Friday, January 11, 2013

Kongdej's Tang Wong dances into Berlinale

Four teenage boys swear an oath at an altar that if they do well in their endeavors they will perform the traditional tang wong dance. But none of them are dancers, nor are they all that in touch with traditions.

That's the set up for Kongdej Jaturanrasmee's Tang Wong, which makes its world premiere at this year's Berlin International Film Festival as part of the just-completed Generations lineup.

Here's the synopsis from the film's Tumblr:

Tang Wong is a comedic drama that centers around four high school boys.

Yong and Jay are representing the school in the science competition. Best wishes to be on the school ping-pong team. And Em is a champion K-pop cover dancer.

All four boys have prayed before the Luang Poo idol at the spirit house. When their wishes come true they must repay the debt by performing a traditional Thai dance. This is easier said than done and they must enlist the help of Nut, a transvestite dancer who lives in their block.

But in today’s Thailand, rushing blindly forwards without compass or a rear-view mirror, many questions arise out of this predicament. Who are we? What do we believe? And where are we all headed?

Kongdej is again working with the crew of indie filmmakers that made last year's much-acclaimed psychological drama P-047, including producer Soros Sukhum, director of photography Umpornpol Yugala. Cult alternative rock musician Apichai Tragoolpadetgrai, star of P-047, is among the contributors of original music.

The 63rd Berlinale runs from February 7 to 17.

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