Bangkok to Open with "Siamese Renaissance"
by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
One-hundred films from forty countries will screen at the 2004 Bangkok
International Film Festival, which will open January 22nd with the premiere
of the Thai film, "The Siamese Renaissance" by Surapong Pinijkhar which is
based on locally popular novel about a young woman traveling in time to 19th
century Thailand. The film will screen as part of the international
competition along with eleven other titles. Films in the slate include
Toronto opener "The Barbarian Invasions" by Denys Arcand, Brazil's
"Carandiru" by Hector Babenco, Italian director Frezan Ozpetek's "Facing
Windows," and Peter Webber's "Girl with a Pearl Earring."
Other films in the international competition line-up include 2004 Spirit
Award-nominated "In America" by Jim Sheridan, Golden Globe nominated "Lost
in Translation" by Sofia Coppola, Indian director Vishal Bharadwaj's
"Maqbool," France's "Nathalie" by Anne Fontaine, "Rosenstrasse" by
Margarethe von Tratta (Germany/Netherlands), Toronto favorite "Spring,
Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring" by Korean Kim Ki-duk and Japan's
"Zaitoichi" by Takeshi Kitano.
In addition to the international competition, the festival will host
screenings in other sidebars including two programs for Thai films with a
retrospective of Thai docs and a new Thai Panorama section screening Thai
films that have not received distribution outside the country. More
international titles meanwhile will accompany the festival's Windows of the
World section. Slated titles include Nigel Cole's "Calendar Girls" (U.K.),
Bhutan's Khyentse Norbu's "Travelers and Magicians," Charles Martin Smith's
"The Snow Walker" (Canada), and Robert Altman's latest, "The Company."
Cinematographer Christopher Doyle will be honored at the festival's
"Cinematographer's Day" January 29-30 with a screening of some of his
work. Films slated for the retrospective are "Hero," "In the Mood for Love,"
"Last Life in the Universe," and "Three." Doyle will be present to receive
the festival's Crystal Lens award at a gala hosted in his honor.
Along with the festival, Bangkok will also hold the Bangkok Film Market on
January 27-29, hosting film companies from over 40 countries. Also, the
festival will host a jazz concert featuring Regina Carter as well as other
"This year we will continue to mark the growing significance of Bangkok to
the world's motion picture community as a prime launching platform for
quality international filmmaking," commented Juthamas Siriwan, Governor of
the Tourism Authority of Thailand and festival president in an event
release. The Bangkok International Film Festival concludes February 2nd.
[For more information, please visit: www.bangkokfilm.org]