Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks - Asian Language Movies Set in South East Asia (Non-Horror)

Written as part of the weekly blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Join in by picking three films that fit the week's theme and telling us about them.

This week on Thursday movie picks, we are traveling to South East Asia. I'm going to be honest: I haven't seen too many movies from this area of the world, despite some of them having rich cinematic histories. BUT! I will not let that stop me! I shall make some picks anyway!

Bwakaw (Jun Luna, 2012) This lovely, lyrical tale of a taciturn old gay man and the dog who might just melt his heart is far better and more affecting than a film with that subject matter probably has any right to be. But Bwakaw has humor and heart and a tremendous performance from Eddie Garcia in the lead. Seek it out by any means necessary, because I can't imagine a person who won't enjoy this.

Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2002) I've been slowly making my way through the filmography of "Thai Joe" Weerasethakul, one of the most potent, unique voices working in modern cinema. Meaning, I've seen this one, and hope to find the time to see his next, Tropical Malady. This one does not quite have the sense of mysticism that apparently colors the director's other works (especially the Palme d'Or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives), but it has a magic all its own. The plot - such as it is - concerns a Burmese immigrant to Thailand as he tries to get treated for a strange rash covering his body and his landlady. But plot means little here, as Joe is really working more towards a mood. This is a S - L - O - W movie; the opening credits come 45 minutes in, and oddly enough they feel perfectly placed. But there's also a strange, special kind of alchemy that happens when you are able to get on the film's wavelength.

...and that's it! That's the extent of my knowledge of South East Asian cinema. I could tell you to go watch some Lav Diaz films, but I haven't seen them, and so cannot personally vouch for their quality.


  1. Never heard of any of these. Saying that a lot this week. Thanks for adding to the list of movies I should seek out. Great work!

  2. I have no knowledge of South East Asian Cinema but the first one looks like a good one and I hope the dog doesn't die...I hate that

  3. I had to sit this one out and I've seen absolutely nothing. I'm glad I've got a few other recs now from this week though.

  4. 've not heard of these. I think this week has taught me to widen my film viewing though.

  5. I haven't heard of your two picks but I have heard of Uncle Boonmee that you mentioned though I haven't see it.
    I noticed you didn't have a link back in this post. Please put a link if you're participating.