Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jan Dara (2001)

Jan Dara (2001)

April 21st, 7:00PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

In 1930's Thailand a young boy lives with his rich father. The boy is the films title character and what he experiences in his formative years is a world of hatred, intrigue and sexual tension. Blamed for the death of his mother, Jan is hated by his father and has to struggle to develop his own identity in an oppressive atmosphere of family dysfunction.

Applause Pictures, founded by Hong Kong director Peter Chan had a stated goal of developing pan-Asian productions. Jan Dara was the first of many high profile efforts. Other notable entries include The Eye (2002) and Golden Chicken (2002). Hong Kong actress Christie Chung was cast in an attempt to market the film throughout Asia. The film is based upon an iconic 1965 novel by Utsana Phleungtham which was a breakthrough work of eroticism and drama in contemporary Thai literature.

The film is notable for testing the waters of acceptability for Thai censors with its heavy use of eroticism. Its production also highlights the technical capabilities of Thai cinema at the start of what would become a boom decade for the industry. Its visuals and art design bring to vivid life a moody 1930's Bangkok.
Thailand, Director Nonzee Nimibutr, Cast Christy Chung Lai-Tai, Santisuk Promsiri, Eakarat Sarsukh and Wipawee Charoenpura, 108 minutes, in Thai with English subtitles

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