Friday, January 28, 2005

Something in Rotterdam

The International Film Festival Rotterdam has started and runs until February 6. As usual it boasts a number of Thai films. In fact, this year it has a huge category devoted to Southeast Asian cinema called SEA Eyes that features films from just about every Southeast Asian nation.

The Thai feature films being shown are:
  • The Adventure of Iron Pussy - The gender-bending musical spoof of James Bond films and bad Thai dramas.
  • Beautiful Boxer - A more commercial gender-bender, this is a biopic about kickboxer Nong Toom who underwent a sex change.
  • Birth of the Seanama- A silent experimental film by Sasithorn Ariyawicha.
  • Happy Berry - Documentary about a clothing boutique by Thunska Pansittivorakul.
  • The Overture- Mainstream historical epic about a Royal court musician.
  • Tropical Malady - Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Cannes-winning indie triumph.
There is also a package of short films compiled for a showing called Thai Dusk, Thai Dawn.

Among the shorts is Unseen Bangkok, from Happy Berry director Thunska. It's about a cameraman trying to have a serious conversation with a man who has an erection. Thunska runs a network of independent directors and has a website,

Other films include Malaysia's, The Beautiful Washing Machine, which won the Asean Award at the Bangkok International Film Festival. Another noteworthy film is Perth, from Singapore, which was also in competition at BKKIFF and was one I wish I had seen. An independent film, it focuses on the seamy side of emmigration for Singapore's rarely heralded underclass.

The Bangkok Post's Kong Rithdee joined a seminar on What is Thai Cinema?, featuring filmmakers Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Ekkachai Uekrongtham (Beautiful Boxer), Sasithorn Ariyawicha (Birth of the Seanema) and film critic Chuck Stephens (Peter/Andre from Citizen Dog).

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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