/2019

    » One recent morning at Nopphrat Thara beach, the high tide flooded the lower part of a strange, interwoven structure. Rising from the blue water of the bay, it looked like an island, a new, unmapped island of Krabi visible from this popular spot where tourists visit and board tour boats to outlying islands.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Diving into the cave

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 09/01/2019

    » Of all the films scheduled to come out in 2019, one will return Thailand to the headlines. Various projects based on last year's dramatic rescue of the 12 Wild Boars footballers and their coach have been touted, and now a Thai film has completed principle photography and is going through post-production.

  • 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

    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

    The outspoken monk

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 24/05/2017

    » At the start The Venerable W., we see the firebrand Myanmar monk Ashin Wirathu speaking to the camera, calmly and casually. He talks about the African catfish, a creature that "grows fast, breeds a lot and is violent". The punchline is not totally unpredictable: "Muslims are like that."

  • LIFESTYLE

    To Myanmar with love

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/11/2016

    » The big problem about shooting a film in Myanmar, says Thai filmmaker Chartchai Ketnust, was not obtaining permission. It was the mob of onlookers trying to get a peek of the stars.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Bowie, in film

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 15/01/2016

    » A shape-shifter on stage, David Bowie naturally found a new home in acting. Over the past 40 years, the late performer starred in many films -- though acting seemed more like another one of his experimental projects -- working with top directors such as Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan and the late Tony Scott, and playing roles from vampire and wizard, to alien and Andy Warhol (in Basquiat, a biopic of the artist by Julian Schnabel). It would be impossible to list them all, so here are my five picks on Bowie's screen performances.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Nippon through film

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 30/01/2015

    » From the emotional quicksand of Hokkaido men to a display of high school angst and quirks, the Japanese Film Festival 2015 brings the taste of cinematic Japan to town. The 10-day festival begins tonight and continues until Feb 8 at Paragon Cineplex. The selection is rich, and as new Japanese movies have rarely gotten regular releases in Thai cineplex these days, the festival is a mini goldmine for audiences.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Documenting Southeast Asian diversity

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 20/03/2015

    » Now in its fifth edition, Salaya International Documentary Film Festival brings you real-world immediacy and reflection that covers a wide gamut of subjects — from the aftermath of the communist purge in 1960s Indonesia to the housing woes in Singapore, from the ferry tragedy in Korea to a grand tour of the National Gallery in London. The festival (better known as Salaya Doc) begins tomorrow and runs until Mar 28 at the Film Archive in Salaya and the auditorium of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre in Pathumwan (BACC). Admission is free.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Excellent exposure

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 28/11/2014

    » At first, no one could imagine how a town without a cinema would host a film festival. Movies need screens, but where's the screen? And we're not just talking about any town — it's Luang Prabang, the enchanting Unesco World Heritage site by the Mekong, the town known better for its rapt serenity and majestic temples than for its role as a movie junction.

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