Buzz: One of Thai cinema’s most exciting director’s Pen-Ek (6ixtynin9, Last Life in the Universe) returns with a modern film noir about a man trying to forget his past but whose past—and karma—won’t forget. The film is an adaptation of the novel Fon Tok Keun Fa (Rain Falling up to the Sky) by award-winning writer Win Leowarin.
In theaters: 14 July 2011
Studio: Local Color Films
Director: Pen-ek Ratanaruang
Stars: Chris Horwang, Peter-Noppachai Chainam, Joey Boy, Theeradanai Suwanhom
Synopsis: Tul (Peter), a hitman, is shot in the head during an assignment and when he wakes after a two-month coma he finds that he sees everything upside down, literally. He goes back to his job, but his new affliction doesn’t make things easy and he starts to doubt what he does for a living. But karma’s a bitch, and the past starts to catch up with him. Then he meets a girl that turns his world even more upside down. Plus, who was trying to kill him in the first place?
Buzz: Picking heartthrobs Ananda and Sunny for your movie already has fans salivating but we’re equally excited about the epic views of Tibet in this brotherly tale of real and spiritual journeys.
In theaters: 23 June 2011
Director: Panjapong Kongkanoi
Stars: Ananda Everingham, Sunny Suwanmethanon, Osa Wang
Synopsis : Wut and Tin are brothers who have totally different attitudes towards life. Wut, the older of the two, follows his dream to go to Shambala, a mythical kingdom hidden somewhere in Tibet, leaving the burden of family responsibility to his younger brother. Tin finally decides to go find his brother and ask why he left his family in the first place.
Poompuang (The Moon)
Buzz: The latest project by director Prachya Pinkaew (Chocolate, Tom Yum Goong, Ong-bak) takes a very different direction from his normal martial art driven films. Based on the unauthorized biography Duangchan Tee Jak Pai from SEA write winner, Binla Sankalakhiri, it tells the ultimately tragic tale of famous Luk Thung singer, Poompueng Deuangchan.
In theaters: Not dated yet
Studio: Sahamongkol Film International and Baramyoo
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Stars: Nattawut Sakidjai, Paowalee Pornpimol
Synopsis: The true story of an illiterate girl, Numpueng, whose incredible voice sees her escape the poverty of her childhood on a sugarcane farm to become the queen of luk tung. The movie follows her meteoric rise, and her struggles leading up to her untimely death at the age of 31 from leukemia.
Behind the Scenes
Pen-ake Ratanaruang, director of Headshot
What is exciting about this project?
This is the first time that we’re doing a film without a film studio’s money. All my previous films have been financed by big studios, with some additional financing from abroad. We kick-started this project with some investment from the Thai government and then we raised the additional investment from abroad. We also don’t have a Thai distributor, so we’re talking to some cinema chains to release the films ourselves. Apart from making the film as special as we can, we’re also working on the website and Facebook to promote the film and have fun with our audience.
And what’s challenging?
Our last few films have been slow and meditative, high on atmosphere and low on storyline. This project is a return to the more commercial style we used to do six-seven years ago, the kind of movie along the lines of Mon-Rak Transistor and 6ixty nin9. It’s plot driven, fun to watch over and over again and a bit faster. The challenge is to pull this off successfully. It’s been a while since we took this route.
Has the Thai film industry improved?
We’re still trying to copy Hollywood films without having the pool of talent, budget, and resources that Hollywood has. Another thing is censorship. It still doesn’t make sense that we have a ratings system but then the authorities still ban films. And the reason for banning those films is always the same tired reason, to protect Thai citizens from watching something that would be harmful to them. Let mature Thai citizens watch those films and decide for themselves! The reason we implemented rating system, I thought, was to stop censoring films.