Friday, August 1, 2008

Bangkok International Film Festival '08: Subtitles, more titles and censorship

"Every film will have Thai subtitles," pledges Yongyooth Thongkongtoon, the Bangkok International Film Festival's artistic director, in an article in in today's Daily Xpress.

Have to wait and see how that shakes down though. Will some non-English films have only Thai subs? Just askin'.

Among the 70-film lineup, organizers hope to have Queens of Langkasuka as the opener. And they hope to unveil the restored print of Ruen Pae (The Boat House), a classic, action-packed Thai-Hong Kong romantic drama from 1962.

International titles will hopefully include the Coens' Burn After Reading and the Brazilian film, Elite Squad.

Southeast Asian entries might include Filipino director Brillante Mendoza's controversial and explicit Serbis.

Which leads to another problem. By September, the new censorship and ratings law will be fully implemented, the Daily Xpress article says, "and movies shown at festivals will no longer be exempt."

Ideally, the festival would be a perfect chance to show how the ratings system works. A film like Serbis would be rated 18+ or 20+, under the forthcoming system. But with censorship still a part of the mix, who knows what they'll be allowed to show.

Oh, and I'm surprised I didn't pick up on this earlier: The new film festival posters are designed and illustrated by director Wisit Sasanatieng, reports the Daily Xpress in its print edition.

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