Limitless Cinema in Broken English

October 25, 2009

SLICE (2009, Kongkiat Komesiri, A+)

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 9:36 pm

SPOILERS ALERT:

I like SLICE (2009, Kongkiat Komesiri, A+) very much for many reasons. One of them is because it fulfills my teenage fantasy. When I was a teenager, I liked to imagine a novel in which the hero and the heroine are partly similar to the ones in SLICE. I have to thank this film for realizing a part of my teenage dreams.

However, though I give this film A+, that doesn’t mean I love everything in this film. Parts of this film disturb me a lot, and I don’t know if in the future I will like this film more and give this film A++++, or like this film less and give it only A+/A.

Maybe what disturbs me can be regarded as a strong point of the film by some people, or a weakness by others. The word “disturbing” can be both good and bad in film-watching experience. What disturbs me in this film is the gesture of the film towards the orgy club patrons. Does the film portray these people in a non-judgmental way or not?

I love these orgy clubs and their patrons. I think they do nothing wrong at all. The fact that one of the patrons is an evil person doesn’t mean other patrons are also evil. The film somehow makes me question if the film shares my attitudes towards these people or not. Does SLICE love orgy clubs like SHORTBUS love them or not?

Maybe SLICE loves these orgy clubs, because the killer of these innocent orgy people is punished at the end of the film. Maybe not.

The problem I have with SLICE is somewhat similar to the problem I have with LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, because I seem to sympathize more with the victims of the protagonists than with the protagonists. In LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, I sympathize with the middle-aged woman who is infected by the heroine and decides to commit suicide instead of hurting other people.

The problem I have with SLICE also makes me think about many other things, including:

1.I don’t have problems with BAISE-MOI and LA CEREMONIE, though the heroines of these films kill a lot of innocent people, because I think (maybe wrongly) that these two films don’t try to justify the killing of these innocent people.

2.If the killer in SLICE kills only the son of the minister and doesn’t kill other patrons in the club, maybe I can like this film a little bit more. I’m not sure. I don’t have problems at all with a murderous gay character in HORSEMEN, and it may be because the actions of the gay character in HORSEMEN is a little bit more justified than the ones in SLICE.

3.Some gay people love SLICE very much. Some people think this film is homophobic. That makes me think about many other films in which the representations of some gay characters cause differences of opinions, especially among gay audience, such as

3.1 SAVING PRIVATE TOOTSIE (2002, Kittikorn Leosirikun)
Is this film pro-homosexual on the surface but deep down inside it is homophobic?

3.2 BRUNO (A+)
Does this film look down on homosexuals or homophobia?

3.3 MINIMART (2009, Siriporn Kongma + Panu Srichaithong, A+)
This film teaches the audience not to look down on homosexuals, but my friend thinks there’s something wrong with the gesture of this film.

3.4 TWO STORIES ABOUT DHAMMA (2008, Natchanon Jitweerapat + Isara Kunlum, A+)
I like this film very much, but I have to admit that I don’t like the representation of a gay character in this film at all.

3.5 Many films directed by Poj Arnon
Though some films are made by gay directors, that doesn’t make the films free of wrong attitudes towards gays.

3.6 BASIC INSTINCT

3.7 DRESSED TO KILL

3.8 METROSEXUAL (2006, Yongyoot Thongkongtoon, A+)
I like the ending of this film, but I think the ending can be a lot improved if the film spends more time exploring the real feelings of the “man” and shows the audience what he really feels towards the woman he is supposed to marry.

3.9 ME…MYSELF (2007, Pongpat Wachirabunjong)
I think the film is partly okay, though my psychiatrist friend says that the story of the film is not plausible at all.

4.Compared to other films with murderous gay characters, I think I prefer SLICE to KON GIN MIA (1974, Dokdin Ganyamarn) and SICK NURSES (2007, Piraphan Laoyong + Thodsapol Siriwiwat), and maybe I like SLICE as much as SCARLET DESIRE (2001, Anucha Boonyawattana).

5. Both SLICE and FAN CHAN portray lives of Thai rural little boys in the past and how their past lingers in their memories. I much prefer SLICE to FAN CHAN.

6.As for now, I still prefer HORSEMEN to SLICE. Somehow the murderous characters in HORSEMEN haunt me more than the one in SLICE, because I can feel the pain, the suffering, and the anger of the characters in HORSEMEN more. The killer in SLICE seems to suffer a lot of pain and suffering in the past, but somehow I can’t feel this enormous pain and suffering. I can see it being portrayed on the screen, but I can’t feel it as much as I think it should be. The performance of Zhang Ziyi and Patrick Fugit in HORSEMEN are unforgettable for me, and it may be one of the reasons why I can feel the pain of their characters.

As for now, I think I can’t forget the pain, the suffering, and the anger of the characters in HORSEMEN, but what I can’t forget in SLICE is its visuals and its story, not the feelings of the characters.

There are many things I love in SLICE, but since my friends love this film very much, so I hope they will write about the many good things about this film. As for now, I just want to express my confused feelings about this film.

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3 Comments »

  1. This is my reply to my friends in my bilingual blog:
    http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2009/10/slice-2009-kongkiat-komesiri.html

    –Boat, I think one of the problems I have with LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and SLICE is because some audience seem to like “the love between the main protagonists” in these two films so much that I’m not sure if these audience approve of what these characters do for love or not. As for me, I hate what these characters do for love. If my mother is killed by a boy because this boy wants to feed my mother to his lover who is a vampire, I don’t think I will forgive what this boy does just because his reason is love. But one thing I like in LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is the fact that the film shows that any vampire actually can choose to commit suicide, like the middle-aged woman who chooses to be burnt alive, but the heroine chooses not to commit suicide and go on killing other people.

    However, I don’t know why I don’t have problems at all with the romantic relationship between Lestat (Stuart Townsend) and Marius (Vincent Perez) in QUEEN OF THE DAMNED (2002, Michael Rymer, A++++). Maybe QUEEN OF THE DAMNED is too fantasy (far from real human beings and everyday life), and the film doesn’t dare to show us if these two vampires eat a lot of innocent people or not.

    –Filmsick, I have seen SLICE only once, so I’m not sure if people in the orgy club do some evil things or not, such as having sex with some underage people or some unwilling animals. But if all people in the orgy club are adults who willingly perform all these things for their own pleasures, I think they are not different from all those “human beings” in SHORTBUS. In fact, I think these adults are as “innocent” as any little kids in kindergartens. Both of these groups of people don’t harm any other people at all.

    On the assumption that people in the orgy club are all consenting adults, therefore as innocent as kindergarten kids, I think of the massacre scene in SLICE as not different from a scene in which the killer wants to kill an evil kindergarten teacher who is a son of a cabinet minister, and the killer goes to the kindergarten, killing all the little kids in the kindergarten one by one, before killing the evil teacher in a brutal way. Imagine the scene in SLICE is like this, and you may understand better why I have a big problem with this film. I think consenting adults in orgy are very “innocent” and very “beautiful”, but I’m not sure if the filmmaker and some audience who love this film think like me or not. I think my big problem about SLICE is its “gesture” towards these orgiastic people, whom I think of as my dear friends. Does the filmmaker view these people as depraved, perverted, or monstrous? Or does the filmmaker share my view that these people are innocent and beautiful?

    –I apologize in advance if I understand something wrongly about the orgiastic scene. If people in the orgy club do some evil things which I didn’t notice or remember in my first viewing, that means my big problem with SLICE is based on misunderstanding, and the comparison between innocent club patrons and kindergarten kids is useless in this case.

    –Apart from the orgy scene, I think SLICE is a great film which isn’t made for me, but made for other people. I have other problems with this film, too, but these problems result from the fact that SLICE does not satisfy my personal feelings. It’s not that the film isn’t great. You know that I always have big problems with great films or masterpiece films which don’t satisfy my personal feelings, especially Yasujiro Ozu’s films.

    Other personal problems I have with SLICE include:

    1.It’s because the film is “romantic” and the killer does it partly for “love”. I usually prefer films about hatred, such as HORSEMEN, to films about love, such as SLICE.

    2.Great films don’t have to require the audience to identify with its characters. But I’m a kind of audience who sometimes want to identify with some characters. So this means I have problems with some artistically great films. I have problems with LOVE OF SIAM and SLICE because I can’t fully identify with any main characters in these two films, and I know that it’s not these two films’ fault at all. If I were a character in LOVE OF SIAM, I would have attacked the character played by Sinjai. I’m the person who know what “hatred” means, but don’t know what “love” means. I’m full of hatred for this character, but LOVE OF SIAM doesn’t give me a chance to vent this anger, while HORSEMEN seems to give me a chance. As for SLICE, I may have identified myself the most with the orgy club patrons, that’s why I feel troubled with the film’s gesture and that’s why I can’t sympathize with the killer as much as I would like to.

    Since I can’t identify myself with any main characters in SLICE, that means I still prefer such films as RAGING PHOENIX (2009, Rashane Limtrakul, A+), to SLICE, just because I can totally identify myself or my fantasy with the heroine of RAGING PHOENIX. In my fantasy world, I would like to be a great fighter woman like the one in RAGING PHOENIX, and I will fight to death for “the man I love and his wife”. I always love the idea of a woman who fights to death for the man she loves, and she doesn’t even need his love in return. RAGING PHOENIX is the kind of romantic film for me. I really love the actions motivated by (unrequited) love in RAGING PHOENIX, not the ones in SLICE.

    3.I feel a little bit ambiguous when Nut called himself “a freak” or “a monster” near the end of the film. I’m not sure if this is just Nut’s personal view of himself or this is also the filmmaker’s view of Nut. Why does Nut call himself a freak? Is it because

    3.1 He is a gay or a transsexual.

    3.2 He is a murderer.

    3.3 The society makes him wrongly believe that being a gay or a transsexual is a freak.

    Anyway, the fact that Nut calls himself a freak makes me feeling more distanced from this character.

    4.The character of Nut is one part very distanced from me, one part very like my fantasy character. If Nut were my fantasy character, this character would have been

    4.1 Motivated purely by hatred, not by love

    4.2 Not killing innocent people in the orgy club

    4.3 Think of himself as a kind of SAILOR MOON, who goes on punishing evil people, instead of thinking of himself as a freak.

    4.4 In his childhood, he would have felt very hurt that Tai rejected him because Tai wanted to join the bully group. My fantasy character wouldn’t have forgiven Tai as easily as in this film.

    4.5 My fantasy character would not want to “exist” by making someone remember him. My character would want to die and not caring if anyone remembers him or not. I would love any characters who live their lives following the poem ODE TO SOLITUDE by Alexander Pope:

    “Thus, let me live unseen, unknown
    Thus unlamented let me die
    Steal from the world, and not a stone
    Tell where I lie.”

    But this is the problems I find in many films, not only SLICE. Many characters in many films want to be remembered after they die, especially being remembered by their own children.

    –In conclusion, SLICE is a great film, but this film is not made for me.

    Comment by celinejulie — October 31, 2009 @ 9:08 am

  2. Slice is a great film, but still I had problems with the orgy-scene because the killer targets everyone – and it seem to be people, grown-up, who do what they want to do in total freedom. If the killer just attacked the son, it would have felt more interesting. But on the other side, we’re talking about a serial killer here who obviously suffered some very traumatic childhood-experiences and can’t be blamed to think logical all the time.

    Comment by Ninja Dixon — July 20, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

  3. I totally agree with you 🙂

    Comment by celinejulie — July 20, 2010 @ 11:22 pm


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