Limitless Cinema in Broken English

March 28, 2007

RETROSPECTIVE WISH LIST

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 12:22 pm

THIS IS THE COMMENT I LEFT IN ELUSIVE LUCIDITY BLOG.

http://elusivelucidity.blogspot.com/2007/03/little-of-this-little-of-that.html#comments

What a great list! I have seen only three films directed by Rattana Pestonji and one film of which he is a cinematographer and producer. I saw BLACK SILK (1961, A), DARK HEAVEN (1958, A), and COUNTRY HOTEL (1957, A+) in 1996, and a few years later I saw CHUAFAH DIN SALAI (directed by Marut, 1955, A+). I think CHUAFAH DIN SALAI can be translated as UNTIL THE END OF TIME. (The grade I give to each film indicates how much I love it, not how good the film is.)

Personally, I think Rattana Pestonji is excellent in film craftsmanship. He might be one of the best Thai directors, but he is not one of my most favorite directors. It is because I often feel some ‘distant’ from classical cinema in general. Rattana Pestonji’s films make me admire him, but don’t make me feel very strong emotions.

I think COUNTRY HOTEL is a very entertaining movie. I love the structure of this film. For the first half of this film, the story is full of nonsensical jokes, and suddenly the story turns from comedy into thriller. It gives me as much surprise as FROM DUSK TILL DAWN. The female protagonist is very brave, and I always like this kind of female protagonist.

BLACK SILK is a good classical film, but the female protagonist in this film is too good for me to identify with. Hahaha. She behaved like Penelope, Odysseus’s patient wife. I like this film as much as I like GOLDEN MARIE (1952, Jacques Becker), which also concerns with the love of a gang member. I think both films are perfectly crafted. Everything seems to be in the right place in the right proportion. The story is nicely told. But it doesn’t make me feel very exciting.

DARK HEAVEN is a nicely told melodrama. It is adapted from SEVENTH HEAVEN (1927, Frank Borzage). I like DARK HEAVEN as much as I like some of Aki Kaurismaki’s films. These films are about poor people with pure hearts who try to be happy together against all odds. But DARK HEAVEN is a little bit ‘loud’ compared with Kaurismaki’s quiet tone.

CHUFAH DIN SALAI is my most favorite among these four films, because Marut, the director, can make very good use of the sex appeal of the handsome leading actor. I don’t know anything about Marut, but this film feels much more ‘sensual’ than the three films of Pestonji that I saw. I also like the character of the leading protagonist. She is a very bad girl, like the one in THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE. Though the leading characters in this film are bad people (practicing adultery), I couldn’t help siding with them and prayed that they could win in the end. That’s why I think this film is great. It tells a romantic story of immoral couple, and can make the audience sympathize with them.

CHUAFAH DIN SALAI is also an inspiration for today’s Thai filmmaker. This film is strongly referred to in the short film called MIAMI STRIPS, HOLLYWOOD DREAMS (1999, Lee Chatametikool, A+). Lee Chatametikool now works as an editor in SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY, TROPICAL MALADY, and BLISSFULLY YOURS.

Rattana Pestonji was born in 1908, so I hope that there should be a centennial anniversary for him next year.

There are also some films by Pestonji that I would like to see very much. They are:

1.THAILAND (1958)
This film shows some historical places in Bangkok and the ordinary life of Thai people, which are very connected with Buddhism

2. DHAMMACHAKRA (THE WHEEL OF THE LAW) (1958)
This film shows Dhammachakra, which is an important symbol of Buddhism, and some stories related to Dhammachakra.

3.DIAMOND FINGER (1958)
This film shows Khon, a Thai traditional dance performance. The performance is adapted from some Hindu mythology called Ramayana. It is about Nontuk, a loyal gatekeeper in heaven. By doing his duty well, he is given magical powers by the god Shiva. He is given a diamond finger that can point death to anyone he wishes to kill. So he points it to many deities and creates havoc in heaven.

4.50 YEARS OF DIETHELM
This film collects many old advertisements for old products by Diethelm company.

5.SURA (BEVERAGES)
This one is like an industrial film. It shows the process of work inside a factory of alcoholic drinks.

THAILAND, THE WHEEL OF THE LAW, and DIAMOND FINGER are short documentaries that Pestonji made for the Thai government, so that they can be distributed to foreign embassies. They are about Thai culture and many aspects of Thailand.

50 YEARS OF DIETHELM and SURA are documentaries that Pestonji made for some business corporations.

The four short documentaries (excluding SURA) have something connected to one another, and are very important in documenting Thailand in the past.

The information about these five short films by Pestonji is from an article by Manotham Theamtheabrat, my most favorite Thai film critic. The article appeared in a Thai magazine called THAI FILM QUATERLY, July-Sep 1999.

I also like Yoshida Yoshishige, Werner Schroeter, and Alexander Kluge very much. I saw WOMEN IN THE MIRROR (2002, Yoshida Yoshishige, A+), A PROMISE (1986, Yoshida Yoshishige, A+), THE DEATH OF MARIA MALIBRAN (1972, Werner Schroeter, A+), and MALINA (1991, Werner Schroeter, A+). As for Alexander Kluge’s films, the one that I like the most is FIREFIGHTER, E.A. WINTERSTEIN (1968). It is very crazy.
,
My retrospective wish list
1.LEOPOLDO TORRE NILSSON (ARGENTINA)

2.FERRY RADAX (AUSTRIA)
He belongs to the SIXPACKFILM group.

3.ERIC DE KUYPER (BELGIUM)

4.ANDRE DELVAUX (BELGIUM)

5.JULIO BRESSANE (BRAZIL)

6.RENE ALLIO (FRANCE)

7.ALAIN ROBBE-GRILLET (FRANCE)

8.FRED KELEMEN (GERMANY)

9.VOLKER KOEPP (GERMANY)

10.WERNER NEKES (GERMANY)

11.KLAUS WYBORNY (GERMANY)

12.PANTELIS VOULGARIS (GREECE)

13.HEINOSUKE GOSHO (JAPAN)
I have heard that The National Film Theatre in London showed 21 films of Gosho in 1986,

14.SERIK APRYMOV (KAZAKHSTAN)

15.SHARUNAS BARTAS (LITHUANIA)

16.PHANI MAJUMDAR (He is an Indian who is very important in the Malaysian film history.)

17.KIM KI-YOUNG (SOUTH KOREA)

18.ALEKSANDR KAJDANOVSKY (SOVIET)

19.CLAUDE GORETTA (SWITZERLAND)

20.OMER KAVUR (TURKEY)

My retrospective witch list (for female filmmakers):

1.TRACEY MOFFATT (AUSTRALIA)

2.LAURA MULVEY (BRITISH)

3.ANNE CLAIRE POIRIER (CANADA)

4.MARGUERITE DURAS (FRANCE)

5.NOEMIE LVOVSKY (FRANCE)

6.ANGELA SCHANELEC (GERMANY)

7.ISABELL SPENGLER (GERMANY)
I’d like to see TRANSFORMATION IN THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT, which she directed with Corinna Schnitt and Alice Koenitz.

8.ULA STOECKL (GERMANY)
I’d like to see her film called TRUST YOUR FATHERS, IGNORE YOUR EXPERIENCE (1982).

9.SADIE BENNING (USA)

10.DONNA DEITCH (USA)

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7 Comments »

  1. Stumbled onto your site through girish’s posting–I’ll definitely be stopping by now.

    Just wanted to say that I share your wish for a Robbe-Grillet retrospective–I love his novels and his screenplay for Marienbad, and have always been interested in how his distinctive style and creative vision would translate into his own filmmaking. I was lucky enough, however, to get a taste of another French author/filmmaker while I was studying in London several years ago–one for Marguerite Duras. To my neverending disappointment I was only able to catch two feature films, a short and a documentary on her by one of her friends, but the two I was able to see (India Song and La Navire Night) were breathtaking, if also relentless in how they challenged the audience. The problem is both seem like hazy dreams now–I’m waiting for a R1 release (one of Robbe-Grillet’s film just got a release, so it seems there is a little hope).

    Comment by jesse — April 17, 2007 @ 6:01 am

  2. Thank you very much, Jesse, for your comment. I have looked into your blog “Memories of the Future”. The name of your blog makes me not surprised why you like Robbe-Grillet and Duras, two filmmakers/writers who can twist the time and narrativity like no others. I’m a little bit busy right now, but when I have free time, I intend to answer your comment by writing a new post.

    Comment by celinejulie — April 19, 2007 @ 11:17 am

  3. […] MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE LEFT A COMMENT IN MY BLOG HERE: https://celinejulie.wordpress.com/2007/03/28/retrospective-wish-list/ […]

    Pingback by THEY STOLE THE WINDOWS OF MY HOUSE « Limitless Cinema in Broken English — April 20, 2007 @ 1:50 am

  4. […] To find more information from the source here […]

    Pingback by Famous Funny Movie Quotes and Stuff » RETROSPECTIVE WISH LIST Limitless Cinema in Broken English — April 14, 2008 @ 5:48 pm

  5. Very interesting site. I like the way you react to my fireworks specimen Wanna joke?) Why is the letter A like a flower? Because a Bee comes after it!

    Comment by accelveBren — October 27, 2008 @ 3:16 pm

  6. I’m wondering how you were able to see Rattana Pestonji’s films – I can’t find them on Amazon or at the library, and I’m not sure where to look. Where did you find them? Were they subtitled? I’m doing a research project on him, and need of course to see at least some of his films. 🙂

    Comment by Julia — April 21, 2009 @ 10:21 am

  7. I think you can order some DVDs of Rattana Pestonji’s films with English subtitles from Thai Film Foundation. You can contact them at support@thaifilm.com to ask them about how to drder his DVDs if you are outside Thailand.

    This is their website:
    http://www.thaifilm.com/support_en.asp

    I hope you will enjoy his films soon. 🙂

    Comment by celinejulie — April 22, 2009 @ 6:44 pm


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