Thursday, October 22, 2015

In Thai cinemas: Vanishing Point, Hor Taew Taek 5, Water Boyys the Movie

Winner of the Hivos Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Vanishing Point (วานิชชิ่ง พอยท์) is artist-filmmaker Jakrawal Nilthamrong's feature-length debut. It deals with the themes he explores in his short films and video-art installations, which reflect on strict Buddhist teachings and the dangers of materialism and greed.

Part of the inspiration for Vanishing Point stems from a horrific car crash Jakrawal's parents were involved in long ago, and newspaper clippings of the wreck, featuring a car bent in half, opens the film. With that as a jumping-off point, the highly abstract art-house film becomes a psychological drama, about a family man and a reporter whose lives are two parallel lines, and eventually intersect at that "vanishing point" on their existential plains.

This new Vanishing Point is not directly related to the cult-classic 1971 car-chase movie, but both films deal with philosophical themes and arrive at more or less the same destinations.

Vanishing Point, which has been shown at many film festivals, had its local premiere last Friday, with the film's crew taking over a derelict former porn cinema in Bangkok and having attendees be part of a giant art installation.

It has received much praise from Jakrawal's fellow indie filmmakers, as well as from more-learned critics and academics. I'm still not sure what to make of it, but I liked it. It's at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld, and comes to SFX Maya Chiang Mai on November 5.

Check out the local trailer.

In exaggerated Gothic style, Hor Taew Taek ... Hak na Ka (หอแต๋วแตก แหกนะคะ) is seemingly timed as a counter-programming to the terrific Crimson Peak.

The fifth entry in Poj Anon’s crossdressing horror-comedy franchise, the story has former students returning to their boarding-school alma mater as teachers. They deal with a problem ghost while fending off a takeover attempt by a rival.

Jaturong Phonboon, Ekachai Srivichai, Charoenporn Ornlamai, Weeradit Srimalai and Sudarat Butprom are among the stars.

And in a third Thai film being released this week, teenage lads discover they have feelings for one other in Water Boyys the Movie. The story is about gifted swimmer Num (Anuphat Laungsodsai), whose father (Nopphon Komarachun) is the coach for the national swim team. He brings Muek (Papangkorn Rerkchalermpon) to train with his son. There is a trailer.

Also on the scene, the Friese-Greene Club has one more screening tonight of So Very Very (จริงๆ มากๆJing Jing Mak Mak), Jack Park's romantic comedy about a struggling young South Korean filmmaker who marries Thai woman.

Among upcoming events is the World Film Festival of Bangkok, which runs from November 13 to 22 at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld, opening with the Thai film Snap, a brand-new feature from Kongdej Jaturanrasamee.

More new movies, including Straight Outta Compton and Bridge of Spies, are covered at the other blog.

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