No surprise that Strand Releasing -- which specializes in queer-oriented titles, among them Bangkok Love Story -- is the one that's picked this up.
How the film is being marketed is telling -- there's the boys -- Mario Maurer and "Pichy" Witwisit Hiranyawongkul -- on the bed, sharing a sweet moment with the little wooden Santa figurine. The posters for the Thai release didn't hint at that type of relationship at all. And the Taiwanese DVD opted for a gauzy, enigmatic sunset photo.
What serves the film best? Will marketing it as a "gay" film -- even though there's more to it than that -- put it into a box that won't be opened by people who might actually like the film?
I don't see many other details about the U.S. release, other than that it's the 150-minute version that was released commercially in Thailand.
Going whole hog and picking up the three-hour director's cut and all the special features that have become available would have been costly I suppose. Which is too bad for U.S. viewers.
The Taiwanese release of the director's cut is chock-full of extras, but there have been complaints about the poor job of subtitling and other technical problems. Part of the deal with the subtitles on the director's cut is it only had a limited theatrical release (House plans a limited revival next month) and was never subtitled in Thailand. Usually, the subtitling folks for the Thai theatrical releases of Thai films do a decent job.
Anyway, I'm pleased that Love of Siam is finally getting a home-video release in North America. Directed by Chookiat Sakveerakul, the film was received with great acclaim in Thailand, collecting many awards, including Subhanahongsa Awards for best director and best film and best actress from the Bangkok Critics for Sinjai Plengpanich, playing a worried mother. It was also Thailand's submission to the Oscars last year.
Thor has more at Something to Sing About. A snip:
A confession, Love of Siam is responsible for my exponentially growing love for Thai cinema. Equally devastating and buoyant, it is a deliberate drama about different aspects of love: familial, romantic, and to an extent, ascetic.
If Love of Siam serves as a gateway drug to more Thai cinema, then that's great.
(Via Something to Sing About)