Saturday, October 29, 2011
Thai film and the flood of 2011
Flooding has hit Thailand's film industry, with the releases of several local films pushed back and the World Film Festival of Bangkok postponed.
The Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, faces a threat of severe flooding, however precautions have been taken to move films and other artifacts to second-story storage, a concrete flood wall has been erected in front of the film vault and sandbags are placed around the museum. It's still there after the high tide this morning, but there's still a lot of water yet to drain from the north, and most of it is going to flow to the west of Bangkok, which is right through the Archive's front yard. Monitor the situation at the Thai FilmArchive Facebook page.
The World Film Festival of Bangkok, set for November 4 to 13, has been postponed until January 20 to 27. That means the ninth edition of the fest is also cut from 10 days to eight. It's expected the World Film Fest's program of around 80 movies will remain the same. The opener is I Carried You Home, the debut feature of Tongpong Chantarangkul. Other Thai entries include the trio of Thai films from this year's Venice fest: Kongdej Jaturanrasamee's P-047, the short flm Passing Through the Night (Pu Fao Mong Rattikal) by Wattanapume Laisuwanchai and Uncle Naew Visits His Neighbours, the debut film of artist Rirkrit Tiravanija.
Some Thai films have postponed their local releases. This week's roster was to have included the motorsports comedy Racing Love (มิดไมล์) from Saga Studio and Phranakorn's teen gangster drama Meung Ga Gu (มึง-กู เพื่อนกันจนวันตาย), a.k.a. Friends Never Die. The former is put off until November 10 while the latter will hit screens on December 29.
Sahamongkol has pushed back next month's local release of Prachya Pinkaew's The Kick until December 22 and the musical drama The Melody (รักทำนองนี้) until December 9.
Meanwhile, despite the threat of flooding, central Bangkok cinemas are still operating as usual. Among the releases is Drive by Nicolas Winding Refn, who's in Thailand making his next movie, Only God Forgives (Thai casting is not yet complete – don't believe IMDb).
Aditya Assarat's Hi-So is still screening at three SF cinemas in Bangkok – CentralWorld, Lat Phrao (take note, though, Lat Phrao's a flood-danger zone) and the new SF Cinema City at the new Terminal 21 shopping center at the Asok intersection. Showtimes are at around 7 nightly with Saturday and Sunday matinees around 2.
But while Bangkok's streets are dry and the sun is out, reporters are standing in puddles.
Spare a thought for the suburban areas of the metropolis under chest-deep water that's swimming with escaped crocodiles. And panic buying has struck Bangkok's grocery stores, emptying shelves of bottled water, instant noodles, canned tuna and eggs. The shortages could last for several weeks, until the disrupted supply chain catches up.
The flood of information can be overwhelming, and it's difficult to know what information is correct and current.
One thing that keeps floating to the top is the short animated films put together by a group called RooSuFlood. The first one is embedded above, and all of them are on the RooSuFlood YouTube channel.
Update: Here's a more about the flood videos and those blue whales.