Friday, July 17, 2009

Nymph headed for Poland's Era New Horizons

Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Nang Mai (Nymph) is already on the tail-end of its theatrical run in Thailand that began on July 1. After a wide release, it's down to just three cinemas in Bangkok as most of the screens in the Kingdom are showing the new Harry Potter movie.

But Pen-ek's art films have generally found a more appreciative reception on the festival circuit. After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, it heads back out next week, making its Eastern European premiere at the Era New Horizons International Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland. The festival runs from July 23 to August 2.

Nymph is playing in the non-competitive Panorama section. Here is the festival synopsis:

At first we enter a wild, tropical jungle in a distant, though undefined past. A young woman is assaulted by two men. And yet these are their dead bodies to be found in the forest and not hers. The woman is gone. Then, we shift to contemporary times and we observe the relationship of a married couple, May and Nop. Although May has everything one can dream of -- a career, money, and a loving husband -- she is still lacking something. She has an affair with a married man. One day Nop decides to go to the jungle to photograph the mysteries of nature. May decides to accompany him. In the forest, Nop disappears suddenly without a trace. When May is convinced that she has lost him forever, the man returns, but he seems different.

Nymph is a mysterious and melancholic study of loneliness in the relationship of two confused people. Like in his previous films (e.g. the unforgettable Last Life in the Universe), Pen-Ek Ratanaruang managed to create a dense, suffocating atmosphere of the tropical air, marked with almost palpable sadness. In this extraordinarily visually refined film, nature is not only a picturesque background, but it is also a scenery where all human emotions find shelter.

The version of Nymph that's being sent out now by Five Star Production is the so-called "Director's Cut", which clocks in at around 90 minutes, about 15 minutes shorter than the "Cannes Version".

I don't know where else Nymph will be popping up, aside from September's Toronto International Film Festival, which announced Nymph among its early titles. Surely more festivals will be wanting to show it.

In Bangkok, Nymph can still be seen at SFW CentralWorld ("Cannes Version") with the "Director's Cut" playing at Century -- The Movie Plaza and House.

(Via IndieWire)

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