To satisfy my obsession and to deal with the flood of photo shots of junk on the streets of Sydney, I make another work to send in Video Art at CoFA for the loop project. It is about a year when I first one of the series in the workshop with Metro Screen, Anywhere Chairs and then Waif.
This time my subject is dead TVs and I push myself up a notch by doing it frame by frame like animation. It is finished a week in advance before the class viewing because the evening clashes with Marrickville Art Prize opening night. But it has not been shown the to class yet. So yes, you see it before it is official. Unfornately, the compression cannot cope wih a video that changes almost every frame like this one. However, you can see the better encoding version in Quicktime Movie. Be warned that the file is fairly large (11Mb) for a 30-second movie.
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.
Sydney International Film Festival has become my only outlet to see Thai film in cinema. Last year the only film I saw from the Festival was Syndrome and a Century. It certainly is a homesick therapy. This year I have the same level of excitement to see The Unseeable (เป็นชู้กับผี) but in depth of nostalgia.
It sets in 1930’s, a pregnant rural girl, Nualjan, is in search for her missing husband in Bangkok. She ends up staying in a spooky mansion, owned by a mysterious woman, Ranjual. Then it comes to the series of spine-chilling scenes with strange characters: a man digging a hole, a girl playing hide-and-seek, a hand snatching food in the garden and so on.
This is simply a compilation of short ghost stories like Ju-on or Three. What makes this film different from others is the structure that wraps up all the sub plots in the end which goes back to the beginning. It implies that those frightening events will never end and they will be in suffering over and over again until the truth is reconciled. The circle of life and death and the consciousness of existence, are quite rare in these Asian genre, especially Thai cinema although they are pretty much in the core of Buddhist philosophy.
Moreover the Director, Wisit Sasanatiang, is such a master of nostalgia. His production is full of rich Thai references. He has got the same skills as Quentin Taruntino, the ability to recall, reuse and reinvent dated styles and create them their own. The unique palette which strongly based on Thai (Siamese) roots gives him such the recognition internationally. What he particularly uses in this film is a tribute to the master of Thai illustrations, Hem Vajakorn both in story and visual production.
Just the house in the set is worth all seeing this movie. I am such a sucker for this 1900’s East-West architecture. I even dreamt I lived in one. Now I am not sure I could do so after I have seen this film.
I am moist with the news that The Adventure of Baron Munchausen 20th Anniversary Edition is out on DVD and blue-ray as Mack reports on twitch. And I have the same confession that I do not have any format of this movie at home. Shame on me. Although I missed out on the big screen as it was impossible to release the film in Thailand, so was another Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, I watched it several times on Laser Disc. Remember the format, anyone 30 up? It is definitely my all-time classic.
This is going to be my wish list. Pity my Birthday is still far away, let alone Greeting Season Holiday.
I felt offended when someone gave his opinion that Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart was a crap song. It shaped the rock music in the early 80’s which evolved from the raging Punk Rock. You can still hear its echo in the music today. Although I am a fan of New Order, I hardly know Joy Division apart from their most popular piece of music and the suicide of the lead singer, Ian Curtis. Joy Division Documentary has given me insights about them.
The Director, Grant Gee stylises the film with old clips and photographs creating the right mood for the group. The movie pivots on Ian Curtis, straightforward from forming the band to his death. People involved in the band, in the exception of the band’s families, tell us about their pathway rock stardom. Not so different from other super group, it takes talents, good timing and lucks. The major drawback is Ian’s illness and depression and on one knows how to deal with it.
It seems like Ian is just another troubled artist driven by success to end of his life. However, he is a good example of a mental disorder person is unable to connect to the world. His lyrics shows how has been lost on his own and no matter how deeply his massages strikes the audience, he would not get the sympathy back.