Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A truckload of new blogs and websites

It's a mostly lonely and mighty unforgiving world I've found myself living in here, being one of the few bloggers who regularly writes in English about Thai cinema. So when new folks come on the scene, I want to be welcoming.

Here's a few new blogs worth reading:

  • Bangkok1080.asia -- This website was started about two months ago by a young Bangkok-based German man named Denis who was frustrated at the lack of a single website that had a comprehensive database of Thai movies. He's just getting started at plugging the massive gaps that exist. The website's name, as you home-video geeks know, refers to the resolution of high-definition video. And Bangkok 1080 is concerned with Thai movies that are available for home video. One of the website's helpful resources is a list of English subtitle files that can be mated up with those orphaned Thai films that have never been released on English-friendly DVD. The most recent addition is Queens of Langkasuka. The idea is to encourage people to buy Thai DVDs instead of getting pirated torrents or waiting forever for the movies to be released in English-friendly countries. I have yet to try it myself but the instructions make it seem pretty simple. The site also offers reviews of films and DVDs, comprehensive profiles of Thai movies, trailers and other news about Thai cinema. I've already had a few posts here that I wrote because I saw something first on Bangkok 1080. Head on over and have a look.
  • Southeast Asian Film Studies Institute -- In the first post of his blog, film scholar Tilman Baumgärtel writes that before he moved to the Philippines in 2004, the only Southeast Asian film that had seen was the Singaporean-Filipino grindhouse flick Cleopatra Wong (which is a pretty good introduction if you ask me). As he taught at the Film Institute of the University of the Philippines, he found he had "access to one of the best collections of Philippine movies anywhere" and he soon became immersed in the cinema of that country and other Southeast Asian nations. Now, he's headed to Cambodia, a country that can surely use his expertise and enthusiasm for filmmaking. So far he has postings about the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma. Eventually, I expect he'll find a way to delve into the cinema of Laos (not to mention Brunei and East Timor). Everyone, please welcome Tilman!
  • Dirtii Laundry -- This blog featuring gossip on Thai entertainment figures has actually been around awhile, but it was only recently that we agreed to trade links and I've featured it in the left sidebar of "Other News and Views" where I group some of my favorite blogs from mainly Thailand. Dirtii Laundry's recent post about the recently-shorn actor-musician Pe Arak saying he'll pose in Speedo swimming briefs if he's paid 30 million baht is a classic. Thing is about Pe is he's the typical skinny-ass rock star and would look terrible in a Speedo suit, so who'd want to see him like that? Head on over to Dirtii Laundry for more juicy bits.

A couple other housekeeping-type notes:

  • I've recently added an "Other Film Views" widget to the right sidebar. This features five film blogs that I consistently enjoy reading and that I think my readership will benefit from seeing. Actually, I have more than five favorite film bloggers, but I can't include them all. So please don't feel sore if I don't feature your blog or website there. From time to time, as the mood strikes me, I may rotate one or two of the blogs out of the mix and substitute another favorite or two.
  • On the right sidebar I also added a link roll of Thai film companies and indie filmmakers. It's a work in progress. If you're a Thai filmmaker or run a film company in Thailand and think you'll benefit from having a link on my blog, let me know and I'll consider adding it.

And, a quick thanks to Sumat Sivasiamphai and the staff of the Bangkok Post's Guru magazine, which for its May 8-14 edition featured this blog in its story "Soi Blogs" featuring "10 Thailand-based weblogs worth checking out". What's odd about Guru is that their stories don't seem to be carried on their website. Very strange for a magazine that is offered for free in coffeeshops around the city. I hope they are someday allowed to offer more of their content online. Several of the blogs featured in the story are blogs that I link to here and regularly read, including the news website 2Bangkok.com, Lyn's Lakorns (a place to enjoy a slap and a kiss), the lifestyle website Absolutely Bangkok and the excellent music blog Monrakplengthai. (Also, thanks to Lekha for pointing out the Guru piece.)

Lastly, I want to again mention The Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project, which I featured awhile back. That blog, which has extensive photo essays of the dead and dying single-screen cinemas of Thailand and the surrounding countries is a treasure-trove that warrants daily reading. Hardly a day goes by when I'm not left slack-jawed in amazement at the work there. Keep it up.

(Photo via Flickr)


  1. Nice find!! I'm always on the look for those elusive subtitles.... way to go Kwai!

    Looks like I'll finally be able to see "Queens of Langkasuka" at last.... (instead of waiting for that rumored French release to be announced).

    I'll definitely be checking out those other sites too!

  2. thanks for the kind words. and the other interesting sites, some of which i didnt know before.

  3. Thanks WK.

    Without this post I probably never would have stumbled across any one of those blogs (come to think of it, how did I ever come across this one?). I found the Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project particularly fascinating. I marvel at how a collection of photographs of decaying cinema architecture can say so much about the history and culture of a country/region.

    Keep up the good work.


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