Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Eagles and Mitr fly in outdoor movie shows

Thai films will be screened in the classic nang klang plang (open-air) style – including live dubbing – nightly from Friday until December 26 in the Movies on the Beach show at the Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Bangkok Hotel on Charoenkrung Road.

Filmmaker Pantham Thongsang curates the program, mixing classics with contemporary Thai movies.

The program starts with Khoo Kam, a classic tale of star-crossed lovers during World War II. Many versions of this story have been filmed, and they'll show two of the best remembered – the 1973 version starring Nat Phoowanai and Duangnapha Attapornwisan and 1996's with Thongchai "Bird" McIntyre in the role of a Japanese officer and Apasiri Nitibhon as the Thai woman he's in love with.

Saturday's show will have dueling historical dramas, starting with 1966's Suek Bang Rajan, starring Sombat Metanee in a performance that won him a Tukata Tong (Golden Doll) award, which was handed to him personally by His Majesty the King. Phitsamai Wilaisak also stars. It's in a double-feature bill with Thanit Jitnukul’s blood-soaked battle epic Bang Rajan, which became an international cult hit after its release in 2000.

Sunday will feature the martial-arts exploits of legendary actor Mitr Chaibancha and his leading lady Petchara Chaowarat in the high-flying Hong Kong wire-fu swordfighting fantasy Atsawin Daap Gaaiyasit (อัศวินดาบกายสิทธิ์). According to Thai Worldview, another actor named Chat Chayaphum from Chayaphum province was brought in to complete the film after Mitr died.

During the week, there will be the films by Pantham and Somkiet Vituranich: the talking-dog drama Ma Mha (Mid-Road Gang) on Monday, and 2004's social drama Ai Fak (The Judgement) on Tuesday.

Nonzee Nimibutr's 1997 debut feature Dang Bireley's and Young Gangsters about teenage hoodlums in the 1950s (screenplay by Wisit Sasanatieng) shows on Wednesday.

And there's the smash-hit 1970 musical Monrak Luk Thung (Magical Love in the Countryside), starring Mitr Chaibancha and Petchara Chaowarat.

Christmas Eve has more Mitr action in 1970's Insee Tong (Golden Eagle), which features the fateful helicopter stunt that killed Mitr on October 8, 1970. It'll be in a double bill with this year's Insee Dang (The Red Eagle), an action-packed reboot of Mitr's long-running franchise by director Wisit Sasanatieng, featuring Ananda Everingham in the lead role of the masked vigilante crimefighter.

Christmas night will offer spirituality and laughs in the Buddhist monk movies Luang Ta 3: Seeka Khang Wat from 1991 and Luang Phee Theng (The Holy Man).

The program closes with the 2001 romantic drama Khang Lang Phab (Behind the Painting), the final film by the late director Cherd Songsri, starring "Ken" Theeradej Wongpuapan and Cara Pholasit.

Tickets are Bt350 for one screening and Bt450 for two movies on Friday and Saturday. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Thai Film Foundation. Call (02) 688 1000.

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