Saturday, September 13, 2008

Love of Siam for Taiwan

The Love of Siam, director Chukiat Sakweerakul's epic family drama and gay teenage romance, opens in Taiwan on September 19. There's also a Taiwanese website for the film.

As far as I know, this is the first commercial release for the film outside Thailand. If there' s been any others, I wish folks would be so kind as to clue me in. Anyway, it gives hope that an English-friendly DVD release might not be too far behind.

The Love of Siam was one of the most acclaimed Thai films of 2007, winning bunches of awards, including Best Picture, a Best Actress trophy for Sinjai Plengpanich and Best Supporting Actress for Chermarn "Ploy" Boonyasak. Mario Maurer, playing one of the two teen boys involved in a gay puppy love affair, received a Best Supporting Actor nod from the Asian Film Awards.

Releasing the film was a bold move, and not because of the gay romance angle, because that was studiously avoided in the film's posters. It was a dicey proposition because it was 2.5 hours long and hogged too much cinema real estate for too long a time. Some viewers felt like they'd been duped into watching a gay movie, yet once word of mouth about it spread, a loyal fanbase soon emerged. To please them, a three-hour The Love of Siam Director's Cut received a limited run of sold-out shows.

The Love of Siam is in the Southeast Asia competition at the Bangkok International Film Festival, and it's been featured in fests in Puchon, Udine and Hong Kong.

The news of the Taiwan release comes from Bangkok of the Mind, which has had extensive coverage on The Love of Siam, including details on those "missing" scenes, here and here. Young Love of Siam actors Mario and Wichawisit "Pitch" Hiranwongkul are regular staples on Bkkdreamer's gay-oriented blog. Both of the young men appear to be a little uncomfortable with being gay icons, but it comes with the territory I suppose.

Meanwhile, both Mario and Pitch will be featured in 4 Romances, a four-part romance omnibus with Chukiat, Prachya Pinkaew, Bhandit Thongdee and Rachen Limtrakul each directing segments. Bangkok of the Mind has extensive coverage of that film too, including the latest news on the film's production.

Pitch and the band August (also from Love of Siam) will appear in a segment called Dream, directed by Chukiat. By the way, I actually spoke to Pitch the day before yesterday. He and the rest of the August band were in my office building, promoting their new album, which seems to be the main focus of his entertainment career. He seems like a pretty bright guy.

Mario will be in a different segment, Kiss, directed by Rachen. Mario co-stars with new-face actress Apisra Tudti.

4 Romances is due for release in Thai cinemas on November 27.

(Via Bangkok of the Mind)

1 comment:

  1. You might also be interested to know Chocolate is being released in Taiwan on 26 September. Here is the link to the Taiwan website.

    4bia is also released in Taiwan on 19 September.


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