Monday, March 10, 2008

Dread pirate Rick speaks about censorship

At the press preview for the kids-and-pirates action flick, Salad Ta Diaw, star Saranyu Wongkrajang appeared as bespectacled, soft-spoken, thoughtful and patient veteran actor, which was in sharp contrast to his whisky-besotted, eye-patch-sporting, tough-acting Captain Rick Sparrow in the film.

Yes, there's more than meets the eye with Saranyu, as an interview with him in the latest issue of BK magazine revealed. Here's an excerpt:

It’s a pity for actors and actresses in this country that scripts are written only for starlets. But just imagine — a 20-year-old is forced to leave his hometown to fight in a battlefield. A 25-year-old couple marries too soon and faces relationship issues. A 45-year-old widower is looking for a new love, while a penniless retired 60-year-old goes on a treasure hunt. See what I mean? Every stage of life comes with its own stories to tell.

The entertainment industry just doesn’t want to look beyond 20-year-olds because they think only pretty faces can sell.

The only difference between film and TV is the size of the screen. In the end, what matters most is the message you try to communicate.

In some countries, theater is a culture. But here, going to a play is simply a special occasion that allows the wealthy to show off their new gowns. I took my kids to see Cats. I had a blast even though it was my second time watching the musical. It is a classic that stands the test of time.

Films and TV dramas are virtual brochures to boost tourism. Look at Korea. They use TV series and music to promote their culture and history and to draw tourists to their country. Next thing you know, Thai kids will speak Korean and eat kimchi instead of namprik.

A bright future for Thai entertainment? Impossible, hopeless, unattainable. Choose whatever word you want. We’ll never get anywhere without government support and with their constant censorship and harassment.

Politics are not as highbrow as some people think. Politics are our everyday life. We shouldn’t let corrupt people who call themselves politicians rob and sell the country.

I especially appreciated his sunny optimism regarding government support of the film industry and an end to censorship.

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