Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening December 1-7, 2011

Breaking Dawn – Part 1

It's almost over. The penultimate entry in The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn – Part 1, has the young mortal woman Bella (Kristen Stewart) getting married to Edward (Robert Pattinson), her pale-skinned lug of a vampire beau. And, to make matters worse, she gets pregnant! But can Bella bear the child to term? The vampire clan is worried that the baby's physiology isn't compatible.

Meanwhile, the "wolf pack" clan of werewolves, including Bella's lovelorn bare-chested friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner), are circling and growling. They see the vampire-human hybrid as a potential threat and want to kill it.

Oh, how will it end? If you've read the romance novels by Stephenie Meyer you already know. But if you're only watching the movies, you'll have to wait a full year for Breaking Dawn – Part 2 to see how this melodrama plays out.

These final two entries in the Twilight franchise are directed by Bill Condon (Kinsey, Gods and Monsters), who reportedly was in contention for the job alongside such names as Gus Van Sant and Sophia Coppolla.

Critical reception is mostly negative. "Slow, joyless, and loaded with unintentionally humorous moments, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 may satisfy the Twilight faithful, but it's strictly for fans of the franchise," is the consensus. And be forewarned, it might cause epileptic seizures. Rated 15+.

Also opening

Sector 7 – In the middle of the ocean, the crew of an oil rig fight a new mutated lifeform. Ha Ji-won, Ahn Sung-ki and Oh Ji-ho star. Reception has been mixed. This 3D monster flick from South Korea was released there in IMAX cinemas, but it's in ordinary 3D theaters in Thailand. The original Korean soundtrack with English subtitles is at SF World Cinema; elsewhere it's Thai-dubbed only. Rated 13+.

Also showing

Primitive – Filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul's multi-platform art exhibition finally makes its way to Bangkok after touring the world for the past couple of years. It'll be at the Jim Thompson Art Center from today until February 29. Part of the same project as the acclaimed feature film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, the video installation Primitive is an intimate look at the village of Nabua, Nakhon Phanom, along the Mekong in northeastern Thailand. It was there in 1965 that the Royal Thai Army staged a massacre during an anti-communist offensive. Primitive deals with ghosts of that violent past. The seven-channel video installation also offers a slice-of-life look at the young men of Nabua as well as a music video by Moderndog and a behind-the-scenes film of the building of a spaceship – just one of the art projects Apichatpong came up with as a way of engaging the villagers in his project. Commissioned by Haus Der Kunst, Munich, Primitive has previously shown in Munich, Liverpool, Paris, New York and the Yokohama Triennale. I checked it out at New York's New Museum earlier this year and am glad I'll be able to see how it fits into Bangkok. The Jim Thompson Art Center is on Kasemsan Soi 2, near the National Stadium skytrain station. It's open daily from 9 to 5.

German Open Air Cinema – The Goethe-Institut Thailand's annual outdoor movie season starts next week and runs every Tuesday until February 28 at the insitute on Bangkok's Soi Sathorn 1. The opening film is the Swiss short Scribbling & Tingling from 2010 by Amaury Berger. And then it's Longing (Sehnsucht) from 2006 by Valeska Grisebach. It's a small-town drama about love, loss and infidelity involving a thirtysomething volunteer fireman who's been with his wife since they were teenagers. It was a nominee for the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. The show starts at 7.30. All are shown in German with English subtitles. Admission is free. Call (02) 287 0942-4 extension 82 or visit

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