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Oh yea…i was thinking of this…Imaginary Prisons

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Vik Muniz
Brazilian 1961–, worked in United States 1983–
Prisons XIV, the gothic arch, after Piranesi
from the Prisons, after Piranesi series
(detail) 2002
Collection of the artist
Courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York
© Vik Muniz

after the lecture on Blissfully yours… applicable to a lot of World Screen aesthetics and life and people in general… (more in next post…)

not sure how many people manage to catch it while it was on in NGV
http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/imaginaryprisons/

but yea…some other links…

http://www7.nationalacademies.org/arts/Piranesi_Muniz_Images.html
(a few pictures)

review by The Age
http://www.theage.com.au/news/arts-reviews/imaginary-prisons-gb-piranesi-and-vik-muniz/2007/05/02/1177788197572.html

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source of picture: http://www.animwatch.com/Spotlight-MyLittleWorld.php

I am suppose to working on reading and researching BUT…
i was randomly surfing on stuff like anime…which lead me to the above picture and eventually to this website… http://animwatch.animationblogspot.com/

(Randomness…at this very moment…i must say WSAP has def jolt me awake to
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everything i see on tv/movies…)

But yea… i was with my cousin at http://www.northmelbourne.mymoviesnow.com.au/
at 334 Queensberry Street because on tuesday she borrowed heaps of dvds (for $1 each, plus she was on leave) and we were standing around talking about how we both did not watch Transformers and TMT (the latest movies) and how we missed the good old days when cartoons were hand drawn and not like some Power rangers sort of thing…or computer generated or some 3D stuff… (sign of aging when you get all nostalgic?) >.<

That said and done, we did last watch Rataouille and found it amazingly life like…MMM… I guess with the progress and i mean rapid changes to technology…change are inevitable…Have not had much time to do my comic reading and cartoon/anime watching… haha (things to do during summer break…when i am back home =p)

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Nang Nak is a romantic tragedy and horror film directed by Nonzee Nimibutr in 1999 through Buddy Film and Video Production Co. in Thailand. It features the life of a devoted ghost wife and the unsuspecting husband.

I must say as much as it was touching it was def eerie…

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The film is set in 1996, when the real volleyball team competed and won the national championships in Thailand. The two main characters, Mon and Jung, play two gay transvestites, who had been constantly overlooked by volleyball coaches because of their appearance. However, when a local team changes coaches, the new coach holds tryouts for a new team. When Mon and Jung are selected, most of the old players resign, leaving the new coach, Coach Bee, in a sticky predicament.

It is really a very very touching story, humor and all aside… if there is any film that offers a glimpse about sexality/trans it has to be this ! Some people hated it and called claimed that it was over exaggerated but having been to Thailand i would say it was not all THAT exaggerated…besides it really brought the point home…

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Fan Chan (English: My Girl) is a 2003 Thai romantic comedy film offering a nostalgic look back at the childhood friendship of a boy and girl growing up in a small town in Thailand in the 1980s. It was the debut film by six young screenwriter-directors, Vitcha Gojiew, Songyos Sugmakanan, Nithiwat Tharathorn, Witthaya Thongyooyong, Anusorn Trisirikasem and Komgrit Triwimol. With a soundtrack that featured Thai pop music of the era, Fan Chan was the top domestic film at the Thailand box office in 2003.

It has a hilarious kungfu/sword play scene between the kids when they are playing make believe! A must watch! (maybe i liked this film because it had certain similarities to Korean Film MY SASSY GIRL) :p

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Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior a 2003 Thai action film. Directed by Prachya Pinkaew, featured stunt choreography by Panna Rittikrai and starred Tony Jaa.
Ong-Bak proved to be Jaa’s breakout film, with the actor hailed internationally as the next major martial-arts. More importantly the film introduced international audiences to a traditional form of muay Thai a kick boxing style known for its violent strikes with fist feet shins elbows knees.

While i was watching it… i was thinking… Jean Claude Van Damme

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Now Shutter, a 2004 horror film from Thailand starred Ananda Everingham, Natthaweeranuch Thongmee, and Achita Sikamana. It focused on mysterious images seen in developed pictures. It was directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom.

For some reason at this point of time i had a friend who was very into Lomo graphy
and after that she actually went to get a Polaroid Camera and started to insist that we take photos at night (shudder)

Randomness: there is this old guy who walks around Lygon Street at night with his huge polariod camera, i took one with my friend a few months back…he is pretty funny guy (makes a lot of weird/funny noises) the next time you are around give it a try…

It is just different from our camera phones or digital cameras!

Now…er…yea…i should end here…i am pretty OFF the whole thai and genre…haha:)

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Its been a long time since i actually went and had a good look at maps… 
Never quite realize how close burma, laos, cambodia, vietnam and thailand really were…Anyways…This is a good website to get reliable links to the history of thailand:
http://www.loc.gov/rr/international/asian/thailand/resources/thailand-history.html
(includes photos and stuff:))

Thai Cinema (good old wiki)
Post-war years

A poster for the 1970 film, Insee tong, in which Mitr Chaibancha died while filming the helicopter stunt. His co-star in the film, and scores of others, was leading lady Petchara Chaowarat.

A poster for the 1970 film, Insee tong, in which Mitr Chaibancha died while filming the helicopter stunt. His co-star in the film, and scores of others, was leading lady Petchara Chaowarat.

After the end of the Second World War, filmmaking got under way again in Thailand using surplus 16 mm black-and-white stock from wartime newsreel production.

The 1970s and ’80s
Thailand saw an explosion of locally produced films during the 1970s after the Thai government imposed a heavy tax on imported films in 1977, which led to a boycott of Thailand by Hollywood studios. To pick up the slack, 150 Thai films were made in 1978 alone. Many of these films were low-grade action films and were derided by critics and scholars as “nam nao” or “stinking water”.

The Thai New Wave
By 1981, Hollywood studios were once again sending films to Thailand. Also, television (see also Media in Thailand) was a growing part of Thai culture. This was a low period for the Thai film industry, and by the mid-1990s, studio output was averaging about 10 films per year.

Thai avant garde
With the New Wave directors achieving commercial and artistic success, a new crop of filmmakers has grown up outside the traditional and often restrictive Thai studio system to create experimental short films and features.

The leader of this indie movement is Apichatpong Weerasethakul, whose 2002 feature Blissfully Yours won the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Thai Film a Turning Point by Joe Cummings
http://www.tatnews.org/emagazine/1728.asp
I think it was mentioned in the lecture about the year 2000 and the change to Thai Film

Apichatpong Weerasesotkul:“His prize in Cannes helped Thai Film reach an international audience and served to encourage young filmmakers (especially Indie Film makers)in Thailand.”
http://www.thaicinema.org/news&scoops49_1.asp (quite bad english translation but interesting stuff)

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Now if there was any country that had every aspect of their lives closely related to religion it has to be thailand… 95% of the people are buddhist…

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Thailand used to be a very peaceful country but come 20th-21st century, due to various reasons… globalization? opening up of trade / tourism … influences… it has been in the news quite a lot and there was a period of religious clashing and bombing…death and casualties…

For some strange reason thailand in 2006, when i was back in singapore…the news was constantly updating the latest in thailand… it kind of reminded me of the calm before a storm…my aunt  (who is thai) was there just before the 2006 Thai coup d’état and she said that you could cut the air (filled with tension) with a knife!

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I rem my history teacher (in secondary school) commenting “A peaceful country, a self sufficient country in terms of natural resources and people…full of warm simple folk… lives disrupted…” I guess…it is never what it seems and…Ah well…politics… no wonder why some people call it a “dirty” word. Politics- money – fame – it makes people do crazy things…

Alrighty…my brain…is being clogged with the flu… this is all for now…

Hmm, it could be the flu…or my brain in a state of mush that affected my viewing today… i did see the need to create a connecting chart for the rest of the films (like Ten or for 4) but i did for this…haha…

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It could be the fact that it was drastically different from any thai film i have ever seen…or the loss of subtitles when Min was talking (i presume) in Burmese to the guards, or his “drawings” appearing while the acting was going on in the back or the various sound effects that distracted me…

I have a few questions…

1) What was the name of the guy who hit on Min while he was waiting for Orn, and helped Orn with the weird cream mixture and then rode after them on a bike AND finally was having sex with her in the forest…

2) Why did Orn feed her husband the cream? Why did he have a silly grin on his face?

3) WHY oh WHY are they concocting weird cream with veg and stuff? To keep Min? To have a reason to touch him?

4) The ending scene when Roong was “playing” with Min’s organ…now…was it just me or was there werid sounds in the background admist the sound of nature and flowing water… was it Orn crying?

I did feel like it was a bit like Ten in the way the camera was sometimes showing the back of the road while the car was travelling and then moving to show the front of the road…I guess it was like a roadtrip and the seemingly peaceful slow lazy town… (only till it was mentioned in the lecture that it was suppose to be a town situated near the border of Burma did i go “OH!” haha)

It was mentioned in the lecture that the Sun was the “main” cast and that it represented the source of energy which answered the question in my mind, of why was it all in the day and no night scenes… I think what amazed me was how the “DAY” seem to stretch on and on maybe it was meant to reflect the gradual progression and mundane actions but still… slightly too snail like a pace for me…

Now…i must say i am not that big a fan of nature and the sounds from rustling of leaves, insects making insect noises.. did make me feel a bit tingly all over *even though we were in a lecture theatere…but as for the ANTS…I mean ASIDE from the obvious that they were outdoors…

Could it be that no matter where they run to (be it the top of the forest where the scenery was breathtaking or to the side of the stream…the ants followed)…

I saw the ANTS, a representational of the law…or the crack down on Burmese and that even if they retreat or escape into a so called isolated secluded area like the Forest, they are never able to fully get away?

MMM this to be has been the hardest to film to digest…maybe its just the foreigness of it…or the squirming in my seat as some scenes were really pretty hard to stomach…

Ah as beautifully written in:
http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/cteq/06/38/blissfully_yours.html
“Though little may happen in conventional narrative terms, at the level of sensual affect, the impact is all but overwhelming with the viewer drawn steadily and inexorably into the film’s swirling emotional eddies and the characters’ desperate attempts to find happiness in the interstices of everyday life and its alienating discontents.”

Back from the last class…

This song represents how im feeling i guess…

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So, i was suppose to be doing some readings but i got distracted by Kim Ki Duk’s film on SBS last night…

This time, sitting on the sofa, alone, watching it, i somehow got something different out of it, maybe because my memory of it was already hazy, or the buddhist elements some how did not seem to strike me as much as it did the last time…

When the film came to and end… i was thinking about excess baggage…

If you watch this film, having no knowledge of korea, buddhism etc
I am pretty sure somethings that will strike you would be

The saying : Do not to others what you would not want others to do to you
Learning from one’s mistake – repentance – paying the price or facing the music
And most most importantly letting go…not carrying and heaving that excess baggage (not phyiscal) but emotional and mental around…

I think that the reason this film can be watched over and over again is its like Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen (not that the movie is as lengthy and thick and hard to grasp like the book) but that when you revisit it, you get something new out of it each time…

Also the chanting, calligraphy, carving and statues… I am not sure what it all meant but yea i intend to investigate then when i get back with some friends 🙂

OOO yea… i just wanna say…or rather i am wondering…what is with the fascination with Heroes, Bionic Woman etc…

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 …is it a ‘Superhuman phenomena’ to cope with increasing threats in the world like terrorism or something?

It seems to me that it is similar to that of “asian” martial arts and the underlying “chinese” concept or as i feel…the need for the entire universe and all of humanity to stop thinking of what they can get out of it but to extending a helping hand…small or big 🙂

Now…sadly i am off to the last screening and lecture for this semester:(