Friday, 31 May 2013

Jurassic Park (IMAX DMR 3D)

Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park has been rereleased in 3D, retrofitted (or dimensionalised) like Top Gun and Toy Story. I saw Jurassic Park four times at the cinema when it was first released, and it's great to see it back on the big screen after twenty years. (Time flies...) It's screening in IMAX DMR 3D and non-IMAX digital 3D formats.

In 70mm IMAX, the image is enormous, though Jurassic Park has been reframed from 1.85:1 closer to the IMAX 1.43:1 ratio, thus cropping some of the frame. One of the potential advantages of IMAX is its increased image quality (as in the 70mm IMAX DMR print of Inception); however, in this case the 3D projection and glasses result in a darker and sometimes more blurred image.

In 1993, the digital effects in Jurassic Park were truly revolutionary. Along with the T-1000 android in Terminator II, Spielberg's digital dinosaurs introduced realistic CGI into mainstream cinema. Since then, CG dinosaurs have become a cliche, appearing in everything from Walking With Dinosaurs to The Tree Of Life. The effects have, thankfully, not been tweaked for the 3D version, though additional layers of rain and woody debris were added to the Tyrannosaurus rex chase sequence.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013


Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
This Saturday and Sunday, Paragon Cineplex in Bangkok will screen four classic Thai films. Apichatpong Weerasethakul's award-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives will be screening on Saturday, and all screenings are free.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Nang Nak

Nang Nak
Nonzee Nimibutr's classic ghost film Nang Nak will be screening tomorrow at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, near Bangkok. The film was inspired by the legend of Mae Nak, which was also the basis for this year's Pee Mak Phra Khanong.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Stanley Kubrick At Look Magazine

Stanley Kubrick At Look Magazine
Stanley Kubrick At Look Magazine: Authorship & Genre In Photojournalism & Film, by Philippe Mather, is the first full-length analysis of Kubrick's photojournalistic work. Mather provides valuable background on the practices and conventions of Look and other post-war magazines, contextualising Kubrick's photo-stories before analysing them aesthetically.

Kubrick worked for Look after he finished high school, from 1945 to 1950, and hundreds of his photographs were published. (I have compiled a comprehensive list.) Some of his photo-stories have been reprinted in Ladro Di Sguardi, Art By Film Directors, Only In New York, and Stanley Kubrick: Fotografo.

Few writers have studied Kubrick's photojournalism in depth. Rainer Crone has published four books on the subject: Still Moving Pictures, Drama & Shadows, Fotografie 1945-1950, and Visioni & Finzioni 1945-1950. However, Crone focuses exclusively on the artistic qualities of the photographs, rather than on their actual production. Also, Crone recycles the same selection of images in each of his books, and (as noted by Mather) he misidentifies several photos.

Mather has examined back-issues of Look and other contemporaneous books and magazines by Look's writers, and this research allows him to make detailed studies of Kubrick's photographs in their original contexts. He has also included a useful appendix cataloguing the prints archived by the Library of Congress and the Museum of the City of New York.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

La Fete 2013

La Fete 2013
La Jetee
La Jetee: Take Two
This year's La Fete arts festival opens at various venues around Bangkok tomorrow, and runs until 22nd June. It follows the Clap! French Film Festival, held earlier this year. (Cinema has always been one of the strongest elements of La Fete: open-air film screenings were also held in 2012 and 2011.)

Chris Marker's short film La Jetee will be screened at Viva & Aviv, a cafe at the River City mall, on 8th June, with a new soundtrack performed live by Bangkok DJs Wrong Disco. La Jetee, comprised almost entirely of still images, was described by its director as a "photo-roman". It remains one of the most original works of avant-garde cinema, and was the inspiration for Terry Gilliam's film Twelve Monkeys.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Encounter Thailand

Encounter Thailand
The April issue of Encounter Thailand, the magazine I edit, includes two of my articles articles about Thai elephants. The cover feature, Thailand's Ivory Trade (on pages 2-5), analyses the illegal ivory market. Elephants In The Movies (on pages 33-34) discusses the representation of Thai elephants in cinema.

I also edited the February and March issues. My previous articles were published in October, November, and December last year.


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Performance Art

The Performance Art
The Performance Art
The Performance Art
The Performance Art, an exhibition by Mongkol Plienbangchang, opened at BACC on 20th April. It will close on 29th May.

The exhibition includes a sculpture from 2006, titled Crashing Horizon, which consists of a dead bird in a glass case, next to another case containing a plastic butterfly. Another sculpture features a skull on top of a rock.

A Study Of Buddhist Philosophy
& The Creativity In Contemporary Art

A Study Of Buddhist Philosophy & The Creativity In Contemporary Art
Vichaya Mukdamanee
Ai Weiwei
A Study Of Buddhist Philosophy & The Creativity In Contemporary Art, an exhibition of artists inspired by the Buddhist concept of 'dharma', opened at BACC on 28th February. It will close on 5th May.

The exhibition includes an installation by Vichaya Mukdamanee, who has filmed himself dropping a series of ceramic urns. Vichaya's video was presumably inspired by Ai Weiwei's famous performance in which he dropped a priceless Han vase.