Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening October 30-November 5, 2014

So Be It

Two very different boys – a poor hilltribe youngster and a half-Thai reality-TV star – ordain as novice Buddhist monks in So Be It (A-Wang, เอวัง), a documentary by acclaimed Thai writer-director Kongdej Jaturanrasmee.

The half-Thai, half-farang kid William was featured on the TrueVisions’ reality series Plook Panya Dharma Novice, which followed the daily lives of novice monks. After his stint on the series, he returns to the temple on his own to continue his studies into the Buddhist faith.

Meanwhile, there's Bundit, a Karen boy whose family is too poor to afford schooling. So he's sent to the Buddhist boarding school, but is uncomfortable and tries to leave.

The third indie-film effort by Kongdej, So Be It premiered at the recent Busan International Film Festival, which had supported the project through the Asian Cinema Fund. Variety gave it a good review. The Nation has more about it today.

It's at House on RCA. Rated G

Also opening

The Eyes Diary (คนเห็นผี, Kon Hen Pee) – Director Chukiat Sakveerakul is best known for his sprawling family and friendship dramas like The Love of Siam and last year's Krian Fictions, but he got his start with thrillers, such as his 2004 horror Pisaj and the twisting 2006 thriller 13 Game Sayong, which was recently remade by Hollywood as 13 Sins. With The Eyes Diary (not to be confused with the Pang brothers' Eye franchise), Chookiat gathers young talent for this story of a young man (Parama Im-anothai) whose girlfriend (Focus Jeerakul) died in a motorbike wreck after they had a fight. He’s desperate to communicate with her “on the other side” and seeks help from a young woman (Chonnikarn Natejui) who's had a similar experience. Rated 15+

The Couple (รัก ลวง หลอน, Rak Luang Lon) – A newlywed bride is possessed by the evil spirit of her sister-in-law in this thriller from the new film company Talent 1. Sucha Manaying, Pitchaya Nithipisarnkul and Mali Coates star. This is the second feature from Talent 1, which made its bow last year with the well-received thriller Last Summer. It's run by producer Ladawan Ratanadilokchai, who takes a different approach to her films. She had a hand in the script with help from Thai indie filmmaking talents Kongdej Jaturanrasmee (who also has So Be It opening at House this week), Pimpaka Towira and Sivaroj Kongsakul. Rated 15+

Whiplash – The top award winner at Sundance, this acclaimed indie drama follows a young drummer (Miles Teller) as he joins an elite music conservatory's jazz orchestra and comes under the cruel tutelage of the tyrannical conductor (J.K. Simmons), who pushes the young man to the brink in his obsessive drive for perfection. Damien Chazelle, a young filmmaker making his sophomore feature effort, directs. Also a hit at the Toronto International Film Festival, critical reception is wildly positive. In sneak previews for the past couple weeks, Whiplash finally moves to a wide release. Rated G

The Equalizer – Denzel Washington is a former black-ops agent who atones for his dark past by volunteering his services as a private eye to those in need. His latest case involves a teenage prostitute (Chloë Grace Moretz) and leads him into a conflict with Russian mobsters. This is big-screen reboot of a 1980s American TV drama that starred British actor Edward Woodward and had an iconic theme by Police drummer Stewart Copeland. Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen) directs this new version, reuniting with his Training Day leading man. Critical reception is mixed, with eyebrows raised over the extreme level of violence. Rated 18+

Also showing

Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand – Tonight, the Czech Republic presents the documentary The Power of Good: The Nicholas Winton Story, about a British businessman who saved 669 Czech children from the Nazi death camps in World War II. The show is at 7pm. Entry is free.

The Friese-Greene Club – A disillusioned killer takes one last job in Wong Kar-wai's stylish drama Fallen Angels, screening tonight. Tomorrow's cult classic is The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but it's fully booked. So find someplace else to toss your toast. Keep an eye on the club's Facebook page for further offerings in November. 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.

Alliance Française – November's line-up starts with La France, a 2007 drama that's set during World War I. Young Camille receives a break-up letter from her soldier husband. So she goes in search, disguising herself as a man and signing up for the fight. She falls in with a group of soldiers who do not suspect her real identity. Sylvie Testud, Guillaume Depardieu, Guillaume Verdier star and Serge Bozon directs. It's in French with English subtitles at 7pm on Wednesday, November 5.

Sneak preview

The romantic comedy Love, Rosie continues its sneak preview run, screening from around 8 nightly at most cinemas. It opens wider next Thursday.

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