Friday, January 27, 2006

Citizen Dog, The Adventures of Iron Pussy

Two Thai Movies...

Citizen Dog by Wisit Sasanatieng (2004).
Wisit Sasanatieng got known for its debut film Tears of the Black Tiger (2000), which was like a pastiche Thai western in the 40s using Thai popular culture. (Good and funny movie by the way).
Citizen Dog keeps the same excessive colourful visual style and popular imagery but goes a bit more surreal. The movie could be like a fable, to me, it sometimes reminds a bit of Amelie. The film is told by a voice-over (narrated by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, director of Last Life in the Universe) and introduces to us the story of Pod.
Pod is a young man raised in the coutryside who decided to go to Bangkok despite his grandsmother's warning about people who move to Bangkok end up growing tails (!!!).
He first finds a job in a factory where he has to chop the sardines and put them in their tins, but one day the machine went crazy and so fast that his finger got cut. He, then, tries to find the tin containing his chopped finger. And this is how he met his best friend, and co-worker. He changes his job and becomes a security guard. This is when he meets his love, Jin, and many adventures are about to start again and a gallery of characters is presented to us ....

The movie is constantly accompanied by Thai music (modern, rock...), which sometimes may do your ear after a while but it goes very well with the style of the movie. The second part gets a bit more "critical" by becoming more aware of the environment through one of the character.
Some very inventive and surreal scenes are found that make the film rather original.

The Adventures of Iron Pussy by Michael Shaowanasai and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (2004).

Imagine a transvestite glamour secret agent called Iron Pussy who is sent on a mission for an undercover operation in a remote mansion but falls in love with the bad guy....
Not only she's beautiful, pious and full of good intentions, but she also knows how to fight and how to sing (since the movies contains musical scenes)!
Highly stylized, intentionally kitsch, and over-exaggerated, the film has also a certain sense of humor. A curious film to discover.
Director' s statement :
When I had an opportunity to direct this latest episode, I proposed to cast Iron Pussy in a popular film context, through an old Thai film genre, so worn-out (and deemed cheap) that nobody’s made it anymore. There are numerous references to old Thai films of Lavo Studio in the past. We also dubbed the voice of all actors by the voice talent veterans of the old Thai film industry. For me, the fun of making this film is to see this a-go-go boy trap in the past when sexual representation is restrained. She is explicit in her determination to fit in the perfect past. This conceptual piece aims to add another life for Iron Pussy. It is the life she cannot have in contemporary landscape, where she is busy fighting sex crimes against foreign mafias in Bangkok.
- Apichatpong Weerasethakul

link : http://www.kickthemachine.com/works/iron_pussy.html

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