Archive for the ‘Thailand’ Category

Trailerama: Ong Bak 3

February 2, 2010

Someone breaking martial jaw while leaping from elephant to elephant? Include Squally in. The closest thing we can find to a plot synopsis of the third Ong Bak installment is “Tony Jaa kicks ass.” The trailer seems to indicate that there’s also some conquerer who needs to feel the heel of Jaa’s bare foot. The bad guy is probably from Burma or Japan. The muay thai extravaganza is directed by Panna Rittikrai, fight coordinator for the first two Ong Baks and director of Born to Fight.

Rotterdam 2010 Preview: VPRO Tiger Awards

January 22, 2010

The Rotterdam International Film Festival introduced the VPRO Tiger Awards in 1995. Each year, three prizes are awarded to filmmakers for their first or second film. Winners have included Lou Ye (Suzhong River) and Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy). In contention this year are a host of deadly serious films, tackling family relationships, leave-taking of many stripes and that old stand-by sex … often in the raw and ragged manner of contemporary cinema. The contenders also comprise a tour of emerging cinemas from Costa Rica to Georgia.

Agua fría de mar (Cold water of the Sea)

The pitch: A couple looking to sell their property on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast meet a seven-year-old stray.
Their lives are changed forever? Well, the tot certainly throws emotions and class boundaries into sharp relief in Paz Fabrega’s debut feature.

Alamar (To the Sea)

The pitch: A young man goes on a fishing trip with his father in the Caribbean’s Chinchorro reef.
Lots of booze and marlin to be had? It’s certainly an exercise in male bonding. Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio’s documentary approach to his story means the egrets get as much attention as the relationships.

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Trailerama: Who Are You?

January 21, 2010

A Thai street vendor has some problems with the people upstairs. Is she going crazy, or is she getting mixed up in something bigger than herself which she can’t possibly understand, etc., etc.? Squally would know a lot more if Squally could read Thai, but there’s plenty of jolts in the trailer for this thriller with Kanya Rattapetch.

Rotterdam 2010 Preview: Spectrum Premieres

January 21, 2010

How best to define the Rotterdam Film Festival’s Spectrum sidebar? The site declares that it “brings together highlights of the film year, new work by prominent auteurs and topical, strong and innovative films by accomplished filmmakers.” So really, any old tat. This year’s assortment is particularly lively. As well as a prime cut of Dutch perversity, there are tactile love stories from Thailand, a pair of robust films from the Philippines, the return of Chris Petit, and an Austin-set horror flick. Sharp and sexy, the Spectrum is festival popcorn without tears.

Ang Mundo sa Panahon ng Bato (Stone is the Earth)

Last year the world got the first intimations that Filipino cinema was undergoing a kind of renaissance. Ramon Mes de Guzman moved to filmmaking after becoming a literary success with the short story collection Barriotic Punk. He follows up his festival hit The Road to Kalimugtong with the story of a rural family. A homecoming is followed by a discovery which threatens to undo them all.

Content

Writer/director Chris Petit’s 1980 debut Radio On was the kind of film it’s hard to live down. Shepherded by Wim Wenders, the mix of British road movie and rock ‘n’ roll is still a touchstone for cultists and psychogeographers alike (Petit is profiled in Iain Sinclair’s Lights Out for the Territory.) His latest promises more of the glorious same. Another journey is mediated by a new century and the zen of the stick shift.

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