Thailand / 99 mins / Busan New Currents 2013, Rotterdam Tiger Awards 2014
Directed by Lee Chatametikool / Vertical Films
In 1997, Mutt, who works as a currency trader in New York, must suddenly return home to Bangkok when his father commits suicide. After the funeral, he decides to track down Sai, his old girlfriend from high-school. Meanwhile his younger brother Nic is in love with Poupee, who lives in a low-income flat behind their townhouse. While the economic crisis looms over the city, both relationships face uncertainty. As they drift between the past and the present, between dreams and reality, their only escape is in a collage of love songs, music videos and recorded memories. But can these alone hold their relationships together in the face of harsh realities?
When I returned to Bangkok in December 1997, landing in the midst of the financial crisis, the first thing I noticed was the dust had settled. For the first time I could remember, the streets were clean and empty. Skeletons of unfinished buildings dotted the skyline. They stood like monuments to the glorious economic boom.
I wanted to make a film about these monuments.
Monuments of youth, and the journey home to a glorious past that may or may not exist.
Monuments of time, where rooms that were once big can feel oppressively small.
Monuments of love, when the sweetest romance becomes a futile exercise.
These are the monuments we build, only to realize that they have faded with time and are as empty as the abandoned skeletons in Bangkok.
Lee Chatametikool is an award-winning editor and filmmaker. His move back home to Bangkok in 2001 – for Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s first feature, Blissfully Yours – was the start of a decade of fruitful collaboration with Thailand’s new generation of filmmakers. He was twice awarded Best Editor at the Asian Film Awards, for Syndromes and a Century and Karaoke. The Bangkok Film Critic’s Assembly also named him Best Editor in 2008 for Wonderful Town. He took a break from editing to direct his debut feature film, Concrete Clouds, which premiered in Busan and is in competition in Rotterdam.