The Coffin, the new film from Beautiful Boxer and Pleasure Factory director Ekachai Uekrongtham, will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Market, and ahead of that, local production company TIFA has unearthed a few more stills from the film.
The story is about a young Thai man who tries to change his bad luck by lying in a coffin. It stars Shutter leading man Ananda Everingham and Karen Mok (So Close), with a Pan-Asian supporting cast that includes Art of the Devil's Napakpapha Nakprasitte, Andrew Lin and newcomer Japanese actress Aki Shibuya.
In development since around 2005, The Coffin is a co-production between Thailand's Live Inc. and NGR, Hong Kong's Global Entertainment Group and Singapore's Scorpio East Pictures, The Coffin also received financial assistance from the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival of Rotterdam. Based on rituals that actually occur in Thailand, the film was shot in Bangkok and five other provinces. Locations include a 100-year-old Buddhist temple, an ancient meditation cave, actual cemeteries and inside active crematorium chambers, according to a press release from TIFA.
Here's more from the press release:
Ekachai stumbled upon the idea for his new film after hearing about the mass funeral for the living where thousands turned up at a North Eastern temple in Thailand to lie in coffins and go through the ritual.
Referred to in Thailand as "Non Loeng Sadorcro" which literally means Lie in Coffin, Rid of Bad Luck, the ritual involves participants lying in coffins while a group of monks perform death rites as if the participants are already dead. This is then followed by a chant of a new life.
Many participants had said they felt as if they were reborn after the ritual with bad karma buried behind them. But this death rite for the living is not without its detractors. Some brand it as an occult practice while others consider it a bad omen to lie in a coffin when one is still alive.
"Personally, I find the ritual frightening yet intriguing", says Ekachai. "Can one really cheat death by confronting it? Can bad karma actually be reversed or gotten rid of by lying in a coffin?"
Adds Ekachai, "The ritual became fodder for a story which deals with our fear of death – our own as well as the death of people we love."