Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bangkok Experimental Film Festival/Film Space

Chiang Mai movies update, Saturday, July 19

by Thomas Ohlson

Experimental Film Festival 2nd weekend; Film Space revised schedule

Film Space has revised its schedule for tonight to accommodate the Bangkok Experimental Film Festival 5, as they are sharing the same viewing room.

Tonight there will be three showings, all of experimental films, totalling a little over three hours, starting at 6 pm. Since last week’s Film Space showing of One Dot Zero Program 2 was cancelled, it will be shown tonight instead, at 6 pm. The regularly scheduled One Dot Zero Program 3 will be shown at 7 pm. And the BEFF 5 program Track Changes will be shown beginning at 8 pm.

But, of course, even this is subject to last minute changes!

The Film Space viewing room is on the 2nd floor of the Chiang Mai University Media Arts and Design building, which is to the right and in the back of the CMU Art Museum, across from the ballet school.

Admission is free to all BEFF 5 screenings, but a contribution is requested for the Film Space programs.

During the month of July, Film Space is presenting four DVD film collections from Britain’s premier cutting-edge animation and short film enterprise, the organization known as One Dot Zero, which is dedicated to exploring new forms of the moving image. For information on them go to and for a complete listing of the films included in each of the four programs, go to and click on “select dvd1” through “select dvd4.”

Tonight’s schedule:

6:00 pm – One Dot Zero Program 2 – Select DVD2 Twenty eclectic and “vibrant” short films, pop promos, animation, and motion graphics. Two thirds of this material originally screened at the flagship “onedotzero festival” in May 2003 and is now touring internationally. For titles, go to

7:00 pm – One Dot Zero Program 3 – Select DVD3Twenty creative works from directors at the forefront of the new wave of the moving image. For titles, go to

8:00 pm – BEFF 5 Program: Track ChangesA 65-minute program reflecting on the role of the media in the making – and the forgetting – of political history. Ten films responding to Thailand’s political flux since 2006, including three films made on the night of the September 19 coup d’├ętat. For the most part, the films relating to the coup are metaphorical rather than overtly political, though several of them include found footage of coup-related events.

Detailed listing of Track Changes

1. Bopitr Visenoi (TH): 19.09.2549, 4.10 mins, 2008. [Note: this is the date of the 2006 coup.]

2. Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit (TH): Bangkok Tanks, 5.50 mins, 2007. Banal chat-line text – ‘What’s happening?’; ‘We get a day off work?’ – is superimposed onto a CNN interview with expelled PM Thaksin Shinawatra during the 2006 coup. My friend Wise Kwai writes: “A treat. . . . It consists of a fuzzed-out TV screen, tuned in to CNN with Thaksin Shinawatra's picture on it and the legend "Bangkok Tanks" emblazoned below his white-noised mug. A string of text messages captured from MSN are played, with rumors of killings and curfews. In reality, it was a bloodless coup and kids only got off one day of school.” Wise Kwai is a blogger, and also an entertainment editor at the Nation newspaper.

3. Wathit Wattanasakonpan (TH): In the Night of Revolution, 9.21 mins, 2007. Thai teenagers smoke pot, get drunk, and act silly against the backdrop of the 2006 military coup.

4. Michael Shaowanasai (TH): Observation of the Monument, 5.00 mins, 2008. A transvestite parody of royalty. Wise Kwai says: “I enjoyed this, which features Michael [Shaowanasai] in resplendant drag, looking ever the part of the demure, well-coifed hi-so matron. She is perched, like a statue, on a pedestal in a city park, with a golden chair and a table of fruit. Lotus flowers are piled up around her in tribute. The camera pans across her. A rooster crows. She sits down, ever so carefully, smoothing the folds in her dress. The camera tracks back. The scene is repeated twice more.”

5. Prap Boonpan (TH): Letters from the Silence, 5.11 mins, 2007. Shots of a letter about a taxi driver who committed suicide in 2006 by driving into a tank.

6. Prateep Suthathongthai (TH): Explanation of the word ‘Thai’, 2.25 mins, 2007. Straightforwardly critical.

7. Nok Paksnavin (TH): Burmese man dancing, 11.46 mins, 2008.

8. Ricardo Nascimento (Austria): AUTRMX, 5.22 mins, 2008. Video with experimental video editing using non conventional video cutting software showing conflicting moods of a policeman of no definite nationality, going from calm to insane to calm again speaking a strange, made up language. The director states, “I decided to use some kind of Dadaist language.” The nonsensical speech can be found on his website at And you can watch this video here.

9. Tintin Cooper (TH): Promethean Invention, 4.26 mins, 2008. A collage animation of various clips and pictures made by Tintin Cooper with a soundtrack by the London-based band Agaskodo Teliverek. The Promethean myth is updated into today's existence, where electricity (modern day fire) signals the beginning of the world and Prometheus’ gifts to humankind include not only architecture, astronomy and fire, but modern invention and electronics such as TV, space travel, and the internet. You can watch this video here.

10. Jakrawal Niltumrong (TH): Man with a Video Camera, 9.00 mins, 2007. Wise Kwai says this and Burmese man dancing deal with disenfranchised migrant workers and laborers. Matthew Hunt describes it as a montage of scenes from daily life, including a pro-Thaksin rally, inspired by Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera.

Sunday’s BEFF 5 program, July 20: Daily Rounds – an 85-minute collection of new Thai works devoted to the cycles of everyday life. Experimental films that reveal what is extraordinary about the ordinary, what is timeless about the everyday.

The Bangkok Experimental Film Festival 5 (BEFF 5) is a program of experimental films, independent short films, and experimental documentaries presented by the company of the acclaimed Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, in association with the Thai Film Foundation and the independent arts organization Project 304.

This is the touring version of BEFF 5, which ran in Bangkok in March of this year, the fifth year of the festival. The festival in Chiang Mai began last Sunday (July 13) and runs through July 27.