As much as I enjoy reading Top 10 lists -- and wondering if anyone actually saw all 600+ films released in the US during the past year -- I'm always looking for more, especially those from other countries. WiseKwai's Thai Film Journal has selected the "Top 5 Thai films of 2007." WiseKwai's top selection from Thailand has also found its way onto a number of US "best of the year" lists: Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Syndromes and a Century.

Here's the local twist: WiseKwai says that the film screened once for the press and then was pulled from release because censors objected to four scenes, which he details in his post. He feels that "far more lurid and violent films got a pass. Thai authorities had no good reason to pick on this gentle ode to the director's parents." The action galvanized the Free Thai Cinema Movement, which campaigned for a change in how the government treats films. Unfortunately, recent legislation to create a new film ratings system "still contains provisions for authorities to censor and ban films, which filmmakers had fought against." Syndromes and a Century will be released on DVD in the US on January 15, 2008.

In happier news, WiseKwai lists his other selections: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang's "good kind of weird" Ploy, Pimpaka Towira's political doc The Truth Be Told: The Cases Against Supinya Klangnarong, Kongkiat Khomsiri's period Thai boxing crime drama Muay Thai Chaiya, and Chukiat Sakweerakul's gay teen romance The Love of Siam. Thailand's Academy Award submission for Best Foreign Language Film, The Legend of Naresuan: Declaration in Independence, got an Honorable Mention along with sci-fi comedy The Sperm. That's a poster I'd love to see!
categories Cinematical