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  • News & article

    Fragments of the region, in short

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 27/11/2015

    » On Jan 2005, the Asian Film Archive (AFA) was founded by a group of film lovers and archivists in Singapore. From then on it has worked to preserve, restore, collect and promote the heritage of Asian cinema, as well as co-operate with other preservation agencies and archives to encourage research and critical appreciation of Asian films.

  • News & article

    The Shrine's history: more than four faces

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 19/08/2015

    » Unperturbed, the four-faced Brahma statue still stares out at the Ratchaprasong intersection, the scene of Bangkok's worst bomb attack in recent memory. One of the most popular tourist spots in the capital has become a site of terror and tragedy and as the dust begins to settle, it's worth taking a look at the long and sometimes tortuous history of the shrine. This history is influenced as much by the city's modernisation and superstition as it is by its politics and moments of insanity.

  • News & article

    Asean on screen

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

    » When was the last time you saw a Malaysian film? An Indonesian? A Vietnamese? The odds are even lower for a Myanmar or a Bruneian. As the Asean banner is being splashed across the region, with the emphasis on the economic free-flow, the cultural exchange among Southeast Asians remains a glaring deficit. Cinema, perhaps the most accessible form of cultural expression, is no exception.

  • News & article

    A graceful yet shallow opening

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/01/2015

    » Australian actresses seem to like playing European royals, but often make a hash of it. Last year it was Naomi Watts as Princess Diana, in a supposedly tragic biopic that unfortunately inspired jokes and posthumous dread. This week in the sunny Riviera, merely miles away from the picturesque and sometimes boring Monaco, we’ve had Nicole Kidman in the title role in Grace Of Monaco, the curtain-raiser of the 67th Cannes Film Festival. It’s a film that continues the tradition that, as critics and insiders speak of Cannes as the world’s most important movie gathering, the maxim almost always excludes the opening film.

  • News & article

    Diamond is the future

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/01/2015

    » The closest thing to Thailand in Cannes this year is, once again, Cambodia. Last year, Rithy Panh arrived at the festival with moving Khmer Rouge documentary The Missing Picture, which went on to win the Un Certain Regard prize and be nominated for an Oscar. This year, at the sidebar Directors’ Fortnight section, Paris-based Davy Chou presents his 21-minute film Cambodia 2099, a rapt, fluid record of the dreams-in-construction that is present-day Phnom Penh.

  • News & article

    Sin and the art of redemptive violence

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/01/2015

    » Sitting in the courtyard of the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke talks about violence _ the violence in his new movie that is riding a wave of critical favour at the world's biggest film festival, and the real violence back in his home country where the unstoppable motor of progress has brought on many changes, good and otherwise.

  • News & article

    Missing Picture, Berkeley premiere at Salaya Doc

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/01/2015

    » It’s funny and sad that some Thai academics are still embroiled in a debate about whether documentary film is film. Funny, because it is. Sad, because Cambodia, whose film industry and film schools are struggling hard to regain their cultural significance, has a documentary film that won a prize in Cannes and was nominated for the latest Oscars — in the foreign language category where it competed with four other fiction films. That film, The Missing Picture, will finally have a Thailand premier at the “4th Salaya International Documentary Film Festival”, a cine-event that has consistently gained ground and reinforced the importance of documentary filmmaking as art and as a social statement.

  • News & article

    Rejuvenated cine-fest makes comeback

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/01/2015

    » After a two-year absence, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) has returned with renewed commitment. It has been a lively, substantial week of films, talks, workshops, masterclasses and star presence, as Ken Kwek's black comedy Unlucky Plaza opened the cine-fest on Dec 4, before John Woo and Zhang Ziyi breezed into town with their new film, the World War II epic The Crossing. Then Juliette Binoche, all smiling despite the tropical heat, showed up to present Clouds Of Sils Maria, a touching drama about an ageing actress. Meanwhile, Egyptian director Ahmed Abdulla was around from the beginning as the festival's "Filmmaker in Focus".

  • News & article

    With Grace, Cannes Film Festival opens tonight

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/01/2015

    » From the woes of Princess Grace to weird limo sex, from a Saint Laurent biopic to a 3D envelope-pusher, the 67th Cannes Film Festival rolls out its enviably red carpet tonight in an annual cinema bash that sees the world’s brand-name directors unveiling their latest offerings. The Nicole Kidman-starring Grace Of Monaco, by director Olivier Dahan (La Vie En Rose), will open the 10-day festival to the usual surfeit of glitz, before the gladiatorial ring of European-heavy filmmakers take turns to gauge the pulse of cinema art through their fine (and not so fine) movies.

  • News & article

    The space in the ocean

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 16/01/2015

    » In the new Thai film Tee Wang Rawang Mahasamut (The Isthmus), a Thai girl develops a strange malady after her maid from Myanmar died. She begins to speak Burmese, despite having no knowledge of the language before. And thus begins the metaphysical blurring of mental and geographical boundaries, as the girl and her mother take a road trip to Ranong, the coastal border town populated by migrant labourers from Myanmar.

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