Thursday, July 16, 2009

Week of Sinjai canceled at House, but Love of Siam screenings planned

Next month's closer of House cinema's monthly Week of Siam series, "A Tribute to Sinjai Plengpanich", has been canceled.

But while none of the leading lady's films from the 1980s will be shown, House is bowing to popular demand by planning two revival screenings of Sinjai's latest feature, 2007's Rak Haeng Siam (รักแห่งสยาม, The Love of Siam). Directed by Chookiat Sakveerakul, the acclaimed family drama touches on the sexuality of two teenage boys. Sinjai portrays the worried mother of one of the boys. She won the best actress award from the Bangkok Critics Assembly for that. Plans are to screen the theatrical version (on film) and the three-hour-long director's cut (on DVD, no subs) once each sometime in September.

According the House blog, the cancellation of the Sinjai retrospective is "because of certain technical problems", but a print-only item in Daily Xpress today says it's due to "problems with the old film companies over copyright issues".

Daily Xpress also states that "less-kind folks" are saying the real reason House has canceled the final month of its classic Thai film series is because audiences have been sparse. "And besides, most of Sinjai’s films, including the 1986 hit Chang Man Chan Mai Care (I Don’t Give a Damn!), have just been shown on TV Thai", the public television station, Daily Xpress says.

Maybe if more of the old films had been subtitled, more foreigners would have made the effort to find their way over to House to see them. But that probably wouldn't have made much difference either. Many of the films that were shown have been broadcast on TV or are available on cheap VCDs, so Thais can watch them anytime they want.

Proceeds from the series was to benefit the National Film Archive, so it's a laudable effort. Too bad it couldn't have been made more compelling to the young Thai clubbers who inhabit the clubs down the street from House on Royal City Avenue.

For the Sinjai retrospective, House was to have shown the following:

  • Nuan Chawee (นวล ฉวี, The Case of Nuan Chawee, 1985)
  • Yha Phro Mee Choo (หย่า เพราะ มีชู้, Divorcee, 1985)
  • Chang Man Chan Mai Care (ช่างมัน ฉัน ไม่ แคร์ , 1986)
  • Nam Soh Sai (น้ำ เซาะ ทราย , Dash Over, 1986)
  • Chan Rak Pua Khao (ฉัน รัก ผัว เขา, I Love Her Husband, 1987)
  • Ubati Hod (อุบัติ โหด, Emergency Bangkok, 1987)
  • The Love of Siam

Makes sense that House would still be able to show The Love of Siam, seeing as how the film was produced and distributed by Sahamongkol Film International, and House is part owned by a member of Sahamongkol's Techaratanaprasert family, is located in the UMG cinema complex owned by Sahamongkol and tends to generally show titles distributed by Mongkol Film.

Of course, none that is stopping House from showing Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Nymph, produced by rival Five Star. House loves Pen-ek, and as the big mall multiplexes have already stopped showing Nymph so they can schedule more screenings of the new Harry Potter movie, House still has Nymph. They're showing the "Director's Cut".

Oh, by the way, I noticed recently on Deknang/Popcornmag that The Love of Siam has been playing in Japan.

Well, anyway, this month's Week of Siam series -- now the final round -- is still taking place. "Way Back Into Love" will feature romantic dramas from July 23 to 29.

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