Limitless Cinema in Broken English

September 15, 2008

THE PEN (2008, Weerasak Suyala, A++++++++++)

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 8:51 pm

This is my comment in Bioscope webboard:
http://www.bioscopemagazine.com/smf/index.php?topic=1317.30

Reply to Merveillesxx

I also love THE PEN (2008, Weerasak Suyala, A++++++++++) very much. I’m glad you also love it. I still can’t stop laughing everytime I think of this film. Has Weerasak accidentally or unintentionally invented a new film language by making this film? Maybe not. But I still think this film is totally unique in my point of view, because it is something I have never seen before in my whole life. Weerasak may intended to make just a narrative horror film, but somehow I think this film ends up going farther than most Thai experimental films do. What I love very much in this film includes the scene in which a guy can’t finish his sentence because the film suddenly jumps into the next scene while he is still speaking, and the soundtrack which seems to be interrupted every ten second. This film is not art. This film is not mass entertainment. But it is the cult film of the year, if ‘cult film’ means a film which is worshipped by a specific small group of audience.

What I also love in THE PEN:

1.The scene in which the boy hugs the TV

2.The intonation pattern of the father’s voice, which is totally unique. The father’s manner of speaking can turn every boring sentence into a classic sentence.

3.Some scenes which seem to be documentary, such as the scene in which a group of students move around, because I think the director may have secretly shot these real scenes while the students didn’t know about it. These secretly-shot scenes remind me of some scenes of women in the street in LONELY NIGHT IN TRUAD ALLEY (2008, Weerasak Suyala, A+).

4.The maniacal acting of the father

5.The wig of the father

6.The product placement in the film. The product here is the book written by the director. In most films, the product placement is a bad thing because it makes us feel as if we are forced to watch advertisment while we don’t want to watch it. But in this film, the product placement is so totally obvious that it becomes a great thing. In the scene in which a boy and a girl should have flirted with each other, we see a girl try to advertise this book to the boy instead. In a scene after the main problem is solved, we see the boy seriously stare at the cover of these books and the logo of the bookshop which sells this novel.

7.I feel as if many things in this film are anti-aesthetic rules, anti-standard filmmaking rules, anti-logic, anti-“what we have (wrongly) believed that a good film should be” . What is great is that Weerasak may have not intended to break any rules at all when he made this film. He just makes films according to what he believes. The result is that his films become unique, and his films make me realize that many things I used to think are essential for a good film are actually not essential at all.

Weerasak Suyala’s filmography:
http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2008/07/weerasak-suyalas-filmography.html

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