Saturday, October 4, 2008
Coming Soon, Queens, Naga, Soul's Code at AFM
The anticipated GMM Tai Hub horror Coming Soon, initially scheduled for an October 30th wide release in Thailand, is coming a bit later in order to make its world premiere on November 7 at the American Film Market in Santa Monica.
Also at AFM will be screenings of In the Shadow of the Naga, Queens of Langkasuka, Burn and Soul's Code.
Coming Soon (โปรแกรมหน้า...วิญญาณอาฆาต) is the directorial debut by Sopon Sukdapisit, the co-writer of both Shutter and Alone with directors Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom. The synopsis, which is a bunch of questions about the conventions of horror movies and what you find scary, points to a blurring of reality and what is seen on film. Folks are eager to see what Sopon can do, and with the steady hand of producer Yongyoot Thongkongtoon behind him, he's going to do just fine, I expect. Chantavit Dhanasevi/Thanasevee from Hormones stars. The movie is due to open in Thailand on November 13. Update: 24 Frames per Second links to the trailer at YouTube.
Five Star Production will be at AFM repping Soul's Code, a CSI-crime thriller and ghost story. The movie was received with shrugs in Thailand earlier this year. Rose Media released it on English-subtitled DVD, which is generally not a very promising sign that the movie is expected to do much internationally. Still, Five Star has found there's life in Soul's Code, selling it on to markets in Latin America, and given that there's still a healthy appetite for anything that's Asian and horror, Soul's Code could find a buyer in North America. The star is M.L. Nattakorn Devakula, a blueblooded television newscaster, newspaper columnist, singer and politician who made an abortive run for governor of Bangkok. Soul's Code screens at AFM on November 7.
Sahamongkol Film International will be in Santa Monica with a full slate of In the Shadow of the Naga, Queens of Langkasuka and Burn.
The Buddhist crime-thriller In the Shadow of the Naga recently premiered at Toronto to little fanfare. Because the "monks-with-guns" movie challenges taboos, it hasn't been shown in Thailand yet, and maybe will never be. I hope to see it picked up for distribution. It's showing at AFM on November 9 and 11.
Queens of Langkasuka, now being heavily promoted for its October 23 wide release in Thailand, makes its North American premiere at AFM, screening on November 10 and 11. I've had high hopes for Nonzee Nimibutr's historical action-fantasy, but it has been poorly received at screenings in the Cannes Film Market and at Venice. It made a big splash in its Asian premiere at the Bangkok International Film Festival last week -- I didn't see it, okay? -- but I heard some kind words about the action and Dan Chupong. So maybe there's hope for it at AFM, if they push the action angle.
The slick thriller Burn might attract some buyers with its premise involving a conspiracy that's causing an outbreak of spontaneous human combustion. It didn't really catch fire with Bangkok audiences, though. Burn makes its North American premiere at AFM on November 9.
Also screening at AFM will be promo reel for Tornanong Studio and 20th June Entertainment's Tsunami 2022, a project I first noticed being promoted at the Thailand Entertainment Expo.
Aside from all that, it's always fun to browse through the AFM catalog and see what Thai films they have listed and under what title. For example, there's the kids-and-pirates flick Salad Ta Diaw Kab Dek 200 Ta starring anti-government activist and actor Sarunyu Wongkrachang. Now I finally know its English title: Pirate of the Lost Sea.
(Coming Soon posters via Hitman-Reloaded/Kung Fu Cult Cinema forum)