Matthew Hunt (http://www.matthewhunt.com/blog ) has left very interesting comments in my blog below:
This is my reply to Matthew Hunt and some further thoughts of mine:
Thank you very much for your comment, Mat. Your comment is very useful for me and it is thought-provoking.
As for Thai directors who keep making films in the same genre, another one that I think is very interesting is Panu Aree. He directed many wonderful documentaries. But I can’t figure out what is his unique filmic style, if he has one. His documentaries range from the straightforward, such as IN BETWEEN (2006, A), to the experimental, such as MAGIC WATER (A+). But as I said above, I’m glad enough that he keeps making good documentaries. It doesn’t matter if he has unique filmic styles or not.
There are also some other Thai directors that I wonder if they are auteurs or not, such as Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Montri Toemsombat, or Santiphap Inkong-ngam. I have seen very few films of these artists-directors, so I can’t figure out what may be their unique filmic styles.
Talking about this topic also makes me think about some great directors who make films which are very different from each other. For example, I have to confess that if no one tells me the name of the director, I would never have guessed by myself that THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW (1964, A+) and SALO OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM (1975, A+) are directed by the same person.
–I have seen only two Kubrick films—A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and THE SHINING. I like them very much, but I saw THE SHINING when I was too young. I have to see it again to be able to fully appreciate it.
There is a shot of Kubrick that I like very much. It is in BARRY LYNDON (1975). I haven’t seen this film, but I saw a scene of this film in the documentary A PERSONAL JOURNEY WITH MARTIN SCORSESE THROUGH AMERICAN MOVIES (1995). It is a scene of a lady walking slowly. This scene is very impressive.
–As for directors who work in many different genres, I’m interested in Howard Hawks. I have seen only ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939) and THE BIG SLEEP (1946). I have heard that he was admired very much as an American auteur, though I don’t know what is the important characteristic of his films.
–Thank you very much for your comment on Pasolini. I also like his ARABIAN NIGHTS (1974, A+) very much. I always think there’s something unique in ARABIAN NIGHTS, something which makes it very different from other films dealing with myths or fairy tales, but I can’t figure out what it is. I think it might be what you said. There’s a verite-style realism in it, though most directors wouldn’t have chosen this style for a story like that. Pasolini might be one of very few directors who choose this style to film such a story as ARABIAN NIGHTS, and can do it successfully. This kind of style wouldn’t be strange if used in a film like ACCATTONE (1961), which deals with working class people. But it looks strange to me when used in a film like ARABIAN NIGHTS. Strange means good in this case, though.
–Thank you very much for your comment on Araya. I like her works very much. I really agree with you that Araya is a video artist. I think Montri Toemsombat is, too.
I apologize if my writing confuses my readers. I hope all of you don’t mind that in my writing I usually don’t differentiate between video artists and film directors, nor differentiate between video arts and films. It is because differentiating between them will give me a great headache. I think it’s very good and totally right for other people to differentiate between them, but I can’t do it because I can’t tell by myself if this or that piece of work is a video art or an experimental film, or this piece of work is shot on video or shot on film, or something like that. So I call all of them ‘films’ just for my convenience, laziness, and stupidity.
Talking about video arts and Thai artists-directors also lead me to think about many things, including:
–I don’t know if I should call Sathit Sattarasart a video artist or a film director. I only know that I love his works.
–The Thai video artist that makes me very excited this year is Arin Rungjang with his video installation NEVER CONGREGATE, NEVER DISREGARD.
–I regret that I didn’t go to see CLOSET, which is the video installation of Wasan Riaoklang at Whitespace Gallery near Lido Theatre in late August. Did anyone go to see it? Is it good or not? I saw some short films by Wasan Riaoklang many years ago. He directed THE TREE (2003). His films are not my type, but I’m still interested to see what his video installation would be like.
A video of Wasan Riaoklang can be watched from the link below:
–Though I think of Michael Shaowanasai as one of my most favorite directors, I guess he can be called a video artist, too. He directed many films/videos in late 1990’s. But unfortunately in 2000’s I have seen very few films/videos by him. I think he directed a video satiring consumerism in 2001. I don’t know the name of this video, but I remember that it is very funny. It portrays three girls smiling and walking back and forth in a market. One of the girls has a broken neck and her neck has to be supported by a medical device or something like that. This video is a part of a video installation in Siam Discovery. I also saw PLAYGIRL (2005, Michael Shaowanasai, A+), which is a film/video specifically made to be shown at PLAYGROUND department store. I don’t know if this is an experimental film or a video art. I also saw NANG KWAK: EQUAL OPPORTUNITY? (2006, Sakarin Krue-On + Michael Shaowanasai, A+), which is a video installation.
–Some Thai films that I love are a bit like video arts, such as TWILIGHT VIDEO IN AFTERNOON (2007, Rachawadee Komolsut, A+) and LIVING DOLL OR A DEAD (2006, Kamolpan Chotvichai, A+). My most favorite film of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, WINDOWS (1999, A+), is also a bit like video art.
–I think some artists are not as successful in directing films as doing their own kind of works. For example, I think Cindy Sherman is a great artist in photography, but I think the film OFFICE KILLER (1997, Cindy Sherman, A-) is not as great as her photography.
–Another Thai artist who directed film is Kosit Juntaratip. I love his film very much. It’s called WHEN KOSIT WENT TO DEATH (2001, A+). I saw it only once and can’t remember any details in the film now. But I remember that the film is very very powerful. However, unlike Araya, Montri, or Santiphap, Kosit doesn’t make many films/videos that get to be shown in Bangkok. WHEN KOSIT WENT TO DEATH is still the only film of his that I’ve seen.
Apart from directing a film, Kosit creates many interesting pieces of art, such as
1.COPULATE WITH LOVE (1994), which is ejaculation on canvas.
2.LOVE GARDEN (1996)
3.BODY TALKING (1998)
More information on Kosit can be found here:
These are some photo works by Montri Toemsombat, one of my most favorite Thai video artists.
This is a poster of WHEN KOSIT WENT TO DEATH