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Un-Boo-lievable Halloween in Chiang Mai
European Union Film Festival:The Remaining Films
Un-Boo-lievable Halloween in Chiang Mai
Halloween, a wildly popular event in the U.S., came to Chiang Mai this
October 31, with many residents taking the time to join in the fun by
dressing up in costume. DusitD2 Hotel, the Imperial Mae Ping, Club Martini
and many other venues hosted Halloween parties with many participants
joining in the fun. Ghouls ghosties and many other scary and not so scary
costumes were seen.
While Halloween has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain, and was
originally called All Saints Day, or All Hallow’s Eve, in the Christian
calendar, it is now a largely secular celebration often involving intricate
costumes, traditional Halloween games like bobbing for apples and playing
pranks (the term “trick or treat” comes from the tradition that children are
either given a treat or they will play a trick on the hapless homeowner). It
seems that most Chiang Mai residents enjoyed the treats, rather than the
European Union Film Festival:
The Remaining Films
Based on reviews, here’s what you can expect from the four
remaining films not covered last week:
The Viceroys (2007) – Tue Nov 10 at 6:30 pm, and Sun Nov 15 at 5:15 pm.
– Beautifully set, gorgeously shot, this is one of the best costume
dramas to come from Italy in the past two decades. It takes place in
southern Italy in the 18th - 19th centuries, where a noble family of
Spanish origin faces an intense internal struggle to survive the
political movement - led by Garibaldi - that condemns the noble families
and seeks to unite Italy as one nation. In the film, you can see how
dysfunctional this family was, and how it seeks to keep the power and
authority it has always had even under the new political system. Based
on a novel by Federico De Roberto that set off a scandal at the end of
the nineteenth century, and which was banned for 100 years, the film
recounts the history of Sicily through the history of one its noble
families, along the lines of Visconti’s great classic, ‘The Leopard’.
The Collectress (2008) – Tue Nov 10 at 8:45 pm, and Sun Nov 15 at 11:50
am. – Gaile is a speech therapist for children living in Vilinus.
Upon the death of her father, Gaile loses the ability to feel emotions,
morphing into a cold, blank shell of a human being. She encounters an
amateur film maker and editor, and, surprised by his artistic talent,
Gaile finds that only by watching his films can she feel true emotions.
After watching one movie, Gaile becomes addicted to the films and the
emotions they produce. She demands more, and when real-life events
unsatisfactorily fill her emotional vacuum, Gaile decides to create
scenarios for the film editor to capture, so that she may once again
begin to feel.
At first Gaile’s simulated situations are humorous and awkward; her
relatively harmless pranks include passionately kissing a groom as he
leaves a church, just minutes after his wedding - his bride a few feet
away. Soon, however, Gaile decides that “laughter is not enough” and
craves to feel darker emotions. Her planned situations take an almost
evil, sociopathic turn; Gaile needs sadness, disgust, and betrayal, and
succeeds by physically or emotionally hurting innocent bystanders. In
doing so, she becomes alienated from her family and friends. The
Collectress, though fascinating, nearly becomes painful viewing:
painful because of the knowledge that human beings are capable of such
Sounds Like Teen Spirit (2008) – Sat Nov 14 at 3:30 pm. (only showing) –
Ten to fifteen-year-old kids compete in the 2007 Junior Eurovision
Song Contest, undeniably a garishly colorful event. And of course the
kids are cute. The event is treated with just the right mix of
affection and amusement without condescension, making this an
irresistible crowd-pleaser. There’s major kitsch value in most of the
performances, complete with gaudy costumes and choreography redolent of
high 1980s New Wave/spandex tackiness. But the earnest creative naiveté
is endearing, the personalities even more so. Such likable contestants
are easy to root for, whether their talents suggest viable adult careers
or not. Director Jamie Jay Johnson (who provides funny narration on
occasion) charts their thrills of victory and agonies of defeat in a
thoroughly entertaining film.
Ben X (2007) – Sat Nov 14 at 7:30 pm. (only showing) – Generally
favorable reviews - Ben is different and his life is a universe all unto
itself. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism that prevents
normal communication, and while he is a courageous hero -”BEN X” -in the
fantasy on-line gaming world that consumes him, in his daily life Ben is
tormented by bullies and ignored by apathetic teachers. As the bullies’
relentless attacks push him over the edge and out of control, his
on-line dream girl appears to him and helps him devise a perfect plan to
confront the bullies and make them pay for their torment. Director Nic
Balthazar’s dazzling debut blends fantasy and harsh social realism.
Based on a true story, this is an utterly original film.
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