It’s a bit of a slow month in Bangkok with respect to film screenings, but there’s plenty of film related news, especially with the release of two major motion pictures in one month—both of which were filmed on location in Thailand.
The long awaited Mechanic 2: Resurrection opens in theatres across the country this month, showcasing the steel-eyed stare of Jason Stratham, the sensual allure of Jessica Alba, and tropical beauty of Pattaya (see our Tom Waller interview on page 41 for more on that). Portions of the film were also shot in Bangkok, Phuket, and Chantaburi province, so keep your eyes peeled for local landmarks and familiar faces when you finally get around to seeing it.
And if you’re wondering what tough-guy Stratham is like to work with, he certainly made a good impression on the Thai cast and crew. “Jason was a very focused and meticulous actor who would play his part to perfection, whilst always being pleasant and friendly to those around him,” recalls Suman C. Tharan, a local actor who managed to snag a bit part in the film.
Another action sequel due in cinemas later this month is Kickboxer: Vengeance, starring martial arts mega-star Jean-Claude Van Damme. The film follows the path of a pair of martial artist brothers, one of whom accepts an offer to travel to Thailand to challenge Muay Thai champion Tong Po (played by WWE’s Dave Bautista). A private advance screening of the film was held here in Bangkok recently, with an audience composed of JCVD himself, press, and members of the cast and crew of Kickboxer-Retalliation, the third instalment in the series (set for a 2017 release), also being filmed in Thailand.
In other news the Goethe Institute of Thailand continues its German film series, and this month will be presenting the 2016 film Jack, directed by Edward Berger and Dietrich Brüggemann. The film centres around a 10 year-old boy and his 6 year-old brother, both of whom go on a quest to find the mother that has unexpectedly abandoned them. The film will be presented on August 14th, at 1pm at the Thai Film Archive (Salaya), followed by a screening on August 16th at 6pm at the Cinemateque of Film Archive (2nd floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre). Both screenings will be in German with English subtitles, and admission is free. And for those interested in seeing local creative minds at work can check out The 20th Thai Short Film And Video Festival, being held August 28th in the 5th floor auditorium of the Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC). Visit en.bacc.or.th for more details.
Finally, info has just come in that a new art-house cinema is set to open at the end of August. The Bangkok Screening Room, the labour of love of three local cinephiles, will screen the type of alternative films overlooked by chain cinemas. The programs promise an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic flicks. The 50-seat theatre, located on Sala Daeng Soi 1 (formerly Whitespace Gallery), will be decked out with an ultra-high-def digital projector and professional surround sound, plus a small bar and restaurant attached.