Well, I can't resist a chance to re-run this picture of Pen-Ek Ratanaruang wearing a feather boa.
Stumbled across this at KFC Cinema, which picked it up from Asia News Network and the Straits Times.
Pen-Ek is down on his movies and the Thai industry in general. He talks a bit about the delayed Invisible Waves and his being reunited with cinematographer Christopher Doyle.
Pen-Ek Ratanaruang does not have good things to say about the many Thai movies flooding the market, including the ones he makes. All four of his movies, in his opinion, are flawed. Even his most highly acclaimed film, Last Life In The Universe (2003), which picked up several awards including Bangkok International Film Festival's Fipresci prize, is not spared.
"In certain parts, I thought it may be boring so I added some gangsters. Those are some of the things to fool the audience."
The soft-spoken filmmaker, who is dating someone but declines to reveal more, was in [Singapore] for the 5th Asian Film Symposium and Forum on Asian Cinema.
As for the growing Thai film industry, which churned out about 60 movies last year, he says it is becoming more a business enterprise than a creative avenue. A healthy industry should grow so that you have a variety of films.
"In the entire Thai industry, we have enough talent to make only 10 good films, not 60, he notes. If a stupid comedy does well, I'll be seeing 25 more comedies that are completely unfunny."
Time should be taken to develop an idea, he says, which may explain the delay in his latest movie, Invisible Waves, which had its release pushed back from the end of this year to early next year.
"I'm not the type to finish one film and push myself to have another."
It reunites him with Last Life's key people, Tadanobu Asano and Australian
lensman Christopher Doyle. In it, Asano plays a chef who has an affair with his boss' wife, whom he is later forced to kill.
The film is a highly personal one, he says, and doubles as an expression of his own guilt, for the times he has disappointed the people in his life, like his mother, but does not elaborate. That, he points out, is also another form of killing someone.
Thankfully, he has not let anyone down on this project, especially not Doyle, from whom he says he has learnt a lot.
"There is more trust and less pain than the last time. We still have some fighting, but I think Chris trusts me more."
(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)