Friday, September 18, 2009

Remembering Cherd Songsri on Sunday

Pioneering indie director Cherd Songsri would have been 78 years old on Sunday. He died in 2006 after a fight with cancer, but his legacy remains strong, thanks to the efforts of the Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom.

On Sunday, September 20, the archive will show what's probably my favorite of Cherd's films, the epic rural romance, Puen Pang, about a young man (Sorapong Chatree) and his conflicted relationship with two sisters. And, archivist Dome Sukwong says, plucky little sister Pang, Chanutporn Wisitthasopon, will be on hand to immortalize her prints in the pavement around the Sri Sala Cinema. The show time is at 4.

The main event of the day is to dedicate the Cherd Songsri Library and Mediatheque, a title that is fancier than the facility it's attached to. Ever resourceful, Dome has parked a shipping container behind the cinema and neatly converted it into a library and AV center. There, film students can come and pour through the collection of donated textbooks and scholarly papers, or watch a movie on one of the computers. There's actually quite a bit already crammed into the 40x8x8.6-foot steel box. Eventually Dome hopes to have the writer-filmmaker's own papers in storage as well. It's temporary housing, for hopefully just three years, until the Archive builds a permanent expansion.

And that's not all for Cherd. Next week, the Bangkok International Film Festival pays tribute Cherd with a retrospective of four of his films: 2001's romantic melodrama Behind the Painting, 1994's feminist-empowerment historical drama Muen and Rid, 1987's ocean romance Ploy Talay (The Gem from the Deep) and the movie that is most regarded as his masterpiece, 1979's classic love story, Plae Kao (The Scar).

Call (080) 557-9709 or check the website,

(Via Fapot, Bangkok Post)

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