Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening May 7-13, 2015

Keeta Maha Raja Niphon

Four short films by noted Thai directors pay tribute to songs composed by His Majesty the King in Keeta Maha Raja Niphon (คีตราชนิพนธ์).

Nonzee Nimibutr directs a story of an elderly woman trying to convince a formerly famous singer to perform again in public while Wallop Prasopphol has a story of a bullied boy trying to impress a girl by acting in the school play.

Parkpoom Wongpoom recounts the life of Seub Nakhasathien, the activist wildlife conservation official who sacrificed himself to call attention to the plight of endangered animals and natural areas. He's portrayed by talented actor Nopachai “Peter” Jayanama (Headshot, Naresuan).

And Yongyoot Thongkongtoon directs a profile of a Boy Scout whose goal is to raise his school's flag, a job reserved only for the best-behaved students.

The four shorts are screening for free until Sunday at Major Cineplex branches. Seats have already filled up for several screenings and reservations are a must. To reserve your seat, check this special website, perhaps with the assistance of a Thai friend.

And you can find out more about the project at that other blog or from an article in The Nation. There's also a Facebook page and a YouTube channel.

Also opening

The Last Five YearsPitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick again puts her vocal cords to work in this adaptation of a stage musical. It chronicles the end of a love affair and marriage between an up-and-coming novelist and a struggling actress. Jeremy Jordan also stars. Richard LaGravenese (Beautiful Creatures, P.S. I Love You) directs. Critical reception is mixed, leaning to positive. Rated 15+

Foosball – Tiny players from a foosball table magically come to life to aid a young man in his bid to rescue his girlfriend and save his town from being leveled by an old childhood rival to make way for a new sports stadium. From Argentina, this animated feature is also known as Metegol or Underdogs. It's at SF cinemas. Rated G

Parasyte – Worm-like aliens fall from the sky and take over most everyone’s bodies, but one high-school student manages to keep his parasite confined to his right hand. He sets out to conquer the aliens. From Japan, this is the first of at least two parts. At Apex and SF. Rated 15+

Postcard Tee Mai Me… Tee Ma (โปสการ์ดที่ไม่มี..ที่มา , Postcard from Nowhere) – Three people cross paths thanks to a postcard – photographer Sai Lom (Puttipong Sriwat), Khet (Sarawut Martthong) and Karnda (Worranun Chantarasami), the woman Khet loves. Rated G

Piku – Three top Bollywood talents – Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan – star in this road-trip comedy. An architect (Padukone) has to take her ailing father (Big B) from New Delhi to Kolkata. She recruits a cab-company owner (Khan) to take them, since none of his drivers are willing to endure the father-daughter pair. In Hindi with English and Thai subtitles Major Cineplex Sukhumvit, Rama III and Pattaya. Opens Friday.

Also showing

Alliance Française – Tonight at 6.30 is the opening of 40 Years Later: The Commemoration of the Fall of Phnom Penh, a photo exhibition by French lensman Roland Neveu, who was there in 1975 in the moments before the Khmer Rouge took over. He'll be there to sign a book of his photos. Also present will be French-Cambodian filmmaker Iv Charbonneau-Ching, whose emotion-filled documentary Cambodge, après l’adieu (Cambodia After Farewell) will be screened tonight. It follows his family's return to Cambodia after their escape from the Khmer Rouge regime in 1975. Tickets are 100 baht. You can reserve your movie ticket online. For more details, check the Facebook events page. Neveu's photos will be up through May 24. Next Wednesday, the month of French films about children continues with Tritesse Club about two men, who may or may not be brothers, meeting a young woman who may or may not be their sister. They then set out to find the man they think might be their father, who may or may not be dead. Vincent Macaigne, Laurent Lafitte and Ludivine Sagnier star. Vincent Mariette directs. It screens at 7pm on Wednesday, May 13 at the Alliance.

The Friese-Greene Club – Music documentaries are featured on Wednesdays, American Palme d'Or winners at the Cannes Film Festival are on Thursdays, British Golden Palm winners are on Fridays, films that are sexier than Fifty Shades of Grey are on Saturdays and "modern" musicals on Sundays. This week's American triumph at Cannes is Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, which was actually booed by the typically hard-to-please crowd. As with many other films that are booed at Cannes, it became a cult hit. Tomorrow's British winner at Cannes is Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley, about the Irish War. Saturday, it's Gregg Araki's Mysterious Skin, a break-out role for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, portraying a gay hustler. And on Sunday, it's A Chorus Line. Next Wednesday is Searching for Sugar Man, in which a pair of obsessed music fans try to find out what happened to 1970s' one-hit-wonder Rodriguez. Shows are at 8pm. The FGC is down an alley next to the under-renovation Queen's Park Imperial Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22. For more details, check the club's Facebook page.

Documentary Club – As detailed in last week's post, the ongoing Doc Holiday series at SF cinemas continues tomorrow with 1971, debuting director Johanna Hamilton’s recounting of a break-in at an FBI office that led to the exposure of Cointelpro, J. Edgar Hoover’s secret, illegal surveillance program that targeted civil rights leaders, journalists and leftist politicians. It is on from tomorrow until Sunday at SFW CentralWorld and SFX Maya Chiang Mai. Advance bookings are encouraged. Further shows may be added. For more details, please see

Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand – The FCCT's Contemporary World Film Series continues with this year's Academy Award winning best foreign language film, Ida, from Poland. A gobstoppingly beautiful film, shot in lovely black-and-white and framed in the classic 4:3 ratio, the drama follows an orphaned young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland. Before taking her vows, she's encouraged to track down her sole surviving family member. She's her boozing, chain-smoking aunt – a disgraced but still-formidable state prosecutor from the Stalinist era. They take a road trip to bring closure to a dark family secret dating back to the Nazi occupation. The screening, courtesy of the Embassy of Poland, comes with Polish Zubrowka vodka cocktails (don't try to keep up with that hard-drinking aunt!) and Szarlotka apple pie. It's at 7pm on Monday, May 11 at the FCCT. Admission is 150 baht for non-members and 100 baht for anyone wanting pie.

Take note

Upcoming events include a festival of Singaporean films at SFW CentralWorld from May 21 to 24. There is also the next entry in the Bangkok Art and Culture Center's Cinema Diverse: Director's Choice series, which on May 23 welcomes Thai director Aditya Assarat and young Indian director Chaitanya Tamhane for a screening of Tamhane's 2014 feature Court and a talk by the two auteurs afterward.

1 comment:

  1. I nearly mistook 1971 for the Northern Ireland film '71 starring Jack O'Connell. Easy to do, even for a film fan. Hope 71 comes soon. - Ian