One of my top 10 Thai films of 2008, British director Thomas Clay's Soi Cowboy, opens in Bangkok tomorrow.
Ahead of the movie's limited theatrical run, producers DeWarrenne Pictures have a trailer on their YouTube channel. It's embedded below.
The movie takes its name from a neon-splashed red-light district in Bangkok, which is presumably where the film's first two main characters met. The street doesn't really play an integral part in the film, though it is seen in passing during the daytime.
The first half of the film is in black and white, and follows a couple - a corpulent Dane (Nicholas Bro) and his tiny but pregnant Thai girlfriend (Pimwalee Thampanyasan) - as the two go through their humdrum daily routine, mainly consisting of the great Viagra-popping Dane looking forlornly at the little woman, hoping she'll have sex with him. The second half of the film switches to brilliant color and takes place in the countryside, where a young guy has come to collect his older brother's head.
The trailer makes use of the country-gospel song "Where We'll Never Grow Old", which is sung by Art Supawatt. In the film, the performance is during a dreamy, Blue Velvet-like sequence in a parlor. A scratchy-sounding 1920s version by Alfred Karnes is used over the opening credits, and the song really put the hook in me. It set up the whole film for my enjoyment, and afterward, I went home and found the song on eMusic and downloaded it.
Soi Cowboy debuted in the Un Certain Regard program at last year's Cannes Film Festival, and garnered critical acclaim. It was in competition at the STockholm International Film Festival in November, and it won Best Foreign Director and Best Foreign Female Actor awards at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival in October. The film has also been featured at the Sarajevo Film Festival, Rio International Film Festival, Warsaw International FilmFest, Vienna International Film Festival, Leeds International Film Festival, Oslo International Film Festival and Mar Del Plata Film Festival. It played once to a capacity crowd during last year's Bangkok International Film Festival.
I'm glad to get another chance to see it. It's playing at Paragon Cineplex.