Trailer of the 20th Thai Short Film and Video Festival

Every year, the Thai Short Film and Video Festival invites a Thai filmmaker to make a trailer for the festival. For the 2016 edition, the invitee is Pimpaka Towira, a veteran filmmaker who recently returned to the film scene with her well-received feature The Island Funeral. In the past, Pimpaka has made several films set in the forest, and this self-reflexive, humorous trailer reflects the experience of dealing with nature.

Director Filmography

Every year, the Thai Short Film and Video Festival invites a Thai filmmaker to make a trailer for the festival. For the 2016 edition, the invitee is Pimpaka Towira, a veteran filmmaker who recently returned to the film scene with her well-received feature The Island Funeral. In the past, Pimpaka has made several films set in the forest, and this self-reflexive, humorous trailer reflects the experience of dealing with nature.

Production Year

2016

Director

Country

Not a Soul

A man hides out in the mountains after accidentally killing a priest. But the area, a battlefield for soldiers and rebels, is far from safe. The fateful location is visualised with a mixture of oppressive, moving and still, black-and-white archival images.

Director Filmography

A man hides out in the mountains after accidentally killing a priest. But the area, a battlefield for soldiers and rebels, is far from safe. The fateful location is visualised with a mixture of oppressive, moving and still, black-and-white archival images.

Production Year

2013

Director

Country

Super Taboo

Adapted from historical texts, the narrative in the two-channel video artwork Super Taboo came from a pornographic publication, which was previously known as xiaoben (“a small book”), with the same title. In addition to illegal copies of pornographic photos from Japan and Western countries, the undisguised description of erotic scenes is now a mesmerizing vernacular Chinese literature. In this video, the renowned actor Chin Shih-Chieh guides the viewers into a surreal erotic scene by playing the role of an urban white-collar worker who mutters the plots of the “small book” in his hands.

Filmmaker Su Hui-Yu leads us back to the 1980s when he was an adolescent in Taiwan. Pornographic content was then edged to the periphery of the audio-visual system and merely tolerated by late night shows, secret rooms in video rental shops, or inconspicuous corners in bookstores. However, banned pornographic content tended to put greater erogenous temptation in our way than that freely accessible to us did. Su’s fascination with this subject matter is reminiscent of Georges Bataille, who was interested not so much in the pleasures of the flesh but what is classified as ‘dirty’. Physically pleasant sensation seems to be perilous and ergo requires the endorsement by the transcendental love or a social context as the foundation.

Director Filmography

Adapted from historical texts, the narrative in the two-channel video artwork Super Taboo came from a pornographic publication, which was previously known as xiaoben (“a small book”), with the same title. In addition to illegal copies of pornographic photos from Japan and Western countries, the undisguised description of erotic scenes is now a mesmerizing vernacular Chinese literature. In this video, the renowned actor Chin Shih-Chieh guides the viewers into a surreal erotic scene by playing the role of an urban white-collar worker who mutters the plots of the “small book” in his hands.

Filmmaker Su Hui-Yu leads us back to the 1980s when he was an adolescent in Taiwan. Pornographic content was then edged to the periphery of the audio-visual system and merely tolerated by late night shows, secret rooms in video rental shops, or inconspicuous corners in bookstores. However, banned pornographic content tended to put greater erogenous temptation in our way than that freely accessible to us did. Su’s fascination with this subject matter is reminiscent of Georges Bataille, who was interested not so much in the pleasures of the flesh but what is classified as ‘dirty’. Physically pleasant sensation seems to be perilous and ergo requires the endorsement by the transcendental love or a social context as the foundation.

Production Year

2017

Premiere

Director

Country

Landscape Series #1

As the journey starts, the vast empty landscape makes one wonder what one is looking for. A mysterious object? A crime scene? Something terrifying? The scenes grow more and more specific, but they do not lead to any concrete solution—only an injury in place of a metaphor.

I am interested in the idea of landscapes as quiet witnesses to history. During my online search for such photos, I came upon hundreds of images in which anonymous persons were portrayed in landscapes—and always in the same position, pointing to indicate a past event, the location of something gone, something lost or missing. We are left knowing nothing about the people, their specific thoughts or feelings, only with their repetitious sameness—always indicating, pointing to ‘evidence’ of something—never good. Together these anonymous witnesses, portrayed in compelling uniformity by innumerable Vietnamese press photographers, seem to be indicating a direction, a way forward out of the past, a fictional journey. —Nguyễn Trinh Thi

Director Filmography

As the journey starts, the vast empty landscape makes one wonder what one is looking for. A mysterious object? A crime scene? Something terrifying? The scenes grow more and more specific, but they do not lead to any concrete solution—only an injury in place of a metaphor.

I am interested in the idea of landscapes as quiet witnesses to history. During my online search for such photos, I came upon hundreds of images in which anonymous persons were portrayed in landscapes—and always in the same position, pointing to indicate a past event, the location of something gone, something lost or missing. We are left knowing nothing about the people, their specific thoughts or feelings, only with their repetitious sameness—always indicating, pointing to ‘evidence’ of something—never good. Together these anonymous witnesses, portrayed in compelling uniformity by innumerable Vietnamese press photographers, seem to be indicating a direction, a way forward out of the past, a fictional journey. —Nguyễn Trinh Thi

Production Year

2013

Director

Country

Primary Contact

Nguyễn Trinh Thi

The Legend in the Mist

A tribute to King Hu, the pioneer of Asian martial art cinema. Originally screened as a three-channel video installation at the King Hu retrospective exhibition in Taiwan, the work is a montage of sequences from Hu’s classics Raining in the Mountain (1979) and Legend of the Mountain (1979). Inspired by the transience of mist (used effectively by Hu) and its paradoxical existence as a physical void, the assemblage of various misty and forest scenes in Legend in the Mist highlights the enduring theme of the Eastern poetic landscape in life and art—from ink wash paintings to Hu’s cinematic language and the Zen philosophy of life.

Director Filmography

A tribute to King Hu, the pioneer of Asian martial art cinema. Originally screened as a three-channel video installation at the King Hu retrospective exhibition in Taiwan, the work is a montage of sequences from Hu’s classics Raining in the Mountain (1979) and Legend of the Mountain (1979). Inspired by the transience of mist (used effectively by Hu) and its paradoxical existence as a physical void, the assemblage of various misty and forest scenes in Legend in the Mist highlights the enduring theme of the Eastern poetic landscape in life and art—from ink wash paintings to Hu’s cinematic language and the Zen philosophy of life.

Production Year

2012

Director

Country

The Breath

A respiratory exchange between the viewer and a bamboo forest.

‘Through the acts of very close looking and capturing on film, Minyong Jang relishes the discovery of all manner of perhaps otherwise unnoticed visual poetry. His films are also significantly about the advantageous juxtaposition of one image with another, the resulting one-plus-one adding up to considerably more than two. Take, for example, the clear sense of closure at the conclusion of The Breath, his just-completed film. All of the shots until just before the end result from the camera having been hand-held and pretty much always in motion. Jang seems to be saying, “Let’s just explore this small bit of nature and see what we discover.” At the end of the film, however, all motion stops. The highly abstract images from the now tripod-mounted camera, along with Jang’s precise editing, tell us without fanfare that the end is at hand. He thus subtly creates what musicians call a perfect-authentic cadence, the ultimate sense of closure. All of his work is about the unique kind of silence that film viewing sometimes engenders. What we are offered in these works is not just silence in the usual sense, but rather, the opportunity to experience the kind of concentrated absence of sound that lets our minds flow into their own silent and/or sonic realms.’ — Charles Boone, San Francisco Cinematheque

Director Filmography

A respiratory exchange between the viewer and a bamboo forest.

‘Through the acts of very close looking and capturing on film, Minyong Jang relishes the discovery of all manner of perhaps otherwise unnoticed visual poetry. His films are also significantly about the advantageous juxtaposition of one image with another, the resulting one-plus-one adding up to considerably more than two. Take, for example, the clear sense of closure at the conclusion of The Breath, his just-completed film. All of the shots until just before the end result from the camera having been hand-held and pretty much always in motion. Jang seems to be saying, “Let’s just explore this small bit of nature and see what we discover.” At the end of the film, however, all motion stops. The highly abstract images from the now tripod-mounted camera, along with Jang’s precise editing, tell us without fanfare that the end is at hand. He thus subtly creates what musicians call a perfect-authentic cadence, the ultimate sense of closure. All of his work is about the unique kind of silence that film viewing sometimes engenders. What we are offered in these works is not just silence in the usual sense, but rather, the opportunity to experience the kind of concentrated absence of sound that lets our minds flow into their own silent and/or sonic realms.’ —Charles Boone, San Francisco Cinematheque

Production Year

2007

Director

Country

Kamjorn Sankwan

A short film about the life and work of the Kamjorn Sankwan, the film explores his work as a gaffer in the production of a Thai folk soap opera, a genre based on traditional Thai literature with Hindu cultural influences and fictional dynasties. The second half delves into Kamjorn’s personal interests, centralized around the mercenary soldiers who fought in exchange for Thai nationality.

Production Year

2018

Premiere

Directors

Country

Primary Contact

Jakrawal Nilthamrong

Invalid Throne

Set in Mueang Phayao, Invalid Throne examines the land and people who used to own property in the province. The disputed areas were overtaken by new feudalism and turned into a gold mine and an exclusive monastery, allowing only a select, elite few to enter its landscape. Shot on location in northern Thailand and in a studio (using a miniature landscape), the film weaves historical narrative with the personal memories of Kamjorn Sankwan, the artist and protagonist who was raised in that area, thereby raising questions to what constitutes as a national, collective history.

Production Year

2018

Premiere

Director

Country

Primary Contact

Jakrawal Nilthamrong