Limitless Cinema in Broken English

September 23, 2008

POLL 33: GRASSROOTS

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 12:58 am

This is about a poll in my bilingual blog at http://celinejulie.blogspot.com

 

 

My poll 33 is inspired by the word “grassroots”, which is a new word for me because I started to see or hear these words only a few years ago, maybe not more than 10 years ago. I’m not sure if I understand this word or not, but some dictionaries say that it means local common people or something like that. Lately I have heard this word much more frequently because of the political situations in Thailand and some countries in South America.

While the word “grassroots” has been mentioned frequently in Thai political news, recently I also have seen many Thai short films about people from rural areas or made by people from rural areas themselves. It is just a coincidence that I heard the word “grassroots” and saw many Thai rural films during the same time. But this coincidence inspires me to make my list of favorite films about grassroots, laborers, and common people.

THESE FILMS CONCERN GRASSROOTS, LABOURERS OR COMMON PEOPLE. WHICH ONES DO YOU LIKE?

1.BING GAI (2007, Feng Yan, China)

2.COUP POUR COUP (1972, Marin Karmitz, France)

3.DO-DEAW (ดูเดี่ยว) (2008, Danai Yoktuptim, Thailand)
I like the first part of this documentary very much. The first part is an interview of some female fabric workers who created the colorful back curtain used in a famous standup comedy.

4.ERMO (1994, Zhou Xiaowen, China)

5.FARMER FIELD SCHOOL (2007, Supong Jitmuang, Thailand)

6.I FILM MY VILLAGE (2006, Shao Yuzhen, China)
http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2008/08/i-film-my-village-2006-shao-yuzhen.html

7.THE LAST RICE FARMER (2005, Yen Lan-chuan + Juang Yi-tseng, Taiwan)

8.LING GAI KAB PAE BAE BAE (ลิง ไก่ ขาบ แพะ แบะ แบะ) (2008, Ekawit Tomratree or Perjer Group, Thailand)
If I remember it correctly, I saw that the opening or ending credit of the film lists Ekawit Tomratree as the director of the film. But the film can also be considered the work of a collaborative group. So the brochure of the Thai Short Film Festival lists Perjer Group as the director of the film. The title of the film is hard to translate, because I don’t know what “Bae Bae” means. But the first four words in the title means MONKEY CHICKEN GOAT CENTIPEDE.

9.MAGIC (ไม้วิเศษ) (2007, Worrawut Lakchai, Thailand)

10.MANORO (2006, Brillante Mendoza, Philippines)

11.MARCH OF TIME (กาล) (2000, Uruphong Raksasad, Thailand)

12.NATIONAL ANTHEM (2008, Chai Chaiyachit, Thailand)

13.ORCHESTRA (2008, Jakrawal Nilthamrong, Thailand)
You can see this film at Jim Thompson Museum.

This is a photo of Jakrawal from Third Class Citizen’s blog:
http://thirdclasscitizen.exteen.com/20080915/third-class-radio-006-online-now

14.THE PROFICIENT (เออ…เองเก่ง) (2008, Phumiphat Arayathanitkul, Thailand)

15.RICE PEOPLE (1994, Rithy Panh, Cambodia)

16.SILENCE OF THE OTHER END (2007, Arunkumar HG, India, video installation)


In this video installation, The video shows short clips of many things including symbols of consumerism and war. The installation includes the TV wrapped up in grass and two uniquely beautiful big model cows made up of hundreds of small model cows.

In the book HERE THERE NOW: CONTEMPORARY ART FROM INDIA, Arunkumar said, “By not creating a realistic image of the bullocks/oxen, that is, having them represented by many other farm animals, the sculpture becomes a metaphor for voiceless people or the masses in general. On another level the artwork refers to the large population of our agrarian-related sector which is in crises at the moment.”

17.TONGPAN (1977, Euthana Mukdasanit + Surachai Janthimathorn, Thailand)

18.WANG YUEN HAB (วังยื่นหาบ) (2008, Sompong Soda, Thailand)

19.WILL IT SNOW FOR CHRISTMAS? (1996, Sandrine Veysset, France)

20.WITTSTOCK WITTSTOCK (1997, Volker Koepp, Germany)

You can cast multiple votes.

————————-

Apart from the films above, there are also many interesting artworks about grassroots or common people, such as:

1.WHAT I SEE, THE FEELINGS THEY HAVE, THE THINGS THEY HAVE TO DO (2007, Pornpan Kiatparkpoom)
http://pinatho.multiply.com/photos/album/6/thesis_Open_mind_09-03-2007
http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2007/06/what-i-see-feelings-they-have-things.html
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/180/429860486_56d58e6122_o.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/164/429859581_f9b314f0cb_o.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/157/429860484_c60ae852bf_o.jpg

2.BEING SOLDIER BETTER THAN YOU THOUGHT, RICE FIELD FROM RIPE PROJECT (2008, Sakarin Krue-on, A+)

I’m not sure if this live-broadcast video intends to say something about rice farmers or not, because it only shows rice plants in a field gradually growing in real time, but the video really reminds me of rice farmers.

When I was watching this live-broadcast from a rice field, I felt it was a little bit boring, so I gave it only “A”. However, after a few months have passed, I realized that while I got bored after watching a rice field for only 5 minutes, the rice farmers have to watch and take care of their rice fields for many months. How can they do that? How tremendously patient they are! I don’t know the real intention or purpose of this video, but now I give it A+, because it makes me admire rice farmers much more than before.

3.COMMUNITY PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT IN THE EXHIBITION “FROM (DIFFERENT) HORIZONS OF ROCKSHELTER”

This project gave cameras to rural people in a village near an important archaeological site in the north of Thailand and let the villagers use the cameras freely.
http://www.fdhr.co.nr/

4.NATION’S BACK BONE (2007, Wootti Ratanakaosul, drawing)

5.CELEBRATING WORKING LIVES: DECENT WORK, BETTER TOMORROW (2008, Thierry Falise, photos)

——————–

–FILM WISH LIST ABOUT COMMON PEOPLE

1.FARREBIQUE (1947, Georges Rouquier, France)

2.WOMEN WORKERS LEAVING THE FACTORY (2005, Jose Luis Torres Leiva, Chile)
This film is in Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s favorite film list. The list is in the Thai magazine FILMAX, Issue 14, Aug 2008.

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