Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Legend of Suriyothai

I finally got around to watching the Legend of Suriyothai, a movie I have claim to have seen since it's 2001 release. This movie about the violent Ayutthaya era is without a doubt the most ambitious production to ever come out of Thailand. Good thing it was financially backed by our Queen, Her Majesty Srikit, who claims to be the reincarnation of Princess Sri Suriyothai.

For history buffs and those of you who fetishize Thai culture, it is worth checking out!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God."

During this week of Passover, we relive the deliverance of our ancestors from slavery. We eat the Bread of Affliction, and celebrate our freedom. At the Seder table we recall the larger than life story of Exodus, and how God spoke to Moses on Mt. Sinai. We are commanded by the Torah to retell this story to our children. Blessed are we, to manipulate the moving image for this commandment. I had low expectations for The Prince of Egypt. I am very pleased to say I was wrong. Unfortunately, I have encountered many people who chide the film for its "inaccuracies." It is my personal feeling that these people should not be watching movies (or reading the Bible for that matter).

"Next year in Israel!"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Adventure of Sudsakorn (ภาพยนตร์การ์ตูน)

So far, The Adventure of Sudsakorn is the only feature length cel animated film to be made in Thailand, released in 1979. The plot follows the adventures of little boy, Sudsakorn with a mermaid mother and a human father. Sadly, the animation quality declines significantly as the film progresses as artists started leaving and money ran out. Also the Director Mr. Ngaokrachang did all the design, layout and key frames for the movie himself. His diligence gradually impaired his eyesight.

The film features a playful juxtaposition of well known characters from Thai folklore and fanciful Disney-like animation, set to a beautiful traditional Thai soundtrack. It is interesting to note the level of western influence in the film despite Mr.Ngaokrachang's training in Japan and Thailand's proximity to the country. This is in stark contrast to many modern Thai animators to inanely copy Japanese style anime.

Now I'm sure your all wondering how a human male and a mermaid female manage to do the deed, or from where a mermaid might give birth. Perhaps to our benefit Mr. Ngaokrachang never shows us.