Thursday, January 30, 2014

Concrete Clouds, Wonderful Town in Vesoul fest

Lee Chatametikool's Concrete Clouds will compete for the Golden Cyclo at the 20th Festival International des Cinémas d'Asie in Vesoul, France.

The fest also includes a 20th anniversary "carte blanche" program with Aditya Assarat's Wonderful Town, which Lee edited.

Other films in the main competition are The Ferry by Shi Wei (China), 10 Minutes by Lee Yong-seung from South Korea, Qissa by Anup Singh (India), Snow on Pines by Payman Maadi (Iran), Again by Kanai Junichi and Summer's End by Kumakiri Kazuyoshi (Japan), Quick Change by Eduardo Roy Jr. (Philippines) and Nobody's Home by Deniz Akçai (Turkey).

A release by the newly formed Mosquito Film Distribution, Concrete Clouds is about a stockbroker (Ananda Everingham) returning to Bangkok after the suicide of his father in the 1997 financial crisis. It previously screened in competition in Busan and is now in Rotterdam. It's the feature debut by Lee, who has long worked as a film editor and post-production hand on many, many films.

The Vesoul Festival International des Cinémas d'Asie runs from February 11 to 18.

(Via Film Business Asia)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kongdej's So Be It enters HAF 2014

Kongdej Jaturanrasee's next project So Be It is among the 25 projects chosen for the 12th Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) at this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival. It's about two boys from different backgrounds and ways of life who seek answers when they enter into the Buddhist monkhood.

For Kongdej, the project looks to be continuing a thread he started pulling on with last year's teen drama Tang Wong, in examining various aspects of contemporary Thai culture. Here's more from the project description page (PDF):

To the surprise of his parents, seven-year-old William, a Thai-American boy, expresses his willingness to participate in a summer ordination project for a reality show.

Appearing in this reality show makes William a popular boy, followed by many fan clubs. After the reality show ends, though, William is still missing something and thinks of his own monk-teacher who took care of him when he was ordained. William asks permission from his parents to visit his monk-teacher at the hill tribe temple in the north of Thailand on his school holidays, in order to experience his Buddha dharma way of life again. Finally, William tells his parents that he would like to become a monk for life.

Bundit, a 11-year-old hill tribe boy, belongs to a minority group which resides at Tak province (on the border of Thailand). He is sent to stay at Wat Sa-keaw, in Angthong province with other 2,000 children to study and obtain a better life. He is forced to spend his life near Buddhism, but has no chance to stay with his family. To survive among over 2,000 children is not easy. For Bundit, staying in temple everyday trains his discipline, which is not really different from that of a soldier in the military. And to be ordained, for him, is another way to seek happiness and a better material. On this school holiday, Bundit has an opportunity to go back to visit his home where he has not returned for over five years.

So Be It is produced by Soros Sukhum and Auttapon Na-Bangchang, an exec at Thailand's biggest cable-TV company TrueVisions.

The project has also been picked up for distribution by Mosquito Films Distribution, the new shingle started by Soros and a bunch of other well-known Thai indie filmmakers.

Film Business Asia has more on HAF.

HAF runs from March 24 to 26 during the HKIFF, March 24 to April 7.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cambodians take top prizes at first Tropfest SEA

Top-prize winner Sothea Ines, center, is flanked by second runner-up winner Ezequial Paolinelli, left, and first runner-up Ly Polen. Photo via TropFest SEA.

The first Tropfest Southeast Asia was held over the weekend in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia, attracting a crowd of more than 4,000 to watch the finalist short films.

Two Cambodians won the top prizes – 24-year-old Sothea Ines took the top prize for Rice and Polen Ly was first runner-up with Duetto. A third prize, second runner-up, went to a Malaysian entry, The Last Flight by Ezequial Paolinelli.

Rice, which took its title from the TropFest SEA "signature item" that all entries had to incorporate, was about boys in a Khmer Rouge camp who collect grains of rice day by day to stave off starvation, but are later caught and punished by the camp commander. The seven minute film, embedded below, is shot in black and white and is entirely without dialogue.

There were 12 finalists, chosen from more than 180 entries from across Southeast Asia. Other finalists were:

  • We Need to Break Up, Bradley Liew, Malaysia
  • Rice Border Love, Supawit Buaket, Thailand
  • The Strange Detective, Chan Kean Wah, Malaysia
  • Grateful Moment, Sean Kook, Malaysia
  • Chicken, Yihwen Chen, Malaysia
  • Surprice, Emmanuel Escalona Jr., Philippines
  • Moth in Twilight, J.E. Tiglao, Philippines
  • Laek, Mony Kann Darung, Cambodia
  • Congee, Tan Chee Meng and Charlotte Lam, Malaysia

Top-prize-winner Sothea receives $10,000 and a five-day immersion trip to Los Angeles, sponsored by the Motion Picture Association. Runner-up prizes to Polen and Paolinelli are all-expenses paid trips to Tropfest Sydney and Tropfest Arabia, respectively.

The panel of judges comprised Oscar-winning director Adam Elliot (Harvie Krumpet, Mary and Max), director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde, Monster-in-Law), Singaporean director Glen Goei, Malaysian actress Sharifah Amani and Roger Garcia, director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

John Polson, the founder and director of Tropfest, announced in a pre-recorded clip from New York that the "TropFest signature item" (TSI) for next year will be "wheel".

Meanwhile, there's still a chance to see the shorts and vote on them in the Audience Choice Award at Viddsee, the new online portal for Asian films. The voting runs until February 9, with the director of the winning film receiving $500 and a 4D3N luxury cruise to Krabi, Thailand, sponsored by Star Cruises.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Capsule reviews: Rang (The Parallel), 3AM 3D Part 2

There's probably an anti-abortion message somewhere in Rang (ร่าง, a.k.a. The Parallel) that star Paula Taylor wants you to take to heart. But the social commentary gets lost in a muddled, unevenly paced story about ghosts. Paula, the actress and model with the megawatt smile, became a mother not too long ago and is now serious as heck, and she turns in a solidly dramatic performance here. In Rang, she is drugged by her dirtbag boyfriend and taken to a back-alley abortion clinic. She somehow survives the ordeal, but loses the ability to have children. So she decides to adopt, and she settles on a creepy little girl who has a creepy little doll and a past that is as haunted as Paula's character's is. The girl has been left speechless since she witnessed her shopkeeper mother's violent death at the hands of a thug. A tussle ensued that saw her mother's face smashed into a glass shelf, cutting deep into her cheek. One second the gash is there, the next second it isn't. Then it's there again. After that, the curly-headed mother's fighting spirit apparently went to reside in the curly-headed doll. And anytime anyone threatens the little girl, the fearsome ghost mom with the curly hair and cut on her cheek is there to take care of them. A couple of comical young police detectives in skinny jeans are on the case, and somehow tie everything together. Overall, Rang isn't very scary, though there is decent gore. And the lighting is nice. Released by Golden A Entertainment, it's directed Phon Worawaranyu, previously an assistant director on films by industry veteran Tanit Jitnukul. Rated 18+ (3/5)

The clock has run out on Five Star Production's 3AM series of 3D shorts about horror happenings in the wee hours when ghosts are at their strongest. Following the far-stronger 2012 first batch, 3AM 3D Part 2 (ตีสาม คืนสาม 3D, Tee Sam Khuen Sam Sam D) is an infuriatingly unscary, unsuspenseful mess. It offers little that hasn't been done before, and gimmicky 3D effects that only make things worse. First up is Patchanon Thammajira's The Third Night, about a bunch of snot-nosed biker punks attending the funeral of one of their gang (Ray MacDonald), whose spirit is angry that his cutie-pie ex-girlfriend (Petei Hokari) has so quickly taken up with another guy, a dude named Bozo (Inthat Lieowrakwong). Angry ghost Ray hunts everyone down. The best, most-interesting segment of the three is Kirati Nakintanon's Convent, which is set in a Catholic girls' boarding school. Supanat Jittaleela, the tomboy from Yes or No, is the handsome boy-like toy who is fought over by a couple of girly-girl rivals. The action eventually leads to an abandoned chapel, where the ghost of a headless nun plays piano. Entertaining gore is served up here. Finally, there's Isara Nadee's comic segment The Offering, which is set in a Chinatown joss-paper shop and has also served to tie all three segments together. Amid papier-mâché cars, houses and other joss-paper offerings for dearly departed ancestors, a bumbling shop worker and the owner (Chirawat Wachirotranphat) are confronted by increasingly spooky happenings. The shop owner's wife (Sinjai Plengpanich) shows up to cause more confusion. Much running around and screaming ensue, but no good comes of of it. The only good thing about this segment is that it's the last one and then the final credits roll. Rated 15+ (2/5)

IFFR 2014: Top Thai indie filmmakers launch Mosquito Films Distribution

The Mosquito people, from left, Anocha, Aditya, Soros, Apichatpong, Lee, Pimpaka and Sompot.

Leading Thai independent filmmakers – directors Aditya Assarat, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Lee Chatametikool, Pimpaka Towira and producer Soros Sukhum – have banded together to start Mosquito Films Distribution.

The launch of the new company was announced this week at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, where several Mosquito titles are screening, among them Lee's debut feature Concrete Clouds, the world premiere of Uruphong Raksasad's The Songs of Rice,  Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit's Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy and the omnibus Letters from the South.

Sompot “Boat” Chidgasornpongse, among the attendees at this year's Berlin Talent Campus, has been named as the company's general manager.

Here's more from the company's website:
The new company will handle international sales and festival distribution for the partners’ films as well as upcoming titles from the new generation of Southeast Asian filmmakers.  The focus is on maximizing the potential of each individual film as well as aggregating the content into curated programs for festivals and educational institutions with a focus on Southeast Asian cinema.

Says Weerasethakul, “We are so busy day to day that we sometimes forget we have amassed quite a beautiful set of movies.  I think its time we unite and share these films to the world.  I, for one, am fascinated by the aesthetic of the new Thai films.  I am certain we are heading towards something more and more innovative”.

Mosquito Films Distribution will kick off operations at the 2014 Rotterdam Film Festival with a high profile selection of new and recent films: Concrete Clouds, directed by Chatametikool and co-produced by Weerasethakul, The Songs of Rice, directed by Uruphong Raksasad and produced by Towira, Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy, directed by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit and produced by Assarat, and the omnibus feature Letters from the South, co-directed by Assarat, Tsai Ming-Liang, Tan Chui Mui, Royston Tan, Midi Z, and Sun Koh, and produced by Tan Chui Mui.

Says Assarat, “we are all friends who have collaborated during the productions of our previous films.  The new company is about extending that collaboration into distribution as well.  Our strategy is to start with our own titles while at the same time finding and introducing to the world the next generation of filmmakers.  We want to be the brand that comes to mind when you think of Southeast Asian cinema.”

The partners have hired Sompot Chidgasornpongs as General Manager.  Chidgasornpongs, along with Towira, Sukhum and Chatametikool will be present at Rotterdam and Berlin to introduce the new venture and meet with potential clients.

Upcoming projects from Mosquito Films include So Be It by Kongdej Jaturanrasmee, By the Time It Gets Dark by Anocha, Beer Girl by Wichanon Somumjarn and Railway Sleepers, the long-in-the-works debut feature by Sompot. It was previously known as Are We There Yet?

Current offerings from the company also include a collection of Apichatpong’s short films, going all the way back to his first in 1994, 0116643225059 to 2012’s Cactus River.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Berlinale 2014: Four headed for Talent Campus

Four Thai indie film figures will join this year's Talent Campus at the Berlin International Film Festival.

They are film programmer Pathompong "Big" Manakitsomboon, actor Wanlop Rungkumjad, production designer Rasiguet Sookkarn and director Sompot "Boat" Chidgasornpongse.

Big Pathompong cut his teeth as a programmer for the World Film Festival of Bangkok but for the past couple of years has been an independent programmer and curator, as well as working on distribution for I Carried You Home. Other projects have included producer of Golden Teardrop, a video by artist Arin Rungjang that was part of last year's Thai Pavilion at the Venice Biennale He's also been producing Endless, Nameless, an experimental film shot from super 8mm stock by Pathompon Tesprateep. He's looking to getting into directing Super 8 as well and projects with actual found footage.

Wanlop, a former art director, broke into acting with the lead role in 2011's Eternity (Tee-Rak), which he followed up with 36 and Mother.

Rasiguet's credits include art direction on Aditya Assarat's short film Six to Six and production design on Kongdej Jaturanrasamee's last two features, Tang Wong and P-047.

And Boat has worked as an assistant director under Apichatpong Weerasethakul. His own film credits have included the shorts To Infinity and Beyond, Bangkok in the Evening, Andaman, Diseases and a Hundred Year Period (in reaction to the censorship of Apichatpong's Syndromes and a Century) and Home Video (Made in Thai Town). He's lately been at work for what seems like forever on his first feature, the train movie, Are We There Yet?

The Berlin International Film Festival runs from February 6 to 16.

Note: The post is updated from an earlier version, and corrects and adds more details about Pathompong Manakitsomboon.

(Thanks Soros!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

IFFR 2014: World premieres for The Songs of Rice, Supernatural

World premieres of new features by celebrated Thai indie filmmakers Uruphong Raksadad and Thunska Pansittivorakul are among the highlights of yet another strong Thai selection at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, which has just completed its schedule.

Uruphong has The Songs of Rice (Pleng khong kao) premiering in the Bright Future program. It's a followup to his 2009 sophomore feature documentary Agrarian Utopia
Here's the synopsis:

In Thailand, a hymn to rice need not always be sung. A dance, or spectacular homemade fireworks can say the same thing. As can a film, as is convincingly demonstrated by this lyrical, beautifully filmed homage to this essential staple food.

In Thailand, rice is the basis of every meal. Little wonder then that the crop is praised in many ways. In this lyrical film, the rice cycle is given a musical accompaniment - from the moment the crop is planted in endless, moist fields beneath spectacular cloudy skies until the cooked rice is shared out in temples.

A significant part of the film is dedicated to the harvest celebrations, at which men race on bulls and set off huge (and potentially deadly) homemade fireworks, and women swathed in gleaming, colourful fabrics and headpieces move seductively to hypnotic, drawn-out beats.

There are songs praising the qualities of rice, songs about harvesting and preparing it - some simple, some accompanied by an exuberant film clip. And there are moments when the pace slackens - literally - when the images speak for themselves, in slow motion, and tell a story of deep-rooted traditions and affinity with the land that produces this celebrated foodstuff.

Thunska's latest opus is Supernatural (Nua dhamma chat), which makes its bow in the festival's Spectrum lineup. It looks to be exploring similar themes as 2010's Reincarnate and 2011's The Terrorists except that it's a fictional narrative feature – his first – marking a departure from his past efforts, which have all been documentaries or hybrid documentary dramas.

Here's the synopsis:

Science fiction about a future Thailand. Futuristic, experimental, homo-erotic and with elements of a political essay. With a richness of themes and impressions that wouldn’t get past the censor in Thailand. The maker doesn’t mince his words and isn’t afraid to look reality in the eye.

In a futurist world, the Thai kingdom has been transformed by ‘The Leader’ into 'the Realm of people who have done good deeds and earned merits'. It’s a nice place to be, even though the inhabitants are plagued by an indefinable nostalgia. In the old days, people could at least touch each other. Although the Realm has reached version 2.0, technical possibilities remain limited.

This wondrous story of the future is interwoven with stories set in the present and past. According to Pansittivorakul, known for his independently-produced and taboo-breaking documentaries on homosexuality and politics, his first feature is science fiction, yet it is about today’s Thailand. For instance he criticises the need for religion and superstition.

But in the end, this very idiosyncratic, homo-erotically charged essay is above all about time: ‘Time influences everything. The past has to do with the present, and the present is linked to the future.’

Dateline Bangkok has more about Supernatural, which similar to The Terrorists, is unlikely to ever be publicly screened in Thailand.

In the main Tiger Awards competition is previously announced Concrete Clouds, the feature directorial debut by well-known film editor Lee Chatametikool, which makes its European premiere following its debut in competition at last year's Busan International Film Festival.

Concrete Clouds received a lot of support from the IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund, which this year celebrates 25 years with a special program, Mysterious Objects – 25 Years of the Hubert Bals Fund. the title of course refers to Apichatpong Weerasethakul's 2000 debut feature, the experimental documentary Mysterious Object at Noon. It, alongside films by the likes of Chen Kaige, Carlos Reygadas and Elia Suleiman, will once again grace the big screen in Rotterdam.

Coincidentally, Apichatpong is among the producers of Concrete Clouds, with Lee having been the editor of most of Apichatpong's features.

Another European premiere is Letters from the South, an omnibus project about the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia. Among the six directors taking part is Thailand's Aditya Assarat, who describes between Paula and her friends, who have Chinese roots, with her cousin Mumu, who was born in China. Other segments are by Singapore's Royston Tan and Sun Koh, Myanmar's Midi Z and Malaysia's Tan Chui Mui. Tsai Ming-liang, also born in Malaysia, observes the seventh-storey apartment in which he grew up as a child.

Also in the Bright Future is the popular Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, whose feature debut 36 was in the Tiger Awards competition last year.

The Thai selection is rounded out with a pair entries in the Spectrum Shorts program – Pimpaka Towira's Thai-Myanmar border drama Malaria and Mosquitos and Sorayos Prapapan's mistreated-maid tale Boonrerm.

Looks like another big year for indie Thai filmmakers freezing their butts off in the Netherlands. The International Film Festival Rotterdam runs from January 22 to February 2.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Review: Fud Jung To

  • Directed by Rerkchai Paungpetch and Noppadon Arkard
  • Starring Ramita Mahapruekhong, Pakorn Chatborirak, Anek Intachan, Phongchak Phitsathanphon
  • Released in Thai cinemas on December 25, 2013; rated 15+
  • Wise Kwai's rating: 2/5

To me, “Gypso” Ramita Mahapruekhong is Thailand’s most annoying actress, which puts her high in the running for most annoying actress in the world.

I don’t know what it is about her that rubs me the wrong way. She’s talented, funny and pretty. Maybe it’s because she’s always been cast in atrocious movies.

Which brings me to Fud Jung To (ฟัดจังโตะ), in which she plays a super-annoying girlfriend who is forced to take a trip to Japan with her super-insensitive prick of an ex-boyfriend.

It’s a contrived plot to be sure, but then aren’t all romantic comedies contrived? However, “Fud Jung To” takes forced situations to new heights of ridiculousness.

The latest effort by studio M-Thirtynine and director Rerkchai Paungpetch, “Fud Jung To” is another of their year-end comedies. It’s something they’ve been doing for several years now. All have been nonsensical yukfests with mostly incomprehensible plots. Most of the titles have been untranslatable. I asked a Thai colleague to explain this one, and she says Fud Jung To has no meaning at all.

Yet despite all the nonsense, the movies have been crazily popular. So they keep making them. Fud Jung To debuted on Christmas Day, and a late-night screening this week at a suburban Bangkok multiplex was still pulling in a fair-sized crowd. According to the box-office figures as of New Year’s Day, it’s earned a not-so-shabby Bt31.67 million.

Gypso is a young product presenter named Gabs who is obsessed with buying bottled tea. She’s hoping the next cap she unscrews will be the one that wins her a trip to Japan. Gabs is not someone you’d want to be queued up behind at the 7-Eleven, because she’ll have an armload of bottled teas, which will lead the clerk to mentioning a promotion on the stuff to entice her to buy even more. But this only causes Gabs to be indecisive and take up even more time in line. Being one of her friends isn’t so hot either. Ask her to buy you a juice or cola, you’ll get a green tea instead. And you’ll have to surrender the bottle cap.

Gabs has gone to such a length to score that winning cap, she has even landed a boyfriend who works at the tea company and whose job it is to design those caps.

Seems like there would be a conflict of interest with that relationship, but the real problem is that Gabs’ sweetie Gob has about had it with her roller-coaster emotions, neediness, whining and constant phone calls pestering him about everything. He’s played by “Boy” Pakorn Chatborirak, who’s wonderfully deadpan in his reactions but also comes across as a jerk.

Really, it’s hard to sympathize with either of these characters. They are constantly at each other’s throats, slapping each other’s faces, kicking each other’s behinds, strangling each other and then kissing.

He breaks up with her in a little Japanese restaurant in a shopping mall, possibly in hopes that the public venue would keep Gabs from going nuts. And she doesn’t go nuts – she goes absolutely berserk, bawling and screaming at the top of her lungs, running down the up escalator and drawing a huge crowd of dumbfounded onlookers.

Gabs’ emotions then rocket back up into the stratosphere when she hears she’s won that trip to Japan, but her joy is immediately tempered when she learns that she must take the trip with the person she named in her entry – her ex-boyfriend Gob.

So the two ex-lovers are forced to travel together. Their shared futon becomes a wrestling mat as the bickering twosome grapples for superiority.

To heighten the contrived situation, the pair are also compelled to don various Japanese outfits, ranging from traditional wedding garb to school uniforms and finally bizarre cosplay getups.

They have to wear the costumes because they are being recorded by hidden cameras for a promotional short film. At least that’s what they’re told by their tour guide, a bespectacled young geek named Guide (Phongchak Phitsathanphon), who is accompanied by his oddball father (comedian Anek Intachan, a regular in these M-Thirtynine year-end movies).

To be fair, for the first hour, Fud Jung To clicks along entertainingly, in spite of its contrivances. Perhaps sensing that audiences are starting to grow weary, Rerkchai dispenses with some of the sloppiness of his previous efforts. He sticks closer to a script. Also, there’s no sign of cherubic funnyman Charoenporn “Kotee” Onlamai, who’s been in Rerkchai’s previous films. Also, Rerkchai is assisted by a co-director, Noppadon Arkard.

As the slaps, kicks, punches and bites pile on, the effect is numbing. The laugh-a-minute pace slows to a dull, quiet crawl.

A twist is introduced, clumsily. It might have been more effective if it hadn’t already been revealed in the trailers and synopses. So much of the suspense is killed because the bored audience is wondering when that twist is going to show up. And when it does, it’s underwhelming, because, after all, it’s just Gypso again, only with a different hairstyle and different clothes, but she’s still caught in the same nonsensical movie.

(Cross-published in The Nation)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ring in the new year with Rang

Paula Taylor Buttery, the model-actress with the huge million-baht smile, takes a serious turn in the first Thai film of 2014, Rang (ร่าง, a.k.a. The Parallel).

She stars in the horror thriller from Golden A Entertainment as a woman who is forced to have an abortion. She then adopts a little girl who has lost her mother. But then the girl's ghost mom comes calling.

Wanisa Nuchanon and Manasicha Kerdkosum also star. It's directed by Phon Worawaranyu, previously an assistant director on several films by industry veteran Tanit Jitnukul.

Meanwhile, The Nation previews some of the other films that are offered by the Thai film industry this year. Head on over and have a look.

Butterfly Man re-emerges

Among the many highlights of last year was the opening of the Friese-Greene Club, a private cinema and bar that was opened by longtime Thailand-based British filmmaker Paul Spurrier.

Contributing greatly to the education and research of member filmmakers, film experts, writers and fans, the club changes its schedule monthly, usually with each day of the week devoted to certain themes.

This month, Wednesdays are devoted to the controversial topic of "love of Asian ladies", and the series opens on Wednesday, January 15 with 2002's Butterfly Man (ผีเสื้อร้อนรัก, Pee Seua Ron Rak), presented by the director, Bangkok-based British filmmaker Kaprice Kea. Since making Butterfly Man, he's racked up a string of film credits, mainly as a casting director.

His film is about a dumb young Brit (Stuart Laing) who is dumped by his girlfriend while on vacation in Thailand. Out of spite, he embarks a series of one-night stands with Thai ladies and loses all his money. He then gets roped in by gangsters while falling for the charms of a Thai masseuse ("Mamee" Napakpapha Nakprasitte) on Koh Samui. Check out the trailer, embedded below.

Butterfly Man was the start of a string of films produced by or with production services from Bangkok's De Warrenne Pictures exploring the hedonistic side of "farang" life in Thailand . Others have included 2006's The Elephant King, 2008's Soi Cowboy and the upcoming rock 'n' roll movie Glory Days. I suppose it's possible that De Warrenne honcho Tom Waller's upcoming directorial effort The Last Executioner might fit into that pantheon as well.

Other offerings in the cross-cultural romance category by the Friese-Greene Club this month will be two Hong Kong-set films, 1955's Love is a Many Splendored Thing with William Holden and Jennifer Jones, and 1960's The World of Suzie Wong, with Holden falling for the incomparable Nancy Kwan.

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 reservations are a must. Also, there are often last-minute changes in the schedule, so please check the website and Facebook page when planning a visit.