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ERA New Horizons IFF


 

9th Edition of the ERA New Horizons International Film Festival, to be held in Wroclaw, Poland from 23 July to 2 August.


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Riding The Thai New Wave: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang

 

by Sandy Mandelberger, Online Dailies Editor

It takes a filmmaker of great daring to successfully combine genres and create a hybrid that is unique and exhilarating. Such is the case with Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, the 47-year-old Thai film director and screenwriter, who is part of a Thai new wave that includes such auteur names Wisit Sasanatieng and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. His singular films have made him one of the more intriguing film stylists of the moment. Pen-Ek began his career as a freelance illustrator before becoming a successful television commercials director. In 1997, he made his debut feature film, FUN BAR KARAOKE, the story of a young woman whose father falls in love with the girlfriend of a mobster. The film world premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and a new cinematic star was born. His second film also mixed crime with comedy. 6IXTYNIN9 told the wild tale of a young woman who finds an instant noodle box filled with mob money.  Pen-Ek is probably best known for his fourth film, LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE (2003). For this contemporary crime thriller, he teamed up with cinematographer Christopher Doyle and Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano in the exciting story of a man on the run from the Japanese Mafia. Asano won a Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival and the film became a major international arthouse hit.  

In his latest film NYMPH, the director brings all his cinematic gifts to tell the story of a relationship in trouble. When May joins Nop on a photographic expedition to a dense forest where two men were mysteriously killed in an attempt to rape a woman, the mysterious atmosphere threatens to unravel the already fragile partnership. The film is full of operatic cinematic moments and its visual virtuosity is reinforced by long stretches of total silence. He avoids any film score so that the natural sound takes on an ominous, almost oppressive character. The expressive acting combines with the soaring visuals to make this a trip to the heart of darkness for audiences willing to take the journey.

 

NYMPH screens as part of the Opening Night ceremonies of the 9th edition of the ERA NEW HORIZONS International Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland. Website: www.enh.pl

   

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