With cinemas charging upwards of B250 to see the latest blockbuster, we present a pocket-friendly guide to watching indie films in Bangkok.
The quirky café-cum-bar not only provides the city with an art-focused, laidback watering hole, but also turns into a free cinema on Wednesdays (and some Sundays) for its Cult Movie Night. Films are announced the weekend before the show and follow a monthly theme. Feb focuses on Valentine's Day, and has so far featured romantic picks like the Japanese film Love Exposure (2009) by Shion Sono and Michel Gondry’s classic Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). Films start 8pm in the newly refurbished, slightly Lynchian, upstairs lounge. Visit their Facebook for updates.
41 Charoen Rat Soi 1, 083-5451-833. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-midnight. BTS Surasak. www.fb.com/JAMCAFEBKK
Opened in July 2014, Cinema Winehouse is a combination of brunch spot, wine bar and film screening lounge that’s set in a colonial-style shop-house in the old town. The menu, provided by nearby Chomp, offers a mix of Western and Asian pub grub while the booze is very pocket-friendly, with house wine at B90 per glass, plus Leo at B70, Singha at B80 and Phuket beer at B110. The real highlight is up on the second floor, where the cinema lounge offers mainstream classics and newer picks. Similar to Friese-Greene Club, reservations are required and you can check the weekly screening schedule on the bar’s Facebook page.
59/61 Samsen Rd., 096-465-6526 and 083-554-0170. Open Mon, Wed-Fri 5pm-midnight and Sat-Sun 11am-midnight. www.fb.com/cinemawinehouse
This young, multi-disciplinary art space is set in a spacious old corner house near Talad Noi. The place promises informal art gatherings centered on everything from photography and documentary screenings to rooftop paella nights. Unlike Friese-Greene, Jam and Cinema Winehouse, screenings don’t stick to any regular schedule, but this also makes each one feel more like an event. You can also expect pairings with local food trucks to match the movie being shown, like Banh Mi Boy’s Vietnamese sandwiches to go with Tran Anh Hung’s Cyclo (1995). Follow their Facebook page for invites to upcoming events.
Soi Nana 17, Pom Prap Sattru Phai. MRT Hua Lamphong. www.fb.com/chowhybkk
Named after a British pioneer of motion pictures, The Friese-Green Club is an informal members’ club where you can sip a beer and catch nightly screenings of classic movies that are very, very rarely shown anywhere else in Thailand. This February, the movie theme pitches Australian and New Zealand cinema against each other every Thursday and Friday night, starting with Once Were Warriors (NZ, 1995) by director Lee Tamahori on Feb 20 and Picnic at Hanging Rock (Aus, 1975) by Peter Weir on Feb 26. Sundays this month are reserved for classics by US director Vincent Minnelli, while Tuesday is open to requests. Films start from 8pm. Visit fgc.in.th for the full lineup and to reserve your seat.
259/6 Sukhumvit Soi 22, 087-000-0795. Open Tue, Thu-Sun 6pm-late. www.fgc.in.th
This old shop-house-turned-gallery was the first of a new wave of art spaces and bars around the Charoenkrung-Talad Noi area. Three years after their first exhibition, Speedy Grandma has now introduced free screenings, too. This month, the space is occupied by the Granny Revamps anniversary project (which includes workshops, exhibitions and documentaries on their previous work) but keep an eye on their Facebook for next month’s selection of rare and provocative art flicks.
672/50-52 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 089-508-3859. Open Tue-Sun 11am-7pm. www.fb.com/speedygrandma