Limitless Cinema in Broken English

February 9, 2009

SOME CONVERSATIONS WITH SONTHAYA SUBYEN

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 10:23 pm

After the short film program in the exhibition “THIRTEENTH ANNIVERSARY OF DK FILMHOUSE (FILMVIRUS)”, my friends and I had some conversations, and Sonthaya Subyen also joined in the conversations. He had some interesting comments, which include:

1.DEAD SNACK (2008, Pichanund Laohapornsvan) should be screened together with Luis Bunuel’s films.

2.STILL (2008, Visarut Deelorm) should be screened together with STRANGER THAN PARADISE (1984, Jim Jarmusch).

3.The audience who love PLOTTAPE (2007, Kitisak Khunpetch) may also love short stories by Julio Cortazar.

–Sonthaya also remarked that some Thai short films nowadays have the rhythm and structure like the rhythm and structure of “music”. This may be becauce some Thai filmmakers nowadays used to be serious listeners of music, before they started making films. That explains why some Thai short films have some kinds of loops like music. This characteristic is also the main difference between current Thai filmmakers and old Thai filmmakers, because many old Thai filmmakers are influenced by the rhythm and structure of “novel”, not “music”. These old Thai filmmakers are serious readers of novels, while many current Thai filmmakers spend their time listening to music, not reading novels.

This change in “Thai cinema” also affects film criticism. Young film critics, like Merveillesxx, who grew up listening to the same kind of music that the current Thai filmmakers listen to, may be able to understand or appreciate some aspects (such as the rhythm and the structure) or some feelings of these current Thai films more than old film critics. This generation gap is what some old film critics may have to overcome in order to understand some current Thai films.

What Sonthaya said reminded me of something about current Thai filmmakers. Some Thai filmmakers nowadays are also musicians. These Thai filmmakers-musicians include:

1.Hamer Salwala (BOONTHING)
http://www.youtube.com/user/ahamersfilm

2.Kittipat Knoknark (GREETING)
http://www.myspace.com/postafternoon

3.Nathan Homsup (PANDA)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHVAsQOuzpo

4.Samart Imkham (ROUGH NIGHT)
http://www.myspace.com/passionofanna

5.Tossapol Boonsinsukh (AFTERNOON TIMES)
http://www.youtube.com/user/nangtoszlong
http://www.myspace.com/coconutnutcreamcream

6.Tulapop Saenjaroen (TALES OF SWIMMING POOL)
http://www.myspace.com/damnchestnut
http://tulapop.wordpress.com/

7.Vasuphon Kriangprapakit (PARTS)
He is a member of a band called TEN TO TWELVE.
http://i-musicale.exteen.com/20080713/ten-to-twelve-10-12

I also think it may be interesting to conduct a survey on current Thai filmmakers to find how many percentages of them listen to Sigur Ros, read Haruki Murakami, or read Tamayantee. If the percentages of current Thai filmmakers who listen to Sigur Ros are more than the ones who read Tamayantee, will this fact help explain some differences between the structure and rhythm of new Thai films and old Thai films?

–Sonthaya also talked about some directors whose strength is the scripts, not the visual aspects of their films. These directors include Woody Allen and David Mamet. What Sonthaya talked reminds me of Eag Tammakrang, who directed DOGSHIT (2008). I think Eag Tammakrang belongs to this group of directors.

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1 Comment »

  1. This is my reply to Boat in my bilingual blog:
    http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2009/02/some-conversations-with-sonthaya-subyen.html

    –I think it is interesting. I haven’t seen LOST NATION, but I felt very uncomfortable when I saw the extreme close-up scenes in CLAIRE DENIS LA VAGABONDE (1995, Sebastien Lifshitz, A+). Vespertine also saw this film, but he doesn’t complain about it. Vespertine is a lot younger than me. However, I have no problem with hand-held camera in films.

    –Talking about Zart Tancharoen, I think the structure and rhythm in some of his films are very interesting, especially THE EVERLASTING REPLICATION OF TIME (2007, A+) and RELATIVITY PLUS QUANTUM (2004, A+). I can’t say if the structure and rhythm in these films are “music-like” or “short-story-like”, but I can say that they are very interesting in my point of view.

    –In conclusion, “generation” is just one factor among many factors. There are also many factors which influence the rhythm and structure in Thai films, and there are many factors which influence each viewer’s love or hate for each film. These factors may include:

    1.Though the filmmaker is also a musician, what influences the rhythm and structure in his film may also include what kind of music he usually makes—pop, rock, chill-out, classical, hip-hop, or shoegazer.

    2. The purpose of each film. For example, I think the recent three films by Sompot Chidgasornpongse have different kinds of rhythm and structures, and it may be because these three films have different purposes. These three films are YESTERDAY (2008), DISEASES AND A HUNDRED YEAR PERIOD (2008), and LANDSCAPE 101 01 1101 01…(2007).

    Comment by celinejulie — February 10, 2009 @ 9:00 pm


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