Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Primitive tops Raymond Phathanavirangoon's arthouse picks for 2009

Over on Twitch, festival programmer Raymond Phathanavirangoon has issued his list of arthouse films to watch for in 2009.

At the top is Primitive, the ambitious multimedia work by Apichatpong Weerasethakul that involves a widow ghost, reincarnation, transformation and an apeman. Initially it will be a five-screen video installation, but a feature-length component is planned. Check Animate Projects for more details.

A couple of Raymond's runners-up are Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Nymph, which is being filmed now at Khao Yai National Park, and Wisit Sasanatieng's masked crimefighter story Red Eagle. Both are actually pretty commercial compared to other items on his list.

Formerly with Fortissimo, Raymond is now a programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival and Toronto After Dark.

One of his picks for last year's Toronto International was Citizen Juling, and giving the film such a prominent international platform to launch from made it hard to ignore. It went on to play at the Bangkok International Film Festival, and has been selected for Berlin this year.

In the Shadow of the Naga (Nak Prok) remains unreleased in Thailand due to sensitivities about the depiction of bank robbers turned Buddhist monks. But now producers at Sahamongkol are giving thought about putting it out there for more people to see -- if it hadn't have played in Toronto, we probably would not be hearing about it at all.

So Raymond Phathanavirangoon is a guy worth paying attention to.

Check out Twitch for the rest of his insider's look at the best of arthouse in 2009.

(Via Twitch)

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