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  1. #1
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    Whiteshiva's Avatar
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    Contemporary World Cinema at FCCT

    For those of you who might be culturally inclined, I thought this could perhaps be of interest:

    As part of our expanding cultural offerings, the FCCT is pleased to announce a new occasional film series on contemporary world cinema. Thanks to the efforts of member Lekha Shankar, and the cooperation of several embassies and cultural attaches, we are able to bring you some of the best films from the modern world stage. From countries near and far - including Thailand, India, Iran, France, Israel, Canada, Argentina and others, we are delighted to bring these motion pictures to you, all shown through our new Star Alliance LCD projector on our big Clubhouse screen. Keep watching The Bulletin for details of our offerings from the best in contemporary and classic films from around the world.

    We are very pleased to begin our cinematic offerings with a pair of contemporary films from Thailand, a country now gaining increasing recognition on the international stage for its innovative movies -- from trenchant social commentary to imaginative playbacks paying homage to an earlier era of cinema. Don’t miss this great opportunity to gain new insights into Thailand through the eyes of some of its cutting, young filmmakers. The first two films – Citizen Dog and Mon Rak Transitor – come courtesy of Five Star Entertainment, a leading Bangkok-based film production house that supports both commercial cinema and independent films.


    Citizen Dog
    (Ma Nakorn)
    a film by Wisit Sasanatieng
    Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 8:00 pm
    Cover charge for non-members: 150 Baht

    Wisit Sasanatieng’s 2004 picture has been called a riotously colorful, utterly charming musical fantasy. Ray Bennett of the Hollywood Reporter deems it a “… hoot, an infectiously weird, bright-colored, high-energy piece of fine cinema that should appeal to anyone who remembers when going to the movies was just plain fun.” Jay Seaver of Filmcritic.com says the movie is “ … a spellbinding film … as sweet as it is eccentric,” and gives it a five-star rating.

    The story follows Pod, an upcountry bumpkin who moves to Bangkok to seek his fortune. He ends up at the Dog & Helmet Brand Sardine Company chopping the heads off fish on a conveyer belt. Misfortune strikes when he chops off his finger and it ends up in a can of sardines. Pod scours the supermarkets for the finger; he finds a can, but the finger is not his, but that of his wacky co-worker Yod. The detachable digits are reunited with their proper owners and life resumes its course.

    Pod’s paramour is the beautiful Jin, a young woman who talks to people she meets in magazines and spends her time trying to read a foreign-language book that fell out of an airplane. Pod is head-over-heals in love and spends the most of his time thinking up new ways to prove his devotion for Jin as she takes on a number of Quixotic causes, including trying to save the world from plastic.

    Along the way he encounters a series of outrageously strange characters including an 8-year-old who thinks she’s 22, smokes a lot and carries on a turbulent relationship with an alcoholic Teddy Bear. Then there’s the grandmother reincarnated as a gecko, a gorgeous Chinese girl who runs Yod ragged, and motorcycle taxi driver who’s killed on the job but stays oddly on as a ghost.

    It may seem like nutty nonsense yet Citizen Dog also offers a weird vision of a Thailand in transition, through a painful and dislocating industrialization, and the jarring encounter of village traditions with urban modernity, and the ties of love that bind people through it all. Don’t miss it.

    Wisit Sasanatieng has been praised as one of the country’s most imaginative young directors, and his next film ‘Nam Prix’ is being partly produced by well-known French Director Luc Besson’s Europacorp Co. His first movie ‘Tears of the Black Tiger’, that won much international acclaim, is just being released widely in the US, amid adulation from critics, and we hope to bring that film to you, along with the director, in the months ahead.



    Monrak Transistor
    (Transistor Love Story)
    a film by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
    Thursday, March 29, 2007, at 8:00 pm
    Cover charge for non-members: 150 Baht


    There’s no mistaking the social message in director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang’s 2001 fable, Monrak Transistor, which is dedicated to the murdered 1960s Thai country and western star Surapol Sombatcharoen. And it’s a largely pessimistic one: that Thailand’s poor will always be exploited by those with money or power, even as they seek their own fortunes. But that message comes wrapped in pure entertainment, making Monrak Transistor, in the words of its director, “ … a piece of candy with just a taste of satirical poison at its center.”

    The story centers on Phaen, a young suburbanite with a great love of music who never misses a chanced to show off his voice at temple fairs. It’s at one of these that he meets and falls in love with the beautiful Sadao. On their wedding day he gives his new bride a transistor radio, which his in-laws love and which gives Phaen many a daydream of becoming a famous singer. But reality intrudes in the form of a draft notice, and Phaen is forced to join the army. On the base, he enters a singing contest and comes in a first runner-up. Inspired by this, he decides to desert the military and heads for the bright lights of Bangkok to follow his dream. Though the travails and hardships that follow his decision to desert, Phaen cleaves the memory of his first transistor radio and the better times when dreams were still possible.

    Thailand entered Monrak Transistor for consideration as Best Foreign Film in the 2003 Academy Awards. While the film got neither nomination nor Oscar, the film has picked up a slew of other awards since its release, including Best Actor and Best Sound at the 2002 Asia-Pacific Film Festival, the Trade Winds Award at the Seattle International Film festival, Jury Award at the 2002 Viennale, and Best Actress, Best Picture and Best Screenplay at the Thailand National Film Association Awards.

    Following ‘Monrak Transistor’, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang’s ‘ Last Life in the Universe,’ starring Japanese superstar Asano Tadanobu, won the Best Actor Prize in the Upstream section of the 2003 Venice Film festival, the first Thai movie to receive this honor. His latest film, ‘Invisible Waves’, was premiered at last year’s Berlin Film Festival. We hope to screen both these movies later in the year.



    Coming in April:
    Offside
    a film by Jafar Panahi


    Next up in our series will be the critically acclaimed 2006 Iranian film Offside by one of contemporary Iran’s most famous filmmakers. Jafar Panahi. The story focuses on group of young girls who try to enter Tehran’s Azadi Stadium dressed as boys in order to watch a big football match, and end up getting caught and arrested. The film won the Jury Grand Prix for its director at the Berlin International Film Festival and Amnesty International Best Film Award at the Ljubljana International Film Festival.



    Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand
    Penthouse, Maneeya Center Building
    518/5 Ploenchit Road (connected to the BTS Skytrain Chitlom station)
    Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
    Tel.: 02-652-0580-1
    Fax: 02-652-0582
    E-mail: fccthai@loxinfo.co.th

  2. #2
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteshiva
    Monrak Transistor
    I enjoyed that movie. I didn't think it was that old though.

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