Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening August 18-23, 2011

The Future

Multi-hyphenate writer-filmmaker-artist Miranda July follows up her critically acclaimed debut Me and You and Everyone We Know with The Future, a quirk-filled existential comedy about a slacker thirtysomething couple (July and Hamish Linklater) who think they are finally ready to start acting like adults.

So they decide to adopt a cat, who narrates the story. Yes, you read that right – this movie has a talking cat.

However, they have to wait 30 days, so the couple breaks loose with various weird activities before taking on the weighty responsibility of pet ownership.

The Future won praise at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. "A dark and whimsical exploration of human existence that challenges viewers as much as it rewards them," is the critical consensus.

It's at House on RCA. Rated 15+.

Also opening

Come Rain, Come Shine – After five years of marriage, a couple prepares for their breakup. The woman (Lim Soo-jeong) is set to move her stuff out. The man (Hyun Bin), typically male in his inability to articulate his feelings, lends a hand and memories of the good times they had resurface. Lee Yoon-Ki directs. This romantic drama was in competition for the Golden Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival. In Korean with English and Thai subtitles at House and the Lido. Rated 15+.

One Day – After one day together – July 15, 1988, their college graduation – an idealistic working-class woman (Anne Hathaway) and a wealthy, spoiled charmer (Jim Sturgess) begin a friendship that will last a lifetime. Over the next 20 years, key moments are experienced over several July 15ths, chronicling their friendship and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. Danish-born filmmaker Lone Scherfig (An Education) directs. Critical reception, so far, is mostly negative. Rated 15+.

Final Destination 5 – If you've seen the previous four movies in the Final Destination franchise, you know what to expect – a group of people cheat a strange death thanks to someone's premonition, but it only delays the inevitable, and so the rest of the movie is a string of bizarre, gruesome killings. Here, a bunch of folks are saved from dying in a bridge collapse, but they will die anyway in other messed-up ways. What's different is this one's in 3D. Nicholas D'Agosto stars along with Emma Bell. "It's still only for the gore-thirsty faithful, but Final Destination 5 represents a surprising return to form for the franchise," is the critical consensus. Rated 18+.

Also showing

15th Thai Short Film & Video Festival – Starting today, the fest opens at 5pm with registration and then the new short O.B.L. by the Baby Arabia trio of Panu Aree, Kaweenipon Ketprasit and Kong Rithdee. That's followed by Terribly Happy, the 30-minute drama by Pimpaka Towira that was the first Thai short to compete in the Berlin Film Festival. Only Terribly Happy will have English subtitles. The fest is at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre with daily screenings until August 28 (except Monday). The line-up includes competition shorts by Thai and foreign filmmakers, student films, animation and documentaries. Special programs include the always entertaining "Best of Clermont Ferrand" showcase from the world's largest shorts fest, the S-Express packages from the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, Shorts for Kids and Queer shorts from all over the world. A special program this year is "B-Sides: The History of Video Art in Spain." Screenings are in the 5th floor auditorium and the 4th floor meeting room at the BACC. There's an English translation of the schedule spreadsheet and the screening timetable with partial notations about subtitles. Watch for updates on the festival's Facebook page.

Thai Film Archive – Movies with English subtitles screening this week are the Korean orphan's drama A Brand New Life today (Thursday, August 18) and the 2000 Brazilian romantic comedy Bossa Nova on Tuesday, August 23. A highlight comes on Wednesday, August 24, with another film in the "Memorial to Ratana Pestonji" program: Sugar is not Sweet, the final feature by the pioneering Thai director who died in 1970. Starring one of the era's top leading men, Sombat Metanee, the 1965 romantic comedy is the story of a dying hair-tonic mogul who is determined to marry off his playboy son Manas (Sombat) to his Indian business partner's daughter Namtan. Manas, who already has a girlfriend, isn't interested in the "roti". With an eye-popping color palette, rollicking musical numbers and wild comedy, Sugar is not Sweet is also a look at how Indians are disdainfully viewed in Thai society, even if, like Pestonji, who came from a family of Indian Parsis, they were born in Thailand. Through the end of the month, other movies to look forward to are the 1998 German bank-heist classic Run Lola Run on Thursday, August 25, and the acclaimed 2003 Spanish drama Take My Eyes on August 31. Show times are at 5.30pm in the Sri Salaya Theatre at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom.

Morbid Symptom – The DK Filmhouse (Film Virus) screening series alongside the Dialogic exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre continues on Saturday with two movies under the theme of "The New". At 3pm it's Cria Cuervos, a 1976 Spanish drama by Carlos Saura about an 8-year-old orphan girl who escapes into a fantasy world as a way of coping with the deaths of her parents. That's followed at 5pm by Xala, a 1975 Senegalese film by Ousmane Sembene. A satire about the corruption in post-independence African governments, the main character is a politician who is cursed with impotence upon the day of his marriage to his third wife. The screening venue is a corner of the BACC's ninth-floor gallery, on a bare white wall where there are a handful of beanbag chairs strewn around. If you want a seat, get there early.

Chulalongkorn University International Film Festival – It's time once again for the twice-yearly Chula film fest, put on by the Department of Dramatic Arts. Starting on Monday, August 22 and running until September 9, it offers a line-up of movies that have been acclaimed hits on the film-fest circuit and, with a few exceptions, somehow passed Bangkok by. The opener on Monday is Poetry by South Korean director Lee Chang-dong, about an elderly woman who begins to take an interest in poetry while struggling with Alzheimer's and an irresponsible grandson. Yoon Jeong-hee stars in her first film role since 1994. Awards included best screenplay at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and best actress at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Next Wednesday is the Indian hit Peepli Live, which BollywoodThai brought to the Bangkok big screen last year. It competed at last year's Sundance Film Festival and was India's official submission to the Oscars. It's a satire on impoverished farmers committing suicides and the media and political response that follows. Others in the screening series are the Japanese thriller Confessions on August 26, 2008's drugs drama Afterschool on August 29, Davis Guggenheim's documentary on the troubled US school system Waiting for Superman on August 31, Michelle Williams in the woman-and-her-dog road-trip drama Wendy and Lucy on September 2, the Greek arthouse thriller Dogtooth on September 5, the animated Cuban romance Chico and Rita on September 7 and French animator Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist, based on a screenplay by Jacques Tati, on September 9. After each screening there's a chance to share opinions with film critics Kittisak Suvannapokhin, Nopamat Veohong and Kong Rithdee. All movies are on DVD with English subtitles. Show times are at 5pm in the Mahachakri Sirindhorn Building, 9th Floor.

Une Vieille Maîtresse – Before getting married to the young daughter of an aristocrat, a notorious womanizer (Fu'ad Aït Aattou) makes a last visit to his long-time Spanish mistress (a torrid Asia Argento). The scandalous relationship has been the talk of Paris society, so before the man can wed his bride (Roxane Mesquida), the young woman's grandmother wants to hear everything about it. The man spills all sordid the details, but says it's over and he's now in love with the woman he intends to marry. And they do and are happy. But then the old mistress reappears and the man is forced to confront his past. Catherine Breillat directs this historical romantic drama, set in 1835. It competed at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. It screens with English subtitles at 7.30pm on Wednesday, August 24 at the Alliance Francaise.

No comments:

Post a Comment