Last month the annual Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival presented a series of fascinating films from across Southeast Asia at the SF World Cinema at CentralWorld (999/9 Rama I Rd). Now in its 4th year, the festival kicked off on July 4th with the Thailand premiere screening of Eullenia—coincidentally the 4th motion picture from Bangkok-based director Paul Spurrier.
A bright light on the Thai cinematic scene, Spurrier is known to many city cinephiles as the man behind The Friese-Greene Club (259/6, Sukhumvit Soi 22), a small, private member’s club dedicated to passionate filmmakers, film students, film journalists, and film enthusiasts alike. However, this UK-born, former child actor is equally devoted to making films of his own, and his latest release tells the dark and sometimes disturbing tale of a billionaire banker who believes that in Thailand all his worst desires can be fulfilled purely by offering cash.
In the film, Alec Newman (A Lonely Place to Die) stars as the evil head of the Eullenia corporation—a micro-finance lending institution—aided by his assistant, played by Thai star Vithaya Pansringarm (Only God Forgives), while the local love interest is none other than Thai actress Apicha Suyanandana. Interestingly, Eullenia marks a departure from the supernatural themes explored in Spurrier’s two previous films, The Forest (2016) and P (2005).
“The depth and strength of the belief in the spirit world that one finds in Thailand provides great inspiration for films,” the director explains. “However, with Eullenia the horror is based in the world of reality. I realized that however gruesome Thai ghosts might be, none are as terrifying as a man with unlimited power.”
After Bangkok, the film went on to have its international premiere at the BIFAN Festival in Korea, on July 19th, and will continue making the rounds of the festival circuit for several months to come. In the meantime, check out the always intriguing online screening schedule of The Friese-Greene Club, posted at the beginning of each month.
In other film screening news the Contemporary World Film Series at TK Park continues on Saturday, August 18th, with a 4pm screening of In the Shadow (2016), an award-winning motion picture from the Czech Republic directed by David Ondricek. Set in the 1950s and shot in film noir style, with plenty of dark shadows and shadowy figures, the story centres around a police inspector investigating a robbery who slowly realizes that he’s just a small cog in a bigger wheel, and that there are much more powerful forces at play—including the Secret Service, his political bosses, and other members of the police force. The narrative also touches on the infamous “show-trials” of Communist-era Czechoslovakia, which condemned many innocent people (especially Jews) to death.
This special screening is supported by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Thailand, who will serve snacks and drinks after the screening. In addition, the Ambassador, HE Mr. Marek Libricky, will introduce the film. The Thailand Knowledge (TK) Park is located on the 8th floor of CentralWorld (999/9 Rama I Rd), and tickets are only B20 each. For advance reservations, email: [email protected].
By Bruce Scott