Thursday, January 9, 2014

Butterfly Man re-emerges

Among the many highlights of last year was the opening of the Friese-Greene Club, a private cinema and bar that was opened by longtime Thailand-based British filmmaker Paul Spurrier.

Contributing greatly to the education and research of member filmmakers, film experts, writers and fans, the club changes its schedule monthly, usually with each day of the week devoted to certain themes.

This month, Wednesdays are devoted to the controversial topic of "love of Asian ladies", and the series opens on Wednesday, January 15 with 2002's Butterfly Man (ผีเสื้อร้อนรัก, Pee Seua Ron Rak), presented by the director, Bangkok-based British filmmaker Kaprice Kea. Since making Butterfly Man, he's racked up a string of film credits, mainly as a casting director.

His film is about a dumb young Brit (Stuart Laing) who is dumped by his girlfriend while on vacation in Thailand. Out of spite, he embarks a series of one-night stands with Thai ladies and loses all his money. He then gets roped in by gangsters while falling for the charms of a Thai masseuse ("Mamee" Napakpapha Nakprasitte) on Koh Samui. Check out the trailer, embedded below.

Butterfly Man was the start of a string of films produced by or with production services from Bangkok's De Warrenne Pictures exploring the hedonistic side of "farang" life in Thailand . Others have included 2006's The Elephant King, 2008's Soi Cowboy and the upcoming rock 'n' roll movie Glory Days. I suppose it's possible that De Warrenne honcho Tom Waller's upcoming directorial effort The Last Executioner might fit into that pantheon as well.

Other offerings in the cross-cultural romance category by the Friese-Greene Club this month will be two Hong Kong-set films, 1955's Love is a Many Splendored Thing with William Holden and Jennifer Jones, and 1960's The World of Suzie Wong, with Holden falling for the incomparable Nancy Kwan.

The FGC is down an alley next to the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. With just nine seats, the screening room fills up fast, so reservations are a must. Also, there are often last-minute changes in the schedule, so please check the website and Facebook page when planning a visit.

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