Friday, August 18, 2006

Bhandit the elder

There are at least two directors named Bhandit (a given name, not a family name) who are active in the Thai film industry. One is Bhandit Thongdee, director of Mercury Man. The other is Bhandit Rittakol, a veteran filmmaker whose efforts include Thai revolutionary biopic The Moonhunter and the supernatural jungle yarn, Tigress of King River.

He's been in ill health the past few years, Soopsip in The Nation reported earlier this week. But he was looking fit at the recent screening of his 1987 film Duay Klao (The Seed), which has been remastered and will be screened nationwide starting September 9. The film, which features His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej's development projects, was screened earlier at the Bangkok International Film Festival, and the remastering and wider release is in celebration of the world's longest serving monarch's 60 years on the throne.

Bhandit's most recent film was the swashbuckler earlier this year, The Magnificent Five, which I didn't see and apparently no one else did either.

He's also working on another script. "What else I can do? Run a noodle shop?" the director was quoted as saying in Soopsip. "I have to work. I don't have much time because a director of my age is going to be out of fashion soon."

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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