The Vienna International Film Festival, the Viennale, starts tomorrow (October 17) and runs until October 29, with three Thai films: Diseases and a Hundred Year Period, Soi Cowboy and Wonderful Town.
Diseases and a Hundred Year Period (Roke Rai Nai Rob Neung Roi Phee) is young director Sompot "Boat" Chidgasornpongse's answer film to the censorship of Syndromes and a Century, documenting the cutting of six scenes from Apichatpong Weerasethakul's celebrated feature for its limited commercial run in Thailand. Pieces of the six scenes are taken from the U.S. DVD release, and severely cropped and zoomed in. It's a brilliant commentary on the outrageous censorship of a film that was acclaimed all over the world except by the conservative cultural authorities in the director's home country. Boat served as an assistant director on Syndromes, so he was particularly close to the film. And yes, that is the back of Boat's head on the film poster and in the film. Sure to become an icon. I wrote about Diseases when it premiered as the opening film of the 12th Thai Short Film & Video Festival. It plays in Vienna on Saturday (October 18) as part of a short-film package.
Thomas Clay's Soi Cowboy played in a one-night-only, sold-out show at the Bangkok International Film Festival. It made its world premiere back in May in the Un Certain Regard program at Cannes. The Viennese get two screenings, on October 27 and 29.
And there's Aditya Assarat's Wonderful Town, continuing its run on the festival circuit. It's also at the Tokyo International Film Festival, which starts on Saturday, and its in the London Film Festival, which started yesterday (October 15) and runs until October 30.