With more than 150 films screening during the 10 days of the World Film Festival of Bangkok, which starts tonight, picking the movies that you most want to see is certainly not an easy task.
Coming to the rescue is festival director Kriengsak "Victor" Silakong, who's selected 10 films he reckons should not be missed.
1 " HONEY"
"It won the Golden Bear from the Berlin Film Festival and viewers here may have already seen director Semih Kaplanoglu's 'Milk' and 'Egg'," says Victor.
The story: The final part of "Yusuf Trilogy" has the young boy living with his parents in a remote mountain area. When Yusuf's beekeeper father goes missing in the forest, he summons all his courage and goes in search for his father. Tomorrow, 7.30pm ,Paragon Cineplex, and Sunday, 3.30pm, Major Cineplex Sukhumvit.
2 "CRAB TRAP"
"The film is up for a Oscar nomination. The story is not very verbal but brilliant in terms of subject," he says.
The story: Set in the Afro-Colombian community of La Barra on Colombia's Pacific coast, "Crab Trap" explores the nuances of social and racial relations through the story of a young man trying to flee his past, and a clash between a remote village and modernity. Sunday, 3.30pm and November 12, 1.30pm, Paragon Cineplex.
3 "BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER"
"This film will premiere in the festival and features three films by three female Asian directors. It's about the evolution of love, relationships and food. The Thai part is directed by Anocha Suwichakornpong," says Victor.
The story: Each segment is set at a specific mealtime and seeks to interpret the frailties and complexities of love from different Asian perspectives. The other two parts are from China and Singapore. November 13, 5.40pm and November 14, 11am, Paragon Cineplex.
4 " DISSOLUTION"
"This movie won Best Film at the Jerusalem Film Festival. It's adapted from Dostoyesky's 'Crime and Punishment' but it's not too artistic."
The story: The film combines an almost surreal fairy-tale energy with brutal black-and-white realism to explore the condition of violence, which permeates contemporary Israeli society. Shot in Yafo, the predominantly Arab area of Tel Aviv, it follows the moral collapse and first glimmer of redemption of a young, morose Israeli Jew. November 12, 6.50pm, and November 13, 3.20pm, Paragon Cineplex.
5 "THREE WAY WEDDING"
"The director Jacques Doillon has a retrospective at the festival so it's a good opportunity to see his latest work. He'll be at the screening too," says Victor.
The story: Auguste invites a party of actors to his house to mount a production of his latest play. The presence of his ex-wife Harriet, his mistress Fanny and Harriet's new lover Theo, ensures that the day will be long and tumultuous, with art and real-life passions making dangerous bedfellows. Tomorrow, 3.40pm, Paragon Cineplex, and November 12, 11am, Major Cineplex Sukhumvit.
6 "AU REVOIR TAIPEI"
"This romantic comedy is lovely. It's rare to see a film that can make the audience laugh with a cross-culture story. The film is inspired by Wong Kar-wai's 'Chungking Express' but has nothing to do with it," he says.
The story: The big bookshop in Taipei has a strange customer - he never buys anything but squats in front of the shelves, leafing through the French textbooks. Kai's girlfriend has moved to Paris and he dreams of following her. When a friendly old man offers Kai a deal - a ticket to Paris in return for a "courier service", a turbulent night begins. Sunday, 5.30pm, Paragon Cineplex, and Tuesday, 1.20pm, Major Cineplex Sukhumvit.
7 "THE NIGHT INFINITE"
"It's the world premiere of this independent film. Since the director Ato Bautista is a well-known indie Filipino filmmaker, it's a perfect film for this festival," says Victor.
The story: Cold-blooded killer and bent cop Vincent Roman happens to have sex with Maria, a woman who is searching for her husband's house in the big city. He ends up killing her instead. Cleaning up his mess, he wakes up in a place with a woman who looks like Maria taking care of him. November 12, 6.50pm, and November 14, 1.30pm, Paragon Cineplex.
8 "NAI PAWANG" ("A SUSPENDED MOMENT")
"This is a Thai-Japanese experimental feature that will premiere in this festival," says Victor.
The story: A mysterious, unnamed filmmaker is shooting footage in a forest and comes upon a little girl, Hana, all alone and crying. A tormented young man is running wildly distraught, freezing and shivering violently in a dream-like winter forest of barren trees. The filmmaker and Hana walk out of the summer forest and into the winter forest, where they discover the cold and suffering young man. Screened with "Grandmother" on Thursday, 7.50pm, and November 14, 8.30pm, Paragon Cineplex.
9 "BARKING ISLAND"
"The animated short won Best Animation from 2010 Cannes Film Festival and will be screened in the Anima-Shorts package with other 11 animations," he says.
The story: The streets are overrun with stray dogs in 1910 Constantinople. A new government, influenced by a model of Western society, uses European experts to choose a method of eradication but then decides to deport the dogs to a deserted island. Monday, 5.40pm, and November 14, 1.30pm, Paragon Cineplex.
10 "INSECTS IN THE BACKYARD"
"It's the debut feature of Tanwarin Sukhapisit, the new wave director who's made films for years. The film was selected for the Vancouver International Film Festival," says Victor.
The story: Once married to a loving wife who died giving birth to their second child, a transvestite father now insists that daughter Jennifer, 17, and son Johnny, 15, refer to him as big sister Tannia. As each experiences love and loss over the course of a few months, the family situation comes to a head and all three must come to terms with themselves and each other. Tomorrow, 7.30pm (with Q&A) and Monday, 1.30pm, Paragon Cineplex.
TICKETS TO FLY
Festival-goers have a chance to win three tickets to any destination in Europe on Turkish Airlines worth Bt120,000 (S$5,204). Buy a movie ticket to the 8th World Film Festival of Bangkok and enter the contest.
The festival runs until November 14 at Paragon Cineplex and Major Cineplex Sukhumvit. Visit www.WorldFilmBKK.com. -The Nation/ANN