Samui Song

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    Samui Song

    Mai Mee Samui Samrab Ter

    Directed by

    Germany, Norway, Thailand

    2017

    108 min

    • English
    • Thai

    Drama

    Venice Days

    Viyada, a Thai soap opera actress in her mid-30s, finds herself increasingly pressured by her husband Jerome, a rich foreigner entirely devoted to a charismatic cult leader called The Holy One. Viyada has no other choice than to take the most drastic measures in order to escape once and for all from their influence.

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cast
    Cherman Boonyasak
    David Asavanond
    Vithaya Pansringarm
    Stéphane Sednaoui
    Screenplay
    Pen-ek Ratanaruang
    Cinematography
    Chankit Chamnivikaipong
    Editing
    Patamanadda Yukol
    Music
    Koichi Shimizu

    Director's Statement

    In the past ten years or so, cross-cultured marriage has become increasingly common in Thailand. Mixed-marriage couples, usually Western men and Thai women, have become a common sight in Bangkok as the city became more and more cosmopolitan. This film is a tribute to this specimen of people. Here we have a story of an actress who struggles in a male-dominated environment where she has no way of defining herself, be it her marriage, her career, her sexuality or even the destiny of her offspring. She tries everything to break free from this oppressive environment...which eventually leads her to become entangled in a serious crime. A crime which doesn't turn out as planned and forces her to escape, well...vanish actually. Just when she thinks that she has successfully escaped, this happiness is short-lived. The men and Thai customs and culture prove too powerful for our female protagonist and, before long, they manage to bring her back to her rightful place again: under their influence. SAMUI SONG is ultimately a modern satire of the Thai upper class. Though nominally a dark noir, I want the film to be surprising and unexpected – an ode, if you will, to cinema itself. Using Hitchcock as a starting point, the film serves as an homage to the kinds of movies I enjoy, from Buñuel to Thai cinema from the ‘60s.

    Production
    BLUERING COMPANY LIMITED
    Sales
    UDI - URBAN DISTRIBUTION INTERNATIONAL
    Production
    AUGENSCHEIN FILMPRODUKTION
    Production
    TENK.TV

    Press

    A Hitchcock-inspired thriller.

    Vittoria Scarpa, Cineuropa

    Boonyasak gives an assured performance conveying Vi’s desperation under a veneer of icy confidence.

    Maggie Lee, Variety

    Classic noir about a marriage turned murderous.

    Maggie Lee, Variety

    Mystery and danger percolate in “Samui Song” all the way till the elliptical ending, which leaves audiences with a sense of lingering disquiet.

    Maggie Lee, Variety

    Pen-ek Ratanaruang

    Pen-ek Ratanaruang

    Thailand

    Pen-ek Ratanaruang is a director born in Bangkok in 1962. He is one of the most remarkable directors in the film world and is a leading figure of emerging Thailand. He spent eight years in his late teens and early twenties in New York City, where he studied at the Pratt Institute of the Arts majoring in Art History. He went on to work as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. Back in Thailand, he was appointed Head of Art at the Leo Burnett agency and spent five years as an art director before directing TV commercials. He made his debut as a feature film director in 1997 with FUN BAR KARAOKE which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was shown at a half dozen other festivals. Since then he has been recognized as a major pioneer in the Thai New Wave cinema of the late 90s/early 2000s. Four of his films – 6IXTYNIN9 (1999), MON-RAK TRANSISTOR (2001), LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE (2003) and HEADSHOT (2011) – were Thailand’s official submissions to the Best Foreign Language Oscar category. His fourth film, LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE, won the best actor award for Tadanobu Asano at the Venice Film Festival and was invited at Berlin Film Festival for the competition section. All his films have been screened in major festivals and have been distributed worldwide.

    Selected Filmography