Tag Archives: Film

HEADSHOT: A Crime Noir by Pen-ek Ratanaruang

HEADSHOT is based on a novel called “Rain Falling Up the Sky” by a well-known Thai writer, Win Lyovarin. Initially, the author did not intend to write it as a novel, but rather as a script for an indie movie forming part of a film noir project. For some reason, it did not materialise, so the writer decided to transform the script into a novel instead; or as he called it, a film noir novel.

Every element of the book was written according to the concept of early Hollywood film noir: there is an investigation, murder, sex, corruption, crime, bad cops, prostitutes, gangsters or hoodlums, mafia, hitmen and so on, as well as a sexy sinister beautiful woman. The author also interspersed the story line with black and white images. The novel could easily be called a book noir with images, or a gallery novel. It is unsurprising that the novel is replete with a movie atmosphere such as the way the story develops, the use of flashback and a narrator voice over etc.

The movie version directed by Pen-ek Ratanaruang is scheduled to be in the cinema in Thailand on 3rd November.

More details in English about the movie can be found via ThaiCinema.org: http://www.thaicinema.org/kits279headshote.asp

Note: WordPress would not allow me to link the web address to the website name above for some reason.

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Kermode’s view on “The Hangover Part II”

I think Mr. Kermode was a bit harsh on the film. He needs to realise that this kind of movie was made for a certain type of audience. Those who like the film do not want to glean anything from it except for a cheap laugh although others might find nothing funny about it. If these moviegoers had to watch the competing movies that were shown in Cannes a few weeks ago, they might also have nothing nice to say about them. It is just a matter of different markets.

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Norwegian Wood

I am in two minds whether or not I want to see the movie. I am concerned that it might disappoint me. My personal perception of the novel is unwavering. If the movie cannot properly depict the essence and the mood of the story, I am afraid that I will not be able to control myself and go ballistic in the cinema! Let’s just hope not. Alternatively, I could wait for the film to come out on DVD, but that will take quite a while. I could also wait for someone to ask me out on a date to see it, but it means that I might be taken up to the hilt afterwards.

There are some stories that a limited number of people can relate to. “Norwegian Wood” is one of a few tales that I can strongly connect with. It might be true when someone said that it is just a nostalgic narrative of adolescent loss, love and sexuality. All the same, this kind of story could happen to anybody and I have no doubt that many people experienced the same feeling as the main characters in the novel when they were young. It is a transitional moment, the period of time in a person’s life, when you treasure and value something greatly.  You are swept away by raw emotion when things go wrong and you struggle to cope with it. It seems like the end of the world and everything is so overwhelming. It is understandable why some people cannot empathise with the protagonists. It might be just that they never had this kind of experience when they were that age.

“Norwegian Wood” hits British cinemas on 11 March.

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Mindfulness and Murder (ศพไม่เงียบ)

This Thai movie is bound to be the talk of the town. Seeing the trailer, I can say that the director – Tom Waller – is courageous to touch on this area of Thai society. Some aspects of this movie are going to irk a few people in Thailand. The movie is fictional yet it contains some uncomfortable truths. I don’t think the film-maker set out to attack the religious establishment. There is no denying that some incidents portrayed in this movie actually happened when some dodgy and nefarious characters used religion as their safe haven in carrying out their sinful activities. Watching this movie might galvanise Thai people into looking critically at their religious beliefs and taking a practical approach to prevent people from hiding their immoral deeds under a veneer of religious asceticism.

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“Dogtooth” is scheduled to be on FILM4 again

“Dogtooth”, one of this year’s bizarre and highly original movies, will be shown on the Film4 movie channel again. It is scheduled to be on early next Tuesday morning at 01:35. It was first shown on this channel a couple of weeks ago, but there was a problem with our Sky Digibox: it partly recorded the programme. This time I am determined to watch this disturbingly unusual movie without vexatious interruption.

A short description of the movie from Film4:

“What if your parents had scared you into never leaving your house via a series of lies? Dogtooth is that house, and its three teenage inhabitants have subsisted on a diet of total fiction since birth.”

The film is a very strange dark comedy which contains violence and explicit sex scenes. It was nominated in the category of “foreign language film of the year” at the 31st London Critics’ Circle Film Awards, competing with other notable movies: ‘I Am Love’, ‘Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives’, ‘Of Gods and Men’ and ‘The Secret in Their Eyes’.

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The only novel that has made me cry

“Norwegian Wood”, a film adaptation of the international bestselling novel by my beloved Murakami, opens in cinemas in Japan today. Even though I have not yet seen the movie I am already dreading that it will not be successful in capturing the essence of the book. Having seen the actor and the actress who play Toru Watanabe and Naoko respectively, I am slightly put off by the director’s choices. In the book, Toru comes across as such an ordinary guy which in some ways is akin to the author. On the other hand, Naoko is seemingly a tormented soul who, in her anguish, struggles to express her inner feelings. I know that I should not prejudge the movie, but I am not expecting that it will be nearly as good as the novel. Hopefully that will not prove to be the case. I am looking forward to seeing it. I hope upon hope it will turn out to be acceptable.

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Awesome Korean movie on BBC4

The Chaser, a must-see Korean movie, is on BBC4 tonight at 10:30 pm. But if you miss it, you can still watch this pulsating movie on BBC iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00wgnx1/The_Chaser/  Be warned…it might not be suitable for the faint-hearted who are not familiar with often dark and brutal Korean films.

Synopsis from the blurb on the DVD: “when his girls begin to go missing, ex-detective-turned-pimp Jung discovers to his horror that his last remaining girl has been sent to the home where all his other missing girls were last seen. Following a terrifying chase through the city streets, he apprehends a blood spattered suspect but due to the lack of evidence, this cold-hearted psychopath will soon be set free. To find his missing girl alive, Jung takes to the streets with just 12 hours before the killer is released to continue his reign of terror.”

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