Saturday, March 24, 2012

Photo essay: Three comedy legends at the Thai Film Archive

A ceremonial prayer.

The comedy trio of Den Dokpradoo, Der Doksadao and Thep Pho-ngam made their hand, feet and – for Thep – a head impression in the Star Pavilion at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom on Saturday.

With the Salaya Doc festival also going on at the Film Archive's Sri Salaya Theatre, it was chance to make a documentary right there on the spot.

The trio m/ade a string of comedies back in the 1970s and '80s and remain active today. Though as far as films, it's Thep who's probably onscreen the most these days. Last year he starred in director Yuthlert Sippapak's Friday Killers, in a solidly dramatic role as an ageing assassin who botches a reunion with the daughter he never knew he had – a tough policewoman who's gunning for him.

The trio entertained the crowd of media, family and fans as they prepared to make their hand impressions, with Thep and Den offering up a humorous but solemn prayer.

Head into the concrete.

Thep, who's since adopted a shaven head as his trademark – he had a full head of black hair back in the day – opted to give the Film Archive its first head impression, planting his pate in the wet cement along with his hands. Den playfully helped make sure it would be a lasting mark, giving Thep's head a shove. In the process, Thep's glasses came off.

As usual for these ceremonies, the Film Archive staff were standing by with clean water and fresh towels, and Thep gave his cement-topped dome a wash before proceeding with the rest of the rite, which involves making feet impressions and an autograph in the concrete pavement.

More than three have been done before at one time at the Star Pavilion. Near Saturday's trio of fresh marks are impressions left by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and the cast of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – 10 people in all.

Update: There's more photos on the FAPOT Facebook page.

Show your hands.

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