Thursday, January 21, 2016

In Thai cinemas: Awasarn Loke Suay, Krasue Kreung Khon

The year in Thai cinema commences with Awasarn Loke Suay (อวสานโลกสวย), a teen-oriented psychological drama from Kantana Motion Pictures.

Apinya Sakuljaroensuk stars as a faded Internet idol who becomes upset at being unseated by a new schoolgirl star (Napasasi Surawan). She decides to teach the naive upstart a lesson in cruelty. Pun Homcheun and Onusa Donsawai direct, adapting a short film of the same name.

In a gimmick to gin up publicity, there are two versions – rated 18+ and the “uncut” 20-

And there's another Thai film to start 2016 – veteran actor-director Bin Banluerit's horror-comedy
Krasue Kreung Khon (กระสือครึ่งคน) – which has a jungle tribe of dwarfs being terrorized by the notorious krasue, the female ghost of Southeast Asian folklore that’s a floating vampiric head and entrails. It's a mainstream release, from Sahamongkol.

New releases in Thai cinemas this week include the Oscar-nominated 45 Years from upstart indie distributor HAL Film, which made its debut last year with the release of the offbeat foreign indies White God and The Tribe. And, oddly, the Documentary Club is releasing a dramatic feature, that iPhone movie", Tangerine. Shows the possibilities for doc filmmaking, I suppose.

Upcoming events to mention include the Bangkok Art and Culture Center's Cinema Diverse: Directors' Choice series, which wraps up on February 6 with a screening of the Chilean drama No hosted by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand's most-celebrated filmmaker. He and film critic Kong Rithdee will talk about the movie afterward, with translation in English. Registration opens at 4.30pm with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

Still more events this year include the Goethe-Institut and Thai Film Archive's Wim Wenders Retrospective, which will include Wings of Desire outdoors at Lumpini Park in February and a 3D screening of Pina at the Archive in March. There's also the Salaya International Documentary Film Festival in March, the Archive's travelling Memories fest in April, the Silent Film Festival of Thailand in June and the Thai Short Film and Video Festival in August.

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