Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In memoriam: Boonthin Thuaykaew and John Islam

A line in the credits at the end of Bang Rajan 2 made me sad.

The film was dedicated to the memory of Boonthin Thuaykaew (บุญถิ่น ทวยแก้ว) and John Islam (จอห์น อิสรัมย์).

Boonthin worked as a costume and production designer and storyboard artist in the Thai film industry. He won the art direction prize at the 2000 Asia-Pacific Film Festival for Bang Rajan and was also a Bangkok Critics Assembly Awards nominee for art direction that year. His other films include 7 Prajanban (Heaven's Seven). He served as production designer on Bang Rajan 2.

He is perhaps more widely known for his appearances as half of the duo of comic-relief cops who appeared in several Thai films.

With movie producer Adirek "Uncle" Watleela as his senior lieutenant, Boonthin's skinny police sergeant first appeared in director Yuthlert Sippapak's 2003 ghost comedy Buppah Rahtree. The pair then reprised their roles in several more movies, include the Buppah Rahtree sequels. He appeared in Buppah Rahtree 3.2 but still has upcoming filmed appearances in The Scrollmaster and Yuthlert's Friday Killer.

Boonthin died on February 7, 2010 at a hospital in Kanchanaburi. It was revealed after his death that he'd had lung cancer. He was 52.

Actor John Islam was a motocross-racing champion in the early 1980s and later starred in action films and TV series. His other films include Chatrichalerm Yukol's The Elephant Keeper (Khon Liang Chang). He appears in Bang Rajan 2 as a Burmese warlord, having shot his scenes shortly before his death from a heart attack on November 21, 2009. He was 54.

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