Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

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Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby trevor826 » Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:42 pm

This will cover the countries that I have only seen a few films from, if I do see enough from any particular country (or if others have) then they will get there own column.

Please feel free to add your own comments, reviews, criticisms to this thread.

INDEX

Vietnam

At the Height of Summer - 2000

Vertical Rays of the Sun aka At the Height of Summer - 2000 Full review by Howard Schumann

Cyclo - 1995

Cyclo - 1995 Full review by Howard Schumann

The Scent of Green Papaya - 1993

The Scent of Green Papaya - 1993 Full review by Howard Schumann

Three Seasons - 1999

Thailand

Beautiful Boxer - 2003

Dorm - 2006 Comments by hengcs

Ghost Game - 2006 Comments by justindeimen

The Iron Ladies - 2000

Mon-Rak Transistor -2001

Mysterious Object at Noon 2000 Comments by arsaib4

Ong Bak - 2003

Ong Bak - 2003 Full review by justindeimen

The Overture - 2004 Review by justindeimen

Shutter - 2004comments by hengcs

Tears of the Black Tiger - 2000

The Tin Mine - 2005 Comments by hengcs

Tom Yum Goong - 2005 Comments by hengcs

Tropical Malady - 2004 Thread started by arsaib4.

SINGAPORE

15 - 2003 Thread started by hengcs.

4.30 - 2005 Thread started by hengcs.

Be With Me - 2005 Thread started by hengcs.

I Not Stupid - 2002comments by hengcs.

I Not Stupid Too- 2006comments by hengcs.

Love Story - 2006 review by justindeimen

Men in White - 2007 review by justindeimen

Singapore Dreaming - 2006 Thread started by justindeimen

Zodiac, The Race Begins - 2006comments by hengcs.

Bhutan

The Cup - 1999

More to come.

Cheers Trev.
trevor826
 


Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby trevor826 » Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:46 pm

Mui du du xanh (1993) - The Scent of Green Papaya

Directed by Anh Hung Tran

Starring Tran Nu Yn-Kh, Man San Lu

Beautiful simplistic film charting the story of Mui from a 10 year old servant girl to a 20 year old, in love.

The atmosphere carries the film which is made up of tiny moments, fragments in time between the innocence of youth and the budding beauty who is still in many ways naive of the world. Stunning cinematography, atmospheric sound and composed acting make this a joy to watch, the pace is languid, sensual even.

For a full review please use the link:

Full review from Howard Schumann

If action is your thing then forget it but if you like a film to carry you away and swamp you in it's beauty then this is an excellent choice.

Asian angle - Although you are immersed enough to believe you are in Saigon, the film was made entirely in France just outside of Paris due to the difficulty of filming in Vietnam.

Asian angle - The way Mui cleans the floors is reminiscent of Miyazaki's films like Spirited Away, in most European films this sort of work would be done on hands and knees.

Highly recommended viewing and good for the soul.

Cheers Trev.

BBFC rating U suitable for anyone.
trevor826
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby trevor826 » Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:50 pm

Xich lo (1995) Cyclo

Directed by Anh Hung Tran

Starring Le Van Loc, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Tran Nu Yn-Kh, Nhu Quynh Nguyen

How can one director produce three such distinct visions of Vietnam, you have the romanticised nostalgia of The Scent of Green Papaya, the sublime beauty and serenity of At the Height of Summer and then you have Cyclo, a look into the dark underbelly of life in modern Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City.

A world where poverty, prostitutes, pimps, drug traffickers, violence, arson and murder are the norm. We follow the life of a Cyclo and his family as they are corrupted, manipulated and cajoled into acts they would never have considered doing. We see violence, not in any stylised manner like Tarantino, John Woo, the Pang brothers or any number of directors, this is violence that feels real and painful and because of that, it works.

It is amazing though that with all its downside, the film has enough positivity for the future to balance out the bad, small sequences usually involving children interlude the continuing battle between conscience and poverty.

Great performances all round and another outstanding film from Anh Hung Tran.

For a full review, please use the following link:

full review from Howard Schumann

Highly recommended but there are some scenes that are traumatic.

Cheers Trev.

BBFC rated 18.
trevor826
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby trevor826 » Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:54 pm

Mua he chieu thang dung (2000) - At the Height of Summer - Vertical Ray of the Sun

Directed by Anh Hung Tran

Starring Tran Nu Yn-Kh, Nhu Quynh Nguyen, Le Khanh

The sublimest of films, primarily covering a month in the lives of 3 sisters between the anniversary of their mothers death and the anniversary of the loss of their father. Marriage, infidelity, pregnancy and other subjects are raised but the mood is so languid and sensuous that even when it's pouring with rain you wish you were there.

For a full review, please use the link:

full review by Howard Schumann

Beautiful cinematography, exquisite acting, superb soundtrack, seriously sensual, the perfect escape from the humdrum of daily life.

Asian angle - the ritual preparation of food and the honoring of the dead. The unique beauty of Halong Bay.

Recommended? Yes very highly.

Cheers Trev.

BBFC rating PG suitable for almost anyone.
trevor826
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby trevor826 » Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:00 pm

Three Seasons (1999)

Directed by Tony Bui

Starring Ngoc Hiep Nguyen, Diep Bui, Harvey Keitel

Gorgeous multi stranded storyline, an American searching for his Vietnamese daughter. A cyclo driver who falls in love with a prostitute, a young lotus picker who befriends her employer and a street rat who makes a living selling trinkets to tourists. The story sections which intersect and overlap each other are at times beautiful, the lotus pickers singing; exhilarating, the cyclo race; moving, the care and love shown to the prostitute and the lotus picker helping her employer and at times disturbing, the street kids having to fend for themselves. I wasnt too struck with the story of the American but it did help connect the strands together.

For a full review, please use the link:

full review from Howard Schumann

A mostly pleasurable look at contrasting faces of Vietnam and Saigon in particular, it may be a bit too sentimental for some but is definitely worth seeing. A good introduction to foreign films.

Cheers Trev

BBFC rating 12a, suitable for most.
trevor826
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby trevor826 » Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:41 am

Fah talai jone (2000) - Tears of the Black Tiger

Directed by Wisit Sasanatieng

Starring Chartchai Ngamsan, Stella Malucchi

This is one bizarre film, a Thai Western with an incredible pastel colour palate. Musically there's a mix of what sounds like Western songs and traditional Thai music.

As for the storyline, a parody of an old style romantic film interspersed with stylised gunfights and action sequences. Love, jealousy, revenge, betrayal all blended together into a quite campy, unique and often absurd package.

Asian angle - A definite pastiche of 1950's Thai cinema, the use of a loud colour palette and overacting, you'll either love it or hate it.

Personally I love the absurdity of the whole film so I give it a hearty thumbs up.

Cheers Trev.

BBFC rated 18 for violent scenes.
trevor826
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby A » Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:29 pm

Just saw it again yesterday on TV. The colors werent of course as gorgeous as in cinema (or on DVD?), but I noticed more sexual metaphores, homophobia, etc. and the film has remarkable depth. A hommage and a parody at the same time - kind of a deconstruction of older popular genre films.
Still liked it more the first time around.
Rated it a low *** / ****
A
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby arsaib4 » Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:08 pm

I haven't seen anything from Thai filmmaker Wisit Sasanatieng, but I love both Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Pen-Ek-Ratanaruang. (Believe me, I spelled both on my own.) Last Life in the Universe was one of the best films I saw last year, and I was also impressed with Ratanaruang's sex-comedy 6ixtynin9 quite a bit.
arsaib4
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby trevor826 » Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:04 pm

Any chance of some comments for 6ixtynin9 arsaib4?

Mon-rak Transistor (2001) - Transistor Love Story

Directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang

Starring Supakorn Kitsuwon, Siriyakorn Pukkavesh

A Thai romantic, musical, melodramatic odyssey.

Pan and Sadaw are a couple very much in love, unfortunately the course of true love never runs smoothly and a short while after they are married Pan is conscripted into the army. Most of the film is then occupied with Pans trials and tribulations as he tries to become a singing star and get back to his true love. The transistor of the title is one left with Sadaw so that hopefully one day she will hear him singing for her.

There is a quite funny scene especially for those who have seen Tears of the Black Tiger, they show silent scenes from it with a doctor doing his own script over a microphone, its even dafter than the original version.

Pen-Ek Ratanaruang describes his film as "A piece of candy with just a taste of satirical poison at its centre," and that pretty much sums it up. The film has been lambasted by several critics for having stereotypical characters but Ive seen worse, Ong Bak for example and at least Mon-rak Transistor doesnt take itself too seriously. As far as criticism is concerned, Ill leave the last comment to a Thai viewer, Full of laughs, tears and familiar with Thai Lifestyles. This movie is for Thai people by Thai people.

Asian aspect The whole Idol process, treating them as property, working them to death from morning till night to make them famous and make their managers rich.

Not a flawless movie but very enjoyable, recommended for light entertainment, vastly different from the same directors Last Life in the Universe.

Cheers Trev.

BBFC no rating at present but probably 12a
trevor826
 

Re: Asian arena - films from Thailand, Vietnam, etc

Postby trevor826 » Mon Jun 13, 2005 8:04 pm

LLITU to follow soon.
trevor826
 

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