Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Special Bangkok screenings for P, Censor Must Die and It Gets Better

Two films by filmmakers who have been banned and another film that's never been screened publicly in Thailand will be shown next week in Bangkok.

First off, filmmaker Paul Spurrier celebrates this Thursday's Halloween at his private cinema, The Friese Greene-Club, with a rare treat – a special screening of his 2005 horror film P, in which a dancer at a Soi Cowboy go-go bar uses black magic to upstage the others.

Weirdly, the film has never been screened publicly in Thailand, though it was released on Blu-ray a few years ago. There's a reason why P never unspooled in Thai cinemas, but I think it's a story best told by Paul himself while you enjoy a tasty beverage at the bar in his club. Anyway, this Halloween will be the film's Thai premiere.

Shows start at 8pm. The FGC is down an alley next to the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. With just nine seats, the screening room fills up fast, so please check the website to make bookings.

Next week, from November 5 to 9, the Friese-Greene Club will host special screenings of Censor Must Die, the documentary by Ing K. that deals with the banning of her previous film, Shakespeare Must Die. It's an instructive look at a brand-new Thai bureaucracy – the Culture Ministry's Film and Video Board and its film-ratings system.

Though the movie has been cleared for public screenings, Ing K. is still being a bit cagey about it, so the screenings are for card-carrying FGC members only. Membership at the moment is free. If you're not yet a member, you just need to get down to the club and put your name in the book 24 hours before you plan to see the movie. Also, for this movie, there is an admission price: 150 baht.

Next Monday, November 4, The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand screens It Gets Better (ไม่ได้ขอให้มารัMai Dai Kor Hai Ma Rak) by Tanwarin Sukkhapisit.

It's the followup to her debut feature, Insects in the Backyard, which was banned for its frank depictions of sexuality and sex acts. It Gets Better takes a broader, more-commercially appealing approach to addressing the issues of sexuality and gender.

The top nominee at the Subhanahongsa Awards this year, the movie is structured in three segments that increasingly intertwine. One story deals with a fiftysomething post-op ladyboy (played by actress Penpak Sirikul) who is touring around a small town in Thailand's scenic north. Another part deals with a young man who returns to Thailand after the death of his father and discovers his dad ran a ladyboy cabaret in Pattaya. He finds himself falling for one of the bar's staff. And the third story is about an effeminate young man who is shipped off to the monkhood after his father discovers him dressing up in his mother's clothes.

Tanwarin will be present at the FCCT for a post-screening question-and-answer session. Entry for non-members is 150 baht plus 100 baht more for anyone wanting to sip the wines provided by Village Farm and Winery. The showtime is 8pm.

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