Thursday, September 24, 2015

In Thai cinemas: Mard Payak, Siam Yuth

Nation Multimedia Group’s Now 26 TV channel breaks into film with Mard Payak: The Great Muay Thai Fighter (มาดพยัคฆ์), a documentary on boxer Samart Payakaroon.

Winner of four national weight-class titles and the 1982 World Boxing Council featherweight champ, he was a fearsome pugilist who was known as the "Jade Tiger".

Made with Samart’s support, it includes dramatized scenes from his upbringing and career, with actors portraying him at various ages. The documentary also covers a 1986 bout in which Samart avoided almost 20 punches from opponent Juan Mesa. There's also his controversial 1987 loss in Australia to Jeff Fenech.

Along with Now 26, it's produced by Local Color Films, a production shingle formed a few years ago by Pawas Sawatchaiyamet, a.k.a. Saksiri Chantarangsri, the veteran production designer who worked closely with Wisit Sasanatieng and Pen-ek Ratanaruang. Norachai Kajchapanont directs.

You can read more about the film in an article in The Nation. It's at SF Cinemas.

Two-fisted swordfighting shirtless youngsters fight for honor and country in the historical-action epic Siam Yuth: The Dawn of the Kingdom (สยามยุทธ).

It's been on the release schedule for many months, but has been repeatedly postponed for reasons I'm not privy to.

But now, I guess the time is right for a jingoistic war flick. To arms!

The story, near as I can make out, deals with a tight-knit group of friends who take up the fight against a local warlord in ancient Siam.

For other offerings in Thai cinemas this week, please see the supplementary blog, Bangkok Cinema Scene.

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