12 September 2005

film and music

Yesterday I caught 'Funbar Karaoke' by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang. He's been lauded one of Thailand's most talented and progressive filmmakers, with films like Last Life In The Universe and Monrak Transistor making waves in the film fest circuit.

I won't go into the details about this film, so you can read a synop here.

I always think music really makes a film complete.

Some filmmakers just take the easy way out and use overhyped songs that have been played ad-nauseum on the radio and on tv commercials. Eg. think of how many films used The Dandy Warhols' 'Bohemian Like You' in an out in town/having fun with friends/beach segment? Then there are filmmakers whose soundtrack is always a real joy to listen to. Like Wes Anderson and his quirky mix of tunes that somehow always work, and Eric Khoo. The latter because his soundtracks are good compilations of Singaporean bands. And such compilations are hard to come by. (EDIT: I just found out the the soundtrack for his latest film, 'Be With Me', is an exception. All instrumental film music there.)

Back to 'Funbar Karaoke'. Pen-Ek used Nina Simone!! That really stood out against the soundtrack of Thai songs sung in the karaoke lounge. Added a nice touch, and it fit the upbeat mood of that particular segment. Nina Simone in a Thai film!

Nina Simone - My Baby Just Cares For Me

Pen-Ek will be in Singapore, to speak at the Forum on Asian Cinema. And he'll also be presenting a filmmaking workshop. So film fans in Singapore, take note!

My longest entry ever! Ha.

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