As the Venice Film Festival winds down, there's been a pretty positive buzz generated for Kongdej Jaturanrasamee's Tae Peang Phu Deaw (P-047), the last-minute out-of-competition addition to the festival's Orizzonti (Horizons) program.
In his reports from Venice, the Bangkok Post's Kong Rithdee has already tipped P-047 as "another best Thai film of the year".
Indonesian producer and film expert John Badalu tweeted earlier in the week: "If you happen to be in Venice ... go watch a Thai film called P-047 ... One of the best films I saw this year! Blew my mind!" He reiterated that statement again today.
I've heard that all three of Thailand's Venice titles – P-047, Rirkrit Tiravanija's Lung Neaw Visits His Neighbours and the short Passing Through the Night (Pu Fao Mong Rattikal) by Wattanapume Laisuwanchai, have been secured for an upcoming festival in Bangkok.
So there's something to look forward to.
Here's the synopsis for P-047 from the festival website:
Lek is a lonely locksmith who’s never had a girlfriend. Kong is an aspiring writer who lives with his mom. The two strangers work side by side at the shopping mall, one copying keys, the other selling tabloid magazines. Together, they hatch a plan that combines their talents. They break into apartments during the day when the owners have gone to work. They don’t steal anything, they only borrow. They borrow the lives, the loves, the things that belong to strangers. One day, they borrow more than they bargain for. Everyone has secrets and some cannot be revealed. Later, Lek wakes up in a hospital. To his confusion, everyone begins calling him Kong. He recuperates from his injuries. Every afternoon he walks up to the roof to have a smoke. There, he meets Oy, a young female patient who likes to sniff empty containers – bottles, cans, tins, anything that will take her back to the past. They form an odd friendship. After he leaves the hospital, Lek breaks into Kong’s home. He discovers secrets about his old friend that he never knew. He even meets the girl of his friend’s dreams. But where is his friend?
And the director's statement:
If imagination can become memory and fantasy can become truth... If facts can become fiction... if lives can be borrowed and copied like pages from a book... then what remains of who we really are?
There's more from Kongdej about P-047 in an article in The Nation.
Just don't go looking for an answer as to what the title P-047 means. Kongdej tells The Nation that viewers will find the answer in the story.
There's also more discussion in the Venice press conference (video embedded below), with the cast and crew – Kongdej, actor Apichai Tragoolpadetgrai and Soros "ThongDee" Sukhum, wearing a killer producer's hat.