Actor-director Bin Binluerit got his start back in the 1980s. He's something of a cult icon, even though some folks (meaning me) don't know who he is or what movies he was in.
I mean, I know Bin Binluerit played the axe-wielding town drunk who rode a buffalo into battle in Bang Rajan. And I know that he directed this year's Isaan-dialect country comedy Panya Reanu, which will screen at the Luang Prabang Film Festival. I even know he has a twin brother who's also an actor, even though I probably can't tell them apart.
But there were other things I didn't know, until recently, when a bunch of stuff came together as the result of a Twitter conversation. I won't bore you with the particulars of the exchange, though I will say it involved Thai science-fiction films and TV series and the lack thereof. And that eventually led to my discovery of facts that are generally known to most Thai cinema fans but not me.
Such as the fact that it was Bin Binluerit who starred in a 1985 movie called Taptim Tone (ทับทิมโทน), directed by Kom Akadej. Bin's the guy on the movie poster, wearing a white jumpsuit and blasting off with a rocket pack while holding a revolver and the red gemstone of the movie's title. The poster image for Taptim Tone has become something of a cult classic because of its use as the cover of Thai Film Archive director Dome Sukwong's book A Century of Thai Cinema
It was Regis Madec, the go-to guy on classic Thai films who runs Thai World View who filled in the blanks of my knowledge. Sadly, like a lot of movies of the era, especially those of Kom Akadej, Tubtim Tone has apparently not survived.
But that poster image is still around and Bin's proud of having starred in the film. He said as much in a recent interview with BK Magazine, in which he also talks about his work as a volunteer on a rescue squad.