For the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to be able to watch many movies from around the world: that is one of the many positive things of living abroad. I must say that in terms of cinematic experience, I have learned that there are many directors’ voices from every corner of the world and as many different ways of telling a story. People do not need to be bombarded by Hollywood cliches or films from their own countries. There are so many interesting movies to appreciate in the world cinema.
This morning the postman delivered a collection of wonderful movies by the Spanish director, Pedro Almodóvar. The collection contains five accomplished examples of his work: ‘Bad Education’, ‘Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down’, ‘Live Flesh’, ‘All About My Mother’ and ‘Talk To Her’. I have watched seven movies by this Spanish filmaker so far and all I can say is that there is not one of his films that I do not like. Every story told via his medium interests me, although they may not always overly excite me from the beginning. But inevitably the story slowly comes to life, like a flower blossoming.
I watched an episode of this show on BBC2 on Tuesday. From the moment I caught a glimpse of it, I knew that I was going to enjoy the show. And I did. It was about three well known British fashion mavericks: Vivian Westwood, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. You can watch this show again via BBC iPlayer.
In terms of fashion, their garments are not my cup of tea; I personally would not want to wear what they created, but what I see in their work is so stimulating, stylishly quirky and uniquely marvellous. The way they design their clothes and the creativity and energy that they put into their fashion show is so super interesting. It is like they tried to create art for people to wear. I could simply watch it again and again.
For information in English regarding this movie please check out WISE KWAI. To me, when I first saw the trailer a few weeks ago, my first impression was that it was “In the mood for love” Thai style. It is not only me though; some reviewer thinks the same as me, that the director was influenced by Wong Kar Wai’s work.
Thaicinema.org also mentioned this movie on its website. I picked a few lines to translate into English which go something like, “the director should make a mainstream movie seeing as his method and style would suit that, except that the story of the movie is not marketable in Thailand”.
Still, I very much want to see this movie. I will wait until the DVD comes out.
“An amazing thing will occur to Pod, and Jin will make it happen”
Wisit Sartsanatieng turned Bangkok into a city of romance, comedy and spectacular fantasy.
Pod is a normal country guy, who went to Bangkok to work in a sardine-canning factory. One day, he decided to quit his job, for his personal safety, to work somewhere else. In this new work place he saw a pretty maid, whose name was Jin, who also came to the city to look for a dream, which she, herself, did not understand. Pod fell for Jin instantly. Every time he saw her, his world seemed to be more lively and beautiful than usual.
Citizen Dog is a colourful love story and, as usual for this director, is impressive. He seems to use the same technique of over-saturating the colours as with Tears of the Black Tiger. This, though, makes the movie fantastically interesting. It is like watching a cartoon with painted characters. There are many peculiarly funny characters in the film. Take Jin for example, she likes to organise things, and also likes cleaning whenever she sees something dirty: she will clean them at once and always carries a book with her, although she does not know what it is all about. There are other funny characters, such as a guy who keeps licking things, a zombie motorcycle taxi, a talking teddy bear and a girl who is of adult age and who likes to smoke. My favourite scene in the entire movie is where the director utilises ordinary plastic bottles and changes them into something commendably surreal. The music is brilliant as well. Overall, this movie deserves to be watched by normal, sentient human beings. I cannot imagine anyone will dislike this lovely Thai film.
Dum and Rumpoey loved one another, but they were hugely different in terms of social status; she came from a wealthy family, he was just a poor country guy, who also happened to be an outlawed gangster cowboy.
Tears of the Black Tiger is out in the left field. Both in its acting and cinematography, the film goes overboard. The fight scene is bloody beyond normal action cowboy movies and coruscatingly colourful. This, though, makes the movie pulsating. The story is dramatic and heartrending as well. It is like Romeo and Juliet mingled with an American cowboy movie in Thai style. The acting of the two protagonists is satisfactory overall. The flirting scene, however, is a tad lacklustre. It is a bit cartoonist, not too realistic. Equally good is his late 2004 work, Citizen Dog, which I will write about in due course. This Thai director is a promising star. I cannot wait to see his next movie.
This Thai epic fantasy movie -in case anybody is not aware of it – has again rescheduled its release date in Thailand from 9 October to 23 of the same month; I sincerely hope that there will not be another postponement. The latest news of this long awaited movie is that it was shown last Friday at the Venice fiim festival 2008 and the feedback was mixed. Thanks to Thaicinema.org for the trailer and the information.
Despite giving a reason why the characters in the movie deserved to be punished because of what they had wrongly done, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance took an unnecessarily long time to get into the action.
It was not difficult for a normal person, like Ryu, the deaf-mute guy, to make a big mistake in life, albeit he really did not want to. Having to make ends meet, he also seriously wanted to save his beloved sister’s life. Hence he decided to trade one of his kidneys for money so that he could spend it on his sister’s operation. However, things did not go according to his plan. Not knowing what to do, he consulted with his girlfriend. On her advice, he made the decision to kidnap the daughter of an affluent business man, who also was his former employer. Yet everything went badly wrong again.
Park Dong-jin was a successful business man, who lived his life like other ordinary human beings. He could not comprehend, however, why an honest person like him had to have his daughter taken away from him. In this movie, the two protagonists, Ryu and Park, both sought revenge: Ryu for being deceived by an illegal kidney-trading gang and the latter who wanted to exact revenge on Ryu for doing a terrible thing related to Park’s daughter.
As well as being a vengeful film, this movie also deals with love and social differences; a brother and a father who will do anything for their loved ones or the yawning gap in social status between the two characters. While I was watching Mr Vengeance, I felt that the movie moved at quite a slow pace to justify the end action. Even so, I was not shocked or gob-smacked by what I finally saw. I felt like I was being taken, by the director, to familiar territory and consequently the movie did not impress me that much. The movie, in general, is goodish, in my view.