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December 18, 2006

THAILAND MAKES VERY LONG AND VERY SHORT MOVIES

Pen-ek Ratanaruang (LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE, INVISIBLE WAVES) is best known for taking Christopher Doyle and Tadanobu Asano, retreating to a hidden location, and producing a very strange movie some time later. But now he's teamed up with Nike and made a 40-minute DV film called TOTAL BANGKOK that sings the praises of soccer (football to most of the civilized world).

A documentary shot on a makeshift soccer pitch beneath an overpass, the flick is already getting high marks for its relentless energy and its cast of real world oddballs, and that's perfectly understandable when you see who Pen-ek teamed up with to make the movie: Santi Taepanich, director of the amazing documentary CRYING TIGERS. If you haven't seen CRYING TIGERS then please complain loudly. There's not an English-subtitled version out there but it's an amazing Asian movie that's fallen between the cracks in the West. I saw a bad VHS transfer over a year ago and it movie blew me away.

But, as if to spit in the eye of directors who make short movies like this, it's just been revealed that Thai period epic, KING NARESUAN, isn't going to be a two-part movie, but a three-part movie. According to Wisekwai, major battle scenes are still being shot, the January 18 release date still seems to be set in stone, the movie doesn't have a script, and the final running time looks to be 7 hours. Folly, or art? On the plus side of the ledger, it's a big budget historical epic and it's directed by an actual prince. We can only wait until January when parts one and two come out, followed by part three at the end of 2007 to know for sure. (I can't tell if the trailer looks really good or pretty bad - but you can find it on the official website)

KING NARESUAN poster

December 18, 2006 at 12:28 PM in News | Permalink

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