My Talking Dic and Muay Thai Chaya at FCCT

Gof talking about his two movies

The Foreign Correspondent Club of Thailand shows world cinema. I’m quickly becoming an addict.

Last night they screened “Muay Thai Chaiya”, a film about the Mafia underworld of Muay Thai boxing in the 1970s, and “My Talking Dic”, a short film by my very own friend Zoe Popham and her fabulous boyfriend Chakkaphan Vutthakanok.

“My Talking Dic” is about a Thai man and a foreign woman whose relationship is changed by the mysterious gift of a talking dictionary. It was inspired by Zoe and her boyfriend’s own multi-cultural relationship. Foreign men go on and on about dating Thai women, but one rarely hears about the converse: Thai men dating foreigners. The movie was fun, light-hearted, refreshing, and a great depiction of Bangkok in film.

At the screening, Zoe talked about the challenges of making a film on a small budget, how all their friends chipped in and helped, it was very inspiring. I look forward to seeing longer movies from them!

Muay Thai Chaya surprised me. I don’t normally care for martial arts movies (except for Tony Jaa, but then I just want to stare at his muscles). It’s about three young boxers who practice a style of Muay Thai called Chaya boxing, and the different paths they take in the rough boxing world of Bangkok. It touched me because it’s a movie about aspiration, about wanting to make it in the big city, and does such a good job of conveying both the rawness and tenderness of Bangkok, what it feels like to dream in this city.

I expect to see Bangkok figure more prominently in cinema and novels and art in the next years: it’s a city so full of life and death, a city that is made for art.

The star of both movies, Akara “Gof” Amarttayakul, was also there to discuss the movies, and what a sweetie! He actually did all the stunts in Muay Thai Chaya himself!

I feel like a Bangkok taxi driver because I can’t stop listening to the closing Issan-music song. I highly recommend both movies.

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A blog about culture and technology in South-East Asia.

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