Friday, May 2, 2008

There is a Thai film at Cannes

Though it doesn't show up on a country search of the Cannes' festival website (but then none of the 2008 selections are appearing yet), Soi Cowboy has been selected for the Un Certain Regard section at the 61st Cannes Film Festival.

It is by Thailand-based British director Thomas Clay, and is produced by an Anglo-Thai company, De Warrenne Pictures. Soi Cowboy is set in Thailand, has Thai actors and was made by a Thai crew that includes cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, who has shot Apichatpong Weerasethakul's films. It is about a farang who has impregnated a bargirl from Bangkok's Soi Cowboy red-light district.

Here is the official synopsis:

In Bangkok, a corpulent European man and a young, pregnant Thai woman live together in near silence. His large body stands out in marked contrast to her tiny frame... She likes him, but sleeping with him is a duty. Out in the countryside, her brother, a teenage mafia enforcer, is employed to deliver their older brother's head.

DeWarrenne has produced a string of under-the-radar Anglo-Thai films, including Ghost of Mae Nak, The Elephant King and Butterfly Man. Of these, I've only seen Butterfly Man, a sometimes lyrical, loopy romance starring Stuart Laing as a British backpacker who falls in love with a masseuse (Napakprapha "Mamee" Nakprasitte).

The Bangkok Post's Kong Rithdee has more about Soi Cowboy in a story in today's Real Time section (cache). He spoke to producer Tom Waller:

It is pretty much a Thai movie, though the director is British," says Waller. "The whole film was shot here. It's in English and Thai - and in the second half, in a strong Isan dialect -- and the cast and crew, except the main guy, are Thai.

"We want to release the film in Thailand. But right now we'll have to wait and see the reaction from Cannes."

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