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Tokyo Film Review: ‘Someone From Nowhere’

Tokyo Film Review: ‘Someone From Nowhere’
An injured man turns up in a woman’s apartment and claims he’s its real owner in “Someone from Nowhere,” a gripping existential psychodrama by multitalented Thai filmmaker Prabda Yoon. In a stylistic backflip from his flashy, trashy and occasionally inspired debut feature “Motel Mist,” Yoon delivers a precision-tooled two-hander that begins as a home invasion thriller and turns into a tense and sometimes surreal discourse on identity, memory and survival. Armed with a killer final line of dialogue that’s sure to get many viewers thinking and talking about what they’ve just seen, this quality item should notch plenty of festival mileage and has theatrical art house potential locally and regionally. Domestic release details are pending.

A noted multimedia artist, novelist and scriptwriter whose credits include the Pen-ek Ratanaruang-directed features “Last Life in the Universe” and “Invisible Waves,” Yoon sets almost the entire film inside a well-appointed apartment within the fictional Liberty Land complex
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Venice Film Review: ‘Samui Song’

Venice Film Review: ‘Samui Song’
Interracial love, religious cults, hi-so culture (Thai high society) and an appetite for raw offal enrich and distract Thai auteur Pen-ek Rataranuang’s classic noir about a marriage turned murderous. Mystery and danger percolate in “Samui Song” all the way till the elliptical ending, which leaves audiences with a sense of lingering disquiet. However, there’s a certain spark missing both from the characters and the overall muffled tone. Heading to Toronto after opening the Venice Days section, the film should pique buyer interest based on the enduring popularity of the writer-director’s mid-career work, “Last Life in the Universe” and “Invisible Waves.”

Viyada (Chermarn “Ploy” Boonyasak), or “Vi” for short, is hitting a snag in her professional and marital lives. A daytime soap opera queen who specializes in playing super-bitches, she longs in vain for an arthouse project to give her an image makeover. Her French millionaire husband Jerome Beaufoy (French visual artist Stéphane Sednaoui) is
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Mosquito lands on Rotterdam title 'Motel Mist'

Mosquito lands on Rotterdam title 'Motel Mist'
Prabda Yoon’s feature debut will play in Rotterdamn’s Hivos Tiger Awards Competition.

Thai sales outfit Mosquito Films Distribution has picked up worldwide rights to Thai writer-director Prabda Yoon’s Motel Mist, the only Asian entry at the upcoming International Film Festival Rotterdam’s (Jan 27 - Feb 7) revamped Hivos Tiger Awards Competition.

The new film marks the feature debut of Yoon, an award-winning author and screenwriter most notably for Pen-Ek Ratanaruang’s Last Life In The Universe and Invisible Waves.

His new thriller is set entirely in a ‘love motel’ where five lives connect in unexpected ways and mysterious powers are at play. The characters include two school girls, a motel staff member, a man obsessed with sexual fetish and a former child actor who believes aliens are chasing him.

“In a country where justice and basic human rights are fragile and can be easily violated by ‘higher powers’ with absurd and often comical logic, it seems
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Rotterdam fest reveals eight Tiger competition titles

  • ScreenDaily
Rotterdam fest reveals eight Tiger competition titles
World premieres of new features from the Us, South America and Asia; titles include A Woman, A Part starring Mad Men’s Maggie Siff; jury named.

International Film Festival Rotterdam (Iffr) has revealed the eight titles that will compete in the revamped Hivos Tiger Awards Competition at this year’s 45th edition (Jan 27-Feb 7).

The titles are:

History’s Future - Fiona Tan (Neth)The Land Of The Enlightened - Pieter-Jan De Pue (Bel-Neth-Ire-Ger)Motel Mist - Prabda Yoon (Thai)Oscuro Animal - Felipe Guerrero (Col-Arg-Neth-Ger-Gre)Radio Dreams - Babak Jalali (Us)La Ultima Tierra - Pablo Lamar (Par-Neth-Chi-Qat)Where I Grow Old - Marília Rocha (Bra-Por)A Woman, A Part - Elisabeth Subrin (Us)

All are world premieres, except The Land Of The Enlightened, which will receive its European premiere at Iffr after screening at Sundance in the world cinema documentary competition.

Other notable titles include Us drama A Woman, A Part, which
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sydney Film Festival 2015: Pen-ek, Aihara Hiromi Join Competition Jury

The 2015 Sydney Film Festival has announced the jury in charge of judging the 12 titles in the Official Competition, which "recognises courageous, audacious and cutting-edge film." The winner will take home the Sydney Film Prize and A$60,000 cash.This year's jury will be headed by Australian film producer Liz Watts (Animal Kingdom, Home Song Stories, Jewboy). The jury members include Thai filmmaker Pen-ek Ratanaruang (6ixtynin9, Last Life In The Universe), Japanese producer Aihara Hiromi (Tetsuo II, Tokyo Fist, Last Life in the Universe, Invisible Waves), Executive Director of the Austrian Film Commission Martin Schweighofer and Australian screenwriter Andrew Bovell (Strictly Ballroom, Lantana, A Most Wanted Man). This year's Official Competition titles include: • Arabian Nights (Portugal, France, Germany, Switzerland)• Black Souls (Italy)• The Daughter (Australia) • Me And...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Busan’s Asian Project Market Unveils Co-Production Friendly Lineup

Busan’s Asian Project Market Unveils Co-Production Friendly Lineup
Seoul – Top-flight international directors including Brillante Mendoza (“Kinatay”), Bangladesh’s Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (“Television”), Thailand’s Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (“Invisible Waves”) and Cannes laureate Vimukthi Jayasundara (“The Forsaken Land”) of Sri Lanka will seek funding for their new films at the Asian Project Market.

They were among the 30 selected by the project market wing of South Korea’s Busan Intl. Film Festival.

Market organizers said the world is increasingly looking to Asia for co-productions. “Over 70% of the final section are co-productions. Boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred,” said Susan Chae, an selection committee member.

High-profile producers accompanying projects by less well-known directors also make up a significant portion of the market line-up. They include India’s Guneet Monga (“The Lunch Box”), Marianne Slot (“Antichrist,” “Melancholia”), Palestine’s Hany Abu-Assad and Paris-based Behrooz Hashemian (“Waiting for the Clouds”).

Korean projects include new efforts from Shin Suwon (“Circle Line,” “Pluto”), Yeon Sang-Ho (“The King
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sliff Day Eight – Bitter Buddha, Headshot, Eliminate: Archie Cookson, and More

Wow, the 21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival already has been amazing!

Sliff’s main venues are the the Hi-Pointe Theatre, Tivoli Theatre, Plaza Frontenac Cinema, Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium, Washington University’s Brown Hall Auditorium and the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville, Il

The entire schedule for the 21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival be found Here.

http://cinemastlouis.org/sliff-2012

Here is what will be screening at The 21st Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival today, Thursday, November 15th

Shorts Program 8: Quirky Relationships

Shorts Program 8: Quirky Relationships plays at 5:00pm at the Tivoli Theatre

Shorts that give romance a twist.

Boo! (Rupert Reid, Australia, 2012, 5 min.): An aging married couple keep their love alive by staying one step ahead of each other. Coffees (Alex Beh, U.S., 2012, 11 min.): As a last-ditch effort, Mikey decides to go to his ex
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Sliff Day Seven – The Olivia Experiment, Headshot, and More

Day seven of the 21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival already?!? There are still four days and hundreds of great films to go!

Sliff’s main venues are the the Hi-Pointe Theatre, Tivoli Theatre, Plaza Frontenac Cinema, Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium, Washington University’s Brown Hall Auditorium and the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville, Il

The entire schedule for the 21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival be found Here.

http://cinemastlouis.org/sliff-2012

Here is what will be screening at The 21st Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival today, Wednesday, November 14th

Booker’S Place

Booker’S Place plays at 7:15pm at the Tivoli Theatre

Booker Wright was an African-American restaurant owner who also served double-duty as a waiter in a whites-only restaurant in Mississippi in the 1960s. He became an unlikely activist for the civil-rights movement when he appeared on a 1965 network TV
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘Headshot’ Trailer: An Upside-Down Thai Thriller

‘Headshot’ Trailer: An Upside-Down Thai Thriller
Head wounds are unpredictable. One person might endure grievous trauma to the noggin and display no ill effects, while a seemingly minor knock on the dome can drop someone else into a coma for years. So I don't find it difficult at all to  accept the idea that a man who survives being shot in the head might find that he sees everything upside-down. That's part of the basic conceit of Headshot, a cops and gangsters thriller from Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang in which a cop experiences exactly that sort of shooting and aftermath, and then tries to deal with the aftermath. I've been following the slow reveal of images and video from Headshot ever since the first materials premiered on Twitch [1]. A couple of trailers showed up there over the past months, and we never ran them. The English-subtitled one is cropping up once more this week, likely thanks
See full article at Slash Film »

Trailer for Pen-Ek Ratanaruang's Headshot

We like Pen-Ek Ratanaruang around here a lot.  Sixty-Nine is a consummate post-Tarantino black comedy and Last Life in the Universe could be considered a major touchstone film amongst many of the Twitch writing staff.  Some might say that the Thai director's output has been spotty since the derivative Invisible Waves in 2006 (although I think Nymph is seriously underrated as an existential horror film, which more than holds its own with Lars Von Trier's similar Antichrist.)  Suffice it to say that his lastest film a literally upside-down cop thriller sees the director returning to high-concept genre filmmaking, which has me a bit giddy with anticipation for its Tiff 2011 bow.  We've got the subtitled trailer below, and fair warning, *there is enough nudity and...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

First Look At The Official Poster And Fresh Stills From Pen-Ek's Headshot

Fresh off its announcement as part of the Vanguard lineup at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, Twitch has a batch of new stills plus the first look at the official poster for Pen-Ek Ratanaruang's Headshot.Widely hailed as the return to the sort of smart, genre oriented fare that marked his early career, Headshot is a character driven crime noir from the director of Last Life In The Universe, Invisible Waves and Ploy.Present-day Thailand is rife with corruption. Tul, a straight-laced cop, is blackmailed by a powerful politician and framed from a crime he did not commit. Disillusioned and vengeful, he is soon recruited to become a hitman for a shadowy group aimed at eliminating those who are above the law. But one day,...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

First Image From Pen-Ek's Headshot

Exciting news from the Pen-Ek Ratanaruang camp with word that his return to the noir tinged style where he first made his name is now in production and evidently looking good enough that it's already picked up distribution in France.

Titled Headshot we've got the first still from the picture above and here's the official sales announcement with additional details about the film:

Wild Side Goes For Ratanaruang's 'Headshot'

A return to the crime thriller genre by one of Thailand's most acclaimed directors

Bangkok, December 16th 2010 - Headshot, the latest project by renowned Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang (6IXTYNIN9, Last Life In The Universe, Ploy), has been acquired by distributor Wild Side for distribution in France. The film is currently in production.

Produced by Local Color Films, whose previous productions include Wisit Sasanatieng's Red Eagle and the omnibus Sawasdee Bangkok, Headshot is a modern film noir adapted from the novel
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Nymph Review

Ever since Christopher Doyle jumped ship Ratanaruang (Invisible Waves, Last Life in the Universe) his popularity has been declining. Truth be told, his more recent films aren't as accessible as his earlier ones either. Ploy was excruciatingly slow, Nymph isn't much livelier. Not necessarily a bad thing though as Ratanaruang transforms Nymph into a slow yet creepy and atmospheric little horror-drama. Definitely not for everyone, but hardened Ratanaruang fans should definitely take notice.

The film's opening sequence is one that deserves some extra attention. A marvelous, long-winding tracking shot that actually fails to track the events happening on screen. It's a weird and mysterious introduction (not) following two guys running after a girl with obvious malicious intent in the middle of the woods. The camera sways and follows its own path while the action happens somewhere out of view, sometimes audible, sometimes completely eclipsed by the dense forest. The shot ends with the aftermath,
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

On the edge of slumber

Most films are made to impress. Directors often go through great lengths to woo their audiences. They aim for the fanciest special effect, they apply loud, overproduced scores and they buy the best acting talent available. Or they hire the craziest cinematographers, find a genius scriptwriter and throw in some social commentary, maybe even a little shock value. And that's okay, really. It's what makes film such an exciting medium to reside in.

When people say they "nearly fell asleep" while watching a film it usually means they were bored to death. Unless you're really tired or watching a film past midnight, falling asleep during a film is not a very good sign. It often means the film couldn't provide any of the perks mentioned above, failing to keep the viewer's attention. But there are exceptions! There always are. Some films have the power to put you in a state of near-sleep,
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Birthday Suits, Asia Major

Do you ever celebrate the birthdays of your favorite movie folk? You should. Here are your options for 11/27

Michael Vartan, Bruce Lee

1940 Bruce Lee Chinese American trailblazer, 70s icon, legend. Without him, whose to say how long it would have taken martial arts films to gain as much international popularity? Without him, no Uma Thurman in a yellow track suit.

1951 Kathryn Bigelow director, action fan. An Oscar nominee in about 2 months and a week.

1956 William Fichtner actor

1957 Callie Khouri, screenwriter. She'll always have Thelma & Louise

1957 Kevin O'Connell, the most nominated never-winning Oscar anything. He's been nominated 20 times (!) for his sound work. He has only his Emmy and lucrative blockbuster heavy career to comfort him. His next project is the Gyllenhaal action flick Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. [editor's note: You may recall that the second podcast ever here at Tfe was an interview with his then working partner Greg P Russell whose own Oscar tally totals 12 nominations without a win.]

1963 Fisher Stevens, Michelle Pfeiffer's boyfriend during her Catwoman years

1968 Michael Vartan, French-American actor (Alias)

1978 Unax Ugalde, Spanish hottie... seduced Julianne Moore
See full article at FilmExperience »

A Tiff Programmer Talks Nymph

[A little while back, Toronto International Film Festival programmer Raymond Phathanavirangoon checked in to share a list of his most anticipated titles of 2009 and now he’s coming back to us with a series of quick looks at his selections for the big festival and why he feels they are important films. Up first is the latest from Pen-Ek Ratanaruang!]

Hi all, after my last article about my most anticipated 2009 titles (in which, unfortunately, only 5 of them actually made 2009), I’m back to introduce some of the films I have programmed this year at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s a particularly strong year for Asian cinema, and overall I’m very happy with the films I have chosen.

The first film I’d like to introduce is Nymph by Pen-ek Ratanaruang. It has already been reviewed here (by none other than Todd himself), but the version that will be showing in Toronto is not the Cannes version. Instead, Tiff will be screening the international premiere of the Director’s Cut version of the film, which is a full 15 minutes shorter than the Cannes cut. Other changes include the addition of a soundtrack and a color-corrected print, among others. Some say that the new version moves faster, but I
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Cannes 09: Nymph Review

In my opinion Pen-Ek Ratanaruang’s supernaturally tinged drama Nymph bears roughly the same relationship to his previous film Ploy as his Invisible Waves did to Last Life In The Universe. Both Last Life and Ploy marked first forays into a new style of film, forays quickly followed up by second movements meant - at least in part - to push deeper into that style of film making, with several key elements and the basic style of shooting repeated. But, unfortunately, the second shot at the new style in both Invisible Waves and Nymph is just simply not as successful as the first steps were.
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Ploy

Ploy
Hawaii International Film Festival

HONOLULU -- Romantic jealousy leads to vicious suspicion in Ploy, Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang's follow-up to Invisible Waves, as a couple attempt to come to terms with the remnants of their faltering relationship.

Factoring in critical support and Ratanaruang's Asian auteur cachet, this 2007 Cannes Directors' Fortnight selection should be assured a healthy fest run and with savvy marketing could see modest success in niche markets.

Wit (Pornwut Sarasin) and his wife Dang (Lalita Panyopas) return to Bangkok after seven years in the U.S. to attend a funeral, taking a hotel room to rest up after their red-eye flight. Wit goes down to the lobby bar to buy a pack of cigarettes, where he encounters Ploy (Apinya Sakuljaroensuk), a waif-like young woman waiting to meet her mother later that day at the hotel. Their casual conversation reveals they share the same hometown, prompting Wit to offer Ploy the use of his room to shower and relax.

Dang, trying to get some sleep, is none too happy to meet Wit's new friend. Although she acts polite to Ploy, Dang quietly tells Wit to get rid of the girl. Their tense conversation indicates that all is not well after Wit refuses to ask Ploy to leave. Later, when Dang tries to discuss their deteriorating relationship, Wit avoids divulging too much about his feelings, prompting her to accuse him of infidelity.

In a parallel story line, hotel bartender Nut (Ananda Everingham) engages housekeeping maid Tum (Phornthip Papanai) in a steamy erotic encounter, setting up a telling contrast to the aridity of Wit and Dang's marriage.

Dang clearly feels threatened by the possibility that Wit might be attracted to Ploy, prompting a violent dream about smothering the girl to death. Upset by her disturbing fantasies and argument with Wit, Dang retreats to the hotel lobby, leaving Wit and Ploy alone as she embarks on a questionable assignation of her own.

Ratanaruang's unhurried pace gradually ratchets up the tension in this charged scenario by obscuring his characters' motivations and manipulating the narrative with telling dream sequences that reveal their ulterior intentions. Chankit Chamnivikaipong returns as cinematographer, conjuring a twilit lighting design that evocatively infers the early morning time frame and the characters' sleep-deprived state, while Ratanaruang's carefully plotted camera moves and deliberate framing emphasize their isolation and disconnectedness.

PLOY

Five Star Production Co. and Fortissimo Films in association with the Film Factory

Credits:

Screenwriter-director: Pen-ek Ratanaruang

Producer: Rewat Vorarat

Executive producer: Charoen Iamphungporn

Cinematographer: Chankit Chamnivikaipong

Production designers: Saksiri Chantarangsri, Wittaya Chaimongkol

Music: Hualampong Riddim, Koichi Shimizu

Editor: Patamanadda Yukol

Cast:

Dang: Lalita Panyopas

Wit: Pornwut Sarasin

Ploy: Apinya Sakuljaroensuk

Tum: Phornthip Papanai

Nut: Ananda Everingham

Running time --107 minutes

No MPAA rating

Live from Cannes: Day 6

  • Sunday was a day where many folks in the media relaxed and where a collage of films form celebrated Cannes filmmakers was a nice change of pace. It started off in the early a.m. again with Chacun son cinema– a collection of 3-minute short films that surprisingly, make the grade. My favorite comes from the hands of Lars von TrierLars von Trier
[/link] who basically sets up a little story about him sitting next to an annoying audience member who talks during the screening of a film (Manderlay). The punchline is the moment where the annoying man asks Lars “what he does for a living”. Without giving away the specifics of how he responds he basically does what everyone at some moment of their lives wished they could do to the annoying person sitting next to them while trying to watch a film. Delicious. A quick trot over to the Noga
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Schepisi set to lead jury at Bangkok fest

Schepisi set to lead jury at Bangkok fest
Director Fred Schepisi has been named president of the international jury for the Bangkok International Film Festival, which runs Feb. 17-27. The jury also includes actor-director Charles Dance, actor-screenwriter Julie Delpy, actor Nancy Kwan, producer Donald Ranvaud and director Pantham Thongsang. Pen-Ek Ratanaruang's Thai film Invisible Waves will screen as the opening-night film, and Chris Columbus' Rent has been selected for the closing-night gala.
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