I shared a lift with Jennifer Stark, the Programme Director, and her colleagues as I made my way up to the cinema to collect my tickets which was quite amusing as they were insistent that I attend a press screening of Deepak Mehta's Water which was about to take place. But no, I had a horror double-bill to attend, starting off with Art Of The Devil 2 (4 stars) starring my new best friend, Napakpapah Nakprasit. Happily the film avoided the all-too-common Asian ghost stories / Thai comedy-horror sub-genres and instead delivered some balls-nasty images in a teens-in-witchcraft plot.
I was then straight into Ghost Of Mae Nak (3 stars), another Thai horror from a British director (Mark Duffield) which is a modern update of the local Mae Nak legend. It's a film I'd been wanting to see for some time and hopefully we'll be running an interview with the director on this site very soon.
Five Star Production at BFM
I'm trying to scout for potential FrightFest movies amongst the BKKIFF programme, so with Art Of The Devil 2 seeming like a possible candidate I scheduled a meeting with Amy, from Five Star Production who are handling the film's distribution.
The film opened in December here in Thailand and is now being released across Asia (apparently it is the highest grossing Thai movie ever in Malaysia) but at present it lacks a UK distributor. Amy has promised to mail me a screener copy so hopefully I can get that to Ian, Paul & Alan and see what they think. I then left the Siam Paragon for a couple of hours and wandered around Siam Square, picking up a few cheap DVDs including The Tiger Blade, Sars WarGhost Of Mae Nak all for three quid each.
It was then back to the cinema for my personal favourite of the festival so far - Chan-wook Park's Sympathy For Lady Vengeance (5 stars). Whilst not quite the masterwork that was Oldboy, it is still an outstanding piece of cinema and I urge you to catch it while it's on UK release if you haven't seen it already. My only niggle was dozing off for a couple of minutes during one of the more important plot developments, but thankfully Clare was on hand to fill me in on what I'd missed afterwards! I blew out a late screening of Stoned in favour of a welcome beer with Clare, and then headed back to the bars of Soi Cowboy for the remainder of the evening.