Friday, June 11, 2010

Apichatpong-a-rama: Party on Sunday to celebrate Uncle Boonmee's Palme d'Or

Celebrating the Palme d’Or win at the Cannes Film Festival by "Joei" Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the Thai Film Archive, Thai Film Foundation and a host of other sponsors have put together a bash for the recently returned filmmaker on Sunday afternoon at the Archive's Sri Salaya Theatre in Nakhon Pathom.

The “San Dee Jai” party, starting at around 4 on Sunday, follows yesterday's official congratulatory meeting with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at the Parliament House and a private party hosted by rench Ambassador Gildas le Lidec on Saturday.

Don’t expect to see the award-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives to be screened at the party. Who knows when we’ll get to see it here in Thailand.

But there still will be plenty of fun. They'll show the Uncle Boonmee trailer and video clips from Cannes.

The short, A Letter to Uncle Boonmee, which is part the same Primitive art project as the feature, will be shown. There will congratulatory speeches, short films by associated filmmakers and friends, and the band Penguin Villa will play.

And Joei will give a press conference.

Long-time Kick the Machine stock-company players, actress "Pa Jane" Jenjira Jansuda and actor "Tong" Sakda Kaewbuadee, will put their hand and footprints in the cement outside the cinema. They’ve collaborated with Joei on many features, shorts and installations. Jenjira first appeared in Blissfully Yours (2002), while Sakda was the co-lead in Tropical Malady (2004), and has appeared in several industry films as well.

I lobbied for Joei himself to make his impressions to no avail. The rule of Archive chief Khun Dome Sukwong is actors only, with Joei's brief appearance in the hair-raising action short Mobile Men apparently not counting.

Interestingly, the recently passed-away animator Payut Ngaokrachang was allowed to immortalize his impressions because his likeness had appeared in his first short, 1955's Haed Mahasajan (เหตุมหัศจรรย์)

Other sponsors and media partners of Sunday's shindig are the Jim Thompson Art Centre, James HW Thompson, the Thai Film Director Association, Extra Virgin, Bioscope, The Reading Room, The Nation and the World Film Festival of Bangkok.

Can't be there on Sunday? Feel all warm and fuzzy with this video interview by Apichatpong talking about his work and his power Phantoms of Nabua short.

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