Monday, December 28, 2009

One Night in Bangkok

"If I say that I wrote this song for you,
Would you believe me?
It might not be as well-written or beautiful like other songs.
I want you to know that a love song
Can't be written if you're not in love.
But for you, I can write this song so easily."
Witwisit Hiranyawongkul 

DAY 80:  I am SO INCREDIBLY grateful for foreign film.  Tonight, I watched a beautfully touching coming-of-age film called The Love of Siam, which apparently was a smash hit in Thailand a couple of years ago. What struck me most was that a quiet, gentle, and unassuming film such as this would never have even been PRODUCED, let alone succeed in the United States.

Along with honest, remarkable acting from many foreign actors that puts American "acting" to shame, what typically impresses me about the quality of foreign screenplays is the use of SILENCE (which I have rarely seen in any American product ... the only recent example that I can think of is Mad Men, which I discussed in a previous post).  I suspect this movie would BORE the general American moviegoer - I was transfixed.  No explosions, no comic book, videogame, or fast-food tie-ins, no big name stars (though apparently a number of the actors have become stars in Thailand from this film), no crotch-grabbing humor, no CGI ... just HONEST and GENUINE emotion, a heart-wrenching story of love and loss. 

If you haven't experienced foreign film, I BEG you to give it a try.  But be warned, for as unassuming (many might call it "slow" ... I don't) and nonjudgemental as foreign film can be, it can also be BRUTALLY UNFORGIVING in its portrayal of man's mistreatment of his fellow man.  Hopefully, you will also find the experience fulfilling as you immerse yourself in another culture, while recognizing the universality of human experience REGARDLESS of geographic location.  We all feel the same things, and there was certainly NOTHING "foreign" in what these residents of Bangkok were experiencing in the film I watched this evening.

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