Friday, July 1, 2016

Out to pasture

Covering Thai cinema and living in Thailand for the past decade or so has been an illuminating experience, one that I'm not sure whether I'll regret.

I started this blog when the Thai film industry was in the midst of an upswing, and was being discovered by the movie-going public around the world. After university studies in music and journalism and then a career in small-town Midwestern American newspapers, I took a sudden, prolonged sojourn to Southeast Asia. It led me to seeing Thai films, more Asian films and rediscovering film in general. This blog was a way to enter the wide world of cinema and to record my becoming acquainted with Thai and Southeast Asian film culture.

Over the years, I have seen the region's film industry go through cycles of growth and contraction. Now, as the scene enters yet another period of what will hopefully be growth, maturation and an acceptance of new and different voices, I have reached a point where I am struggling to find new things to say about it all. While Thai and Southeast Asian filmmakers will continue their struggles, for me it is time to move on, seek greener pastures and other rewarding opportunities. Although the blog will hopefully remain online, this entry will be the last.

My reasons for this move are mostly personal. If pressed for more details, I will give my official answer, which is to say I hope to spend time researching His Majesty King Bhumibol's sufficiency theories and putting them into practice.

Thanks first to the readers. Also thank you to former colleagues at The Cambodia Daily, co-workers at The Nation in Bangkok, as well as the filmmakers, festival programmers, experts, academics, critics and fellow enthusiasts who have shown me kindness and been patient with me all these years.

I hope that my devotion to you all has somehow been reflected in my writing.