Saturday, January 16, 2010
Top Thai films of the 2000s and 2009: More lists
I've listed my own decade and 2009 bests. And earlier there was the Time Out New York and TIFF Cinematheque lists. Here's a look at others.
Thai film blogger Nanoguy has a decade list. Among the alphabetical ordering of international releases are a few Thai films: Kongdej Jaturanrasamee's underappreciated Handle Me With Care (Kod) plus one by Apichatpong Weerasethakul that's on a lot of other lists, Tropical Malady. His list of the best Thai films of the decade includes Pantham Thongsang's Ai Fak (The Judgement) from 2004, last year's Slice by Kongkiat Komesiri, Apichatpong's 2000 debut Mysterious Object at Noon, 2004's The Siam Renaissance (Tawipob) by Suraphong Pinijkhar, the Pang brothers' original Bangkok Dangerous (I thought it was a 1999 movie but wasn't officially released in Thailand until 2000), 2005's Dear Dakanda (Puen Sanit) by Komgrit Treewimol and 2004's Citizen Dog by Wisit Sasanatieng. He's got a best performances of the 2000s too. It's in Thai, which you can Google on and find out more. Among them is Somlek Sakdikul from Monrak Transistor. Sure brings back great memories.
Filmmaker Thunska Pansittivorakul listed his favorite films of the decade and of all time on his Facebook page. His No. 1 is a film that was actually made 12 years ago -- Ing K's controversial (and banned) My Teacher Eats Biscuits, which has had recent privately arranged screenings. It's provocative, but not a surprising pick from a guy who had his own film banned last year. His all-time best Thai film is an equally idiosyncratic and bold -- the silent, singular feature Birth of the Seanama, made in 2005 by Sasithorn Airyavicha.
Peter Nellhaus, Coffee coffee and more coffee
The Denver-based film critic and Coffee coffee and more coffee blogger lists Wisit Sasanatieng's Tears of the Black Tiger and Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love as his best of the decade.
Todd Brown, TwitchFilm.net
In his top and bottom of 2009, Twitch's chief gives a shout out to Paween Purijitpanya for being one of the "directors to watch", on the basis of Paween's strong segment, Novice in the Phobia 2 anthology, which Todd reviewed, and so did TwitchFilm.net's Onderhound.
Andrea James, Boing Boing
The Boing Boing guest blogger Andrea James recommends trans-themed films, name-checking Ekachai Uekrongtham's Beautiful Boxer, the 2003 biographical drama about transgender Muay Thai boxer Nong Toom.
Cahiers du cinéma
The French film magazine lists Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Tropical Malady at No. 3 on its top 10 films of the 2000s.
The magazine's critics' poll of the best 150 films of the 2000s lists four of Apichatpong's: Syndromes and a Century at No. 4, Tropical Malady at No. 8, Blissfully Yours at 39th and Mysterious Object at Noon at 130.
Mike D'Angelo, Listen Eggroll
Fist-licking? Tropical Malady is No. 17 on the top 101 films of the decade.
Michael J. Anderson, Tativille
Blissfully Yours tops the alphabetical list of the best films of the 2000s on Tativille, a blog by film scholar Michael J. Anderson. He writes: "In Asia, the southeast emerged, largely due to the considerable achievement of Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Indeed, were I to single out a single director as the key figure of the decade, it would have to be Apichatpong ..." Aditya Assarat for Wonderful Town, Pen-ek Ratanaruang for Last Life in the Universe, Garin Nugroho for Opera Jawa and Tsai Ming-liang for I Don't Want to Sleep Alone are also mentioned.
The English newspaper lists its top 100 "films that defined the noughties", with Tropical Malady at No. 97.
Time Out London
Tropical Malady is at No. 73 on Time Out's 101 Films of the Decade.
Apichatpong's Syndromes and a Century is at No. 18 on Paste's 50 best movies of the decade. "In one moment, his camera is idling in a verdant Asian village, and in the next it’s gazing through portals of time, like the mind-blowing films of Kubrick or Antonioni. "
Syndromes and a Century gets two votes on the best of the decade list. Tropical Malady gets one vote from Chuck Stephens and Blissfully Yours gets one vote. Uruphong Raksasad's Agrarian Utopia appears on the list of undistributed films in the Village Voice's annual year-end poll.
Tropical Malady appears on several lists in this IndieWire and Industry Top Tens of the Decade.
Sight and Sound
The British film magazine asks critics to submit the 10 best films they saw each year. Thai films on the list for 2009 are Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Nymph, from Naman Ramachandran, and Uruphong Raksasad's Agrarian Utopia on the list of Thailand's own Kong Rithdee of the Bangkok Post.
Kong Rithdee, Bangkok Post
The Post compiled a list of lists for the decade. For his decade best, Kong has Apichatpong's Tropical Malady as No. 1. Kong also did a top five Thai films for 2009 for the Post's entertainment year in review. Agrarian Utopia is his No. 1.
Noel Vera, Critic After Dark
Apichatpong Weerasethakul is chosen among the best directors of the decade on a list that also offers a look at "10 Filipino Films That Deserve to be Known Better".
Jit Phokeaw, Limitless Cinema
In his Senses of Cinema list, Thai cinemaphile Jit Phokeaw has Bodily Fluid Is So Revolutionary by Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke as his top Thai film of the year. It's an interesting, eclectic list. Check it out. Jit has links to more lists at Limitless Cinema.
Filmsick lists Bodily Fluid Is So Revolutionary (ของเหลวที่หลั่งจากกาย) as his top short film of 2009.
The Golden Rock, Love HK Film
The Love of Siam makes The Golden Rock Top 25 Panasian Films of the Decade. "I don’t care for Achitpatong, Kim Ki-Duk, or Hong Sang-Soo," says the Rock. About LoS, "the center of this Thai film is a gay romance between two teenagers, but it’s about a lot more than that, and it works on those other levels too. Despite some awkward directing, the film runs surprisingly fluid, and the acting is uniformly strong. A Thai gay romance is rare enough already, but one that is this good is even more rare."
Senses of Cinema
Also on the 2009 World Poll by Senses of Cinema, Agrarian Utopia appears on the list of festival programmer Paolo Bertolin, Melbourne-based festival programming consultant Michael Campi, Canadian professor Peter Rist, Viennese critic Christoph Huber and Swiss teacher, curator and critic Barbara Wurm.
German cinephile Olaf Möller lists Ong-Bak 2 and Agrarian Utopia for his team.
Australian academic Conall Cash lists Nymph as does Melbourne university teacher Peter Hourigan.
(Via The Auteurs)