THAI GUEST PROGRAMME
Curator: Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa
Filmvirus is a loose group of Thai cinephiles found by Sonthaya Subyen since 1995 working as a non – profit community screening films and publishing books about films. On the 13th anniversary of Filmvirus (2008), we decided to select Thai short films that was overlooked and screened it in a program called ‘ FILMVIRUS WILDTYPE’. This has since become an annual project.
FILMVIRUS WILDTYPE is not just another short film festival. It focuses on rescuing films that are overlooked, rejected, and unrecognized. Admittedly, these films are often unpolished and raw, yet they are full of adventure-ness and sincerity – the exhilaration, the ennui, the bawdy humor, and the carefree attitude of these films make us realize the power of the cinematic medium. The medium now finally escapes from the hands of professionals, film students, financial backers, studios, or experts. These films have now fallen from the heavens and into the hands of common people with the aid of new technology that makes cinematic equipments cheaper and easier to operate.
Some of the films are made by high school students who are use a camera for the first time in their lives, while others are ordinary people who have never experienced formal film education. Some films are made just to entertain families and friends, while some were made to teach moral lessons. These films represent the voices of people who are often overlooked or discriminated upon while recording their own personal and intimate realities that reflect their contemporary sociopolitical situation with utmost immediacy and truth. They allow us to experience a different kind of aesthetics and teach us new ways to experience the same old world.
Grandma (2013) 10:00 mins
In December 2013, my grandmother died after suffering from a paralysis of lower limbs for 10 years. The only thing that she’d been able to see the whole time was the scenery from the window beside her bed in the room. No matter what had been changed, she still lays there watching the window as a framed painting in an art gallery. This video is what lies behind that painting, behind what she has seen, the movement she never had a chance to see in her entire life till the very end.
Monk And Motorcycle Taxi Rider (2013) 14:00 mins
The good story a penniless man, “Petch” a handsome and good-humored guy working as a motorcycle taxi driver. He never feels any shame because he is proud of supporting his education and being a backbone of a family. Petch dreams of being a folk singer, he does everything to achieve it and hopes for a better life for his family. Petch’s good friend “Din”, is also a fellow driver and a rogue but he has good heart and gets along well with others. They are both fond of each other when one is in trouble. They have been struggling together. Din also has a dream of being a folk singer like his best friend, a dream not easily achieved. Their way of life is not colored in the rosy hues of a fairy tale. Unexpected events, troubles, sufferings, and obstacles attack them as people fume with envy and jealousy, standing ready to deprive them of their dreams. To reach their goal, they must endure and full-heartedly fight all obstacles and catch their beautiful dreams.
A scenery at night in Bangkok through the eyes of an unknown person.
A simulation of a political situation from late 2013 to early 2014. This is an assorted collection of essays, feelings, comments written in Facebook of many people from different groups and political standing. Translated back and forth from Thai to English and from English to Thai, the texts read during the whole film is distorted from what is really written which itself is already distorted from what really happened. The invisible authors and unreachable truth hidden behind the voice of Google Translator imposed themselves upon the empty space where no significance is attributed by any, yet the space is somehow very important to political events.
La Double Vie de Maneejan (2013) 30:00 mins
Maneechan, Nhorwa, Hysinth and Naris gather to eat mangosteens and to summon an ancestor’s spirit.
Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa is a cinephile, film blogger and writer. He’s also a committee member of Bangkok Experimental Film Festival (BEFF); a member of the Filmvirus group – a loose group of Thai cinephiles that organises film screenings, seminars and film book publications in Thailand, such as a Retrospective to Lav Diaz in 2010. Since 2008, Wiwat curates and organises a series of Thai short film screening called Filmvirs Wildtype, focusing on overlooked Thai short films.