Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Festival festival! Young Man in Venice, Vanishing Point in Sao Paulo

[Note: Festival festival! is a reboot of a recurring feature on this blog, in which I will attempt to offer periodic updates about Thai films at festivals around the world. It was something I did quite often in the past, but not so much in recent years due to time constraints and other issues. Thai filmmakers, please feel free to let me know if you have an entry in an upcoming festival, and when I collect two or three items I will make a posting.]

Martin Scorsese's The Audition is out of the picture at the Venice International Film Festival, but there's still a cool short screening.

Wichanon Sumumjarn (Four Boys, White Whiskey and Grilled Mouse) will be in Venice's Orizzonti competition with The Young Man Who Came from the Chee River (Jer Gun Muer Rao Jer Gun), a 16-minute drama. Here's the description from the festival website:

Golf works as a debt collector in Khon Kaen. One day he wakes up early to go to work as usual. He meets many people, including a desperate man in debt who falls critically ill. The situation forces Golf to weigh his professional duty and his moral sense against each other.

Hear the roar of the motorbike in the trailer (embedded below) from Isan New Wave Production.

Meanwhile, a major Thai fixture on the festival circuit this year, Jakrawal Nilthamrong's debut feature Vanishing Point (วานิชชิ่ง พอยท์), has been making more appearances since winning the Tiger Award at Rotterdam. It has screened in Taipei, Hong KongWroclaw, Poland and Moscow. Currently, Vanishing Point can be seen in São Paulo, Brazil, at the  Indie Festival.

São Paulo also has another Thai film that's been a hit at festivals this year, a little indie movie called Cemitério do Esplendor. I'll aim to have more on that soon.

Back to Vanishing Point, it got a positive review from The Hollywood Reporter in Taipei. Here's a snip:

Apart from the Richard C. Sarafian countercultural cult hit with which Jakrawal's film shares its name – a borrowing most probably down to the prominence of cars and crashes in the story here – Vanishing Point also contains a smattering of references from a few other classics from the "New Hollywood" era, ranging from the odd nods to the paranoia-drenched thrillers of Klute and The Conversation to the grand visual gestures of Michelangelo Antonioni's American forays of Zabriskie Point and The Passenger.

Another plus, Vanishing Point will actually come to Thai cinemas this year, with a release set for Bangkok's SF World Cinema on October 22, and other cities to follow. Keep track of those developments at the film's Facebook page.

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