May 10

We will go to the sea

Chaisiri Jiwarangsan, lover, student, photographer and artist to Apichatpong, wrote on his facebook:

Joe decided to leave for Cannes at the very last minute. He asked me if he should go or not, with concerns about his family and his lover. I said, “Please GO FOR US”.

He got a new passport with help from the Ministry. The Italian embassy was the last place left opened in Bangkok to request the EU visa, just two hours before an infinite closing.

On the way to the airport hotel, Bangkok was burning. Dark smoke covered the sky, with sound of gunfire. Both the city and people were dying.

The silent night of curfew passed so slowly. We talked about shooting sets, about people we met and about ourselves; the future mixed with the past.

At the airport, Joe was going to Cannes while I came back to the North. I said, “Don’t come back if it is too dangerous here. He said “No, we will go to the sea”.

Joe never lied, but to say the truth, someone could kill him here.

We believe in art, film, poetry and freedom. Worth dying for.

Feb 09

Singapore and the Sea


Two Ships Heading Away from Shore (1856 – 1857) by Gustave Le Gray

Some of the first moving images of Singapore the world saw, were of that its seaport. French filmmaker George Melies shot A Day at Singapore (1913) and commented: “A most interesting little trip around the show places of Singapore, Straits Settlements, one of the largest seaports in the world.” Three years earlier, Pathé made a film, Singapore (1910) documenting the scenes of its waterfront scenes, city-centre and the Chinese and Malay quarters. In 1928, MGM made Across to Singapore. In it, the male protagonist, Joel, was left abandoned in Singapore.

Most interesting for me: Road to Singapore (1931) by Alfred Green and Out of Singapore or Gangsters of the Sea (1932) by Charles Hutchinson. Made one year apart, the films were about journeys to and from Singapore. Despite the prominence of Singapore in its title, both films were shot primarily in the seas. In Out of Singapore, the Caucasian cast was also made to look like Asian. Made in the same year, Samarang (Out of the Sea) (1932) by Ward Wing (Pathé) was set in Singapore using Malay Bangsawan actors, one of whom was Shariff Medan. The film about pearl divers, bathing beauties and sharks, premiered in U.S in 1933 and was released in Sg in 1934. Eighteen years later, Jaafar Wiryo made Perwira Lautan Teduh or Warrior of the Calm Seas (1952) with the Cathay-Keris Film Productions.

Between by B