Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening September 11-17, 2014


Director Vorakorn Ruetaivanichkul blends documentary and drama in this unflinchingly personal look at his family in Mother.

The story is set during the 1997 economic crisis, with a young man's mother attempting suicide. Left severely disabled, the mentally troubled woman is left in care of her family, a job that takes its toll on all involved.

Since premiering at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2012, Mother has made its way around the festival circuit, screeing in London and Jakarta's Chopshots, and in competition in Torino. It screened at last year's World Film Festival of Bangkok, where I reviewed it.

It's now in limited release at House on RCA.

Also opening

Sex Tape – Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz star in this raunchy comedy about a couple who film their epic lovemaking session in hopes of spicing up their 10-year-old marriage. Trouble arises when the recording automatically uploads itself to "the cloud" and is shared with all the couple's family and friends. Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher, Walk Hard) directs. Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe and Nat Faxon also star. Critics aren't turned on. Rated 18+

+1 (Plus One) – A mysterious phenomenon disrupts a big college party and makes twins of all in attendance. Rhys Wakefield, Logan Miller, Ashley Hinshaw and Natalie Hall star. Dennis Iliadis (The Last House on the Left) directs this indie horror for IFC Films. Critical reception, though somewhat thin, is mixed leaning to favorable. Rated 18+

Kite – A cult-hit 1998 direct-to-video Japanese animated feature gets the live-action remake treament from Hollywood in this story of an orphan girl trained as an assassin. She's assigned to infiltrate and dismantle a prostitution ring. India Eisley stars, along with Samuel L. Jackson and Callan McAuliffe. It's adapted from a 1998 anime by Yasuomi Umetsu (Akira, Grave of the Fireflies). Ralph Ziman (Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema) directs. Critical reception is mostly negative. Rated 18+

Namman Phrai (น้ำมันพราย, Spell) – Veteran director Dulyasit Niyomkul returns with this supernatural horror about a young woman (Vanida "Gybzy" Termtanaporn), who becomes possessed by the spirit of a pregnant women after her childhood friend Lek (Pramote Tianchaikerdsilp) uses a love potion made from burning a dead pregnant woman's chin. It's in 3D in some cinemas. Rated 18+

Sming – The hunter's killing of a tiger cub is the beginning of a quest for vengeance by the cub's mother, a supernaturally endowed tiger, and the hunter, who seeks revenge for his wife's death. Narin Visitsak directs. Rated 15+

Kru Lae Nakrian (ครูและนักเรียน, Teacher and Student) – After five years together, Ton and his boyfriend Al are on the verge of splitting up. Al tries to get the romance back on track but Ton has fallen in love his student Joe. Sarawut Intaraprom directs. At Esplanade Cineplex Ratchada and Major Cineplex Ratchayothin. No English subtitles. Rated 18+

The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom – Fan Bingbing stars in this sweeping saga of star-crossed romance and palace intrigue from the martial-arts-fantasy novel of Liang Yusheng. She is an outlaw who falls for a righteous Taoist leader (Huang Xiaoming). Jacob Cheung directs. At SF cinemas, with original soundtrack and Thai and probably English subtitles at CentralWorld, Terminal 21 and Emporium. Rated 13+

Finding Fanny – An elderly postman in Goa finds a letter he wrote 46 years ago, asking for a woman's hand in marriage, but was never delivered. So he sets off on a road trip to find his lost love, and is joined along the way by four colourful characters from the village. Naseeruddin Shah, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia star. English with Thai subtitles at Paragon and Esplanade Ratchada and in English-Hindi with Thai subtitles at Major Cineplex Sukhumvit, Rama III and Pattaya. Opens Friday.

Also showing

The Friese-Greene Club – Taboo romance develops tonight between a pair of guys working on a Wyoming sheep ranch in Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain. Tomorrow, Alec Guinness is a fussy bank clerk who decides he wants more of life in the classic Ealing comedy The Lavender Hill Mob. Saturday's "so bad it's good" entry is the cult favorite bomb The Room. Sunday is Key Largo, the fourth and final film pairing of Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. Next Wednesday, it's Robin Williams in his Oscar-winning performance in Good Will Hunting. Shows are at 8pm. The FGC is down an alley next to the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. There's just nine seats, so book them. Also, check the Facebook page for updates and program changes.

The Lives of Others – The Filmvirus series of biographical double-bills continues on Sunday with a pair of autobiographies starring filmmmakers. First up is  Savage Nights (Les nuits fauves), French actor-director Cyril Collard's adaptation of his autobiography. It's the story of a bisexual director who continues his promiscuous ways even after he discovers he has Aids. The film won the Cesar prize as France's best film of 1994, just four days after Collard died. That's followed by Caro Diario, featuring three chapters of an open diary by Italian director Nanni Moretti. The show starts at 12.30 on Sunday in the Pridi Banomyong Library at Thammasat University Tha Prachan, in the Rewat Buddhinan Room, floor U2, the basement. Dress appropriately and inform the desk worker you are there to see a movie. For details, call (02) 613-3529 or (02) 613-3530.

Alliance Française – "Novels on the big screen" is September's theme for the free French films. Next week it's Foxfire, based on the Joyce Carol Oates novel of teen rebels in a 1950s small town. It's in French with English subtitles at 7pm on Wednesday, September 17.

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