P-047 (Tae Phiang Phoo Diaw, แต่เพียงผู้เดียว)
Having toured the festival circuit for the past year or so, director Kongej Jaturanrasmee's trippy psychological drama P-047 (Tae Peang Phu Deaw, แต่เพียงผู้เดียว) returns to Thailand this week for a limited theatrical release.
In a look at the meanings of identity and personality, P-047 is the story of a lonely locksmith (Apichai Trakulpradetkrai) who joins up with an aspiring writer (Parinya Ngamwongwan) to break into other people's homes – not to steal anything but just to temporarily "borrow" the lives of others. But things get complicated when they pry too deeply into someone else's life.
P-047 premiered last year at the Venice fest, where it was a last-minute addition to the out-of-competition program. Other appearances have included the World Film Festival of Bangkok and last month's Los Angeles Film Festival.
Critics have been stumped by the fragmented story, but are generally positive. In Bangkok, it'll be screening at the Lido in Siam Square and at the Esplanade Cineplex Ratchadaphisek as well as at Major Cineplex Chiang Mai.
The trailer is embedded below.
The Dark Knight Rises – Eight years have passed since Batman vanished into the shadows after taking blame for the death of Gotham City district attorney Harvey Dent. Batman's alter-ego, the millionaire Bruce Wayne, has turned reclusive, but he and Batman are needed again when the cunning thief Catwoman arrives on the scene, followed by the mysterious and brutal masked terrorist Bane, who is intent on destroyiing Gotham City. Christian Bale returns as Batman with Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Tom Hardy as the terrifying Bane. Also returning are Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard joining the cast this time around. It's the finale of director Christopher Nolan's celebrated Batman trilogy, adapted from DC Comics. Critical reception, so far, is positive, though some critics who issued negative reviews have received death threats and Rotten Tomatoes turned off its commenting system in response. It's in 2D only, as Nolan, a film purist, insists. In addition to regular cinemas, it's also showing at IMAX theatres, but it's only the IMAX at Paragon that has 70mm film and the screen with the correct aspect ratio as intended by Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister. The IMAX Digital theaters at Ratchayothin and Pinklao are digital only and also have slightly smaller screens. So if you want to see the true IMAX version of TDKR, the only place to see it is at Paragon. Rated G.
Legendary Amazons – Here's a Chinese tale that goes back to the early 11th century, about the Yangs, a family of generals. When most of the men are killed in the war, the family's grand matriarch (Cecilia Cheung) takes up arms and dons armor to lead the other widows into battle. Richie Ren also stars, playing the lone surviving male of the clan. The tale was previously told in the 1972 Shaw Brothers release, The 14 Amazons. Frankie Chan directs this remake, which attempts to cast the tale in the same light as other recent Chinese costumed epics, with mixed results. Jackie Chan is among the producers. It's Thai-dubbed only. Rated 15+.
Traces – Photos and video art from across Southeast Asia are featured in the Traces exhibition at the Jim Thompson Art Center on Kasemsan Soi 2, near the National Stadium BTS station. Of interest to cinema-buffs will be a display of photos from the Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project, with images of the old stand-alone cinemas across Thailand, Laos and Burma. Among the video installations is Bangkok in the Evening by Sompot Chidgasornpongse, which captures Bangkokians as they pause their daily routines and stand still for the 6pm playing of the national anthem. Also of note is Nguyen Trinh Thi’s Chronicle of a Tape Recorded Over, a documentary on the Ho Chi Minh Trail that turns into a look at censorship when the filmmakers are detained for questioning by police and the camera kept rolling. Also entertaining is
Ho Tzu Nyen’s Utama – Every Name in History is I, which is a fantastical look at the legendary ancient history of Singapore. It runs until October 31 at the Jim Thompson Art Centre, which is open daily and has free admission.
Film Poster Art by Chawana Boonchoo – Here's another art exhibition that movie-goers will want to check out: a look at the old movie posters by painter Chawana Boonchoo at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center. A self-taught artist, Chawana painted posters from 1964 to 1990. This was an era when the posters were colorfully lavish, with intricate compositions that would capture the key moments and visual elements of the films in all their explosive fury. It's an art that's become lost in this era of Photoshop and movie trailers that stream on the web. Chawana has since gone on to be a respected for his landscape and nature paintings. In addition to the dozens of Chawana's poster prints on the BACC's third floor, there is a handful of his original poster paintings in the Thai Film Archive's new FA Cinematheque on the BACC's second floor. The exhibition runs until July 29. It's open daily except Mondays and admission is free.
Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot (Mr. Hulot's Holiday) – Jacques Tati directs and stars in this classic 1953 comedy in which Tati's clumsy pipe-smoking Monsieur Hulot causes havoc when he checks in to a beachside hotel for a vacation. It's in French with English subtitles at the Alliance Française on Wednesday, July 25, at 7.30pm.
Cinema Diverse – The second entry in the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre's FilmsForum screening series will be Nikkini Vasa (August Drizzle) from Sri Lanka at 5pm on July 28 in the BACC's fifth-floor auditorium. The 2011 drama is the debut feature by Aruna JayawardanaIt, who will be present for the screening with actress Sulochana Weerasinghe.