European cinema is definitely at the forefront of film screening news this month, as both Italy and Sweden are holding mini-festivals, showcasing some of the more promising releases from each respective nation.
The 5th annual Swedish Film Festival gets underway first, at the SF World Cinema (CentralWorld), beginning on September 7th. There will be seven films in total screened before the festival wraps up on September 11th, and four of them will be screened twice. The list of movies includes: Astrid (2015), a film about the creator of the Pippi Longstocking series; The Circle (2015), a spooky tale of witches, magic, and six teenage girls; and We Are the Best (2013), a look back on Stockholm’s early punk scene as seen through the eyes of three young girls. Tickets are B120 each, and the films will be screened in Swedish with English subtitles. Check the cinema website for more info.
This month’s Italian Film Festival—which is being presented as part of the ongoing Italian Festival in Thailand 2016—will begin on September 13th and continue until September 18th, presenting seven films in total. Screenings will take place at the stylish Quartier CineArt, located in the EmQuartier shopping mall (BTS Phrom Phong station). The list of films, all but one from 2015, includes: Youth (La Giovinezza), in which a retired orchestra conductor receives an invitation to play for Queen Elizabeth; Il Nome del Figlio, the story of a couple who can’t agree on a name for their newborn baby; and The Bear Tales (I Racconti dell’Orso), a surreal narrative involving a mechanical monk, a man dressed in red, and a small teddy bear. All movies will be screened in Italian with English subtitles. Visit the website at www.majorcineplex.com/en/cinema/quartier-cineart
Another taste of European cinema can be had by attending either of the Goethe Institute’s free screenings of the brilliant 1987 film Wings of Desire, directed by Wim Wenders. The film follows two angels as they watch over the fates of various residents of pre-fall-of-the-wall Berlin. The first of the two screenings of this art-house classic will be at 1pm at the Thai Film Archive (Salaya) on September 11th, and the second at 1pm at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) on September 13th.
Meanwhile, the BACC continues its Cinema Diverse: Director’s Choice series. The theme all year has been ‘The Female Perspective’, and on September 24th award-winning Thai film director Pimpaka Towira presents Happy Hour (2015) directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi. Tickets are B60 each and the screening begins at 3pm. The post-screening Q&A with the director will be conducted in Thai with English translation. en.bacc.or.th
On a different note, fans of the FCCT’s long running ‘Contemporary World Film Series’ will be happy to know that the series has a new home at Thailand Knowledge (TK) Park, located on the 8th floor of CentralWorld. Kicking off the season will be Fair Play (2014), by Czech film director Andrea Sedlackova (with English and Thai subtitles). The story revolves around doping in Olympic sports—an issue that couldn’t be more topical. The screening takes place on Saturday, September 10th at 4pm, and will be followed by snacks and refreshments provided by the Embassy of the Czech Republic. Tickets are only B20 each.
If you happen to be in the north end of the city, the Paragon Cineplex Cinema at the Esplanade Park Rangsit is hosting the Little Big Films Project. On September 15th catch After The Storm (2015), a Japanese film by Hirokazu Kore-eda, and on September 29th don’t miss About Ray (2015) starring Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts, and Susan Sarandon—a huge hit at last year’s Toronto Film Festival.
At the end of the month, on September 30th, the WTF (What The Film) Short Film Festival takes place at Jam (41 Soi Rong Nam Kang), with some of the best local talents showcasing their work. Start time is 7pm.
Finally, make a point of seeing the new Thai horror film The Forest when it begins its theatrical release on September 15th at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld. The movie’s director is Paul Spurrier, a long time Bangkok resident and also the creative mind behind The Friese-Greene Club (Bangkok’s most unique screening venue). The film, which has already been shown at several international festivals, tells the supernatural story of a village teacher in rural Thailand and a mute girl in his class who retreats into a fantasy world where she finds solace in the forest with a strange wild boy. You can watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/t9Vipg7Ubw4