I've decided to sacrifice the late nights in favour of early starts as that seems to be the only way to guarantee tickets for the screenings that I want to see. The box office system of issuing press tickets changed for the third day running but I managed to get what I wanted okay. That done I hooked up with Clare for a coffee as the Bangkok Film Market opened - where we spotted Roger Corman, one of the guest speakers - and then showed Clare where the video screening room is located. This gives you the opportunity to watch some of the festival films - and some other non-festival titles - on DVD at your leisure, should you miss the cinema screenings. We then watched last year's Tribeca winning film, Stolen Life (3 stars), which was beautifully shot on DV but an ultimately depressing tale of a girl who's screwed over by her devious boyfriend.
Bangkok Film Market reception
I spent the next hour scouting out the BFM where most of the Thai distributors are promoting their slate of films. I had a brief chat with a lady from De Warrenne Pictures, producers of The Ghost Of Mae Nak who told me that the film should be out on DVD now, although I've yet to see it. I also chatted to one of the sales agents from GMM who produced the spooky Shutter, the highest grossing Thai movie of 2004 - and bemoaned their lack of English subtitles on their DVD releases (they're concerned about rampant piracy, apparently). The two directors of Shutter are now working on new horror project entitled Alone about the separation of siamese twins which should be ready to hit the festival circuit in 2007.
Then it was back into the cinema to see the surreal Japanese drama The Buried Forest (1 star) starring Tadanobu Asano... I was expecting a visual fantasy but ninety minutes later I still had no idea what the film was about. Unfathomable. It was like a watching a dream unravel on the screen. After sitting through that ordeal some alcohol was looking like a very good idea, so I met up with Clare for a few beers and we then discovered the free Jameson's bar - although it's (supposedly) regulated to two thirty minute visits per day! There was also a big reception taking place in the main hall to celebrate the first day of the BFM and to highlight the Thai filmmakers, so we hung around that for a while and took full advantage of the free buffet.
My final event of the day was the Masterclass with Oliver Stone, again moderated by Variety's Steven Gados. It was fascinating to hear Oliver Stone talk about his work but sadly I felt that the interview was marred by focussing far too much on his politics rather than his movies. Still, it will be interesting to see what reception his latest film gets when it opens later this year. World Trade Centre stars Nicolas Cage, and covers 24 hours in the lives of the last two surviving firemen who were trapped in the ruins of the building and their respective families. He promises this to be a "human" story and avoids any of the conspiracy theories which surrounded the attack on 9/11.
2nd Mar 05 This movie involves a lot of talking and a lot of walking around, opening doors, then walking a bit further, opening another door, then wiping off dirty hands, then perchance a glimpse of nudity with no follow-through.