Friday, May 7, 2010

Phuket Film Festival adds Vietnamese action with Clash

The Phuket Film Festival has injected a dose of gritty, fierce Vietnamese action with the addition of Clash (Bẫy Rồng) among the just-added entries to its lineup.

The festival also has added a couple of documentaries with strong Southeast Asian interest, announced plans for benefit documentary screenings and has news of a musical guest.

Clash is the followup from the stars of The Rebel, the action hit featuring Power Kids and Tom Yum Goong baddie Johnny Trí Nguyen and "Veronica" Ngo Thanh Van. The couple dazzled crowds at the 2007 Bangkok International Film Festival when The Rebel played there.

Directed by Le Thanh Son (who co-wrote the movie with Johnny), Clash is a fast-paced showcase of gunfights and martial-arts action set against the backdrop of modern Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon.

Here's the synopsis:

Ex-convicts Quan and Cang are part of a hit squad put together by Trinh to rob a hard drive from the French mobsters. Trinh ultimately works for an elusive criminal mastermind who seeks the hard drive to get control of VINASAT.1, Vietnam’s first and only satellite.

As the job goes down, Cang betrays the crew and runs off with the hard drive, killing Trinh’s younger brother in the process. Seeking his big bonus check, Quan must help Trinh hunt for the traitor before he sells the drive to the Chinese Triad. Along the journey, the couple finds their chemistry and falls in love.

As the chase boils down to a collision between all the parties involved, Trinh discovers that Quan has a whole different agenda…

There's a trailer at YouTube and it's embedded at the bottom of this post.

Clash, playing on Tuesday, June 8, and Saturday, June 12, is among recent additions to the Phuket Film Festival lineup.

Further Southeast Asian interest is drummed up in two documentaries. One is Kepulihan: Stories from the Tsunami, about the recovery of four Indonesian survivors in the 2004 tsunami. The other is Who Killed Chea Vichea?, about the 2004 slaying of a Cambodian labor leader. Authorities in Phnom Penh recently prevented the movie from being shown.

The festival's opening weekend, June 5 and 6, will have two benefit documentary screenings. The first will be Soi Dogs, benefitting the Phuket Soi Dog Foundation. The other will be Anatomy of a Recovery, a Discovery channel show produced by the United Nations Development Program that was filmed in Ban Nam Khem, Thailand, a fishing village that lost nearly half of its population in the tsunami. Proceeds will benefit the Chumchonthai Foundation, which works with the "sea gypsy" fishermen.

More lighthearted fare can be founded in the family-oriented movie The Prince and Me 4: The Elephant Adventure, a movie filmed in Thailand that will have its Thai premiere. The screening will be followed by a concert by Thaithanium, a hip-hop group that features New Jersey-born Thai-American rapper and actor "Way" Prinya Intachai. He plays Kah in Prince and Me 4.

Other recent additions include the Australian musical comedy Bran Nue Dae and the international premiere of Teenage Paparazzo, a documentary by Entourage star Adrien Grenier.

The festival opens on June 4 with India's Harishchandrachi Factory, with director Paresh Mokashi in attendance.

The closing film on June 13 will be the premiere of Yutlert Sippapak's Friday Killers (มือปืน ดาวพระศุกร์, Meu Puen Dao Prasook). That and more is covered in an earlier entry.

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