Limitless Cinema in Broken English

June 21, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 8:22 am

This is about a poll in my bilingual blog at



My poll 24 is inspired by 17 MAY MY VALETINE (2008, Sawanee Uthumma), which is one of my most favorite stage plays of this year, and ACTRESSES (2007, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), which is one of my most favorite films of this year. These two things have one thing in common: each of them stars its own director. So I think I should make a list of my favorite films about this. I also include the stage play 17 MAY MY VALENTINE in this poll because it is the inspiration for this poll.


1.ACTRESSES (2007, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, France)


3.THE CRYING WOMAN (1979, Jacques Doillon, France)

4.IN MY SKIN (2002, Marina de Van, France)

5.JACKY (2000, Hu Fow-pyng + Brad Ljatifi, Netherlands)

6.JE TU IL ELLE (1974, Chantal Akerman, Belgium)

7.KATZELMACHER (1969, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany)

8.THE LAST HOLE (1981, Herbert Achternbusch, West Germany)


10.MAN BITES DOG (1992, Remy Belvaux + Andre Bonzel + Benoit Poelvoorde, Belgium)

11.ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW (2005, Miranda July, USA)


13.OBSERVATION OF THE MONUMENT (2008, Michael Shaowanasai, Thailand)

14.OUR PEOPLE (2000, Montri Toemsombat + Jacques Charrier, Thailand)

15.DEEP INSIDE (PLEUG) (2002, Chumpol Thongthab, aka Tanwarin Sukhapisit, Thailand)

16.SCHIZOPOLIS (1996, Steven Soderbergh, USA)

17.17 MAY MY VALENTINE (2008, Sawanee Uthumma, Thai play)
Frankenstein wrote about this play in Thai here:

18.TEMPTING HEART (1999, Sylvia Chang, Hong Kong)

19.WANDA (1970, Barbara Loden, USA)

20.A WANDERING BRIDE (2007, Ana Katz, Argentina)

You can cast multiple vote.

–SCHIZOPOLIS is also in another poll by Pilgrim Akimbo, though I vote for LA CHINOISE in that poll.

–I think the directors of the films above made the right decision to cast himself/herself in the film, because most of them are irreplaceable as an actors/actresses, especially Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Marina de Van, and Michael Shaowanasai.

–Jill Forbes wrote about THE CRYING WOMAN (LA FEMME QUI PLEURE) in the book THE CINEMA IN FRANCE AFTER THE NEW WAVE. Here is a quote from the book:

“LA FEMME QUI PLEURE, which inaugurated Doillon’s tragic manner, is a banal tale of a triangular relationship. Jacques is married to Dominique but falls in love with Haydee. Dominique cannot come to terms with this betrayal. This is the stuff of innumerable fictions, many of them moral fables or farces. Doillon’s treatment of the theme, however, is remarkable for its lack of complicity with any of the characters and, indeed, for its lack of moral dimension. As the title of the film clearly indicates, it is Dominique who is the subject of this study, but Dominique in her physical as much as in her emotional existence. Doillon is interested in the bodily effects of emotions such as jealousy on an individual. Thus the film is composed as a series of scenes of remarkable intensity, linked by dissolves, which provide the viewer with welcome respite, during most of which Dominique cries or otherwise behaves in a hysterical manner, whilst both the performances and the editing of the film remove narrative progression and substitute immediacy of experience.”



  1. This is my reply to Matthew Hunt and Tucker in my bilingual blog:


    I love Woody Allen and Charlie Chaplin, but I exclude them from the poll because they are famous. I exclude Clint Eastwood, Maya Deren, and Jean-Luc Godard for the same reason, though I like MILLION DOLLAR BABY and FIRST NAME: CARMEN very much.

    I have seen too few films of Orson Welles, and I regrettably haven’t seen any films by George Melies, and haven’t seen GLEN OR GLENDA, EASY RIDER, and DAY FOR NIGHT.

    I have to confess that I forgot Caveh Zahedi when I made the poll.

    I wish I had seen THE TANGO LESSON (1997, Sally Potter) and some films by Jerry Lewis, so I could include them in the poll.


    Yes, I think many of Akerman’s films are deceptively simple, but very powerful. I just saw JE TU IL ELLE in April, so I don’t know yet how long-lasting effect this film will have on me. But I saw FROM THE EAST (1993), NEWS FROM HOME (1977), and BLOW UP MY TOWN (1968 ) a while ago, and these films seem to leave a long-lasting impression on my mind, though they look very very simple. I saw NEWS FROM HOME many years ago. Its last scene may be one of the simplest scenes I have ever seen. Its last scene seems to arouse no strong feelings or emotions in me when I was seeing it. Or actually I should say it dictates me no feelings or emotions. But that’s the greatness of Akerman’s films—they don’t manipulate our emotions. And a few years after seeing NEWS FROM HOME, I find that I still can’t forget its last scene.

    Some trivia: I think Sasithorn Ariyavicha, a Thai female filmmaker, paid tribute to the last scene of NEWS FROM HOME in her short film called DRIFTER (1993).

    WINDOW SHOPPING (1986, Akerman) and NIGHT AND DAY (1991, Akerman) don’t look as simple as her other films, but I find them less powerful than her other films.

    I’m surprised I can’t write anything about JE TU IL ELLE. I love this film, but I don’t know how to describe my feelings for it yet. This film is still beyond my ability to describe it.

    Comment by celinejulie — June 22, 2008 @ 7:57 am

  2. This is my reply to anonymous in my bilingual blog:

    Anonymous, thank you very much for your comment. It’s interesting to learn about the difference between these things. But sometimes I enjoy doing things which should not be done in other people’s point of views. And the real intention of my poll is just a poor excuse to make a list of my favorite things, though these favorite things are very different from one another. It’s very good that you help me compare and contrast between them.

    Now I also think I would like to include some photographers, such as Katharina Sieverding and Cindy Sherman into the poll. I also would like to include Yasumasa Morimura, Vasan Sitthiket, Chanon Charnpanao, and Navin Rawanchaikul into the poll, because they seem to take on some fictional roles in their photos, paintings, or works. I get a lot of pleasure from putting all these different things together, but I also enjoy reading and learning about the differences between all of my favorite things.

    In my opinion, Michael’s performance in OBSERVATION OF THE MONUMENT is my most favorite of his. I like it as much as his performance in KKK. I prefer them to his performances in the IRON PUSSY series or in METROSEXUAL (2006, Yongyooth Thongkongthun, A+). Unfortunately, I haven’t seen MAK TAE RETURNS (2006, Adisorn Trisirikasem), so I don’t know what his performance in that film is like.

    I think it would be interesting if someone compare and contrast the expression of gay sensibilities or something like that in the films/videos/photographs of Michael Shaowanasai and the stage plays performed/directed by Wannasak Sirilar. I think both of them are the masters of their chosen mediums.

    Comment by celinejulie — June 23, 2008 @ 6:24 pm

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