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  • LIFESTYLE

    In search of big ideas

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 18/01/2018

    » BangkokEdge Festival, billed as an "idea festival", returns to its old quarters of Bangkok this weekend. Spearheaded by MR Narisa Chakrabongse, the two-day event is a vibrant smorgasbord of literature, music, art, history and politics, anchored in the charming venues of Museum Siam, Chakrabongse Villas and Rajini School. There will be talks -- plenty of panels and discussions, on subjects ranging from "What Makes The Chao Phraya A World Monument?" to "The Power Of Slam Poetry", from "Populism, Religion and Neo-Nationalism In The 21st Century" to "Years Of Living Dangerously: A Woman's Take On War". The list of participants is starry, including writers, journalists, poets, historians and artists, Thai and international. Come evening, the lawn of Museum Siam will play host to film screenings (Pop Aye on Saturday and Citizen Dog on Sunday), as well as concerts by Hugo, Yena, Rasmee Isan Soul and more.

  • LIFESTYLE

    On unhappy women and clumsy hitmen

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 19/01/2018

    » Pen-ek Ratanaruang's movies -- eight of them in the past 20 years and the ninth slated for a Feb 1 release -- are often inhabited by unhappy women and clumsy hitmen. Unhappy, yet those women are neither resigned nor passive. Clumsy, yet those hitmen have aspirations, dreams and worries like people in other respectable professions. A genre geek, Pen-ek likes crime thrillers, but one of Thailand's best-known directors is also a diligent investigator of human relationships and man-woman dynamics, their eccentric and mysterious rapport and misunderstandings that determine the course of the world, and of cinema.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Report from the far South

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 15/01/2018

    » The first issue of The Melayu Review has the clean sophistication of a respectable literary journal. The layout is unfussy, the photographs black-and-white, and the text in Thai, in shipshape blocks. An editor's note on the first page quotes Dostoyevsky: "But how could you live and have no story to tell?"

  • LIFESTYLE

    Oldman shines bright in Darkest Hour

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 12/01/2018

    » Jowly, chubby, blustery, cinema-ready, Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill is an exercise in How to Win the Golden Globes and Maybe the Oscar. Which aspiring actor wouldn't want to become Churchill at least once, to act out that avuncular theatricality and grandiose temper, to assume that oratory bombast and majestic eloquence? They say you have to play a madman or a psychopath to get a shot at a best actor prize. Now we should add British prime minister into the list -- just ask Meryl Streep and now Oldman.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The many faces of France

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 12/01/2018

    » At the simplest level Agnes Varda's and JR's Visages Villages is a documentary film about photography and art-making. Going slightly deeper, as the title suggests, it's a film about faces and places, about people and their villages -- rural communities, farmland, factories and towns in the unglamorous corners of France. And yet at its most moving, most humanist moments, this film by an 89-year-old filmmaker and a 33-year-old street artist is about the heartbreaking ephemerality of art, about mortality, memory and the transient nature of everything, above all of life itself.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Scala's screening of Cleopatra harks back to a bygone era

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 12/01/2018

    » As news of the threatened demolition of the Scala is still hanging, there's a good reason to visit the cinema this Sunday.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Edward Yang classic headlines Taiwan Film Festival In Bangkok

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 11/01/2018

    » Eight films will be shown at the Taiwan Film Festival In Bangkok 2018, which runs from Jan 17-23 at Quartier Cineart, EmQuartier. Besides a selection of new films, cinema lovers will certainly jam the screening of the 1991 film A Brighter Summer Day, a classic from the late Edward Yang and definitely one of the best Chinese-language films ever made.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Courting controversy

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 13/01/2016

    » When creativity crosses the line into insensitivity, there's usually a pattern of uproar, apology and cancellation. In the past many years, there's been a number of notorious cases of insensitive creativity in Thai commercials, series, films and visual representations that have made international headlines. The offensive issues often involve race, skin colour, ethnicity and historical interpretation. There are many more that never made the front page, for example the casual mockery of minorities and genders that is normalised by the audience, such as jokes on the accents of hilltribe people that often appear in movies and TV series.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Canvassing style

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 01/03/2013

    » Solomonmini Bag is a line from a small designer/seamster/entrepreneur who transforms real US Mail canvas bags _ those with drawstrings around metal loops at the top used by the postal service _ into cool totes in various colours. Ordering the canvas fabric from the States, Saner Lohvitee runs a one-man operation from his home studio: he cuts, sews and designs each bag, one by one, finishing them by attaching leather straps. The metal loops are still there, though for decorative rather than functional purposes.

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