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).
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 »
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 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 th… More »
Thailand/Netherlands/Korea/Hong Kong, 2005
“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 »
Every relationship needs its fantasies; some are more real than others. ... Arriving back in Thailand after a decade abroad, Wit and his wife Dang check in to a five-star hotel downtown. As Dang slee… More »