Thursday, September 30, 2010

Film Archive remembers Mitr 40 years later

This is the year of The Red Eagle.

Wisit Sasanatieng's new version of the Thai action franchise of the 1950s and '60s will be released in Thai cinemas next Thursday, October 7.

That's one day before the 40th anniversary of the death of the original Insee Daeng, superstar actor Mitr Chaibancha, who died on October 8, 1970, in an accident while filming Golden Eagle (Insee Tong, อินทรีทอง).

Each year around this time, the Thai Film Archive remembers Mitr with film screenings and other activities at the Sri Salaya Theater and Thai Film Museum in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, and this year is a bit more special because of the 40th anniversary and because of the new Red Eagle.

The activities start on Friday, October 1, with a screening of Golden Eagle, which closes with Mitr's fatal helicopter stunt, filmed near Jomtien Beach, Pattaya.

Other Mitr movies screening are 1967's Jet Phra Karn (7 พระกาฬ), directed by Charlie Intaravichet and also starring Adul Dulyarat and Ruj Ronapop; Atsawin Daap Gaaiyasit (อัศวินดาบกายสิทธิ์), a 1970 martial-arts fantasy that was a Hong Kong co-production; 1966's Diamond Cuts Diamond (Pet Dtat Pet, เพชรตัดเพชร); 1970's Jom Joh Rom Hay (จ้าวอินทรี); and 1968's Jao Insee (จ้าวอินทรี ).

On October 8, the archive will screen last year's award-winning romance October Sonata (Ruk Tee Ror Koi, รักที่รอคอย) a period drama that has lovers fatefully meeting in Pattaya on October 8, 1970 – at the funeral of Mitr Chaibancha.

And on Saturday, October 9, there will be a talk and exhibition about Mitr at the Sri Salaya Theatre.

The rest of October, the Film Archive's screenings and activities consist of other recent Thai films that are set during the politically turbulent Octobers of the 1970s. These include October Sonata, Blue Sky of Love (Fah Sai Huajai Chuenbaab, ฟ้าใสใจชื่นบาน), Haunted Universities (Maha'lai Sayong Kwan, มหา’ลัย สยองขวัญ), Meat Grinder (Cheuat Gon Chim, เชือด ก่อน ชิม) and Bhandit Rittikol's The Moonhunter (14 tula, songkram prachachon, 14 ตุลา สงครามประชาชน, literally "14 October: war of the people"), as well as other social-message movies, such as MC Chatrichalerm Yukol's Hotel Angel, Sunset at Chao Phraya 2 and the banned 1977 docu-drama Tongpan (ทองปาน).

Showtimes are at 5.30 on weekdays (except Wednesdays) and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday. Please see the Film Archive website for the schedule. English subtitles aren't typically available, but if it matters to you, call ahead before visiting to verify.

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