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  • News & article

    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.

  • News & article

    Sex, truth & politics

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 11/09/2017

    » In Uthis Haemamool's new novel, the protagonist's erotic adventure runs parallel to Thailand's political education. A man's carnal quests and sexual outbursts become, in a way, an allegory of a larger social context as the country goes through three coups d'etat and several convulsive protests in the past 25 years. The awakening of the loin as a metaphor for political orgasm, physical penetration as an analogy for abuses of power -- <i>Rang Haeng Pratana</i> (Silhouette Of Desire) is a novel that, Uthis admits, presents him with many risks as a writer.

  • News & article

    Rousing history from its slumber

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 06/01/2017

    » In the documentary Angkor Awakens, director Robert H. Lieberman condenses the past and present of Cambodia into 90 minutes. From the ruins of Angkor Wat to the Khmer Rouge horror and present-day testimonies, the film highlights the key episodes in the country's cultural and political development. And while the broad sweep may seem a little too broad at times, the film pulls a rabbit out of the hat with its extensive interview with strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen, whose reflections on the state of his country as well as his memory of the Khmer Rouge era become a centrepiece of the story.

  • News & article

    Thai independent films going strong

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 12/08/2016

    » History, identity, cavemen, dwarves -- independent Thai films taking on those subjects (and curiosities) are making the rounds at the film festival circuit this season. While the big multiplex release of the year is likely to be Fanday, the first output from GDH 559 (previously GTH) slated for Sept 1, some Thai indie titles are busily injecting necessary edge and provocation to the scene.

  • News & article

    Filming history

    Muse, Kong Rithdee, Published on 01/10/2016

    » Anocha Suwichakornpong's first degree is in jewellery design, but you won't see any gleaming items on her. A small woman with a pixie cut, the film director is more interested in crafting images than making necklaces (or wearing one) -- and that's good for her and even better for us on this side of the screen. On a recent afternoon she showed up to meet us, and the long talk was about film, memory, feminism, frozen ovum, political heartbreak and how the scourge of history has found a way into her latest film.

  • News & article

    Nepalese film scoops top prize at SGIFF

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 06/12/2016

    » A Nepalese drama about political and cultural divides won top prize at the 27th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF). The 12-day event, part of the Singapore Media Festival that ended on Sunday, also saw two Thai feature films in its Silver Screen Competition, though they came home empty-handed.

  • News & article

    A baroque nightmare, upgraded

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 02/11/2018

    » The original 1977 Suspiria was a trashy bloodbath, an Italian giallo at its most lurid and disturbing -- a lair of maggots, murderers and witches. The remake, in cinemas this week, is high-trash Euro art house, more bourgeois and hipsterish -- a baroque nightmare whose danse macabre has been upgraded to fit the faces and forms of Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton. The new film has been directed by Italian Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name, A Bigger Splash, I Am Love) and shot by Thai cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, whose 35mm work here is one of the film's high points.

  • News & article

    A conversation with Prabda

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 23/08/2018

    » A woman returns to her condo room after a morning walk. A young man lies injured outside her door. She helps him inside, but something unexpected happens: He claims that the room is, in fact, his, and the woman is trespassing. She refuses to accept such nonsense. The man refuses to budge and demands her to leave.

  • News & article

    The end is now

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 10/04/2015

    » The final instalment of The Legend Of King Naresuan franchise is a surprisingly lean 100-minute tribute to the ancient king. It feels less overblown than the previous three parts (which each ran over two hours), with more compact storytelling and an unexpected sense of mournful panegyric. After eight years, countless delays, hiccups and political undercurrents, and a combined 800-million-baht receipt, the country's longest-running film project — a clumsy shot at militaristic patriotism that began four months after the 2006 coup d'etat and ends this month, in another post-coup period — is now over. But at least this epilogue finishes with a faint glimmer of grace that has been largely missing over the years.

  • News & article

    Lots to love about The Hateful Eight

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 08/01/2016

    » In the stewpot of Quentin Tarantino's tough-to-chew ingredients: graphic violence, racial animosity (if not racist hyperbole), linguistic provocation (counting the "n" word has become a sort of a game), indulgence in profanity and political incorrectness of all stripe, then in The Hateful Eight, the nearly three-hour-long film is largely set in just one room. Heads smashed, women bashed, scrotum busted, black-man-white-man paranoia in full display -- the director's well-oiled strategy is to couch his exploitation exercise in cynical black comedy and gabby digressions -- those delicious, funny, grandiloquent lectures on history and justice that he lately seems to favour.

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