2006/Aug/06

Unintentional tragedy

First-time director favours slapstick over emotion in this disastrous 'love story'

KONG RIGHDEE

The immature marital antics of Rong and Dang, played by Udom Taephanich and Visa Sarasart, fail to earn them an ounce of sympathy.

Kode Rak Eng Loei (Love a Holic), Starring Udom Taephanich, Visa Sarasart, Akra Amaartayakul, Directed by Ping Lampraplueng, In Thai with English subtitles : In Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage, we watch a story of the love that lives after a marriage dies, the love that binds two people even after they're convinced they no longer feel that love. That film came out in 1973. And today it remains the shining specimen of the seven-year-itch sub-genre (well, sometimes it's more than seven, sometimes less) that stands head and shoulders above recent, pedestrian attempts like The Break-up and particularly the Thai take on the subject, Kode Rak Eng Loei.

Early rumours - maybe I hang out at the wrong rumour mills - had it that this directorial debut by TV screenwriter/stand-up comedian Ping Lampraplueng was a serious contender for anyone's 10-best list of 2006. I'm sure Ping is a gifted comedian - and his frequent statements that this film is a tribute to his deceased wife is of course a generous intention - but Kode Rak Eng Loei (literally, "I love you so damn much") turns out to be one of the most disappointing first films in recent memory. The muddled script and misconceived second half - plus a very odd attitude towards the main female character - stifle any attempt to provide an adult reflection on married life; a failed, fractured married life.

The film, there's no way round it, is awfully immature, and in a story that's supposed to be about the affairs of the heart, it has no heart at all. Udom "Nose" Taephanich, the director's buddy and a popular stand-up comedian himself, plays Rong, a snoring, gluttonous, good-for-nothing TV scriptwriter (and obviously a stand-in for the director) who marries a pretty wife, Dang (Visa Sarasart). They live in a modest seaside house in some eastern province, and have a young son (who pops up in the movie and then disappears for long stretches).

The film is built on the premise of a couple who have forgotten why they decided to spend their lives together in the first place. It could happen, I guess, that you wake up in bed one morning with somebody and for a split second you're seized by panic because you don't remember why you've chosen to share your bed with this person, supposedly for the rest of your life. That feeling happens to the wife, Dang, and she begins to fantasise about the prince charming who'll arrive on a white horse to sweep her off her feet and gallop away with her into to sunset. That prince materialises in the shape of a handsome gynaecologist (Akra Amartayakul), who explores Dang's vagina on their first encounter and wants to explore her heart on their next.

The husband Rong, meanwhile, suffers from the increasingly sexless marriage. His initiation of a moment of intimacy with his wife is rather caveman-like, though - he blurts out the magic mantra "let's do it" and prepares to strip. Unsatisfied, Rong first resorts to the DIY approach, then he ventures out of his way to visit the house of ill-repute. Here the film seems to toss out an interesting matrimonial question: who's worse? A husband who has sex with a prostitute he just met, or a wife who goes out on a romantic date with a man she has feelings for? Which qualifies as cheating?

Director Ping's notion of a romantic movie is confined to the practice of giving us sporadic images of cute domestic life, but he's unable to show us the underlying mechanisms that make some marriages work and some not. Oddly, Kode Rak Eng Loei is so preoccupied with showcasing smart-aleck jokes and a series of unnecessary plot twists that veer the narrative into the territory of a slapstick ghost story, that the film completely forgets that for a love story to work, it requires nothing more than pure, simple emotions.

In 2004, a number of viewers jeered at the Thai film The Letter, an in-your-face weepie about a dying husband who professes his undying love for his wife in maudlin, hand-written letters. But that film, despite its melodramatic conceits and deft machinations to unlock our floodgates of tears, cares so much about one thing: emotion. And that is completely, dishearteningly absent from Ping's movie.

When Rong and Dang discusses their divorce, they don't even bother to bring up the subject of their son. If the film had been about a younger couple, we could've consigned the blame to the characters' inexperience. But since Rong and Dang are grown-up, their immature conduct earns not an ounce of sympathy. I'm not sure if it's the intention of the script, but the Dang character especially comes across as an ego-centric, irresponsible mother who only cares about her imagined happiness. Visa's delicate, girlish features cannot redeem her character's capricious behaviour - it's any wife's right as a human being to fall in love with another man, but the way Dang deals with the situation is nothing short of condemnable. Given this I'm bewildered, disturbed almost, that the film is openly dedicated to the director's late wife.

A broken marriage is a tragedy. It is not in the film, but it's the film itself that's becoming a real tragedy.

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โปรแกรมพิเศษ

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หนังไทยอินดี้

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ในงานประกวดหนังสั้น

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ครั้งที่ 10

โลกปะราชญ์ (Weirdrosopher World) วันศุกร์ที 18 สิงหาคม 2006 เวลา 20.00น.


Sleeping Beauty วันพฤหัสที่ 24 สิงหาคม 2006 เวลา 18.00น.
Thaiindie -Basic วันศุกร์ที่ 25 สิงหาคม 2006 เวลา 20.00น.

สถานที่ฉาย
สถาบันปรีดี พนมยงค์
เลขที่ ๖๕/๑ ซอยทองหล่อ ถนนสุขุมวิท ๕๕ แขวงคลองตันเหนือ เขตวัฒนา
กรุงเทพมหานคร ๑๐๑๑๐

โทรศัพท์ ๐-๒๓๘๑-๓๘๖๐-๑ โทรสาร ๐-๒๓๘๑-๓๘๕๙ อีเมล banomyong_inst@yahoo.com

ติดตามข้อมูลเพิ่มเติมได้ที่เว็บ
www.thaishortfilmfestival.com
www.thaiindie.com
และที่นี่จ้ะ

วันพฤหัสที่ 24 สิงหาคม 2006 เวลา 18.00น.

Sleeping Beauty
กำกับ จุฬญาณนนท์ ศิริผล / Chulyanon Siriphol
2006 / 40 minutes / color / mini DV / sound / Thai with English subtitle / Documentary
World Premeire / ฉายที่นี่เป็นครั้งแรก
Synopsis
เรื่องเล่าของเจ้าหญิงแสนสวย
An fairy tale of a beutiful princess

วันศุกร์ที 18 สิงหาคม 2006 เวลา 20.00น.

โลกปะราชญ์ (Weirdrosopher World)
กำกับ นนทวัฒน์ นำเบญจพล และอาทิตย์ พันธ์นิกุล / Nontawat Numbenchapol & Rthit Phannikul
2006 / 90 minutes / color / mini DV / sound / Thai with English subtitle / Documentary
World Premeire / เวอร์ชั่นนี้ฉายที่นี่เป็นครั้งแรก
Synopsis
This document is told through collaged pieces of songs, which will sweep you with skateboards and unpredictable ending.
สารคดีเรื่องนี้ถูกเรียงร้อยด้วยบทเพลง ที่จะทำให้คุณราวกับเลื่อนไหลไปกับเสก็ตบอร์ด ที่คาดเดาไม่ได้ว่าจะไปสิ้นสุดที่ใด

Thaiindie -Basic วันศุกร์ที่ 25 สิงหาคม 2006 เวลา 20.00น.
เป็นโปรแกรมรวมหนังสั้นไทยอินดี้
มีทั้งหมด 9 เรื่อง
ความยาวประมาณ 108 นาที
ทุกโปรแกรมฉายฟรี
ลำดับการฉายตามนี้


ปลายทาง (You are Where I Belong to)
สงครามหลอดไฟ (War of Fluolescent)
ย่ำค่ำย่ำเช้า (Dusk & Dawn)
Love Assassin
ที่ว่าง (Space)
Home Alone
หนังของเรา (OUR FILM )
บันทึกงานศพ (The Funeral)
องศาที่ต่างกัน (Different Degree)

ปลายทาง (You are Where I Belong to)
กำกับ ธัญสก พันสิทธิวรกุล / Thunska Pansittivorakul
2006 / 10 minutes / color / mini DV / sound / Thai with English subtitle / Documentary
World Premeire / ฉายที่นี่เป็นครั้งแรก
Synopsis
การเดินทาง, ความทรงจำ, ผู้คนมากมาย และใครคนหนึ่ง
Jorney, memories, many people and someone

สงครามหลอดไฟ (War of Fluolescent)
กำกับ นนทวัฒน์ นำเบญจพล / Nontawat Numbenchapol
2006 / 7 minutes / color / mini DV / sound / Thai with English subtitle / Documentary
Festival
REC ROOM : Videotage 2006, Hong Kong

Synopsis
เมื่อสงครามเกิดขึ้นบนหลอดไฟ
When a war occur on a fluorescent

ย่ำค่ำย่ำเช้า (Dusk & Dawn)
กำกับ นิติพงศ์ ถิ่นทัพไทย / Nitipong Tintubthai
2005 / 12 minutes / color / mini DV / sound / no dialoque / Documentary
Festival
The 34th International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Natherlands
Synopsis
ภาพบันทึกย่ำค่ำจรดย่ำเช้าของสามเณร
The rain's falling. Darkness's afoot. In a monastery, a little monk is studying a scripture. It is his routine to contemplate Buddha's words in silence. Outside chaos and disorder lurk under the veil of this silent night. Flooding into the street are cars. People walk and talk and deal. The night is not sleeping as she seem to be. And comes morning. Like yesterday and the day before, the sun rise. The little monk goes about with an alms-bowl to beg for food like their seniors. The Buddha disciplines wander into the world of chaos. The monks walk the same street as the creature of the night . Under the moonlight, the two world are separated, but under the sunlight, they become one.

Love Assassin
กำกับ ปฐมพล เทศประทีป / PATHOMPON TESPRATEEP
Visual Effected by สถิตย์ ศัสตรศาสตร์ / Sathit Sattarasart
2005 / 5 minutes / color / mini DV / sound / no dialoque / Experimental MV
Festival
2006 Thaiindie Group Shorts curated by Apichatpong Weerasethakul : Curtas Vila do Conde - International Film Festival, Protugal
Synopsis
อยากนำเสนอความประทับใจจากการเคลื่อนไหว จังหวะ และสีสัน ของดวงไฟต่างๆ ยามค่ำคืนในเมือง นำมาจัดวางองค์ประกอบใหม่ ให้เกิดรูปแบบที่ต่อเนื่องประสานกับจังหวะและทำนองของเพลง
I like to present with the appreciation from the movement, rhythms and colorful of light during nighttime in the city then bringing them to make new composes to be the continuous visuals and exciting form and I would like to make lonely sense feeling of city-state people and seeking for something that they are lacking of. I shot the pictures of lights in the city by MiniDV. The time that I took pictures were the time before New Year celebration and because of the nice amusement park that made me feel like to keep these pictures.


ที่ว่าง (Space)
กำกับ สถิตย์ ศัตรศาสตร์ / Sathit Sattarasart
2005 / 7 minutes / color / mini DV / silent / no dialoque / experimental
Festival
2006 The 2nd IndPanda Film Festival,Hong Kong
2006 Busan Asian Short Film Festival, South Korea
2006 The 7th Jeon Ju International Film Festival, South Korea
2006 REDCAT, CalArts,USA
Synopsis
เมื่อพื้นที่ดูจะลดลง แต่พื้นที่ภายในจิตใจกลับเต็มไปด้วยที่ว่าง
If there were not enough spaces, I will come back inside while the city is expanding, the actual spaces are decreased, but the inner spaces are increased. The video projects to the wall, depend on how long the walls is it. I took photograph of townhouses, skies and abandon spaces around Bangkok. While residental buildings are expanding rapidly everyday, I put them in to single screen to show how fast they are growing to juxtapose with our state of mind. As if the exterior of the physical space is decreased, the inner spaces between people are increased.

Home Alone
กำกับ เมธัส ฉายชยานนท์ / May-thus Chaichayanon
2006 / 15 minutes / color / mini DV / sound / Thai with English subtitle / fiction
Synopsis
เด็กหนุ่มผู้โดดเดี่ยวในบ้านของเขาเอง
About a boy alone in his home.

หนังของเรา (OUR FILM )
กำกับ อรรถสิทธิ์ สมชอบ / ATTHASIT SOMCHOB
2005 / 22 minutes / color / mini DV / sound / Thai with English subtitle / Documentary
Festival
2006 The Museum of Modern Art
2006 Thaiindie Group Shorts curated by Apichatpong Weerasethakul : Curtas Vila do Conde - International Film Festival, Protugal
2006 The 2nd IndPanda Film Festival,Hong Kong

Synopsis
ขณะที่เธอรอคอยสามีเข้ารับการตรวจร่างกาย เขาก็พาเธอไปพักผ่อนที่พัทยา
While wating for her husbands health check permit. His wife bring her to rest in Pattaya.

บันทึกงานศพ (The Funeral)
กำกับ อุรุพงศ์ รักษาสัตย์ / Uruphong Raksasad
2006 / 20 minutes / color / mini DV / sound / Northern Thai with English subtitle / Documentary
World Premeire / ฉายที่นี่เป็นครั้งแรก
Sypnosis
บันทึกงานศพของคุณยายคนหนึ่ง ที่จังหวัดเชียงราย
A recorded video of an old woman's funeral.

องศาที่ต่างกัน (Different Degree)
มนต์ชัย ฉัตรบำรุงสุข / Monchai Chatbumrungsuk
2006 / 10 minutes / color / mini DV / sound / Thai with English subtitle / Documentary /
Festival
2006 The 4th Fat Radio Film Festival, Thailand
Sypnosis
เรื่องราวชีวิตรักจากเรื่องจริงของ นักแข่งรถกับดีเจสาว ที่โชคชะตากลับเล่นตลกอีกครั้งให้ทั้งคู่ต้องอยู่ในองศาที่ต่างกัน
The story is about Tua Lek, DJ of the community radio station, and her boyfriend, motorcycle racer. Their
fate brings them from different degree to find each other.

Map

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between Tong Lo

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Soi1 and 3



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