Tag Archives: Drama

Tee Rak

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When a friend in LA message me on Facebook how she loved this Thai film, Eternity (Tee Rak) he saw in the film festival over there, I was anticipating to see it but not sure if I ever get a chance. Either it had already been screened before I was back in the country or would never seen the light in Thai cinemas. Until Wise Kwai blogged about it as a limited screening, I just had to put it my weekend schedule.

There is something about this film that moves you without following the classic story telling rules. The tagline is just about the love of a young couple which happens to be the parents of Siraroj Kongsakul, the director. He tells the story through snipplets of memories of his late father, mainly on the young girl’s first visit to his hometown. And that is it, no big arguement between them or no culture crash of the city girl and the country folks.

Everything is understated. The transitions of the first sequence to the main story and the last act are very subtle. Some scenes are just the two people talking without cutting and they even turn their back on the camera. We can only see medium shots of them each twice. But when these strings of momeries are tied up together, it becomes a haunting experience.

A great love story always comes with pain. In this film, it subsides so deeply that you can only feel it. We see the adorable ones build their relationship along the journey but in the end, nothing lasts and one has to live with it, like anyone of us will…

The Boys

The second week of Video Construction class we get to see The Boys, a dark Australian film which I had never heard of it until I moved here and saw a TV commercial of the DVD few years ago. The reason is we have a special guest speaker, Stephen Sewell, Screenwriter of the movie.

The movie was a success in art house cinemas in the 90’s. This psychological suspense conveys domestic violence which in depth of men’s views. In the an ordinary Australian suburban, it is the first day out-of-jail of Brett (David Wenham) and he has got everyone home, mother (Lynette Curran), girlfriend (Toni Collette), the two brothers. But the party of this dysfunctional family only lasts for a day when the tensions get escalated into a brutal crime that night by the boys. The best part of the film is how it is structured and executed to build up the emotion of the characters until the end.

Having a chat with the writer after the screening gives us some creative insights, especially how it was adapted from the stage play. But one thing that interests me the most is that the funding government bodies both State and Federal, unlike Hollywood, taxpayers pay for Australian films to be made, rejected the script and would not give the money because of these vicious characters. Fortunately, the stubbornness of these newly-graduated filmmakers made it through and it paid of. Otherwise, we would not see the light of the dark of this film.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Let’s get naked. We are human after all.

Lady Chatterley's Lover

 

With generosity from Dymocks, Stilgherrian and I have a chance to preview the French version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover which is released in Australian cinemas in October. It swept this year 5 César Awards including Best Picture and Best Actress.

A young, intelligent woman, Constance (Marina Hands) gets married with a wealthy, upper-class, half-paralysed man, Clifford Chatterley (Hippolyte Girardot). The unhappy marriage turns her to have an affair with his gamekeeper, Mr Parkin (Jean-Louis Coullo’ch). The original novel by D. H. Lawrence was a taboo itself with sex scenes between an aristocrat lady and a working class man. It was banned in many country including Australia.

There is nothing new with the plot of a married woman having an affair in the world of cinemas. They all have their excuses to cross the line. Ask Fracesca’s The Bridges of Medison County, Ada’s The Piano, Ju Dou and many main characters that has their quests beyond a married life. It is a kind of monogamous culture’s fantasy and a universal theme that writers always explore the relationship of a woman with her world, especially, before the sexual revolution and women’s lib movement.

Watching the relationship growing between Constance and Parkin is such a pleasure. They start off with sexual tension and develop into far beyond what she has with her husband—four-letter word, love. They strip their feelings to each other as well as their cloths each time they meet until they part.

Marina Hands beautifully portray Lady Chatterley as such a complex character. She combines naivety and intelligence in a perfect spot. She shines from when she sees herself naked in a mirror. The first sex encounter with Parkin, those eyes tell it all. The final sex scene she runs naked in the rains into the woods for him to catch her and end with floral decoration on her body.

This low-budget French adaptation is directed by Pascale Ferran. She interprets the story to contemporary stand, not just a standard costume drama, less of social context, more of character in depth.

It was limited released in French cinema as opposed to high-financed movies both local and from Hollywood studios. Three hours seem not too long at all giving that it delivers the sensuality in every minute of it.