Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening November 18-24, 2010

Fair Game

Naomi Watts stars Fair Game, a fact-based political thriller, about Valerie Plame, whose work as a secret agent for the CIA came to an end when she was exposed as a result of political maneuvering by the Bush White House.

Sean Penn portrays Plame's husband, diplomat Joseph Wilson, who wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times that refuted White House claims that Iraq had purchased weapons-grade yellowcake uranium from Niger, which poked holes in the Bush administration's stories about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

It's believed that Plame was exposed in retaliation for her husband's opinion.

Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Swingers) directs.

Critical reception is mostly favorable. It's in limited release at House on RCA, SFW CentralWorld and Paragon. Rated 15+.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

It's almost over. The movie adaptation of the seventh and final book in author J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series is split into two parts, with the first part out this week, and part two coming out next July.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Harry, Ron and Hermione escape from Hogwarts on a mission to find the Horcruxes, which hold the key to immortality and destruction of the evil Lord Voldermort. While the teenage wizards are all alone, the dark lord's powers are growing ever stronger, making things more dangerous than ever.

David Yates, who's helmed the movie series since the fifth entry, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, directs.

All the main cast returns, including Daniel Radcliffe as Harry with Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

Critical reception so far is highly favorable. While 3D is planned for Part 2, Part 1 is all in 2D, and includes an IMAX version. Rated 13+.

Also showing

Science Film Festival – The sixth Science Film Festival runs until November 30 in venues throughout Thailand. The fest focuses on “family edutainment”, with an aim to explain the world in a fun way to young audiences, along with films for all ages in the categories of “Ecology and Environment”, “Natural Science, Life Science and Technology” and “Culture and History”. The festival is organized by the Goethe-Institut Thailand, the French Embassy and the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology and is supported by the National Science and Technology Development Agency and Bayer Thai. In Bangkok, the screenings are at the Esplanade Cineplex Rattanathibhet, National Science Centre for Education at Ekamai, National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, National Science Museum, the NSM Science Square at Chamchuri Square and TK Park at CentralWorld.

ExploreAsia Film Festival – It's rare that the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand is open on a Saturday, and this special occasion, running from 10am to 4.30pm this Saturday at the FCCT, will have a selection of six short documentaries, selected by the Explorer's Club of New York.

Among the selection is The Last Elephants in Thailand, which was featured earlier this year at the Bangkok IndieFest.

Here's the lineup of the ExploreAsia fest:

  • 10am – Hovsgol Nuur: Diving in the Land of Chinggis Khan (Mongolia)
  • 11am – Hope from the Land of the Polar Bear, directed by George Meegan (Japan)
  • 12.15pm – Lunch
  • 1.15pm – Bordering Happiness in Chinas, directed by Yu Shu (China)
  • 2.15pm – Crossing the Line (North Korea)
  • 4pm – The Last Elephants in Thailand (Thailand)

All are narrated or subtitled in English. Come for one or a few films, or for the entire day.

Admission is 150 baht for FCCT members, students and children under 17; all others pay 300 baht.

Bangkok International Design Festival – A Design Film Festival is running at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld from November 23 to 30 as part of the Bangkok International Design Festival. The traveling film event was launched this year in Singapore and has also popped up in Berlin. It features a selection of documentaries on architecture, graphic design, art, photography, motion graphics and guerrilla capture. Here's the line-up:

  • Milton Glaser – A profile of the graphic artist who designed the iconic I Love NY logo, which replaced the word "love" with a red heart.
  • Rem Koolhaus: A Kind of Architect – The Dutch architect, architectural theorist, urbanist and professor at Harvard whose many works include the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing.
  • Beautiful Loser – Here's a look at a group of like-minded outsiders who found common ground at a little New York City storefront gallery, and made it their home for a do-it-yourself subculture that included skateboarding, surf, punk hip-hop and graffiti.
  • Herb & Dorothy – Using their modest means, Herbert Vogel, a postal clerk, and his librarian wife Dorothy have built up one of the world's most sigificant contemporary art collections. This is their story.
  • Visual Acoustics – There are architects to design buildings and then photographers who take pictures of them. Julius Shulman is a photographer, whose celebrated images have captured nearly every major modern American architectural landmark, including works by Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Frank Gehry.
  • Craftwork – Here's a look at a group of "creatives" who aim to keep a hands-on approach to their visual works in the digital age, stitching, knitting, collaging, sticking and folding things together.
  • Extended Play – This is an eclectic selection of shorts that explore new approaches in graphic and alternative storytelling.
  • J-Star – A sneak peek at new visual trends, including eye-popping sights, side-splitting fun and serene beauty in music videos, motion graphics and shorts from Japan.

Check the festival website for more details about the schedule at SFW CentralWorld.

Elle s’appelle Sabine (Her Name is Sabine) – Documentary Film Month continues at the Alliance Française Bangkok with this 2007 work by actress and director Sandrine Bonnaire about her autistic sister, Sabine Bonnaire. It recounts Sabine's story through personal archives, shot over a period of 25 years, and gives an account of her life today. It's showing on Wednesday, November 24 at 7:30pm and on Saturday, November 27 at the Alliance Française, with English subtitles. Take note that the documentary Une aventure musicale, l’Ensemble intercontemporain, will have an encore screening on Saturday, November 20, at 2 in the Media Library. Admission is free.

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