Thursday, February 25, 2016

In Thai cinemas: Monkey Twins, The Rain Stories

Thai action cinema has been on the ropes for the past year or so. The leading proponent was writer, director and choreographer Panna Rittikrai. He died in July 2014. And Panna's chief protege, leading Thai martial-arts star Tony Jaa, has largely parted ways with the Thai film industry in order to finally go work in Hollywood.

So stunt specialists and martial-arts actors have been relegated to supporting roles in horror movies and trashy Thai TV series.

But now comes Monkey Twins (วานรคู่ฟัด, Wanorn Khoo Fud ), which blends Thai and Chinese martial arts, dance and theater.

Released by Kao Thaitayarn Co. Ltd., it's co-directed by figures who worked with Panna and Jaa in the past – Ong-Bak 2 writer Nonthakorn Taweesuk and Tom-Yum-Goong 2 action choreographer Weerapol Pumartfon. The story pits Hanuman, the monkey hero of Thai masked dance, against Sun Wukong, the magic monkey of Chinese opera. Sumret Muangput, Kazu Patrick Tang and Panyanut Jirarottanakasem star.

Check out the trailer, embedded below.

Held over for a week after its initial release, The Rain Stories (เมื่อฝนหยดลงบนหัว, Meur Fon Yod Long Bon Hua) is the latest from Nichaphoom Chaianan, the indie writer-director of last year's gay romance My Bromance.

It's an anthology of unconventional high-school love stories. They involve a disabled girl falling for the hottest boy in school, a boy who is about to meet his father for the first time becoming embroiled in a relationship with his best friend, and another boy who is considering entering the gay sex trade in order to repay his gambling debts.

Check the trailer. It's in limited release at Esplanade Ratchada in Bangkok.

Other activities in Thai cinemas this week includes Wim Wenders: A Retrospective, which has screenings on Saturday, Sunday and March 5 at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom. Co-organized by the Goethe-Institut Thailand, Wimfest opened this evening with an outdoor screening of Wings of Desire in Lumpini Park. Other highlights include the Archive's first 3D screenings, with Pina and Every Thing will be Fine screening in state-of-the-art 3D on March 5.

Check the Bangkok Cinema Scene for more details.

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