Thursday, February 16, 2006

Apichatpong, Nonzee pitch projects at HK Film Mart

This just in from Kaiju Shakedown: A rundown of projects at the Hong Kong Film Financing Forum. The news actually came out at the Rottendam Film Festival. Among the projects for the Hong Kong forum are films by Nonzee Nimibutr and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Here's a look:

Toyol - A thriller by Nonzee, the story is about a Hong Kong family that moves into a new house in Bangkok. The children, 12 and 8, are introduced by their father to their stepmother, a Thai woman who seems pleasant enough, but the children do not like her. Not only do the children have problems with their stepmother, they are having problems adapting to the new house as well. This is where the mischevious little ghost, the toyol of the title, comes in. The film, a co-production with Singapore's Zhao Wei Films, has a budget of US$2 million.

Utopia - Apichatpong's film is part of the American Dream Project (I think that's it), a series of features initiated by nine international filmmakers that explores the American dream. The film is about a "lost world" with "a pre-historic man is freed in a snow-covered landscape. Everything is white and new to him. He tries to survive in a jungle where there are periodic snowstorms. Followed by a group of fashionable old American ladies, he faces off against a terrorizing monster that hides in the jungle. He discovers a cave where he shields himself from the outside world and starts to hibernate. Through the course of his sleeping, the white and snow-covered world has turned into a lush tropical forest. He emerges from the cave and explores the new green territory in wonderment. The moist landscape is now full of miraculous fauna, flora... and elements of a fabulous adventure!"

Wow! Apichatpong says:

It's a bedtime story and it's gentle. I imagine the coexistence of the two worlds. In this tale, both of them seem real on the surface. But when paired together, because of their differences, they become each other's dreams. These dreams are intertwined without a sense of time. It is the future of an ancient time, and an ancient time of the future. It's a celebration of America and of 'America.' Here, life is tender and savage - civilized."

The co-production company behind Utopia is DViant Films Inc. A quick Google search also found another film company by that name with a website that's probably not safe for work.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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