četvrtak, 28. lipnja 2012.

Tajlandski eksperimentalni film

Chulayarnnon Siriphol

Novi tajanstveni objekti u podne. Trenutačno stanje eksperimentalnog/nezavisnog filma u Tajlandu

Jit Phokaew: Mysterious Object From Thailand

Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa / Chulayarnnon Siriphol / Chayanin Tiangpitayagorn / Jit Phokaew / Kanchat Rangseekansong

In January of this year, Experimental Conversations invited noted Thai blogger and cinephile Jit Phokaew to contribute a piece of writing outlining the situation of experimental film in Thailand. His extraordinary response, far exceeding our greatest hopes for the piece, was to enlist four colleagues and compile what amounts to a sort of encyclopedia of independent contemporary Thai art film. Due to the scope of this work, it will be published in three sections over three issues. 
"I do not know what 'film' is and I don't think it is important because once you are able to clearly point out what it is, it becomes an established idea which is no longer of interest to me." Sasithorn Ariyavicha (1)

In the article below, the word 'film' denotes all kinds of moving images. The article below does not focus on the experimental cinema in Thailand, but on the Thai arthouse cinema in general, because, as in the films of Apichatpong, somehow we don't know the line which separates experimental cinema from other kinds of cinema. Window (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 1999, 12 min) is undoubtedly an experimental film, but what about Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2002)? So instead of trying to separate Thai experimental films from other kinds of arthouse films, we think we would rather write about them altogether, though experimental films may get a bit more emphasis here.
For us, the Thai writers of this article, the month of July and the early part of August each year is the sacred period, because it is the time when the Thai Film Foundation holds an event which is informally called "The Marathon Film Festival". This film festival screens every new Thai film submitted to the foundation. About four hundred short films and a few feature films are shown each year. The screening is held 6 days a week for about 6 weeks. The screening is arranged according to the alphabetical order of the film titles. After that, about 75 films in the Marathon Film Festival will be selected for the competition in the Thai Short Film and Video Festival in late August.
For us, the Thai cinephiles, one of our most blissful experiences is when we sit in the darkness of the screening room of the Marathon Film Festival, seeing short films made from nearly every province of Thailand, finding new kinds of visuals and sound, new stories, new ways of telling stories, unexplainable things, the crudeness of film production, the audacity, and even the naivete in the representation of serious topics in these films. It is certain that not every film in this festival is a diamond in the rough from a faraway land. Some films in this festival are made by a high school student who uses a camera for the first time in her life. Some films are made by an ordinary person who has never had any film education before. Some films are made just to entertain the family of the director. Some films are originally made to be shown in an organization or a corporation that the director belongs to. Some films are made just because the director found something surprising in his life and wanted to record that moment. Some films are made by students as a homework. Some films are even made to teach moral lessons to the audience. The exhilaration, the ennui, the bawdy humor, and the carefree attitude of these films in the Marathon Film Festival make us realize the power of the cinematic medium. This medium can now finally escape from the hands of the professionals, film students, financial backers, studios, equipment owners or any experts. We can say that films have now fallen from heaven into the hands of common people with the aid of new technology which makes filming equipment cheaper and easier to operate. Everybody can make films now.
Though some may believe that most films shown in the Marathon Film Festival are carelessly made, worthless, like a nonsensical toy of the director, like a joke made by some mentally-ill kids, or have nothing interesting in them, we think differently. In our eyes, the Marathon Film Festival is the golden treasure of new visuals and new sound. The visuals and sound in these films are often unpolished, but full of adventurousness and sincerity. Many films in this festival capture the images of ordinary life, and treat people who appear in the films as human beings, instead of characters like in most mainstream films. Many films in this festival reflect what is going on right now in our contemporary society much faster than most mainstream films, and also reflect many subcultures and marginal groups of people which are often underrepresented in mainstream films. The films in this festival become the voice of people who are often overlooked or who are often allowed to speak only in stereotypical ways. The films in this festival allow us to experience new kinds of aesthetics and teach us new ways to experience the same old world. The beautiful diversity of the films in the Marathon Film Festival amazes us. To see these films is like to be dazzled by the luster of some special unpolished diamonds. These diamonds are special, because the more they are cut, the more they may lose their radiance.
Many Thai directors in the list below used to send their short films to the Marathon Film Festival. Many films made by these directors were not selected to enter the competition in the second round, but impressed us tremendously. The directors in the list here cannot represent the overall picture of the Thai experimental cinema or Thai arthouse cinema. There are many great Thai directors who are not included in the list here, both well-known directors, such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and unknown directors, because we are not able to write about all of them within this limited time and due to the limited access of many Thai short films. What you are going to read now is nothing more than some opinions of some ordinary viewers who appreciate the diversity of moving images. We hope that the kinds of visuals and sound we are going to describe below may help the readers to get to know some experimental or arthouse filmmakers who don't deserve to be overlooked among the flooding streams of moving images today.

(in alphabetical order)

1.Aditya Assarat (born 1972)
Aditya Assarat

Aditya became famous with his thesis film Motorcycle (2000, 14 min), which deals with an old villager who receives the message that his son was killed in a motorcycle accident in Bangkok. Instead of crying out loud, the villager goes into a forest to hunt for some animals, so that he can earn some money to pay for the funeral of his son. Motorcycle won the R.D. Pestonji award in the 4th Thai Short Film and Video Festival. One of the jury was Apichatpong Weerasethakul. What is interesting in Motorcycle is its understated drama. The characters in the film bear great pain, but they keep it all inside, and show us only 10% of their pain. Understated drama, understated conflicts, or understated climax can be found in some other films of Aditya, too. In his Wonderful Town (2007, 92 min), the film focuses on the atmosphere of a tsunami-ravaged town, and the repetitive daily activities of the townspeople/characters. The film, some of its characters, and the town seem to be under some somnambulistic spell, except near the end of the film when a dramatic thing happens. Aditya's masterpiece is Hi-So (2010, 102 min), which tells a story of a handsome rich guy whose American girlfriend gets frustrated while visiting him in Thailand. Later, he has a Thai girlfriend, but his Thai girlfriend cannot quite fit in with his society of party-loving, rich, foreign, or mixed-race friends. Hi-So shows Aditya's keen observation of human behavior and little gestures, such as in the scene in which some Thai guys try to take advantage of the protagonist's American girlfriend while they are taking pictures together. Many little gestures in Hi-So reveal very interesting things about people's prejudice, culture clash between Thais and foreigners, and some aspects in the relationship between the rich and the poor.
The relationship between Thais and foreigners/mixed-race people is also dealt with in Aditya's Phuket (2009, 30 min) and Bangkok Blues (2009, 20 min) (2), but in Bangkok Blues, what is more interesting than this topic is the thought-provoking quality of it. Some films of Aditya, such as Wonderful Town, Bangkok Blues, and 6 to 6 (2010, 20 min), seem to not spell out clearly what the films are trying to say. These films let us observe the mostly unimportant activities of the characters, and allow us to interpret freely or make meanings out of these activities by ourselves. And sometimes you don't have to interpret anything at all. Just to observe the characters will be enough, such as in Aditya's My Rabbits (2011, 2 min), which shows us the unimportant activities of his three rabbits, while the frame of the picture moves up and down from time to time.

2.Anocha Suwichakornpong (born 1976)
Anocha Suwichakornpong
Anocha's master's thesis film from Columbia University, Graceland (2006, 17 min), was selected for the 59th Cannes Film Festival's Cinefondation program. It was the first Thai short film selected for the Cannes Film Festival. After that she made Like. Real. Love (2008, 38 min), a trilogy which is about three kinds of love--love between a dead mother and her daughter, love between a man and a woman, and love of humanity. The last part of this trilogy is partly inspired by Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory (Louis Lumière, 1895), and poses some interesting questions about the relationship between film and reality. Anocha had dealt with this relationship once before in Ghosts (2005, 35 min). The first half of Ghosts is about an audition of an aging actress, while the second half is about Anocha's mother. Some scenes in this film blend reality and fiction together in a very memorable way. Her debut feature is Mundane History (2009, 82 min), a family drama about the friendship that develops between a young paralyzed man from a wealthy Bangkok family and his male nurse from the northeastern part of Thailand. The film is also a commentary on Thailand's class-based society and the frailty of life. It premiered at the 2009 Pusan International Film Festival, where it was in the New Currents competition, and also opened the World Film Festival of Bangkok. It made its European Premiere in the Tiger Awards competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and was among the three films in the 15-title line-up that won the Tiger Award. Featuring a scene of full-frontal male nudity and masturbation, it was the first Thai film under Thailand's motion-picture rating system to be given the most restrictive 20+ rating. Other notable works by Anocha include Kissing in Public (2009, 3 min)(3), and 3-0 (2006, 8 min), which is Haneke-like in its cold observation on its characters. 3-0 is about three people who try to walk, but in the end they cannot walk very far. The film has its political meanings, and is actually about three important political moments in recent Thai history, including the massacre in Bangkok on October 6, 1976, the Black May event in 1992, and the coup d'état on September 19, 2006. Anocha co-founded her production company, Electric Eel Films, in Bangkok in 2006. Her company is the space for group of up-and-coming young Thai filmmakers, for example, Wichanon Somumjarn (In April the Following Year, There Was a Fire) and Tulapop Saenjaroen (After the Wind, Distinction).

3.Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (born 1957)
Araya is undoubtedly the most important Thai video artist who has kept on making great gallery-based videos since 1998. She is also a writer, a lecturer, and a multidisciplinary artist who started making prints in the early 1980s and installation art in the early 1990s. Her first videos deal with various activities she does with real corpses, for example, reading to corpses in Pond (1998), Reading for Three Female Corpses (1998), Reading for Male and Female Corpses (1998), Lament (2000), and Reading Inaow for a Female Corpse (2001); singing for corpses in Thai Medley (2002); walking through a morgue in A Walk (2002); dressing up a female corpse in I'm Living (2002) and Sudsiri and Araya (2002); talking to corpses in Conversation (2005); teaching corpses in The Class (2005); and having some music played in the cemetery in Glome Pee, the Crying of the Earth (2006). These videos change the perceptions of the viewers towards the death issue. In these videos, death is not something disgusting anymore, but it is treated as an undeniable fact, a part of our lives, or something which we must accept with calmness and not try to avoid. Araya deals with death again in In a Blur of Desire (2006, 19 min, three-channel video), which records the slaughter of a pig, a cow, and a buffalo. What is interesting in In a Blur of Desire is the calmness of the tone, which is in contrast to the frightening tone of Pig's Stories (Amrit Chusuwan, 2011), a multi-channel video installation which also deals with the slaughter of animals. This is because the purposes of these two video installations are different. In a Blur of Desire may focus on the transition of life to death, while Pig's Stories may focus on the brutality we try to avoid thinking about while we consume meat.
Apart from the death topic, Araya also deals with other social taboos in her other videos, for example, The Nine-Day Pregnancy of a Single Middle-Aged Associate Professor (2003), which makes us aware of the prejudice in society towards women's behavior and private lives; The Insane (2006), which records the monologues of eleven insane women, but in the end makes the viewers aware that these mental patients are not much different from us, because they also have love, fear, dreams, ambitions, anxiety, and have suffered a lot from many obstacles in their lives like us; and Artemisia Gentileschi's Judith Beheading Holofernes, Jeff Koons' Untitled, and Thai Villagers (2011), in which a Thai monk tries to teach moral lessons to villagers by using these two paintings, which some might judge beforehand as inappropriate to be placed in a Buddhist temple.
However, some of Araya's best videos don't have to deal with social taboos. In This Circumstance, the Sole Object of Attention Should Be the Treachery of the Moon (2009) is a captivating video showing many people walking up and down a green field. In the Pool of Still Water, There is a Yearning for the Torrential Flow of the Big River (2009) shows us a person lying on a bed near a pond. His/her body is wrapped around in a white blanket. The person moves his/her body around, while the light gets dimmer and dimmer until the picture is in complete darkness. It is one of the most powerful of Araya's videos. Araya's masterpieces also include the videos in The Two Planet Series (2008), such as Manet's Luncheon on the Grass and the Thai Villagers (2008), Millet's the Gleaners and the Thai Farmers (2008), and Van Gogh's the Midday Sleep and the Thai Villagers (2008). In these videos, Araya lets Thai villagers comment freely on the highly-regarded paintings in the titles. These videos open up many interesting questions, such as the questions about how to appreciate art, whether art education is really necessary, what is beauty, and whether the reactions of the villagers towards the paintings reflect the reactions of the video-installation viewers towards the villagers in the videos?
Araya can be considered the most important Thai video artist because she creates great videos frequently, while other Thai multidisciplinary artists turn to use video medium only from time to time, or not as frequently as Araya. Other multidisciplinary female artists in Thailand who create great gallery-based videos or video installations from time to time include Preeyachanok Ketsuwan, Suchada Sirithanawuddhi, Sudsiri Pui-Ock, Tuksina Pipitkul, Wantanee Siripattananuntakul, and may also include Varsha Nair, a Uganda-born, India-graduated artist who resides in Thailand.
As for Thai male artists, the ones who create great video art or video installations from time to time include Amrit Chusuwan, Arin Rungjang, Chol Janepraphaphan, Kamol Phaosavasdi, Montri Toemsombat, Navin Rawanchaikul, Noraset Vaisayakul, Pan Pan Narkprasert, Prateep Suthathongthai, Sakarin Krue-on, Sathit Sattarasart, Suebsang Sangwachirapiban, Suparirk Kanitwaranun, Suporn Shoosongdej, and Thaweesak Srithongdee.

4. Arthawut Boonyuang
Arthawut Boonyuang
One of the first films by Arthawut is Wake Up (2008, 3 min), which is inspired by the literary works of Kanokpong Songsompan. But Wake Up is an unimpressive atmospheric film. It is a good film, but it is not so much different from many Thai atmospheric short films made at that time. However, Arthawut succeeded in creating a name for himself when he made Women in Democracy (2009, 6 min), in which we see a woman giving an interview about how she lost her husband during the crackdown on the red-shirt protesters in Bangkok in April, 2009. What is interesting in this film is the texts which run at the bottom of the screen all through the film. The texts alternately tell us about gossip news on Thai stars/celebrities and old news about the important political events in Thailand since 1932, including some events which many Thai people don't want to talk about. Women in Democracy became one of the bravest Thai films made that year. Arthawut made a sequel to this film called I Remember (2011, 90 min), which is partly about the massacre in Bangkok on May 19, 2010, and also about his trip to a beach with his close friends and other things he wants to remember from the year before. One distinctive quality found in some of Arthawut's films is the extreme slowness, or scenes which let us observe something for a long time, while the story doesn't move forward. These scenes can be found in I Remember, Space (2009, 5 min), Scar (2010, 12 min), and Time to Tear (2011, 10 min). Arthawut's masterpiece is Time to Be... (2009, 12 min), in which we see a woman carrying a cremation urn, while the texts on the screen tell us about a man who loses his old father. The film is very intriguing and provokes the audience to interpret what the film really means.

5. Chaloemkiat Saeyong
Chaloemkiat Saeyong
Some may say that Chaloemkiat's films are weird and look like they were made by someone who doesn't know how to make films. Some may also say that Chaloemkiat's films are inferior, because his films are full of texts on the screen, instead of telling stories by the editing of scenes. But what is interesting is that Chaloemkiat's films actually play with texts and the limits of texts in the cinematic medium. Chaloemkiat's texts are both a narrator and interruptor who pulls the audience away from the narrative. In Peru Time (2008, 18 min), which shows us the images of a rice farm in several long static takes, we can see a lot of texts on the screen, but none of them is readable. In Politically Lawyer and Narrative Cinema (2009, 27 min), the texts play many roles. In some scenes, we see a university toilet, but the texts say, "This is an airport toilet." In another scene, we see university students, but the texts say, "These are airhostesses." The texts also tell us about a highly convoluted murder mystery. Sometimes we see almost nothing on the screen, except long texts from the dialogue of the characters. Sometimes the texts appear at the bottom of the screen as subtitles, while the characters directly comment on the subtitles we see. In Politically Lawyer and Narrative Cinema, the texts play the role of narrator, telling us that we should regard the image of a classroom as the image of an airport, and parody themselves at the same time, such as in the scene in which the texts say, "This is a pirate DVD." In Chay, Gayvah-rar 'n' the Machupicchu (2010, 21 min), the texts create some stories which may not be connected to the images we see. The texts and the images in this film are like the superimposition of images of different roads, which sometimes conjoin each other, and stimulate the viewers to reinterpret the images in the film. Chaloemkiat's use of texts is pushed to the limit in History in the Air (2009, 58 min), which shows that texts are a problem which needs to be eliminated. In a way, we can say that texts in Chaloemkiat's films play the role of a narrator in films which don't care much about telling stories, because these films regard stories as a problem obstructing the use of images.
Most of Chaloemkiat's films are perplexing, especially Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory (2010, 31 min). Chaloemkiat uses extreme darkness as the core of this film. In a scene in this film, we see two women use flashlights to look at a photo shown in the darkness in the Museum of Light. This scene is replayed a few times, with a slight difference each time it is replayed. Most of his films also concern politics, but hide the political implications in an interesting way. His films have the qualities of experimental films, films made by inexperienced film students, and films made by someone who tries to destroy the rules of cinema at the same time. In a place between the cinema of weak storytelling and the cinema of challenging filmmakers, that's where the eccentric films of Chaloemkiat are situated, shouting out his love for the memory of people, moving images in which things barely move, and a mysterious atmosphere which is hard to find elsewhere.

6. Chonlasit Upanigkit (born 1990)
Among numerous film students in Thai universities now, one of the most distinguished film students is Chonlasit, who is going to graduate from Silpakorn University soon. This university has been teaching films for only a few years, but has now created many interesting filmmakers.
While most film students make short films which are not longer than 30 minutes, the three great films of Chonlasit do not conform to this standard. These three films are Distance (2010, 55 min), Night Blind (co-directed with Rasika Prasongtham, 2010, 40 min), and Siam Park City (2011, 45 min), and that makes him comparable to Chookiat Sakveerakul, because when Chookiat was a university student, he also liked to make films which are bigger in production and longer than films made by other Thai film students. What Chookiat did 10-12 years ago did not conform to the norm of Thai film students at that time, but his films have since become examples used in Thai film classrooms, and he has now become one of the most successful Thai mainstream film directors.
As for Chonlasit's films, Distance is about a male friend who is secretly in love with a lesbian friend. The film is full of natural-looking long takes, instead of slick-looking ones. Night Blind is a romantic film about a woman who cannot see well at night. Some cinephiles may like this film less than other films of Chonlasit, but it is the only film of Chonlasit which garnered an award at the 15th Thai Short Film and Video Festival, while his other films lost in the first round of the competition.
Chonlasit shows how sharp-eyed and how talented as a cinematographer he can be in Siam Park City, his experimental documentary. He made this film by walking around some public parks in Bangkok and recording people's activities in the parks from early afternoon until sunset. This film lets us observe some kinds of "cultures" inherent in the park users, and his skill at cinematography and editing make the film really riveting. However, some teachers, directors, and mainstream film viewers always accuse his films of being too slow.
Chonlasit's main strength is the fact that he can tell stories about people who are close to him very convincingly. Most of his films rely on the improvisation of the actors, most of whom are his friends. That's why he can convey the feelings and emotions in his films in such a natural way that other romantic Thai films have rarely done before. His films are very touching because of the emotional authenticity in them.
As of now, March 2012, Chonlasit is in the process of making a thesis feature film called W. He hasn't finished making it yet due to some unpredictable problems concerning a main actor. This is the first film in which he doesn't use people close to him as the main actor. The film will be 162 minutes long, and Chonlasit says that the inspiration for this film comes from The Love of Siam (Chookiat Sakveerakul, 2007, 150 min) and films by So Yong Kim. W is about the lives of two female students and the confusion inside their heads while they are studying in the Faculty of Sport Sciences, which has never been represented in Thai films about teenagers before. W is the most ambitious project by Chonlasit, and it forces him to work much harder than his college friends. He also made Call (20 min) as a workshop for the two main actors in W.
Apart from making his own films, Chonlasit also works as a cinematographer, editor, sound mixer and colorist for other directors' short films, music videos, or commercials. He works frequently for Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit. Chonlasit is a filmmaker to watch right now. He has a lot of potential to be a big figure in the Thai mainstream film industry in the future.

7. Chulayarnnon Siriphol (born 1986)
Chulayarnnon Siriphol
We can divide Chulayarnnon's films into two groups: earlier and later films. His earlier films include Hua-Lam-Pong (2004, 12 min), which he made while he was studying in a high school and which made him famous, Golden Sand House (2005, 19 min), and Sleeping Beauty (2006, 40 min). In Hua-Lam-Pong, Chulayarnnon observes an old man who likes to take a picture of himself at Hualampong terminal station. In Golden Sand House, he remade a soap opera TV series by casting his family members and his maid as the actors and using his house as the location. A middle-aged maid from Myanmar took on the role of a beautiful heroine. Chulayarnnon's father took on the role of an aristocratic handsome hero. The film focuses on the shyness these unlikely actors feel in front of the camera and also on their unnatural acting. The viewers have to figure out by themselves who plays which role in this film. Sleeping Beauty is like the meeting place between Hua-Lam-Pong and Golden Sand House, because in Sleeping Beauty, Chulayarnnon secretly recorded the daily activities of his family members, including the time when they were asleep, and lets the viewers create a story by themselves. These earlier films of Chulayarnnon focus on mundane activities of people. The scenes in these films are a mix between secretly-recorded scenes and partially-staged scenes. These observational scenes may not look special, but the clues in the titles of the films encourage the viewers to imagine a story by themselves out of the images from the films.
After that, Chulayarnnon's films become more experimental. The later period of his films starts from Ghost Orb (2007, 2 min), which is semi-video art capturing reflections from camera. Then he made Danger (Director's Cut) (2008, 14 min), one of his bravest and most sarcastic films. This film reflects his uncomfortableness with film education in Thailand. He made this film by combining Danger, his thesis film, with his teachers' harsh commentaries on Danger. In every scene of Danger (Director's Cut), the viewers can simultaneously watch Danger and read the texts from the teachers' commentaries on the scene. Danger (Director's Cut) shows us both how predictable mainstream films are and how narrow-minded film education in Thailand is, because it does not allow students to be really creative. The film ends with the photo of Chulayarnnon in student uniform slowly burning.
Chulayarnnon's later films become more political, too. Karaoke: Think Kindly (2009, 5 min) satirizes the conflicts between the red shirts and the yellow shirts in Thailand in a rather innocent way. However, in Thai Contemporary Politics Quiz (2010, 8 min), Chulayarnnon became more cunning in dealing with political topics, because this film comes in the form of a quiz in PowerPoint style. The film asks the viewers many questions about contemporary Thai politics, but doesn't gives us any answers. After that, Chulayarnnon made A Brief History of Memory (2010, 14 min), which is an extremely powerful and brave documentary. Instead of attacking the red shirts, the yellow shirts, and the colorful shirts, this film focuses on an interview with a woman in Nang Lerng community in Bangkok. This woman lost her son during the red shirt crackdown in April 2009, because her son, who tried to protect his own community, was shot by a red shirt supporter. In this film, we see black-and-white images of Nang Lerng community while mysterious round objects keep appearing on the screen. These mysterious objects act as if they are spirits floating in the air of the community. We also hear the sad voice of the mother, who doesn't blame any sides of the political conflicts. It is just the voice of a woman who lost her son forever.
In conclusion, what is great in Chulayarnnon's films include his experiments on images, the space of imagination that he gives to the viewers, and the sharp criticism on some topics. These qualities make him a real director to watch. His website is here: http://www.chulayarnnon.com/ .

8. Ing K
Ing K
In the 1990s, many people knew Ing K, or Samanrat Kanjanavanit, as a serious environmental activist, because she was involved in protesting against the shooting of The Beach (Danny Boyle, 2000) at Maya Bay, and because she made documentaries against big businesses, such as Thailand for Sale (1991), Green Menace: The Untold Story of Golf (1993, 58 min) and Casino Cambodia (1994). There was also another important event happening in her life then: the banning of her first feature film My Teacher Eats Biscuits (1997, 120 min) when it was going to be shown in the First Bangkok Film Festival in 1998. The reasons for the banning included insult to Buddhism, because this cult film has such characters as the sect leader, played by Ing K herself, and because the film questions some Buddhist teachings via such scenes as one in which a monk is having sex with a corpse and a senior monk deems this act righteous because it is a male corpse! My Teacher Eats Biscuits was abruptly pulled out of the Festival after a mysterious fax had been sent to the police complaining about this film.
After that incident, Ing K stopped making films for about ten years. During that period, she continued doing her other activities as an independent artist, painter, and writer. She also operates Kathmandu Gallery together with Manit Sriwanichpoom, her partner who is a famous photographer and one of the directors of an experimental political film called Land of Laugh (1992, 13 min). And then she decided to make a film again. She collaborated with Manit and Kraisak Choonhavan, a Thai politician, to make a documentary called Citizen Juling (2008, 222 min), which explores the myths and discourses about violence in the three southernmost provinces of Thailand. The film focuses on the incident in which some villagers abducted Juling Pongkunmul, a teacher who came from Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand, and held her hostage until some people beat her severely. This incident became big news, and Juling died after almost eight months in a coma. The film was shown in film festivals both inside and outside Thailand. What is interesting in the film is the way Ing uses the camera to pose some serious questions, and shows us some myths about "the otherness" in Thai society. The film explores the feelings and emotions of people both in the southernmost and the northernmost parts of Thailand, including people who were close to Juling.
Ing's latest film is Shakespeare Must Die (2012, 170 min), which tells two overlapping stories. One is about the tyrant of a fictional country and his wife. The other is about a theatre which stages the play Macbeth to convey some political messages (4). What is interesting about this film is whether it will deal with any important institutions in Thailand again or not, because My Teacher Eats Biscuits deals with beliefs and 'religious' institution, and Citizen Juling deals with the concept of 'nation'. So it is highly likely that Shakespeare Must Die also deals with some important things in Thailand, too.
While some Thai films try to reflect the political conflicts in Thailand which are getting more and more dangerous, Ing's films stand out from many other Thai political films because they don't focus on flowery techniques or hidden symbols. Her films talk to us straightforwardly, openly, and fiercely. After tackling religions with biting humor in My Teacher Eats Biscuits and posing some controversial questions in Citizen Juling, Ing caused some controversy again when Shakespeare Must Die was banned by the Culture Ministry's National Film Board on April 3, 2012, on the grounds that the film may disrupt the unity of Thailand. Like its predecessors Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006) and Insects in the Backyard (Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, 2010) which were also banned in Thailand, Shakespeare Must Die unintentionally reminds us of what Nicole Brenez said in Cinespect.com, "Censorship is the rewarding testimony that a film is important. For an activist filmmaker, it's a label of quality."(5)

9. Jakrawal Nilthamrong
Jakrawal Nilthamrong
Jakrawal Nilthamrong holds a MFA in art and technology studies from Chicago Art Institute. His works have the qualities of narrative short films, experimental films, and video art at the same time. He adapts some concepts of Buddhism to fit his films and video works. Most of the characters in his works can be represented as humans who are still in 'karma' and 'cycle of life', such as the characters in Man and Gravity (2009, short), and Immortal Woman (2010, short). Moreover, he is also interested in concepts of 'past and future' and 'reincarnation', which can be found in A Voyage of Foreteller (2007, 8 min), and Patterns of Transcendence (2006, 49 min). His debut feature Unreal Forest (2010, 70 min) was screened in International Film Festival Rotterdam.

10. Korn Kanogkekarin
Korn Kanogkekarin
Korn made great films which no one understands. The power of his films come from the juxtaposition of scenes which are not connected to each other, or come from scenes which need some explanation, but the explanation will never be given. Popular (2009, 16 min) shows us a transvestite dissecting a frog and smoking a cigarette in split screens, but it doesn't tell us why the director wants us to see it. Are You Ready? (2010, 6 min) shows us the back of a woman's head, Korn lying impatiently on green grass, and someone standing naked on a flush toilet. Good Day of Kornly (2010, 4 min) presents Korn trying to mow the lawn by using an axe. Korn's masterpiece is Why Do You Jump? (2011, 19 min), which shows someone surfing TV channels, Korn dancing weirdly in his room, Korn shaking his hair in slow motion for a long time while the sound of someone making love is heard, and images of the body of Korn bisected by some visual effects and manipulated into something which looks like a sculpture of a pagan goddess. The last part of this film also features a very appropriate use of electronic music, because the manipulated images of Korn keep changing in perfect harmony with the rhythm of the soundtrack. No one may understand Why Do You Jump?, including Korn himself, but this film is undeniably very powerful.
In a way, Korn can also be called the Thai Candy Darling, because he also acts in some great films by other Thai directors, and his queer charm is the main reason why those films become memorable. His queer charm can be appreciated in Essence de Femme (Chama Lekpla, 2011, 15 min), in which he plays a naked transvestite trying to cook some food, and In Train (Boripat Plaikeaw, 2011, 84 min), which is a documentary about Korn and his gay friends going on vacation. In In Train, Korn carries an upper torso of a naked male mannequin with him all through the trip, not caring any more what other people may think of him.

11. Manussak Dokmai
Manussak Dokmai is one of the best essayistic filmmakers in Thailand. Many of his films present his social or political ideas and are the hybrid between documentary, fiction, and experimental films. His most famous film is Don't Forget Me (2003, 10 min) (6), which combines footage from the massacre on October 6, 1976, at Thammasat University, with the narration from a documentary about Mlabri people. The combination result is as haunting as Night and Fog (Alain Resnais, 1955). Other great essayistic films of his include Dialogue (2001, 7 min), Way of Thingking 1: Laotian Soldiers Would Like to Change Thai People's Ideas (2002, 8 min), Dream Watch for Anyone Who Is Believed to Violate Good Morality (2007, 14 min), and Sport News: Those Bastards Are Leaving and Will Be Replaced by Evil Spirits (2008, 3 min).
Manussak is an ultra-low budget filmmaker. He used to live with only 13 baht (0.42 US dollar) a day and suffered a lot from hunger at that time. He made Dialogue, Gay Megadance (2001, 6 min), The Devil Rules Metropolis (2001, 13 min), and Moment of Distraction (2001, 8 min) with the budget of 80 baht (2.60 US dollars) each and with a camera borrowed from someone. The ultra-low budget of his films mean they don't have big production values, but are made in a simple style that most filmmakers don't do. For example, Gay Megadance (2001) consists of a static shot of a man looking at the camera, then he bows down out of the frame, revealing a poster of a bare-chested Brue Lee behind him, and then he raises his head, and we see some white stain on his mouth. Dialogue (2001) consists of a static shot of two people talking, though we don't see the faces of these two. The Truth about Mr. Dome Sukvong: Episode -- Invisible Threat (2005, 13 min) simply interviews Dome Sukvong, the director of Thai Film Archive. There are nothing to see in this film except Dome's face while he is talking. But what makes this film special is the love and respect Manussak has for Dome. This love is in the air of the film. Dome appears again in one of the best scenes of Manussak's films. It is the scene near the end of Dream Watch for Anyone Who Is Believed to Violate Good Morality, in which we see Dome waking up at his table, and we hear him talking about his strange dream about Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat. It is hard to describe why this scene is special. Let's just say there's something unexplainably touching in this scene.

12. Michael Shaowanasai (born 1964)
Michael Shaowanasai
Michael is a multidisciplinary artist who has made many films dealing with gay issues, such as KKK (1996, 6 min), in which he plays a rent boy; EXOTIC 101 (1997, 7 min), in which he teaches the audience how to be a male go-go dancer; and in the trilogy comprising The Adventure of Iron Pussy, Episode I (1997, 8 min), The Adventure of Iron Pussy II: Bunzai Chaiyo (1999, 22 min), and The Adventure of Iron Pussy III: To Be or Not to Be (2000, 30 min). In this trilogy, he plays a man who can transform into a superhero after he has put on some makeup and dressed himself up as a woman. The superhero's main mission is to save the male go-go dancers in a red light district in Bangkok. He reprises this role again in the musical feature film The Adventure of Iron Pussy (co-directed with Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2003, 85 min), but the character's mission is changed and the character's gender becomes even more ambiguous.
Most of Michael's films are very hilarious, daring, outrageous, provocative, and concerned with some social or cultural issues. His masterpiece is Observation of the Monument (2008, 5 min), in which he plays a monument of a high-class lady where people go to pay respect. The film is extremely thought-provoking. He also performs a woman's role in Playgirl (2005), Long Night Short Film (2008, 8 min), and Le Cirque de l'homme (2008, 18 min), and it shows that his talent as an actor is as enormous as his talent as a director. In Playgirl, he plays two female celebrities, one tries to evade paparazzi, the other enjoys being followed by them. This film poses some interesting questions about our gossip-obsessed culture. In Long Night Short Film, he plays a lonely woman who resorts to masturbation, while in Le Cirque de l'homme, he shows us the cycle of life--being born, getting old, getting sick, and dying--in his particularly queer style. For example, he shows the state of getting old by wearing a dress which looks like a Mondrian painting and walking in a market. His dress looks out of place and may emphasize that the time when the character fit in has passed.
Michael plays a straight man, too. In Eastern Wind (1997, 9 min), he plays an Asian artist who becomes internationally famous because he has followed the rules to become famous, such as speaking a language that westerners don't understand, and having a curator as a wife. Though Michael performs in most of his films, there may be several films which he only directs, such as Shopping (2001), which shows three women walking back and forth in a market, smiling and observing the market. One of them wears a neck brace. Both Shopping and Playgirl were commissioned to be shown at certain high-class shopping centers in Bangkok. What is interesting is that both films seem to subtly criticize and parody the customers of those shopping centers, which are the target audience of the videos.

13. Napat Treepalawisetkun (born 1990)
Napat Treepalwisetkun
What makes Napat famous since he was a high school student is the John Waters' spirit in his films and Nene, a ferocious actor who appears in many of his films and becomes his Divine. Napat made some crazy, bloody, cult films in the early phase of his filmmaking, including A Series of Salinee Event (2007, 14 min), Lamyong (2007, 6 min), His Blood Is Not Red! (2008, 5 min), Vogue (2008, 10 min), Rabid in Habitat (co-directed with Bongkodpass Pinsawaat, 2009, 15 min), and I Will Rape You With This Scissors (2008, 13 min), which is made to satirize the censorship of Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006). These cult films by Napat inspire other young filmmakers to make cult films, too. However, there is also a calmer side of Napat, which first revealed itself in The Dress (2008, 3 min), a minimalistic horror film. After making some cult films, he began making films which are more contemplative and explore the deeper side of his characters, including Seduction Lullaby (2009, 23 min), which is influenced by Michael Hanake. He always experiments with the boundaries and the styles of his films. The constant change and the ongoing development of his filmmaking styles are amongst of the most notable things about Napat. His styles have kept on evolving since 2007, and it can be said that he has his own particular filmmaking style now.
Almost all of Napat's films deal with the relationship between mother and daughter, which in a way reflects his intense feelings for his own family, especially in his later films in which his mother, Supatra Treepalawisetkun, is the main actress. Napat once said that family is the answer to every question, because everybody forms his own identity out of his own family, and the films he made are the products of the family environment which he has been living in all his life. Many characters in Napat's films ask some questions about family or are adversely affected by family conditions. These characters include the mother who hates chicken skin in I Will Rape You With This Scissors, a boy who is so mentally ill that his mother, love and sex cannot heal him in Seduction Lullaby, the mother who tries to feed lotus flowers to her paraplegic son and tries to teach him stick and sword fighting in It's Hard to Say How I Love You, Captain Hook (2009, 10 min), and the mother who was killed during the political massacre in May 2010 and comes back to haunt her two daughters in We Will Forget It Again (2010, 9 min).
His latest film is The Womb in Aquarium (2010, 23 min), which is a part of a big project called Bua: A Fantasy Journey of Absurd Woman in Surrealist World to the End of the Humanity, which he has been planning for a few years. The Womb in Aquarium shows that Napat has now crossed into a new area. The fact that this is a sci-fi film allows Napat to create a new concept of family. This film takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. People in this film must ask for permission from the government if they want to "breed". The film focuses on three sisters, one of whom wants to have a child, which means she wants to have "a relationship between mother and child". But this desire leads to the horrifying ending. Napat is now making his thesis film, and it is likely that it will be a part of the Bua project, too.

14. Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit (born 1984)
Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
One of the most interesting things about Nawapol is the fact that he can work both for arthouse films and for mainstream film industry. He has been making independent films for eight years, and he has also written a few scripts for Thai mainstream film studios such as GTH, including the scripts for Bangkok Traffic Love Story (Adisorn Trisirikasem, 2009) and Top Secret (Songyos Sugmakanan, 2011). Nawapol can work very well for both worlds. He understands the market conditions when he works for the studios, but he uses the most of his creative power when he works independently.
While Nawapol straddles the worlds of independent and mainstream films, his independent films straddle the worlds of fiction and documentary. He first gained wide recognition with See (2006, 9 min), which consists of a long take portraying an old main cooking. A text appears on the screen later, saying that this old man is Nawapol's father. He made this film as an indirect way to reconcile with his own father.
Français (2009, 30 min) is another film which employs some documentary techniques. It is about a blind university student who has to take an exam on the next day, but the university hasn't given her the Braille textbooks as planned. The camera follows the heroine and observes her like in a documentary, including the scene in which she walks with difficulty and the scenes in her dormitory. What is special about this film includes its nonjudgmental and objective attitudes towards disabled persons, and the film seems to ask the audience some questions without giving the answers.
Nawapol's combination between fiction and documentary reaches its peak in I Believe That Over 1 Million People Hate Maythawee (2010, 30 min). The film is about Maythawee, a good-looking high school student who becomes the object of her friends' hatred in Facebook. The camera in this film closely follows Maythawee, and many scenes are done by a hand-held camera, resulting in a film which looks creepily real. Nawapol promoted this made-for-TV film by using interactive methods. He created a Facebook account of Maythawee, and a Facebook fan page of " I Believe That Over 1 Million People Hate Maythawee", which made some viewers believe that the film was a documentary and Maythawee really existed. The film became a phenomenon because of this clever publicity.
Another notable thing about Nawapol's films is the deadpan humor and the static camera, which may remind the viewers of films by Roy Andersson and Tsai Ming-liang. His first deadpan comedy is Yuriem est le mari d'un étrangère (2006, 30 mins), which is a satire on traditions of art films, including the slowness, the unnatural dialogue, and the unpredictable behaviors of the characters. After Yuriem est le mari d'un étrangère, other Thai directors also make some satires on art films, for example, Still (Palakorn Kleungfak, 2009) and M.A.M.A. (Katon Thammavijitdej, Chonlasit Upanigkit, Jarupat Lor-Isaratrakul, 2010).
Another good example of Nawapol's contemplative deadpan comedy is Penguin (2007, 40 mins), which is about a young couple who wander around a public park in Bangkok at night to find some penguins. The more they walk, the farther they are from their destination. The film's absurd quality may remind the viewers of the play Waiting for Godot or the search for sheep in the novel A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami.
Nawapol made Mr.Mee Wanna Go to Egypt (2009, 20 min) for Action On Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand. Though he had to make this film to serve the campaign objective, his style is still evident in it. The film is about two filmmakers who lack the funds to make a short film for anti-smoking campaign, so they try to raise the fund by making a cigarette commercial. The ending of this film is very memorable. It ends with the scene in which the two filmmakers are in the editing room, while the sound of the commercial, saying, "Let's smoke," is repeated for about 30 times.
Nawapol earned R.D. Pestonji Award in the 14th Thai Short Film and Video Festival with Cherie Is Korean-Thai (2010, 19 min). The film is about an actress who is going to play a maid in a TV series, so she tries to research for her role by interviewing two female construction workers and recording their manners and activities in video. The film is full of sarcastic humor, and presents a scathing view on how people exploit one another.
Though Nawapol said that he was not very interested in politics, his films can capture the recent important political moments in Thailand or can respond to them very quickly. On the night of the coup d'état on September 19, 2006, Nawapol chatted with friends via MSN, and all of them were puzzled about what was happening. Then, Nawapol captured these written conversations on his computer screen and turned them into the film Bangkok Tanks (2006, 5 min), which has since become one of the important records of that historical moment.
The Mother Wanna Go to Carrefour (2010, 5 min) is another film in the same vein. After the massacre in Bangkok on May 19, 2010, Nawapol's mother wanted to go to buy some food at the supermarket on the next day. This documentary conveys very well the atmosphere in Bangkok after the curfew, and becomes one of the first Thai films in the post 5/19 era.
Nawapol is now preparing to make Interior, his first feature film, which got the backing for script development from Busan International Film Festival. You can watch some films by Nawapol at http://www.youtube.com/user/nawee4 .

Part 2 of 'Mysterious Objects From Thailand'

Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa / Chulayarnnon Siriphol / Chayanin Tiangpitayagorn / Jit Phokaew / Kanchat Rangseekansong

15. Nontawat Numbenchapol (born 1983)
Nontawat Numbenchapol grew up in Bangkok. He is one of Thaiindie filmmakers. He graduated from Department of Visual Communication Design, Faculty of Fine and Applied Art, Rangsit University. His thesis is a feature documentary film about skateboard called Wierdrosopher World (2005, 88 min). Nontawat co-directed this film with Rthit Punnikul and Preduce Skateboard. After that, he worked as a still photographer for some shorts and feature films including Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010) by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. He was also a cinematographer for an online TV program about Thai contemporary art, www.artscenetv.net, produced by Top Changtrakul, an artist. His own short films include Bangkok Noise (2006, 7 min). This film observes the world around the filmmaker. It starts from his room and moves to the world outside and then comes back to the room again. At the end of the film, he finds out that there is no silence in this noisy city, Bangkok. War of Fluorescence (2006, 8 min) is a battle between the filmmaker and tussock moths which are attracted to fluorescent light. Volatilize (2007, 15 min) is about the love cycle of two couples. The actors and actresses in this short film are very famous, such as Teeradanai Suwanahorm (Joke), Manausswee Krittanukun (Liew), Arak Amornsupaasiri (Pae), and Ratchawin Wongviriya (Koy). Gaze and Hear (2010, 10 min), which is his masterpiece, is about a newly invented folklore. This film tells a story about a king, a queen, the Earth Goddess, a mole rat king, etc., but the story is told by voiceover, while what you see is some beautiful and colorful graphic images or some geometric patterns which are not directly connected to the story. The viewers must imagine 'the pictures of the characters' by themselves. Moreover, near the end of the film, the viewers must also imagine 'the story', too, because the voiceover is interrupted for a few minutes. That means the story that we are told is missing a part. Apart from being one of the most interesting Thai experimental films ever made, Gaze and Hear may carry some political meanings, too.
Nontawat also made Empire of Mind (2009, 90 min), which is a documentary about his family. His current project is supported by ANA (Art Network Asia), and the project is about the Thailand-Cambodia border conflict. He also made a video installation called Aurora, which was installed at Film on the Rocks Festival, Yao Noi Island, Phuket, in early 2012. According to his interview at Dazeddigital.com, Aurora is partly inspired by the death of his grandmother and the massacre in Bangkok on May 19, 2010 (7).
16. Panu Aree (born 1973)
Panu Aree is one of the foremost documentary filmmakers in Thailand. He made Once Upon a Time (2000), which is about memory concerning an old amusement park in Bangkok, after he had been inspired by Thirdworld (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 1997) (8), which made him realize how powerful a film can be when the sound and the image do not fully correspond to each other. In Once Upon a Time, we hear voiceovers of many people recounting the times they used to spend at that amusement park, but we don't see the faces of those people. What we see is some 8mm film clips of Panu's family, their home movies, recording the time they spent in that park many years ago. The film is half-documentary, half-experimental, and this technique of combining interviewing sound with other images is employed again in Magic Water (2001), his masterpiece, and in O.B.L. (co-directed with Kong Rithdee and Kaweenipon Ketprasit, 2011, 23 min) (9). In Magic Water, we hear voices from a conversation about black magic, but we never see the faces of the speakers. We only see images of skyscrapers in Bangkok at night, which are shot through a window of a moving car. The contrast between the voice of ancient beliefs and the images of the modern high-tech world we live in is striking, and lends the film its strange power. In O.B.L., which is about the opinions of some Thai Muslims towards Osama Bin Laden, the most impressive scene in the film is the long scene in which we hear the voices of the interviewees, but we see the images of a canal which runs through a Muslim community.
Other documentaries of Panu are not as experimental as Once Upon a Time and Magic Water, but they are still very good documentaries. He made Destiny (2000, 18 min), which is about the lives of his friends, and Parallel (2002, 13 min), which is about the life of a janitress. He has made four great documentaries about Thai Muslims, including In Between (2006, 43 min), which is about the lives and opinions of four Thai Muslim men; The Convert (co-directed with Kong Rithdee and Kaweenipon Ketprasit, 2008, 83 min), which deals with a Buddhist woman who is converted into Islam after her husband; Baby Arabia (co-directed with Kong Rithdee and Kaweenipon Ketprasit, 2010, 80 min), which is about one of the oldest Thai-Muslim bands specializing in Arab-Malay music; and O.B.L.. These four films help a lot in eradicating any prejudice the viewers might have towards the Muslim minorities in Thailand. These documentaries show us many aspects in their lives, the discriminations they have suffered from, and how each one of them is different from one another and should not be under any kind of generalization. What is also praiseworthy is that the filmmakers don't try to narrow the topics of their documentaries into religious themes only. In The Convert, we find out that the converted woman does not have as much trouble with the religious conversion as with the economic problems. Panu may not make experimental films like before, but he still makes films which are truly humanistic.

17. Phaisit Phanphruksachat (born 1969)
Many people know Phaisit as one of the most important soundmen in Thai independent film industry. He worked with many great directors, including Kongdej Jaturanrasmee, Sivaroj Kongsakul, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. His conversation with Apichatpong while they were traveling together on an island is presented in the film Thirdworld (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 1998, 17 min).
Apart from working together with Apichatpong in many films, Phaisit also makes his own films (or videos, as he prefers to call them), and his styles and methods are very interesting. Many scenes in Phaisit's films originate from scenes in our daily lives. He captures some images from the real world, and then juxtaposes these images in the film without embellishment. Many images in his films come from casual video recording, secretly recorded footage in long shot, or a swift pan of the camera in front of something. There are also some images which Phaisit deliberately shot according to the plan, but many of these images are images of empty, dilapidated buildings, junkyards, pools of black water, food markets, dirty stains, and any unpleasant images which we may see every day but haven't paid attention to. All of these images gain new meanings in Phaisit's films, and he doesn't even need to narrate a coherent story to support these meanings. He doesn't have to create an expensive set or scene in his films. What he does is tell one or two actors to walk into some real places and respond to the situations. This is because the main thing in Phaisit's films is the imagination of the viewers. In Phaisit's films, ordinary images in our lives become images in a story narrated by our own imagination, using the title of each film as a clue.

Phaisit made The Cruelty and the Soy-Sauce Man (2000, 97 min) by following his best friend and videotaping him like making an informal home video. Some scenes in the film are staged, but most of the scenes are real. These scenes may seem meaningless at first, but after a while, they unintentionally become like jigsaws in the beautiful picture of life of the main character.
Phaisit's masterpiece is Sat Wibak Nak Loke (Burden of the Beast or Tough Creature Who Burdens the Earth) (2004), which tells the story of a man (Pleo Sirisuwan) who tries to escape from a satellite network and security cameras which try to detect his whereabouts. He must hide in some empty trains which can protect him from the satellite signals in the sky. This man is a filmmaker or used to be one. He may have been cheated three months ago or maybe not. There is an alien who interviews him about his situation, or maybe he is crazy and dreaming it all up by himself. After that, he tries to escape from the satellite signals by going upcountry and tries to find his mother.
Phaisit can also make a period film with his shoestring budget. It's called Manus Chanyong's One Night at Talaenggaeng Road (2008, 38 min). The film is adapted from a short story written by Manus Chanyong, and it is about a soldier in Thailand 450 years ago who walked along a road in Ayudhya, drinking and thinking about his ex-lover. The soldier thought this might be his last night on earth, because the next day he had to follow his master to assassinate the king. The film tells this story via voiceover, while the images in the film are the images of the road in Ayudhya in present time. The viewers have to visualize the soldier and other characters by themselves. This effective but cheap method in Phaisit's film stands in contrast to such expensive films as The Legend of Suriyothai (Chatrichalerm Yukol, 2001, 185 min), which partly tells the same story.
Most of Phaisit's films neither require him to shoot much new footage nor rely on professional actors. Scenes in his films come from the recording of real people, pedestrians on the streets, his friends and family. What he does is carry a camera around, capturing images of real things that he encounters, and then puts these images together with imagination, transforming these mundane images into exciting events in weird stories. The clues in the titles of the films and the careful juxtaposition of the images turn ordinary places we see on the screen into a land of wonder. The images of children in Escape from Popraya 2526 (2007, 9 min), the images of geese in Brothers (co-directed with Jiraporn Jaipang, 2007, 10 min), the images of people drinking in The Cruelty and the Soy-Sauce Man, the images of rural houses in Burden of the Beast, the images of chopping boards in Happy Existentialism (6 min), and the images of cloudy sky in Fake Field (18 min) may be mundane images, but when they are juxtaposed with Phaisit's particular images of dirty stains, buildings in ruins, and junkyards, and when they are gazed at seriously in his films, these mundane images are transformed in the viewers' heads into a magical world hidden under the corners, or a twilight zone under an expressway, or a secret door under the chopping board, or a door to another dimension under a pool of black water. The gazing in Phaisit's films transforms our ordinary world into a world of bizarreness.
If there's anything most resembling Phaisit's films, it is our childhood activity in which we imagine our ordinary lives as lives full of exciting adventures. Phaisit's films use the same method, and he also uses pure images in his films to play with some old traditions, such as when he uses modern electronic music to accompany the images of old traditional pork market in Happy Existentialism, and they fit perfectly. Though Phaisit's films have the innocent quality of a child, this innocence also comes with the sharpness of mind.

18. Phuttiphong Aroonpheng (born 1976)
Phuttiphong graduated in Fine Arts from Silpakorn University and then studied at the Digital Film Academy of New York. Phuttiphong's films have been shown both at international film festivals and art exhibitions. He made many short films, for example, Going to the Sea (2006), Retrospection (2006), Rak por peang (The Most Beautiful Man in the World, 2007), Stranger from the South (2007, 20 min), Our Monument (2008, 10 min), My Image Observe Your Image If It Is Possible to Observe It (2008), and Sukati (A Tale of Heaven, 2010). He said in an interview that he is interested in the meaning of ‘Self' in Buddhism, and in Buddha's saying, "Nothing belongs to us even our own body." That translates into a range of social topics, including the question, "What is the reason that artists put their signatures or copyrights to their works?"(10) The concept of ‘Self' in Buddhism drives him to create the project My Image Observe Your Image If It Is Possible to Observe It (2008, 6 min). In December 2007, while working on his project at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, Ireland, he met two video artists: Yuki Okumura (Japan) and Yahui Wang (Taiwan). Conversations with both artists brought him to inquire: Do artists really need their individual identities in their works? If so, what is going to happen if I integrate their identities? He began this work by asking permission from these two artists to duplicate their works (or identities) as well as their styles and techniques; in so doing create a new work. The concept of the work is not to answer the questions, but to emphasize his questioning. A Tale of Heaven (2010, 6 min) is dedicated to his dead father, who wanted his son to scatter his ashes in the woods, but a monk instructed him to scatter his father's remains at sea. By making this film, Phuttiphong was finally able to fulfill his father's last wish. This short film is a part of the feature film A Suspended Moment (2010, 58 min) which is supported by The Nippon Foundation and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum.

19. Pimpaka Towira
Pimpaka made an experimental film Under Taboo (co-directed with Jerdsak Poolthup, Sirivan Pothai, Sasiwimon Chuangyanyong, 1992, 9 min) under a workshop run by Christoph Yanetzko at the Goethe Institute in Bangkok. Under Taboo is an enigmatic film which tries to use some symbols to talk about some forbidden topics in Thailand, such as sex. Pimpaka worked with the Goethe Institute again and made Mae Nak (1997), which reinterprets a Thai folklore about a female ghost who longs for her husband. Mae Nak is an extremely enigmatic film, full of strange, hallucinating, inexplicable scenes, and may question or explore the status of women in Thai society. This film is worthy to be compared with the works of Maya Deren and Andrei Tarkovsky. After the success of Mae Nak, Pimpaka tried to work with a mainstream film company and made One Night Husband (2003), which is about a woman whose husband disappears on the wedding night. The heroine tries to search for him and is aided by the wife of her husband's brother. Instead of being a formulaic suspense-thriller film, One Night Husband turns out to be a film which can't be easily classified. It is a drama film, but it is not quite similar to many Thai drama films about women's lives and suffering made in the 1970s and the 1980s. It is quite psychological and stranger than those old Thai dramas. One of the most impressive scenes in One Night Husband is the scene in which the two female characters talk to each other for a long time, but we only see their backs, not their faces.
After making One Night Husband and Tune In (2005), which is made to commemorate the anniversary of the tsunami in December 2004, Pimpaka seems to change her focus and has made some great films about social or political issues. Her films are still very interesting, though they are not as strange, enigmatic, surrealistic, or experimental as before. It is as if she has gradually moved from the realm of Tarkovsky/Michelangelo Antonioni (spiritual, enigmatic, psychological) to the realm of Ken Loach/Bertrand Tarvernier (political, humanistic, heartfelt). She made some social problem short films, such as Taxi the Hero (2005), which deals with the prejudice Bangkokians might have towards people from the south of Thailand; The Sea Voyage (2007), which is about the Moken people in the south of Thailand; and My Father (2010), which is about the tragic life of a political protester. One of the most impressive scenes in My Father, is the one in which we gaze at the back of the main character for one and a half minute as he walks towards his destination.
Pimpaka also made a feature documentary called The Truth Be Told: The Cases Against Supinya Klangnarong (2007), which deals with a famous female activist who fought against Thaksin Shinawatra, who was the prime minister of Thailand at that time. It is one of very few Thai political feature documentaries, but it suffers a little bit from the fact that Supinya seems to control herself too well in front of the camera, and doesn't reveal much about her feelings and emotions she might have deep down inside. Nevertheless, the film is still very interesting as it has captured one of the most important political moments in Thailand's history--the military coup on September 19, 2006, after which Thailand will never be the same.
After Mae Nak, Pimpaka made a masterpiece again with Terribly Happy (2010), which deals with a Thai soldier working in a religious-conflict zone in the south of Thailand. When he returns home in the northeastern part of Thailand, he finds out that his sweetheart has been married to a rich foreigner. The film is very touching, and is an antidote to some nationalistic films such as White Buffalo (Shinores Khamwandee, 2011), which also deals with the marriages between northeastern Thai women and foreign men. In Terribly Happy, everyone has a reason of his/her own. Everybody hurts, and no one is to blame.
Though the recent social problem films of Pimpaka might look very different from her old experimental films, one thing that is constantly found in her films is some exquisite camera movements. These camera movements abound in Mae Nak and One Night Husband. Sangrangsee (2011), which can be considered the prequel to Terribly Happy, and My Father have some interesting panning shots. There are also some breathtaking shots at the end of The Truth Be Told and at the beginning of Terribly Happy, when the view from the camera gracefully moves from inside a room to outside the window.

20.Pramote Sangsorn (born 1974)
Pramote is an ex-teen heartthrob and ex-singer. He became famous as a filmmaker with Fish Don't Fly (2000, 18 min) and Tsu (2005, 24 min), which is made to commemorate the anniversary of the tsunami in December 2004. In Tsu, we watch a lame boy walking very slowly and calmly along a beach, trying to pitch some flags on the beach for more than 20 minutes. Though Tsu and some of his films are extremely slow, it is hard to say that slowness is the main characteristics of Pramote's films, because many Thai independent or experimental filmmakers make extremely slow films, too. However, it might be possible to say that many films by Pramote tackle some serious issues, for example, Fish Don't Fly deal with sexual violence and incest. Observation of the Monk (2008) presents a scene in which a monk is holding a bowl containing white liquid, which is interpreted by some viewers as semen. Bharramanuh (2008) is a powerful experimental film about power and oppression. The Island of Utopias (2010, 20 min) may be his most controversial film, partly because viewers don't know what this film is trying to say. The film first tells us a story about an old man and an empty building, but it ends unexplainably with the image of His Majesty the King and a monument of the Princess Mother. As for now, Pramote is making a feature film called Tam Raseesalai, which is about a man in northeastern Thailand who believes that his dead eldest son is reincarnated as a water lizard.

21.Prap Boonpan (born 1981)
Prap Boonpan is undoubtedly one of the most important political filmmakers in Thailand, and he uses some techniques in his films which are not commonly found in other Thai films. His brand of techniques includes presenting long texts directly from textbooks and letting the characters talk about politics for a long time. These techniques, which he employs to present his thoughts directly to the viewers, are not considered "cinematic" or "artistic" by some viewers, but other viewers can find these techniques very powerful and useful, and in many cases, feel as if they are slapped in the face by the texts or the dialogues in Prap's films. Though it may look easy to argue for one's political belief by directly presenting texts or dialogues to support one's belief, these techniques are used very rarely in Thai films, partly because any directors who dare to use these techniques must really know about politics, or else the resulting film would look very stupid.
Prap's films which use political texts include Two Worlds in One World (2004, 18 min), which presents texts from some political textbooks to argue against the nationalistic thinking in a feature film called The Siam Renaissance (Surapong Phinijkhar, 2004); and Letter from the Silence (2006, 5 min), which presents two letters, one written by a taxi-driver who committed suicide to protest the military coup in Thailand in 2006, and the other written by some villagers who always suffer from the government's policies, no matter who controls the government.
Prap's searing political dialogues or monologues can be found in The Spectre: 16 Years Later (2006, 30 min), in which two friends talk about hot political topics at that moment; Material Fiction: A Biography of the Amulet (2008, 30 min), in which Prap talks about his dead friend and some political problems his friend might be involved in; The White Short Film/The Candle Light (2009, 20 min), in which two actors rehearse dialogues about political upheavals in Thailand in late 2008 and early 2009; Resistant Poem (2009, 20 min), in which Mainueng G. Guntee, one of the bravest Thai poets, recites his political poems; and The Bangkok Bourgeois Party (2007, 28 min), which is Prap's masterpiece. In The Bangkok Bourgeois Party, a group of middle-class people argue vehemently against a man who thinks differently. Later, the middle-class people murder that man in cold blood, and then the film turns into a silent black screen for about 3-5 minutes before the story continues. Prap made that film in 2007, but the murder in the film foreshadows the real massacre in Bangkok in May 2010.
Lately Prap has turned to record some interesting political events. In Other Nation (2010), he records the die-in protests in Bangkok. In Red Song (2010, 4 min), he records a gathering to mourn the victims of the massacre.

22.Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke (born 1987)
Women and female sexuality are the main focus of many films by Ratchapoom. His female characters break moral rules gleefully and unashamedly. The female characters in Ma vie incomplete et inachevee (2007) voluntarily have sex with their own family members, both young and old. The film comes in the form of a colorful animation with French voiceover. Chutima (2007) is about a young prostitute who sometimes pays for sex and also about her motherhood. Unpronouncable in the Linguistic Imperialism of Yours (2008, 3 min) plays with the boundaries of art and the acceptance of female sexuality in Thai media. Bodily Fluid Is So Revolutionary (2009, 41 min), which is his thesis film and concerns a gay couple, has two very memorable supporting female characters. One is a doctor who openly flirts with her gay patient. The other is a nun who is tormented by her forbidden desire.
Though immoral female characters in other films are made to satisfy male viewers, every female character in Ratchapoom's films is uncompromising. They cross the moral boundaries with their heads held high, though the films may present their scenes in a comedic manner. Their behaviors defy society's attitudes towards women. Defining the roles and the aims of women in patriarchal society seems to be what Ratchapoom is really interested in.
What is interesting in Ratchapoom's films includes his playing with various elements of film, for example, in Bodily Fluid Is So Revolutionary, the characters in the films are annoyed by the fact that they exist in a scratched DVD. Ratchapoom's films like to make the viewers aware that they are watching a film. Sometimes the editing is intentionally not smooth. Sometimes the characters perform some weird activities without any reasons and without any connections to the story. Sometimes a scene is inserted into the middle of the film without any explanation. Memorable scenes in Bodily Fluid Is So Revolutionary include the scene in which the camera watches a character through a glass which is being filled with water, and a scene in which pictures on the wall can move by themselves without any reasons.
The emphasis on the fact that you are watching a movie, the disorientation of elements in his films, and the uncompromising quality of his stories all contribute to create another layer in his films. There seems to be the main story and the second layer of story wrapping around the main one, and that means when you are watching Ratchapoom's films, you may have to pay attention to both the story and 'the role' of story.

23. Sasithorn Ariyavicha
Sasithorn has been making experimental films since the early 1990s. My First Film (1991, 5 min) shows us the inspiration she may get from other filmmakers, including Jean-Luc Godard. Drifter (1993, 8 min) shows us the views in and around a ferry boat on the Atlantic Ocean. It is as captivating as the last scene of News From Home (Chantal Akerman, 1976). Winter Remains (2002, 19 min) is a haunting, hypnotic film showing some landscapes in the snow. It should be screened together with Suburbs of Emptiness (Thomas Koener, 2003). After that came her masterpiece: Birth of the Seanéma (2004, 70 min).
Birth of the Seanéma is a black-and-white, silent film. Shadowy images of Bangkok, the sea, and other things slowly appear in this film, but they seem to tell no story by themselves. Many images in this film don't have obvious connections to the images which come before or after them. There are also strange letters bubbling up on the screen from time to time. These letters belong to a nonexistent language, but the English subtitles translate what they mean, and they seem to try to tell fragments of a story which may correspond a bit to the gloomy images.
Undoubtedly, the gloomy images in this film make some viewers feel very bored and puzzled, especially the viewers who want to watch a film which tells a story, which has the beginning, the conflicts, and the full resolution of the conflicts, and presents images according to the story. Birth of the Seanéma is the total opposite of mainstream films, because it realizes the true potential of cinema. It reveals to us the deeper dimension of moving images, how exquisite images can be when they are not enslaved by narrative, and how we can be surprised by new feelings and emotions when we experience these liberating and liberated images. Birth of the Seanéma is a cure for those who are too accustomed to mainstream films, because this film ignores or forgets the rules of narrative, and pays attention to feelings and emotions which arise from 'the gaze'. Birth of the Seanéma shows us the power of cinema as an art form, and shows us that cinema is not inferior to any other art forms at all. The moving images in Birth of the Seanéma have free hands and legs, because they are not bound by the story, and they also have a heart, because they are really alive.
Birth of the Seanéma is uncompromising. It lets the viewers use their own imagination, and doesn't try to please the mainstream audience at all. But that means it doesn't look down on its audience, because in many cases, when the filmmakers start to worry about the audience, in a way they kind of look down on the audience, assuming beforehand that the audience will never understand the filmmakers if the filmmakers do what they really want to do. To be loyal to yourself and let the viewers judge your films by themselves should be the most important thing for filmmakers. Birth of the Seanéma is a perfect example of that.

Unfortunately, Sasithorn hasn't made a new film yet after Birth of the Seanéma, but we are still hoping to see a new film by her soon.

24. Sompot Chidgasornpongse (born 1980)
Sompot Chidgasornpongse grew up in Samutprakarn, a province near Bangkok. In 2001, he co-wrote with Panu Trivej a critically acclaimed play You're Gorgeous, Dear and won the Sod-Sai Award for Best Play and Best Script. After graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Interior Architecture and receiving Best Thesis Award from Chulalongkorn University, he began working in both the local and international film industry. He worked as an assistant director in many shorts and feature films by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. His personal shorts were also shown in many film festivals. He recently graduated from a MFA Film/Video program at California Institute of the Arts.
After making Auad Dee (2003, 10 min), Sompot first gained international recognition with To Infinity and Beyond (2004, 11 min), which was shown in the International Film Festival Rotterdam. In this film, we see people look up at the sky outside in a field. Sompot initially doesn't reveal what they are looking at. He also leaves out the sound at first. A text tells the story of Laika, the dog that was shot into space by the Russians in the 1950s. In the second chapter, the images are effectively repeated. Then there is sound, and we learn what the villagers are looking at. They are looking at hand-made rockets which the villagers shoot to the sky to beg for the rain. This tradition of rocket shooting in northeastern Thailand is called "Boon Bung Fai". This film explores the juxtaposition between simple secretive documented footage and fictional narratives, silence and sound, folk tale and modern-day news reporting, as well as relationships between man and nature, earth and sky, dream and reality, east and west, and most importantly, the past and the present that will lead us to the future.
In Bangkok in the Evening (2005,16 min), Sompot shows us that though Bangkok is the city where everything is moving and changing fast, where all activities happen concurrently and continuously, there's still a time, in the evening, when people seem to stop to pay respect to the National Anthem in public space. Bangkok in the Evening was shot in different angles on various locations around Bangkok, only 40 seconds a day, using 6 cameramen. This 16-minute film has no story, but the meanings are there for the viewers to explore. Almost at the end of the film, there is a scene of Bangkok landscape with construction of buildings and a temple. This film is playing with space and time and also making a question on the conservativeness and the modernity of Thailand. Bangkok in the Evening is also one of a few films which deal with the Thai National Anthem or use it in an interesting way. Other films dealing mainly or partly with this Anthem include 8:00 AM. (Kajitkwan Kitvisala, 1996, 2 min), National Anthem (Chai Chaiyachit, 2008, 27 min), 6 to 6 (Aditya Assarat, 2010, 20 min), 6PM (Sinjai Piraisangjun, Palakorn Jiamtiranat, 2011, 20 min), Before the Sabotage (Viroj Suttisima, 2011, 8 min), and Planking (Chulayarnnon Siriphol, 2011).
Now, Sompot is currently working on his first feature film Are We There Yet?, which is in post-production and expected to be released in 2012. All of this film was shot in trains which went all over Thailand. Sompot tried to observe the people who were traveling on the trains. Like in his other films, he uses simple semi-documentary, semi-experimental style to open another side of the world to the viewers.

25. Suchart Sawasdsri (born 1945)
Suchart is a famous writer and magazine editor. He has been doing literary works for many decades, and started making experimental films in 2006. His films are very personal. He makes his films by using the camera to capture some beauty, and presenting this beauty in films via his personal memories, while storytelling becomes the least important thing in his films. He also calls some of his films "video paintings", which means these films are paintings in which the screen becomes the canvas.
Suchart's films can be divided into several groups. The first group is full of non-narrative images which may reflect some abstract ideas, and may also represent the spirit of youth inside this experienced artist. The films in this group concern his personal life, for example, In the Light of Love (2006, 7 min), Dancing Moon (2006, 5 min), and The Long Silence (2006, 9 min) concern the writers or the literary works that he likes; In the Light of Love and Secret Garden (2006, 4 min) concern his wife. This group of films, which also include After the Rain Fall (2006, 4 min) and Journey to the End of the Night (2006, 6 min), shows us the 'inside' of Suchart.
Another group of films shows us the 'outside' of Suchart, including his political thinking. This group includes The Body Gatherer (2006, 2 min), which presents us the noisy sound of the city and a story outside his personal life; Midsummer Nightmare: Thai-American Movies (2006, 3 min), which asks questions about wars; "Red" At Last (2006, 6 min), which concerns a victim of the massacre on October 6, 1976, at Thammasat University; and Don't Even Think About It (2006, 15 min), which shows us indirectly the pain of people who have been affected for so many years by politics and how they look back at their pain in the past. The calm tone and the historical content in this film make it stand out from other political films made by young Thai filmmakers at that moment, because their films focus more on the contemporary issues and the tone of their films is a bit angrier than Suchart's.
The other group of Suchart's films represents his calmness of mind. This group includes Song of Joy (2006, 5 min), which is a return to an adolescent dream with nostalgia and warm feelings, and the erotic quality of this film can be compared to Dancing Moon; The Giving Tree (2006, 10 min), which is adapted from Shel Silverstein's book, and seems to present Suchart's view on the world, not only on nature conservation, but also on other things; and Turn Turn Turn (2006, 8 min), which is like a conclusion of many films made by Suchart. It seems to say that after all everything is emptiness or is like the cycle of seasons which always return every year.
Suchart also made some films about his friends, for example, The Happy Life of Rong Wongsawan (2010, 8 min), which is about a famous writer; and The Show Must Go On (2010, 12 min), which is partly about Sonthaya Subyen, one of the best film programmers in Thailand.
What is interesting about Suchart's films is the fact that he tries to experiment with the possibility of sound and images like young artists, instead of making films in a way that we would expect from an old man. Though he doesn't succeed in every experiment and some of his films are too personal to understand, they are still very interesting. The fact that he dares to try what he hasn't tried before should encourage young filmmakers to try something new in their films, too, instead of falling into the traps made by themselves.
Another interesting thing about Suchart is that he is one of very few established Thai writers who made a few experimental films. Other famous Thai writers make experimental films, too, but they don't make as many of them as Suchart. These writers include Prabda Yoon, who made The Way of Dust (1999, 15 min), Uthis Heamamool, who made Discourse, Earth (2001, 25 min), and Fah Poonvoralak, who made Cotton, Kites, and Windmills (2008, 8 min).

26. Taiki Sakpisit
To experience Taiki's films is like to cross into a new kind of space and time. Any images we see on the screen and any sound we hear from the films don't convey the usual meanings any more. It is as if these images and sound have traveled from another planet, and they don't need our interpretation. These images and sounds don't communicate under our symbolic order, but they have slipped away from that order and now belong to another world or another dimension. The world of Taiki's films may look like our world, but things in that world don't carry the same meanings. This is the world which exists behind the eyes of the director and in the heads of the viewers.
Viewers can experience an extreme joy from these films by constructing their own stories out of these moving images, which may appear disconnected from one another. Viewers can have great fun trying to find the relationship between some scenes, or the relationship between this sound and that word in the film, etc. At the end of the films, each viewer will have his own fragments of a story inside his head, and the story in each viewer's head may not correspond to what Taiki originally thought at all, but that is the fun and the joy of seeing this kind of films.
Some of Taiki's films, such as Whispering Ghosts (2008, 13 min) (11), Deathless Distance (2009, 13 min), Three Kings (2011, 6 min) and A Ripe Volcano (2011, 15 min), may look a little bit similar in their structures, because these films show us a succession of enigmatic scenes with mysterious sound. The viewers don't know the meanings or the chronological order of these scenes. They can only see shadows and lights, trees swaying in the wind, a garden under night lamps, a bird's-eye shot of people who later vanish, a slow motion scene of a boxing ring, shoes of people, light from headlights, an empty hotel, etc. These images are like words, and they all form a poem for our eyes, a visual poem which is so mysterious, frightening, and exquisite.

27. Tanatchai Bandasak
Tanatchai's experimental films are very hypnotic. Things in his films barely move or move in an extremely slow manner, so slow that you feel that the movement in his films is like the movement of wind in the darkness. To experience his films is to stroll into the night with a calm mind and then walk into a mysterious, cold, and dark pond with faint ripples on the surface.
Endless Rhyme (2008, 27 min) takes us to explore the gentle rhythm of the night by observing three people late at night. We see a man watching a TV series before turning off the TV and going to sleep. We also see a woman who wakes up late at night to lull her baby to sleep. We also spend some time watching this tranquil night. Then morning comes, and the loyal slaves of time must repeat their daily activities again.
In Drift (2008, 3 min), we see a still picture of a policeman's side with a radio antenna protruding out of his shirt pocket. Then this still photo starts disintegrating while the radio signals that we hear become fainter and more unstable, as if someone tries to tune the radio to find the appropriate channel. The still photo gets more blurred, while the desired radio channel is never found. Everything fades away in the end. This is the three minutes of a hopeless search.
In Sweetheart Garden (2009, 22 min), we see a porn DVD shop late at night. We see a couple making love, before the camera zooms into the sex organ and enters a tunnel for the subway train of desire. This is a sexy film which is full of pleasurable gazing and enigmatic scenes. The poetic quality in this film makes the viewers feel as if they are diving into a luscious pond and making love with the images on the screen.
In Air Cowboy (2010, 3 min), we see the superimposition of two images: one is the image of cows on a truck in a rural road in Thailand, the other is the image shot through a windshield of a car focusing on rain at night. These scenes leave the viewers with unexplainable feelings, and the title of the film may make the film even more puzzling.
In the end, any attempts to describe Tanatchai's films are bound to be futile, because the best thing in his films is the experience of gazing, which cannot be described.

28. Teerath Whangvisarn (born 1994)
In this age of digital technology, it is not strange any more to see some high school students making short films. These teenage filmmakers multiply rapidly and form a network for themselves. They established a group called Young Filmmakers of Thailand, which is like a meeting hub for secondary school and high school filmmakers. The earliest members of this group have grown up and become university students now. Teerath is one of the most talented filmmakers in this group. Though Glue Boy (12), his first film, is not widely known, he became famous with MEN & WOMEN (2010, 29 min) and Damned Life of Yoi (2010, 16 min) (13), both of which won big awards in the 14th Thai Short Film and Video Festival.
What is interesting in Teerath's films is how he adapts culture and many things he experiences for the benefits of his films, which always come with some distinct flavors of his own. He likes Japanese films and cartoons like many Thai teenagers, so the manga style and the styles of some famous directors can be detected in his films, especially in MEN & WOMEN, but what makes him stand out from other teenage filmmakers is the fact that he can combine very well the styles of other people with his own restless energy and angry attitudes towards society. In a way, we can briefly describe Teerath's films like this: Damned Life of Yoi and Fuck Education (2010) talk about the education system and domineering parents; Lesbian Fantasy (2011, 21 min) is the result of an attempt to make a film in Wong Kar-wai's style combining with the fantasy of male teenagers; Mizu (2010, 13 min) (14) is a tribute to Kiyoshi Kurosawa; MEAL(s) (2010, 22 min) is a remake of Noriko's Dinner Table (Sion Sono, 2005). Every film bears the marks of both Teerath and people who inspire him.
Apart from making short films, Teerath also made a fake trailer for a nonexistent film called Gay Muen Ho in order to parody a mainstream romantic comedy film called Guan Muen Ho (Hello Stranger, Banjong Pisanthanakun, 2010). The fake trailer is very successful. It became a viral video which got more than 1 million views on Youtube. But he doesn't try to build on this kind of success. He lets his friends make other fake trailers instead of keeping on making them by himself. Anyway, the phenomenon of Gay Muen Ho proves that Teerath is very clever in playing with pop culture. What we can see first in Teerath's works can also be seen later in Thai mainstream films such as Suck Seed (Chayanop Boonprakob, 2011) and ATM (Mez Tharatorn, 2012), which also play with pop culture, contemporary culture, and manga aesthetics like Teerath.
We are very eager to see in which way Teerath's style will be developed in the future, when he grows up and experiences a lot more things in his life.

29.Thunska Punsittivorakul (born 1973)
Thunska Pansittivorakul graduated from the Department of Art Education, Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University. He used to be a columnist in many magazines including Thai Film Quarterly and 'a day'. His short films, documentaries and feature films have been screened in over 100 international film festivals, including Berlin International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, etc. He made a lot of homoerotic films, including Private Life (2000, 15 min), Unseen Bangkok (2004), After Shock (2005, 11 min), You Are Where I Belong To (2006, 10 min), and Middle-earth (2007, 10 min). He won the Grand Prize award at The 4th Taiwan International Documentary Festival 2004 for his second documentary feature Happy Berry, which is about a group of trendy friends who opened a clothes shop and became a pop band for a while. In 2007, he received the Silpathorn Award from the Ministry of Culture's Office of Contemporary Arts, which is awarded to one outstanding film artist each year. After the coup d'état in 2006, the subject of his films has always been politics in, for example, This Area is Under Quarantine (2008), Reincarnate (2010), The Terrorists (2011), and Kiss (2011). Kiss is a video installation beautifully shot by Vorakorn Ruetaivanichkul. It features two naked men kissing passionately in an open field while buffaloes look on. Kiss reinterprets the fairy tale of Snow White, but the Snow White here symbolizes the real democracy in Thailand which may have been put to sleep many decades ago and hasn't been woken up yet.

30.Tossapol Boonsinsukh (born 1982)
30 (Tossapol Boonsinsukh, 2010)
Tossapol has made more than 100 films, including two features: Afternoon Times (2005, 90 min), and Under the Blanket (2008). Many of his films deal with these issues or have some of these things in them: loneliness, friendship, memories, unexplainable events, atmospheric quality, static long takes, and juxtaposition of scenes which are unconnected to one another. The loneliness in his films is a little bit like the one found in Jun Ichikawa's films. The unexplainable events in his films, especially in Wolf Song (2010, 14 min) and Spider (2011), give roughly the same feeling as the time-stopping scenes in The Future (Miranda July, 2011). Afternoon Times, which is his masterpiece, is about a restaurant owner who falls in love with a delivery boy. The film has a heartbreaking fourteen-and-a-half-minute-long static take, in which the heroine is closing down the restaurant, thinking that she may never find the delivery boy again. Other examples of static long takes can be found in the following films: No One at the Sea (2005, 3 min)(15), which shows a static long take of the sea for the whole film; The Audience (2005, 10 min), which shows two static long takes of the faces of several audience members in a concert; Nice to Meet You (2005, 25 min), which is about two college friends remembering good times they used to spend together, and which has a six-minute-long static take, in which the hero is singing a song about a promise to remember to the heroine; Are You Gonna Miss Me? (2006, 8 min), which is about two friends trying to say goodbye to each other, and which has a six-minute-long static take; and Under the Blanket (2008), which is about the loneliness of a Thai woman in Japan, and which has a nine-minute-long static take, in which a woman is trying to alternately draw and erase a picture.
Two masterpieces of Tossapol are composed of unconnected scenes--Don't Warm an Egg in Micowave Or Else It Will Explode! (2005, 14 min) and Life Is Short 2 (2006, 12 min). The first one is composed of eight scenes which give various feelings, but the warm feelings come out on top. The second one is composed of ten scenes which give various feelings, but the lonely feelings come out on top. So Long (2008, 13 min) is composed of two stories which seem not to be connected to each other. Summer Storm (2009, 6 min)(16) shows us scenes of cloudy sky, two guys playing ping pong, and images of a flood on a street together with the sound of ping pong playing. Nuan (2004, 6 min) presents us scenes which are connected to each other, but the conversations between the two characters in these scenes jump from one topic to another in an unexplainable way, and leave the viewers feeling blissfully disorientated like in other films by Tossapol.
Another masterpiece of Tossapol is 30 (2010, 15 min), which is about friendship and a guy who has to leave his friends at the end in order to live his own life. The film tells the whole story via voiceover, while the viewers only see images of circles and rectangles moving around. The geometric images in 30 may remind the viewers of such films as Rhythm 21 (Hans Richter, 1921) and Gaze and Hear (Nontawat Numbenchapol, 2010, 10 min), while the minimalistic quality in 30 can also be found in Tossapol's Ageru (2010, 3 min)(17), which shows us images of a ribbon moving through various colorful pegs, and in Between Us One Morning (2005, 5 min), which is about complicated feelings between friends conveyed by punctuation marks. The technique of telling story via voiceover in 30 can also be found in When Will We Meet Again? (2006, 22 min), in which the viewers see a black screen for four minutes while hearing a guy reading a film script.
Tossapol is also a musician and a writer. He sometimes create an art event out of his own films, such as when he create an art project out of his film She Is Reading a Newspaper (2005, 8 min)(18), which is about the transference of happiness from one stranger to another stranger. In this art project in 2009, Tossapol asked two musicians to create a piece of drum and guitar music inspired by this film, then he asked a choreographer to create a new dance inspired by this piece of music, and so the chain of inspirations go on like this, involving two piano players, a poet, a cartoon drawer, and Tossapol's wife to create something new along the way(19).

31.Tulapop Saenjaroen (born 1986)
Tulapop is an upcoming and interesting filmmaker-artist. He started making short films when he was in high school and had an interest in alternative films around the world. His earliest works are always narrative and are about relationships between people in the family, for example, To Vanish (2005, 19 min), and Sad Scenery (2005, 19 min), which got the Vichitmatra award from the 9th Thai Short Film and Video Festival. Later, he had a chance to study fine art at The School of the Art institute of Chicago. His works became more artistic, for example, Our Waves (2006, 12 min), "___" (2006, 8 min), which is informally called The Underscore Film, and 2008 (2008, 3 min). 2008 is one of the short films in the Project 2008 by Third Class Citizen which invited about 30 Thai filmmakers to make 30 short films about the coming year 2008. In this short film, 2008, Tulapop made an end credit roll up from bottom to top of the frame. He put roles of actors in the end credits, for example, good person as good person, bad person as good person, bad person as bad person, etc. It's a smart satirical idea to relate a cinematic world and the real world with this simple method. Though his works became more artistic, some of them are still narrative, for example, Tale of Swimming Pool (2008, 13 min), The Return (2008, 5 min), and After the Wind (2009, 19 min). In The Return, Tulapop tries to imitate the voice of his father who passed away when he was young, and he does this to replace his lost memory of his father. Some of his works try to play with viewer's perception, for example, Distinction (2011, 23 min), which experiments with the format of an interview. The piece focuses on the relationship between a maid and her female employer. The performers are asked to perform both roles, as themselves and as the other. Distinction got Vichitmatra award and R.D. Pestonji's Special Mention Award from the 15th Thai Short Film and Video Festival. Now he's studying fine art media at Slade School of Fine Art in London.
32.Uruphong Raksasad
Uruphong is the master of Thai pastoral cinema. Because of his family background and his poetic gaze, he can capture the essence, the feelings, the landscape, and the rhythm of life of northern Thai farmers better than most filmmakers. He made March of Time 1 (2000, 19 min) and March of Time 2 (2000, 21 min) while he was studying in a university in Bangkok. These two films stood out from most Thai students' films at that time because of their extreme slowness and their total immersion in rural atmosphere. Uruphong made a few short films about farmers' daily life again in 2005, including The Bicycle Song (2005, 16 min), which is about old people's bicycling activities; Day and Night (2005, 11 min), which is about how rural children spend the night together; The Longest Day (2005, 14 min), which is a heartbreaking portrait of old people who are left alone in the country while their children go to work in Bangkok; The Musician (2005, 12 min), which is about the split personalities of a rural musician at night; and The Way (2005, 8 min), which shows a man and a kid walking through tall grass or some similar setting. The Way is a stunning film because it can make the viewers feel as if they are walking in the film themselves. The viewers can feel as if their faces and bodies are touched or pierced by the blades of the grass. This film is a good example of Uruphong's films, because it shows how great he is at capturing rural atmosphere. Later, Uruphong made a feature film called Stories from the North (2006, 88 min) by combining these short films together.
Uruphong's masterpiece is Agrarian Utopia (2009, 122 min), which is half-documentary, half-fiction. In making this film, Uruphong had some farmers grow rice in a farm while he recorded their lives, daily activities, and problems. The cinematography in this film is breathtaking, and the film helps making the viewers, especially Bangkokians, aware of the serious problems that rice growers have to face, such as land ownership problems, debts, and the exploitations by capitalists.
Though Uruphong's famous films, such as The Rocket (2006, 18:30 min) and Dad's Picture (2010, 8 min)(20), are about farmers, he has also made other kinds of films, for example, The Planet (2007, 7:30 min), which is an animation about nature conservation, and To (2010, 16 min), which is an interesting documentary about his urban friend's life.
There are many great Thai films about villagers' lives, such as Tongpan (Euthana Mukdasanit, Surachai Janthimathorn, Rasamee Paoluengtong, Paijong Laisakul, 1977), Yoke (students of Thammasat University, 1979), Red Bamboo (Permpol Cheyaroon, 1979), Son of Mool River (Surasee Patum, 1980), Son of the North East (1982, Vichit Kounavudhi), and Farmer Field School (Supong Jitmuang, 2007). What makes Uruphong's films different from these films is the extremely atmospheric quality of his films. However, Uruphong is not exactly alone in making Thai atmospheric or contemplative pastoral cinema. Other films in the same vein include Violet Basil (Supamok Silarak, 2004, 80 min), Four Boys, White Whiskey and Grilled Mouse (Wichanon Somumjarn, 2009, 10 min), Harvest Season (Pisut Srimork, 2009, 20 min), Poor People the Great (Boonsong Nakphoo, 2010, 76 min), Kite (Nuntawut Poophasuk, 2011, 8 min), and Lung Neaw Visits His Neighbours (Rirkrit Tiravanija, 2011, 154 min), a film which verges on being a parody of Thai contemplative pastoral cinema.

33.Vichaya Mukdamanee (born 1984)
Re-Configuration of Wood Shelves (Vichaya Mukdamanee, 2011, video installation)
Vichaya Mukdamanee is known as a mixed media artist. His artwork is always inspired by human lives, their relationships to one another, and to their environments. Most of his works present the essence and feelings that come from the constant change in this modern society. Vichaya is not an independent filmmaker but is an artist who uses video as a medium to show the process of his installation work. In Art-ificial Being, an exhibition at National Art Gallery in 2011, Vichaya uses daily life objects as an inspiration and important components to create his unique artwork. He applies various kinds of techniques including drawing, painting, collage, video, photography, and performance in order to express his creativity and subject matter. In this exhibition, he uses video as a medium to document his performance when he tries to install many types of cheap bed structures. Some types are possible to be installed but some are not, depending on the balance. In Cut-Thru, an exhibition at Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore, he also uses video to document his performance when he and his friends try to install chairs and office tables in a rice field. Another video in the exhibition shows he and his friends trying to install chicken cages and fish traps among modern buildings in the city. He always pays particular attention to the unstable lives of working-class people and class differences in the countryside and big city.

34.Visra Vichit-Vadakan
Visra Vichit-Vadakan is part of a new wave of Thai artists who are passionate about their individual art but are also dedicated to shaping a community of young people who teach compassion and encourage social action and social responsibility through their work. Visra has lived between the United States and Thailand her entire life. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Human Biology and Education Policy and worked for the Thai government under the Office of Knowledge Management and Development until the coup d'état in 2006. Visra subsequently left Thailand and enrolled at NYU Tisch School of the Arts graduate film program. At Tisch, she received the Reynolds Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship and the Tisch Graduate Fellowship. She is a granddaughter of Luang Vichit-Vadakan, a progressive playwright and politician, and wife of Mark Zuckerberg's close friend, one of the founders of Facebook.
Her first short film, Rise (2006, 8 min)(21), was screened at the Thai Short Film and Video Festival in 2006 where it gained the attention of Jit Phokaew, a cinephile, who chose Rise as one of the top Thai short films that year. Rise is about a man who wears all-white clothes, like clothes for doing meditation. He does a performance at Sanam-Luang in front of Grand Palace. He wraps himself in white fabric and rolls on a fabric tainted with red, white, and blue colors, which are the colors of Thai national flag. Around the performer, there are a lot of people who wear yellow shirts for the King's birthday and may be for a political group called People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD or Panthamit). Furthermore, there are voices of Visra's parents talking about how they treated Visra when she was a kid, how they are proud of their daughter, and how they are worried about their daughter turning her focus to filmmaking instead of science. Among the voiceovers, the mother says, "I would be disappointed because you have the potential to do so much more than this. I don't want your life to pass by without any accomplishment for society". At the end of the film, the mother says "I think that you will win a Nobel Prize" then the father says "Not an Oscar?" to which the mother replies "A Nobel Prize would be better." Rise can be seen as a personal diary of a filmmaker who has a conflict with her parents. It represents a turning point in her life. On the other hand, the appearance of PAD or yellow shirt people in this film signifies the turning point of Thai politics in 2006, too. So, Rise is not only a personal diary but also a Thai political diary. The film asks whether 'the kids' would obey their 'parents' or not, and this question can have both personal and political implications.
After Rise, she made a few shorts, for example, Fall (2008, 4 min)(22), and In Space (2010, 16 min)(23). Her current project is Karma Police. In this film, which takes place in Bangkok in 2013, a Buddhist monk detective solving religious crimes uncovers a government secret involving the Thai Space Agency and their program to send the first Thai citizen into outer space. Karma Police has received the Hubert Bals Fund for Script and Development and participated in The International Film Festival Rotterdam's Cinemart in 2011.

35.Wachara Kanha (born 1985)
One Day You Will Love Me Like I Love You (Wachara Kanha, 2011)
Wachara has been making films since 2006, but within those few years he has made about 40 short films and several feature films. He also helps other directors making films and plays in others' films. He is one of the most prolific Thai directors at present.
Wachara has been making films in almost every genre. His works include Black and White (2008, 14 min), which is a drama; Dad (2007, 10 min), which is a film for children; First Love First Last (2009, 14 min), which is a weird romantic film; The French Classroom and the Mysteries of François (2011, 33 min), which is a political film; The Forgotten (2011, 123 min), which is a documentary; Hunter the Bag (co-directed with Tani Thitiprawat, 2009, 17 min), which is a yakuza film; The Judge (2009, 25 min), which is a homoerotic film; The Morning Atmosphere at Home at 6 AM (2011, 16 min), which is a home movie; Pee Pong (2010, 30 min), which is an environmental film; Percepto 01 Sound of Psycho (2011, 21 min), which is a crime film; Pusumra (2009, 22 min), which is a sci-fi film; A Story in a Car (2011, 4 min), which is like a video diary; Take Granny Morn to the Garden (2010, 14 min), which is an essay film; and many experimental films, such as Closer (2010, 18 min), The Dream of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (2011, 24 min), The First Stage of My New Beginning (2010, 30 min), Lose (2011, 70 min), The Nakorn Asajarn Trilogy (2011, 86 min), Prisoners of Love (2010, 30 min), The Rape of Bangkok (co-directed with Teeranit Siangsanoh, 2011, 90 min), Running (2007, 3 min), and Someday You Will Love Me Like I Love You (2011, 50 min). He also gave memorable performances in horror films by other directors, such as Eye (Tawee Nuipree, Rossukon Suthiwongs, 21 min) and 1by1 (Tanachit Mungkunkumshound, 10 min).
Wachara is an ultra-low budget filmmaker. He uses every resource he can find to explore the world of cinema by himself. Though his films lack good production values and smooth editing, they show us his great effort to understand every kind of cinema. Though he may try to imitate scenes in other films by using his basic tools, his irrepressible enthusiasm ensures that his films are not just cheap imitations of the real things, but are something weird, unique and defying explanation.
Wachara's films are not "polished" diamonds, but they are full of energy which comes from his uncompromising attitude and his untiring efforts to make his dreams come true. He is also a very open person who doesn't try to hide anything in his life. Seeing his films is to know about his body (Filmvirus), his political thoughts, his love stories (Waiting for a Pregnant Love), his frustration with love (To Show the Image of My Love for You), his ambition (My Second Birth), his weakness, his good points, his friends (Our Last Night Together), his family (A Documentary About My Family), his financial status (Garbage Picking), his mistakes, etc. Many viewers may hate his uncompromising films, but they can't deny their unique power.
Wachara belongs to a group of filmmakers called The Underground Office, which is one of the most interesting Thai filmmaker groups now. The other two members of the group are Tani Thitiprawat and Teeranit Siangsanoh. They always help each other making each one's films. and they sometimes make great films together and share the director's credit in the films. Their collective efforts include Red Movie (2010, 40 min), which records their anger towards the massacre in Bangkok on May 19, 2010; Fueng (2010, 30 min), which is an extremely poetic home movie presenting these filmmakers' lives and dreams; and A Golf Course (2010, 5 min), which records their anger towards some golf courses which cause so much trouble for Thai villagers.
Though these three filmmakers belong to the same group, each of them has a distinct style of his own. Wachara's films are a bit more romantic than the other two. Tani likes to combine many genres of film together like Quentin Tarantino. Tani's works include The Chilling Hours and the Murderer in the Numbing Silence (2010, 30 min), Disappear (2010, 26 min), Me and My Video Diary (2010), and To Walk Night (2009, 25 min). Each of these four films has many genres within itself. Teeranit's films are the gloomiest and the most poetic among the three, and often concern the apocalypse. His ultra-low budget apocalyptic films, which may be partly inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky and Derek Jarman, include Dark World (2010, 53 min), In the City (2010, 50 min), Last of Thailand (2009, 24 min), and The Light House (2011, 43 min). Teeranit's masterpiece is Dark Sleep (2009, 15 min), which may remind some viewers of the kind of power found in the films of Maya Deren, David Lynch, or Nina Menkes.

36.Wasunan Hutawach
The Visitors (Wasunan Hutawach, 2011)
Wasunan has made only a few short films, but these films demonstrate clearly her great ability to capture slices of life. In most of Wasunan's films, we see only several fragments of or several moments in someone's life, but these several moments yield so much power and can represent the character's heart and soul within a few minutes. In Small World (2008, 17 min) Wasunan presents us slices of a woman's life. The heroine of this film lives an ordinary boring life in Bangkok, but deep down inside she misses her idyllic home, and then one day she wakes up and finds out that she has magically returned home and can spend some time with her mom again. The film tells this story in a documentary-like way, instead of resorting to sentimentality like other Thai films dealing with the same topic. In Daw (2009, 7 min), Wasunan plays a woman who seems to have some troubles with her boyfriend and her mom. The problems in this woman's life are not spelled out. The viewers must infer about her problems by observing little gestures of the characters and noticing some hints in the dialogue. Wasunan's masterpiece is Let's Eat (2011, 11 min), which presents us two scenes in two sisters' lives. The first scene deals with a dinner of the two sisters with a few friends. The conversation during the dinner seems ordinary, but at the same time it may also hint at some interesting characteristics of the sisters. The second scene is a long silent scene depicting the two sisters while they are driving back home. Silence speaks a thousand words in this scene, and it leaves a really long-lasting impression on the viewers. The power of Let's Eat can be compared to the power of such films as A Week's Holiday (Bertrand Tavernier, 1980), which depicts one undramatic week in the life of an ordinary woman. Everything in Let's Eat and A Week's Holiday seems to come from an ordinary life, but there's something unexplainable but very powerful in both films which makes the films truly extraordinary.
Wasunan also deals with little things in life in other films. Hell Factory (2008, 5 min) captures the moment of someone watching Country Hotel (Ratana Pestonji, 1957, 138 min) and getting inspiration from the old film. Love Me Love My Dog (2010, 8 min) portrays her dog, but what is really interesting in the film is the way she portrays herself. This Way (2010, 5 min) deals with ordinary pedestrians' problem with the troop roadblocks during the political unrest in Bangkok in May 2010. The Visitors (2011, 2 min) deals with some people who like to take photographs with big dolls, wax figures, and palace guards. Wasunan also made A Railroad Engineer (2011, 8 min), which is an interesting experimental film. In this film, we hear a voiceover telling a story of a boy, a girl, and a railroad which connects them, but we only see images of an old man, a railroad, and a sunrise.

37.Weerapong Wimuktalop
The Day the Moon Moves Closest to the Earth (Weerapong Wimuktalop, 2010)
Weerapong's films have something similar to the films of Phaisit Phanphruksachat, who sometimes works as a producer and editor for Weerapong's films. Both filmmakers create films which give us very limited 'information' and inspire the viewers to create stories for the films by themselves. When we see the films by these two filmmakers, we don't understand at first what the story is or what is happening, but we gradually create stories inside our heads, not from the information given to us, but because we are not given enough information. Films by Weerapong and Phaisit take us to a new boundary of storytelling.
To see Weerapong's films is to observe beauty in small things, in ruins, in poverty, and in the streets of agony. His films are shot on the only video camera that he has. The resulting pictures are grainy and blurred, but these pictures show us the glow in the gloomy lives of working class people, whom Weerapong likes to observe with the eyes of a peer.

In Colours on the Streets (2009, 62 min), Weerapong tells us the story of a man who takes a train to Bangkok to find his father. The film lets us see the world through this character's eyes without any narration or explanation in the first half of the film. The film lets us see many streets in Bangkok through the eyes of a stranger who does not feel excited by the spectacle of a big city, but likes to observe marginal people and urban communities of poor people. The camera takes us to ghettos and places devoid of standard beauty, and lets us stroll in the 'underground' of Bangkok. These places in the film are not exactly situated underground but are places the middle class know exist, but never set foot in or even take a look at.
In the middle of Colours on the Streets, the camera takes us through some narrow alleys at night until it reaches a certain man. Then some texts appear on the screen, telling us about a father who bought a camera for his son, knowing that one day his son must walk alone. After the camera watches this man for a while without any greetings, it takes us back to the train station. The train now goes in the opposite direction to the beginning of the film, taking us back home in heavy rain. The routes which we saw at the beginning now look duskier. The camera takes us to the beginning of a road which leads to the character's home, and lets us observe some unpaved roads with puddles and mud. It then takes us to an old wooden elevated house above a parched ground, a house which seems to stand in a foresaken field. It then takes us to watch some fields along a railway. We can see new luxurious apartment buildings from afar, but we are standing in a foresaken place. Lights fade from the sky. The train has passed, and the character forlornly watches it.
In Swing (2011, 30 min), the film lets us observe an uncle and a nephew who ride a bicycle to a deserted place near an expressway. The uncle tries to make a swing under a big tree for the nephew to play on, but his attempt is fruitless. The swing is unusable. The uncle and nephew still linger at that place. It is a place for garbage dumping where there are also some hovels. The uncle asks the nephew to stay with him until the lights at an expressway are turned on at night, because the sight of these lights is one of the most beautiful things he can afford to experience. Then they ride home.
Is it possible that the aesthetics of experimental cinema can combine with the gaze of working class people? When a working class person becomes an artist, will he abandon the way he used to gaze at his own life and turn to gaze at everything in detachment like an artist? In Weerapong's films, the camera watches via the eyes of a working class person whose living conditions resemble many Thai peoples'. The images in his films are the images of small flats, old wooden houses, dusty window screens, pools of dirty water, areas under expressways, garbage dumps, ruins, and deserted areas. The gazing in his films neither tries to tell a story nor tries to represent anything. It is the same kind of gazing that we use when we watch the sky, trees, things blowing in the wind, and the sunlight.
Weerapong's films are his visual diaries. We are the third person who watches things in his films via the eyes of the first person. We cannot understand the things he watches, though we look at them through his eyes. We are only the 'guests' in his films. Weerapong doesn't try to explain anything for us. He only lets us look through his eyes. We must try to understand by ourselves.

38.Weerasak Suyala
Weerasak has been making films since 2002, but his first cult hit was The Police (2008, 15 min), which is about a pair of identical twins. The elder one is a cowman in a faraway village, while the younger one is a policeman. The elder one always feels inferior to the younger one, and he cannot suppress his frustration any more when he finds out that both of them love the same woman. The elder one becomes mad. He rapes and kills the woman, and his crime forces the younger one to fight against his twin brother. The younger one realizes he cannot live in the same world as his brother any more. One of them must be killed. Love, revenge and suffering are treated in an extremely melodramatic way in this ultra-low budget film. What is special in this film is not the story, but how Weerasak tries to tell this story by himself. Weerasak plays every role in this film. It seems he is also his one man crew. He is not only the director, but also the cinematographer, artistic director, editor, etc. on his film. Most of the scenes in this film are made by fixing a camera somewhere and focusing it on Weerasak's face while he delivers his monologue. Some scenes are made by Weerasak holding a camera in his hand at his arm's length in order to let the camera focus on his face. Nearly every scene is shot in his house. Everything in this film is done by him alone.
Weerasak is a policeman in his real life and also an award-winning writer. He lives in Ubon Ratchathani, the easternmost province of Thailand. He has made nearly 20 films, including The Pen (2008, 60 min), another cult hit in which he created memorable soundtrack by himself. Some of his films are about police, for example, Stunned...Crying. Where Is My Mom? (2002, 22 min), which is about a policeman who is abandoned by his wife and tries to raise his son alone; Tough Innocence (2002, 50 min), which is about a young killer who is chased by a policeman; Dog-Society-Narcotics (2003, 29 min), which is about a crazy policeman who tries to erase crime from Bangkok; The Free World of Red Sun (2005, 16 min), which is about a son of a murdered policeman; and Illegal Citizens (2009, 24 min), a documentary in which Weerasak interviewed some Laotian suspects who were held in his police station.
Weerasak is an ultra-low budget filmmaker with an explosive power of imagination. Most scenes in The Police are the close-ups of his face while he recites his monologues in a straightforward manner, instead of a realistic manner. There are some scenes in The Police which were shot outside his house, but these scenes were not expensively staged. They are just scenes he recorded in places around his house. The images in these scenes are mundane, but when these mundane images appear in the film, they play the role of some specific places assigned by the story. Some images which are inserted into the film are not even concerned with the story. Some scenes seem like shots from a nonsensical home video. Some scenes are just views of roads at night, a secretly recorded footage of a girl crying, or views of various houses. These images which are not related to the story somehow make the story become more convincing. The characteristics described above can also be found in other films by Weerasak.

39.Zart Tancharoen
Zart's first film is Talk Talk Talk (1998, 25 min), which is about four male friends and the gossip that one of their friends is gay. The film is dialogue-based and differs from Zart's later films which focus on romantic relationships, romantic attractions, atmosphere, and some absurd things. The absurd things in his films can be found in Something (2003, 25 min), which is about a man who finds that things around him start to disappear; One One Nueng (2004, 11 min), which deals with a couple whose unsteady relationship is humourously emphasized by the earthquake which happens when they are in bed together; The Air That I Breathe (2005, 18 min), which deals with two pairs of lovers who live in the same building and coincidentally try to commit suicide at the same time; A Same Old Story, As I Thought It Was the Same, But It's Not the Same (2005, 31 min), which deals with a secondhand bookshop owner who falls in love with a customer, but the owner is not sure if the customer is a real person or not, and later the owner becomes inexplicably obsessed with drinking yoghurt; and Lost Nation (2009, 100 min), which is about a man named Chart (Nation) who strangely disappears, while people around him react to his disappearance in various ways.
Zart's masterpiece is One Night (2008, 16 min), in which the viewers see something like a lamplight moving around in darkness and hear some unidentifiable noises for nearly the whole duration of the film. At the end of the film, the viewers see something like a forest at dawn. The film inspires a lot of imagination and yields various interpretations, including one possible explanation that the film is about rubber tappers in the south of Thailand who are killed by the separatists. The atmospheric quality of One Night can also be found in Zart's The Everlasting Replication of Time (2007, 20 min), Before Raining (2008, 7 min), and Ferry (2009, 30 min).
Zart proves that he excels both in making atmospheric films and narrative films. His best films include Relativity Plus Quantum (2005, 14 min), which has no dialogue and tells an intertwining stories of six villagers; and Brown Sugar: Rug Tong Loon (2010, 38 min), which explores the complicated feelings of a boy and a girl who tease each other and may want to make love.
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Lastly, we would like to emphasize that there are many interesting contemporary Thai film directors who are not mentioned in the list above, because we don't have enough time and ability to write about all of them. The directors who deserve to be written about include Alwa Ritsila, Anucha Boonyawatana, Arpapun Plungsirisoontorn, Chaiwat Wiansantia, Eakalak Maleetipawan, Eakarach Monwat, Hamer Salvala, Janenarong Sirimaha, Meathus Sirinawin, Nok Paksnavin, Palakorn Kleungfak, Patana Chirawong, Pisut Srimork, Prachaya Lampongchat, The Professional Dry Cleaners, Punlop Horharin, Santiphap Inkong-ngarm, Sittipong Patchakao, Sivaroj Kongsakul, Siwadol Rathee, Sompong Soda, Supakit Seksuwan, Suppasit Sretprasert, Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, Taryart Datsathean, Teekhadet Vucharadhanin, Thip Sae-tang, Tossaphon Riantong, Weera Rukbankerd, Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa, Woratep Tummaoros, etc. We hope some critics will write a few books about them soon.
There are also some Thai directors who have made only a few films, but these films show that they have the potential to be big in the future. These include Anuchyd Muanprom, Chaisiri Jiwarangsan, Kriangkrai Watananiyom, Nattaphan Boonlert, Pesang Sangsuwan, Phatthi Buntuwanit, Pichanund Laohapornsvan, Pathompon Tesprateep, Prapat Jiwarangsan, Sittiporn Racha, Tanakit Kitsanayunyong, Taweewit Kijtanasoonthorn, Tritos Termarbsri, Ukrit Sa-nguanhai, Vichart Somkaew, Wattanapume Laisuwanchai, etc. We are eagerly awaiting their new films.

Postscript to 'Mysterious Objects From Thailand'

Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa / Chulayarnnon Siriphol / Chayanin Tiangpitayagorn / Jit Phokaew / Kanchat Rangseekansong

The three-part overview of contemporary alternative Thai cinema, 'Mysterious Objects from Thailand', was written in February-April 2012. A year after that,  the writers of this piece agreed to add some information about other interesting Thai filmmakers who had emerged during the past year: some cinematic revelations of 2012 .

40. Teeranit Siangsanoh
Teeranit Siangsanoh made a lot of films before 2012, but 2012 is his year, because 24 new films of his were shown to the public in 2012, and at least six of them are masterpieces: (..........) (2012, 35min), The Burnt-Out Star (2012, 65min), Phenomenon (1) (2012, 29min), Shadow (2012, 27min), Sun Part 2 (2012, 57min), and Unknown (2012, 30min). Many of his films use long static takes like Ruhr (James Benning, 2009), and divide the audience into two camps like James Benning's films: those who really love the films and those who really hate them.
For Teeranit's devotees, the long static takes in his films are unexplainably powerful and captivating. Night Sky (2012, 15 min) lets us take some long static looks at fluorescent light for 10 minutes while hearing some women gossiping about other people. The Burnt-Out Star shows a woman burning some photos for 22 minutes continuously in a few takes. Unknown shows some blue lights and green lights for 6 minutes, and takes a voyeuristic look at men exercising in a park for 5 minutes. Shadow presents a long static take of a dark sky for 13 minutes. (..........) presents a long static take of the moon for 12 minutes, then a few different takes of the moon for 9 minutes, and then views of Bangkok in the dark for 9 minutes. The last scene of the film shows a nearly complete dark screen for 2 minutes. What we see on the screen is only a tiny spot of the moon. (..........) is undoubtedly one of the most suitable Thai films to be screened together with James Benning's films.
Many of Teeranit's films comprise unconnected parts which are joined together poetically. For example, Phenomenon (1) shows us scenes of rain, the moon, a bicycle race on TV, streets with people at night, a spider in a field, reflection of a flickering neon light, the sun, a building under construction, the taking down of a sign in front of a bank, empty streets at night, a room which looks like a jail, a fire burning in the darkness, the strange apparition of a human face in the dark, superimpositions of toilet scenes, a woman looking at the camera, a god statue, the blue reflection of TV light on a blanket, the extreme close-up of a TV screen, and the screening room in which the film is shown. We don't know what this film means, and we don't know why these scenes are put together. All we know is that it results in one of the most beautiful Thai films ever made.
Many of Teeranit's films have the quality of home movies. All of them were shot by inexpensive cameras, and many of them comprise scenes of ordinary events in ordinary lives. For example, Sun (2012, 57min), Sun Part 2 (2012, 57min), and Sun (Good Morning Sun) (2012, 49 min) present the life of a friend of Teeranit who works as a curtain installer in the south of Thailand. Instead of focusing on interviewing his friend, this trilogy focuses on various ordinary things in his friend's life. In this 163-minute trilogy, what we see includes a long gaze on wasteland, a dark swamp, garbage, people playing on a beach, people fishing in a river, daytime streets, nighttime streets, a forest near a pool of water, his friend eating breakfast, his friend eating dinner, his friend searching for a DVD, daytime market, nighttime market, children playing at night, friends hanging out together, his friend's long drive to work, his friend working at a customer's house, his friend's working at a hospital, tension on the street because of the security issue in the southernmost part of Thailand, customers in a bank, atmosphere in a shop, a wedding, raining, a girl combing her hair, etc. Instead of letting us hear people talk clearly, what this trilogy focuses on seems to be the sound of the wind. By focusing on mundane events, ordinary activities, and everyday life, Teeranit's films somehow end up being some of the strangest Thai films ever made.
In conclusion, we know Teeranit's films are indescribable, like Ruhr, or Zoetrope (Rouzbeh Rashidi, 2011), and what we have described here cannot convey even one percent of the power of his films.
41. Ukrit Sa-nguanhai
Ukrit has directed at least four short films: Microwave Man (2010, 23min), The Pob's House (2010, 15min), Ghosts in the Classroom (2011, 3min), and Celestial Space (2012, 28min), which is his masterpiece. Celestial Space shows us the romantic relationship of two construction workers from up country. There are many interesting things about this film, including the linking of the small space this poor couple inhabit and the whole universe, the portrayal of loving laborers in a more down-to-earth style than in such films as Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2002), and self-reflexivity.
Celestial Space begins with a scene telling us some information about a faraway star. Then it shows us Rug and Noi, two construction workers who reside near a construction site. They try to make love, but Rug gives up after a while. He can't perform the sexual act because of some problems, and the viewers are not sure why. Then we see Noi taking a bath under the moonlight. We see her peeing and washing her vagina. We see them quarrelling about who stole the money from a cookie box, and about who may cheat on his/her lover. We see them kissing each other and trying to pose for some photos. Then we see them fondling each other and making love, before the camera zooms out from their bed and makes the light emanating from their room look like the light from some twinkling stars in the sky.
The words 'we see' in the paragraph above are important, because the act of seeing is emphasized in Celestial Space. At first the film doesn't tell us if it is a documentary or a fiction. We see Rug and Noi talking very naturally to each other. Their conversation looks very real at first. Then we see them trying to make love, so we can assume then that what we see must be a fiction. Then the film becomes self-reflexive when Noi says to Rug that no one is watching them making love. But we are watching them making love. The viewers start to feel unsure about many things: Are we the reason why they can't make love? Are we a part of the universe or the story in this film? How does the film regard us--viewers, voyeurs, or obtrusive voyeurs?
While many things in Celestial Space look so real, the film also shows us many things which emphasize its fictional quality. In one startling scene, we see an eye peering out of a hole in the wall. What does this eye stand for? Us the viewers? We see Rug and Noi trying to pose for some photos. This scene may represent the making of this film, because both this scene and the film are the artificial making of an intimate relationship. In the middle of this film, we also see what looks like a draft script of the film, because suddenly the film shows us a piece of paper on which the dialogue of Rug and Noi is written. The intervention of the script text in this film can be compared to the presence of scripts in other great Thai films such as Danger (Director's Cut) (Chulayarnnon Siriphol, 2008) and Politically Lawyer and Narrative Cinema (Chaloemkiat Saeyong, 2009).
In the middle of Celestial Space, we also see one of the best scenes in Thai cinema in 2012. In this scene, Noi is looking for Rug in a building under construction. The scene is as blurred as some scenes in A Lake (Philippe Grandrieux, 2008). We see Noi and hear her voice calling out for Rug. We hear Rug's response from the right side of the frame. Noi moves into the darkness. Then the camera pans to the left side and we see Rug in another room searching for Noi. What is real? The film seems to tell us indirectly many times that though the lives of laborers in this film look realistic, the film does not and cannot show the whole reality. A part of reality exists outside the frame or outside the film. What we see is only a part of something and we must also use our own imagination. Celestial Space is great because it shows laborers' lives very realistically and acknowledges at the same time that reality also exists outside the frame and the film.
That great scene in Celestial Space can be compared to another marvelous scene in The Pob's House, in which fiction turns into reality in the middle of the film. At first The Pob's House shows us a fictional story of an old woman and her granddaughter in a rural village. The old woman is wrongly accused of being a Pob, or a cannibalistic ghost. The villagers beat her young granddaughter very hard, and force the old woman to drink her own urine to prove if she is Pob or not. Suddenly a young boy in this torture scene turns back and looks at the camera. He seems to smile, and it indicates that he is just an amateur actor who can't act convincingly as a misguided villager in this film. The image of this boy freezes. The screen turns black. Then The Pob's House continues, but the story is shifted from fiction into reality. The second part of The Pob's House shows the working of the film crew. The film crew also talk to the villagers who act in this film, asking the villagers if they understand or not that the fictional story in this film is meant to show "structural violence."
Structural violence is also the theme of Ghosts in the Classroom. In Ghosts in the Classroom, we see an old female teacher severely punishing or using force on a young male student in front of the class. The scene is repeated 4-5 times but with different angles or perspectives each time. Sometimes we see only the front of the class. Sometimes we see this act of violence from the back of the class. We also see that the other students in the class seem to be very obedient and dare not try to intervene in this act of violence. Another remarkable thing in Ghosts in the Classroom is that the film seems to have no beginning and no ending. The film begins and ends with the same image. It's a half-still, half-shaking image of this act of violence. This act of violence seems like a loop which will be repeated forever.
There is no indication what Ghosts in the Classroom stands for. Does this film intend to condemn only Thai people's belief in seniority like another great Thai film My Elephant (Songyos Sugmakanan, 2002, 10min)? Or does this film have some political connotations, like other Thai films, such as Demockrazy (Duangporn Pakavirojkul, 2007, 9min), and Class Room (Sutee Kunavichayanont, 2012, video installation), both of which also use classroom as a symbol of Thailand after the coup in 2006? It's up to each viewer to answer this question by himself.
Some viewers may ask, "Who will be the next Apichatpong?" To that question we would like to answer, "We don't know. But if you like Apichatpong's films, we strongly recommend the films of Eakalak Maleetipawan, Sittiporn Racha, and Ukrit Sa-nguanhai. And we hope some critics will compare, contrast, and analyze deeply the films of these four filmmakers in the future."
42. Viriyaporn Boonprasert
No one knows for sure who Viriyaporn Boonprasert is. Seven films of Viriyaporn were shown to the public in 2012. Three of them are masterpieces: Ghost of Centralworld (2012, 8min), I'm Gonna Be a Naive (2012, 24min), and Hungary Man Boo (2012, 26min). But Viriyaporn still hasn't revealed herself to the public yet. Viriyaporn has a Facebook account, but it doesn't show the real face of Viriyaporn. Many Thai cinephiles are not sure if Viriyaporn is a man, a woman, or a group of filmmakers working under a single name. Thus, we are not sure which pronoun we should use for Viriyaporn: he, she, or they. But for the writer's convenience, the pronoun 'she' and 'her' will be used in referring to Viriyaporn here.
What is certain is that Viriyaporn is one of the most talented filmmakers working in Thailand now. Most of her films rely on found footage, and her use of found footage is as powerful and clever as The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (Andrei Ujica, 2010), Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (Johan Grimonprez, 1997), Disorder (Huang Weikai, 2009), An Escalator in World Order (Kim Kyung-man, 2011), The Festival of Demon Spirit (Sittiporn Racha, 2011), and Videogram of a Revolution (Harun Farocki, Andrei Ujica, 1992). Ghost of Centralworld uses clips showing the Centralworld department store while it was burnt down during the massacre in Bangkok in May 2010, and also a clip of an opening event at Centralworld. Some texts appear on the screen, telling the true story of Kitipong Somsook, a red-shirt protester who was killed during the fire at Centralworld. However, the main message of this film may not lie in the texts and the clips, but in the juxtaposition of the clips.

I'm Gonna Be a Naive uses found footage from various sources, including a TV reality show, TV talk shows, TV advertisements, an awards ceremony, a TV series, a news clip, a news photo, a music video, a karaoke music video, etc. There are no new voiceovers, no new texts, and no new images in this film. All of this film is made of found footage, but the film can talk about some important topics in Thailand very effectively. The various topics in this film include how Thai bourgeois people wrongly perceive poor people, how selfish Bangkokians are, the drastically changing status of Chinese people in Thailand from the past to the present, how propaganda-like Thai advertisements are, the behaviors of some Thai conservatives, etc. The juxtaposition of the clips in this film is brilliant. The selection of the clips is great. Many advertisements shown in this film are the advertisements which we have seen a thousand times before, but they yield some new meanings when they are presented in this film. In a way, what Viriyaporn did for this film corresponds to what Thomas Heise said in the booklet for his DVD of the film Material (2009). Thomas Heise said, "In a dictatorship, the idea is to amass hidden stores of images and words, portraying the things that people living under the dictatorship might have actually experienced, but that could not necessarily be seen or heard. Then, when the dictatorship was no more, those images bore witness to it. Similar to the mole, the work of collecting those images required a certain nose for the worthwhile as well as practice, since a picture seldom makes it immediately apparent what it depicts and a sound seldom tells us of the part we can't hear."
Hungary Man Boo, which has its premiere in December 2012, uses both found footage and new footage. The film is more abstract and more difficult to understand than the first six films of Viriyaporn, but it is no less powerful. Hungary Man Boo comprises many different parts, the links of which are not clear. Its structure is like some films by Alexander Kluge. What we can see in this film includes a quote from Mughom Wongtes, a Thai female writer who bravely fights for free speech, some buildings at Sanam Luang, a clip of three women performing Thai traditional dance, a clip of Chaipattana aerator, new experimental footage presenting the suffering of poor people who have to take public buses in Bangkok, and a scene showing white screen and dark screen alternately for a long time like Arnulf Rainer (Peter Kubelka, 1960). Hungary Man Boo does not say anything directly, and it may be because Thailand is a country which is totally against free speech.
Other films of Viriyaporn are interesting, too. The Opening Scene (2012, 11min) comprises a long static scene showing the screening room in which the film is shown. Viriyaporn stated that this film is meant to be a site-specific video installation. This film is like a mirror, which reflects different periods of time in the same location. The Opening Scene is also dedicated to Édouard Manet's painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882) and many artists in Postmodernism who use mirrors in their works. In our opinion, The Opening Scene can also be compared to Phenomenon (1) (Teeranit Siangsanoh, 2012, 29min) and Resistant Poem (Prap Boonpan, 2008, 20min), both of which also depict the screening room in which the films were shown.
Sarcastic humor is inherent in Viriyaporn's films. We can see this sarcasm in the juxtaposition of some scenes in I'm Gonna Be a Naive and Hungary Man Boo, and this sarcasm is the main thing in Seeing Film and Love Country (2012, 3 min). This film shows an online conversation between two people, talking about how to be patriotic. The answer given in the film is that you can be patriotic by illegally downloading some Thai patriotic films, such as the film series Naresuan.
43. Vorakorn Ruetaivanichkul (born 1989)
Vorakorn directed Mother (2012, 65min), which mixes documentary and fiction in an interesting way. The film begins as a documentary, showing Vorakorn returning home, meeting his own family, including his mother who looks normal and kind. After that, the film enters a fictional world by showing us some reconstructed scenes from Vorakorn's past, using an actor to play Vorakorn, and a veteran stage actress to play his mother who actually has severe physical and mental problems. Then the film goes deeper into the fictional world by showing us some surrealistic scenes to properly portray the inner world of his mother, and sometimes to disrupt the linear timeline of the story.
The blending between fiction and documentary in Mother yields a stunning result. Mother is as touching and hurtful as Tarnation (Jonathan Caouette, 2003), which also deals with a director and his problematic mother. Vorakorn is not as lucky as Caouette in the way that Vorakorn hasn't shot a lot of home movies in the past, so he does not have old documentary footage which can be used in this film. However, he cleverly solved this problem by shooting some reconstructed scenes and doesn't try to limit this film to be only 'realistic', but gives priorities to the emotions and the poetic aspect of the film. The resulting film is quite heartbreaking and brave, and it stands apart from many Thai films which depict the directors' own mothers only in a good light.
After Mother, which is his thesis film, Vorakorn directed two good documentaries: The Director of Southpole (2012, 18min) and Neighborly Labor (2012, 26min). The Director of Southpole frankly captures a drunken moment of his three friends. Neighborly Labor gives us an interview of two servants from Myanmar who work for a Thai family in Bangkok. It is an episode in a great TV documentary series called K(l)ang Muang. Both films by Vorakorn are interesting because they make the viewers feel very intimate with the subjects of the films. The viewers feel as if they are close friends of the subjects of The Director of Southpole, and feel as if they just get to know new friends from Myanmar in Neighborly Labor. We can also say that both these films and Mother are very humanistic. They present human beings through a kind, loving, and truthful eye.
44. Wichanon Somumjarn
Wichanon's first film is W.C. (2005, 8min), which is about a ghost in a toilet. At first glance W.C. seems to be similar to numerous Thai short films telling the same kind of stories. But there is something existential and unexplainable in the story of W.C., and these qualities help set it apart from other ghost-in-toilet Thai films which aim to be only horrors, comedies, or horror-comedies. Wichanon said that W.C. is partly inspired by Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999). That may help explain why W.C. is more intriguing than other films in this Thai sub-genre, though the best film in this sub-genre is still Hallucination (Sopon Sakdapisit, 2002, 16min).
After that, Wichanon directed The Hitman (2007, 20min), which is a gangster film about two hitmen and a crime boss who deceive one another. He also directed A Brighter Day (2007, 17min), which is a political film condemning both corrupted politicians and military dictators. Both The Hitman and A Brighter Day are just average narrative films. However, it is interesting to compare A Brighter Day with Wichanon's later film L L P (2011, 2min) in order to see how Wichanon's filmic style has evolved. A Brighter Day sends its message about the director's hope for democracy directly, while L L P sends its message about liberty and freedom in a subtler way. L L P is composed of only three shots. The first shot shows three guys wearing Che Guevara T-shirts playing takraw together. The second shot shows a glimpse of sunrise, and the third shot shows the painting Liberty Leading the People (1830) by Eugène Delacroix. We don't know if Wichanon's political thinking has changed from the past or not, but his filmic style seems to have evolved a lot.
The first great film of Wichanon is Four Boys, White Whiskey and Grilled Mouse (2009, 10min). It shows that Wichanon's filmic style has changed from the style of genre films (W.C., The Hitman) to the contemplative style which can be found in many arthouse films from Southeast Asia. Four Boys, White Whiskey and Grilled Mouse presents a small moment in the lives of four rural boys. These four boys eat a grilled mouse, drink white whiskey, and talk about various things, such as a plan to have sex with a girl, a god in a banknote, etc., in a little shack in the rice field in the afternoon. They leave the shack one by one, until the protagonist is left alone. Then the protagonist watches TV news in his house alone later in the evening. The film is quite poignant, and seems to 'tangentially' touch on political topics. This latter quality can also be found in Wichanon's later films--L L P and In April the Following Year, There Was a Fire (2012, 76min). These three films don't talk about politics directly, but present lives of ordinary people who are indirectly affected by politics--the boy who watches TV in Four Boys, the guys who wear Che Guevara T-shirts in L L P, and the guy who listens to radio/TV news about the crackdown of a political mob in Bangkok in In April the Following Year.

In April the Following Year and Four Boys have a few things in common. Apart from the intriguing use of radio/TV news in both films, both films are also partly inspired by Wichanon's real life, and both films present rural lifestyles very truthfully. Local dialects, which are rarely found in films made by other directors, are used in both films. And both films share the contemplative style. Both films don't tell stories full of exciting events or conflicts, but they present slices of ordinary life. Both films present lives of people while they are drifting around a little bit aimlessly. The characters in both films don't like to overtly express their emotions. They seem to feel something, but they hold most of their emotions and feelings inside.
What is interesting about In April is that the film tells two stories at the same time. One is about Nuhm, a guy who loses a job in Bangkok. He decides to return to his homeland in the north-east of Thailand. He meets Joy, a woman he likes. He drinks with friends. He looks after a horse stable of his estranged father.
Then, in a way which may remind one of Our Beloved Month of August (Miguel Gomes, 2008), In April also presents its documentary part. We learn from the film that Aun (the nickname of Wichanon) returns home in April, talking to his dad about Aun's resigning from an engineering school in order to make films, talking to his brother about his brother's being attacked by a jellyfish many years ago, reminiscing about the fire which destroyed his house and which made him move to Bangkok many years ago, looking at his father's stable, and making a film about a guy who returns home.
The blending between fiction and documentary in In April is very interesting. Nuhm in the fictional part is not only the representation of Aun, but also of other people in Aun's life. Though Nuhm returns home and does many things like Aun, Nuhm was also attacked by a jellyfish like Aun's brother. Aun seems to transfer the memories of his own brother into his own memory and then transfers it to Nuhm, a character whom he created. Life and film blend into each other. The fictional film in In April is not a straight autobiography, but it is something new made from Aun's life and many other things.
The presentation of rural people in In April is also very interesting. Nuhm in this film is not a poor, uneducated laborer like rural characters in most Thai films. He is a guy who can't fit in both his homeland and Bangkok. Both he and Joy are alienated characters. Nuhm used to work as a foreman in Bangkok, but he wants to make films, and he seems to return home just because he has no other better choices. All he can do in his homeland is carry a tripod around. Joy is a woman who likes to read Albert Camus' books, talks philosophically, and sings some modern songs, but she has to sing some country songs in karaoke with her colleagues in order to fit in with her society.
The characters in both Four Boys and In April give some poignant, melancholic feelings. Their lives are far from being a tragedy. Their lives are ordinary. They are not real losers. But there are some kinds of disappointment and loneliness in their lives which make their stories very touching. Apart from the boy who is left alone at the shack in Four Boys, Nuhm, and Joy, another character who belongs to this group is Aun's brother in In April. After Aun's brother was attacked by the jellyfish, his father tried to heal him by rubbing his wound with beach morning glory. But the sand which came with the plant made thing worse. It turned the wound into a scar. And this scar prevented Aun's brother from entering a cadet school. Aun's brother can't fulfill his dream because of his own father's mistake.
In April ends with some intriguing scenes. It ends like a documentary, showing people walking in Ratchaprasong area and other areas which used to be the scene of bloodshed in April-May 2010. This ending fits the film very well, because this film does not talk about political activists, but about ordinary people who unknowingly and unavoidably become a part of political structure or political system.

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