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MON-RAK TRANSISTOR

Thailand, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Regional Focus)

Director: Pen-ek Ratanaruang

Straight to MIFF from Directors' Fortnight at Cannes 2002, Pen-ek Ratanaruang's third feature - following Fun Bar Karaoke (1997) and 6ixtynin9 (MIFF 2000) - is a romantic action musical comedy with, not surprisingly, a hard-to-pin-down genre sensibility. The story follows the mixed fortunes of dim-witted hunk Pan in his drive to carve out a singing career. A regular singer at local temple fairs, he meets and falls for Sadaw. They wed, Sadaw becomes pregnant and Pan is drafted into the army. But the life on stage calls, and going AWOL is just the first of several problems Pan must contend with as he heads for the big time and bright lights of Bangkok.

"Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Mon-Rak Transistor is an amazing achievement. It takes retro elements - tearful melodrama, Thai country-and-western classics - and filters them through a comic sensibility. Better yet, it's not an exercise in postmodern irony but a touching and deathlessly sincere picture. Laughter and tears, philosophy and bowel-cleansing tonics in one matchless package." - Screen International

Pen-ek Ratanaruang (born in Bangkok, Thailand, 1962) studied in New York from 1977 to 1985. He worked in Thailand as an illustrator, graphic designer and art director before directing internationally award-winning television commercials. He has also directed Fun Bar Karaoke (1997) and 6ixtynin9 (MIFF 2000).

See also...

6IXTYNIN9

After losing her job due to downsizing, Tum despairs until a noodle carton chock full of cash is wrongly delivered to her door (a simple but superb visual gag explained in the title). When a pair of ... More »

INVISIBLE WAVES

“If Jacques Tati, the French comic absurdist, had ever made a gangster thriller, it probably would have looked like Invisible Waves.” - Hollywood Reporter This ethereal existential offering from ... More »

LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE

Last Life in the Universe Thailand Kenji (Japanese star Asano Tadanobu, also appearing in the Festival this year in Atrichia, Bright Future and Dead End Run) is a suicide obsessed Japanese man living ... More »

MON-RAK TRANSISTOR

Mon-Rak Transistor Thailand Living up to the promise shown in 6ixtynin9,Pen-ek's third feature catapulted the young Thai director firmly onto the world stage as Mon-Rak Transistor was selected for ... More »

NYMPH

“Oozes a sylvan sensuality.” - Bangkok Post ... Former MIFF guest and Thai revelation Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Invisible Waves, MIFF 06; Ploy, MIFF 08) returns with a moody supernatural drama about a ... More »

6IXTYNIN9

6ixtynin9 (Ruang Talok 69) Thailand ... Pen-ek Ratanaruang's second feature is a macabre black comedy that highlights his talents as a filmmaker who can successfully mix genres. Leaving both critics ... More »

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