Friday, January 20, 2006

Pen-ek talks Invisible Waves

The Bangkok Post's Kong Rithdee interviews Pen-ek Ratanaruang in today's Real Time section. Click that link while you can.

Pen-ek, of course, is talking about his new film, Invisible Waves, which has him working again with his Last Life in the Universe star Asano Tadanobu, writer Prabda Yoon and cinematographer Christopher Doyle.

The film is set for the competition at the Berlin Film Festival, February 9-19, and will open the Bangkok International Film Festival on February 17, which means Pen-ek and his crew and stars will be adding some serious mileage to their Star Alliance plans, probably flying either Lufthansa or Thai business class back and forth between Berlin and Bangkok to show their faces at gala openings and awards ceremonies.

The film is Pen-ek's darkest yet, Kong and other folks who have seen clips say, which is really saying something, because his previous films, like Last Life or Ruang Talok 69, were pretty dark indeed.

Asano again portrays a Japanese man adrift in Thailand. He's Kyoji, a Macau-based chef who flees to Hong Kong and then Phuket on a mysteriously deserted cruise ship after he's murdered his Thai boss's mistress. On the ship he meets a half-Thai, half-Korean woman (Old Boy's Kang Hye-jeong) and runs into a hitman gets a gun from a mysterious monk (Eric Tsang) sent to whack him.

In the interview, Pen-ek speaks of his movies as "journeys", or "experiments", because, unlike fellow Thai auteurs Wisit Sasanatieng or Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who he says have pretty specific visions, he doesn't really know what he wants.

But I know what I want. I want to see this film. And, hopefully I'll get my chance when it opens in wide release in Thailand in late February.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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