Limitless Cinema in Broken English

August 20, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 11:08 pm

COLOURS ON THE STREETS (2009, Weerapong Wimuktalop, 62 min) will be shown on Sunday, August 23, 2009, around 13.00 hrs, at the auditorium on the fifth floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, as a part of the 13th Thai Short Film and Video Festival.

Weerapong also directed a short film called DAO KHANONG (2006, A+), which is a part of the 15/15 Film Festival. He is a cinephile and an artist. His art works were shown at the Bangkok University Gallery (BUG) as a part of the 24 HRS. ART PROJECT in April this year.

Here are the images from his art works:



  1. Yeah, I would like to know more about this filmmaker. the succession of yesterday’s images had a subtle minimalism to it countering the excessiveness of the city. I have this favorite shot, of the train passing a large set of electrical transformers (saturated in orange reflections of artificial lights) as it enters the city. And then there’s this film reference (whether accidental or overt I’m not sure) to the Lumeire Brothers “Arrival of a Train…” I would very much like to talk to him about the final part of my dissertation (which I haven’t written yet) that is about maps, trains, and other kinds of cinematic ‘seeing’ contingent about modes of transportation.

    Comment by Noah Viernes — August 24, 2009 @ 10:17 am

  2. I’m very glad you are interested in COLOURS ON THE STREETS. If you want to contact the filmmaker, you can send an e-mail to him at nucook(at)hotmail(dot)com, or call him at 086-900-4199. He cannot talk or write in English very well, but I guess you can speak Thai.

    Some trivia about Weerapong and his film:

    1.His nickname is Gla, which means “brave” in Thai.

    2.I think I first met him in 2001, because I remember that he talked to me about a Thai short film called WHEN KOSIT WENT TO DEATH (2001, Kosit Juntaratip, 28 min, A+), because he knows Kosit, who is an interesting Thai artist.

    3. He is not a close friend of mine, but I talk to him from time to time when we run into each other at the library of Thammasat University. He often attends the film programs of Duangkamol Filmhouse there, and he is also a friend of Sonthaya Subyen, who runs Duangkamol Filmhouse.

    4.His paintings are devoid of bright colors, and remind me of dirty stains in an old house. I think his paintings correspond a lot to his film, which seems to show the true colors of the streets, and avoid trying to make the streets look more beautiful or more colorful than they really are.

    I’m sorry I don’t have more photos of his paintings, but I think his paintings have something similar to the painting of Fumiko Shinkai in the link below, because Shinkai’s painting also looks like a dirty stain in an old house.

    5.He used to take a lot of photos of ordinary streets and cats. In my personal opinion, his photos are not “beautiful” like most beautiful photos shown in galleries, because his photos are documentary-like. His photos really show how the streets look like, show how dirty or how old the streets are.

    6.He told us that he also has a ten-hour version of COLOURS ON THE STREETS, though he has never shown this version to the public. He just keeps this ten-hour version for himself to see. I guess many short scenes in the version we saw become longer in the ten-hour version. He also told us that this ten-hour version, which is like a video diary, has many scenes which he shot while he just woke up and still felt very drowsy.
    7.He stumbled in a field of grass while he was shooting this film. That’s why in one scene in this film, we saw the image suddenly moving down on to the ground.

    8.He told us that during the shooting of this film, he once placed a camera on a floor, so that he could shoot himself walking in front of that camera. But when he was walking in front of the camera, a middle-aged woman tried to pick up the camera from the floor because she didn’t know that the camera belonged to him.

    9.He seems to have a lot of stories in his mind concerning the images in his film or his photos, though he doesn’t tell these stories directly.

    10. Some scenes in this film were shot at his friend’s house in Ladkrabang.

    11.I think Weerapong is one example of an interesting trend in Thai filmmaking now—filmmakers who don’t come from bourgeois families. This trend happens partly because of the cheapness of digital filmmaking, which enables these filmmakers to express themselves, their lives, and their visions of the world. Other notable filmmakers in this trend may include Weerasak Suyala, who is a policeman in Ubon Ratchathani Province, and who possesses a really unique film language; and Romrawin Chumjin, who directed DEK DANCE (2009, 11 min, A+) and JATUKAM-JATUKAM (2007, 10 min, A+/A), which told the stories about his own community.

    I agreed with what Filmsick wrote about this trend in Thai filmmaking. He wrote that “The more filmmaking goes farther away from the hands of film students and urban bourgeois people, the more filmmaking can broaden the power of gazing. And it will increasingly undermine the old saying that FILMMAKING IS A TOY OF THE BOURGEOISIE.”

    –Talking about trains, another friend of mine, Sompot Chidgasornpongse, is making a documentary about trains in Thailand called ARE WE THERE YET? I think he is editing his documentary now.

    Comment by celinejulie — August 24, 2009 @ 10:36 pm

  3. This is my reply to my friends in my bilingual blog:

    –I think the scenes in which he walks in front of the camera are very haunting. I agree with Vespertine that something in this film can be adapted to use in horror films, such as those scenes. He can create a ghost film without using any special effects, but using just out-of-focus images or blurred images like in this film.

    Talking about horror and old buildings reminds me of the photo series called A PLACE OF HORROR by Voraphat Ungkanakorn, which are included in ON EXBITION at BACC in May. In these photo series, we can see images of some old, deserted buildings. There is no corpse or human being in these photos, but the photos invite us to create horror stories by ourselves.

    Vespertine’s comment about Marxist reminds me of Chaloemkiat’s comment on this film. I think he said that the film is like a Dziga Vertov’s film shot by Maya Deren. His comment made me think that it would be interesting to show this film alongside MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA.

    Another thing I like in this film is its sound. The film doesn’t have any music, does it? But its ambient sound is overwhelming.

    Weerapong also said that he shot some of the images in this film because he knew the things he shot would change in the future. Some empty buildings in this film would be torn down in the future. So he recorded all these things into his film before they will be destroyed or gone forever. His idea reminds me of the German photo exhibition ORTSZEIT (LOCAL TIME) by Stefan Koppelkamm, in which the photographer took the photos of some places in East Germany, and then come back after 15 years to take the photos of these places again. So in this exhibition we can view how each place in East Germany transform themselves after 15 years or something like that. Fortunately, most of the places look much better after 15 years.

    –I like what Filmsick wrote very much—”reality is not along together with stories it has to show itself by one of the best ways ,just gazing “. What Filmsick wrote makes me think about some Thai student films in the past. A few years ago, many Thai university students made many films focusing on poor people. Some images in these student films are in a way similar to the images in COLOURS ON THE STREETS, such as the images of poor children playing with one another, but the feelings of these films are a bit different from COLOURS ON THE STREETS, but I can’t pinpoint the differences between them. I just feel that there are differences between them. However, after reading Filmsick’s comment, I guess the differences I feel may be about these things:

    1.The images of poor children in the student films are there to serve “stories”, but the images in COLOURS ON THE STREETS don’t need to serve stories.

    2.The images of poor children in some student films intend to make the viewers regard them as “images of poor children”, or “images of children who are poorer than us”, but the images in COLOURS ON THE STREETS don’t. When I saw images of poor children in COLOURS ON THE STREETS, my first feeling is that these are images of “people like us”, not “people who are poorer than us”.

    3.The student films intend to make the viewers feel some pity for the poor children, but COLOURS ON THE STREETS don’t. The children in this film seem to be happy in their own ways. COLOURS ON THE STREETS seems to have no intention to “force” the viewers to feel something.

    However, that doesn’t mean these student films are inferior to COLOURS ON THE STREETS. They are just different, and all of them are good in their own ways.

    –Wise Kwai, let’s hope this film will be shown again in the future.

    Comment by celinejulie — August 25, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

  4. […] rural and urban landscapes, and a variety of shots orchestrated through modes of transportation. celinejulie’s blog has great background on this project. The three most common shots are comprised of tracking […]

    Pingback by On Soundtrack: Laos, Weerapong Wimuktalop, Beat Happening « The Beaten Generation — April 1, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

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