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Bangkok Fix
(overdue post from last weekend)

-ey luis, thanks for last week's DVD entertainment': The Last Life in the Universe (2003)
directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang starring (not without in-jokes) that Ichi the Killer dude Tadanobu Asano with a bloody cameo by Takashi Miike with (trademark) camwork by Christopher Doyle

-Am wondering about this rave-reviewed, anti-sexpat, post-post-post colonial Thai lit book:

Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap (26-year-old David KT Wong fellow)
A new crop of stories about Americans traveling and making asses of themselves in Asia arrives at an interesting historical moment, given recent, tragic headlines and ongoing U.S. military adventures... But his portraits of Americans here never go beyond unflattering cliché. Lapcharoensap's Americans aren't just fat: They're hopelessly broad.-EW (pay4registration link, pweh)

The publicity material for Sightseeing is emblazoned with the slogan, "The Beach bites back". To understand what this means, you have to look back to the late 90s, when, with the grip of political correctness weakening, a generation of white, western writers emerged, most notably Alex Garland, who felt able to write about Asia without being crippled by the fear that nothing a white person could say about the continent would be worth reading. With the publication of Sightseeing, post-post-post-colonialist literature has been born....

...Only a few writers have the ability to give readers the feeling that in 20 or so pages you have not just read a story, but seen a life and a world revealed. Lapcharoensap (born in Chicago, raised in Bangkok, and is now a fellow at the University of East Anglia etc.) is one of those writers.-The Guardian UK

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3 Responses to “”

  1. Blogger *Rubber Doll* 

    Ang galing ng last life ano? Although, the cinematography by Chris Doyle is too distracting. Have you seen his movie iyong Away with Words? Day, it's better for him to stick with cinematography kasi saksakan siya ng pangit(the movie, I haven't seen Doyle yet).

  2. Blogger johnny panic 

    saw "last life" a few months ago. i wasn't too fond of it — it kind of felt like a wong kar-wai movie without wong kar-wai.

    btw, rattawut of "sightseeing" was a cornell undergrad. he read here when his book came out, but we missed it. =(

  3. Blogger *Rubber Doll* 

    I guess, it's unfair to compare (geez, it's so hard to spell the director's last name) Pen-ek Ratanaruang with Wong Kar Wai (although, it didn't help that he got Chris Doyle to do the cinematography) the movie had a different sensibility naman eh (although, ang cute na nakakainis na wala naman talagang nangyari in a matter of 90 or so minutes).

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Best described as a Murakami detox support group, we're all fans of the quirkily brilliant Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, and writing about such things as films we've seen recently and books we're reading (not to mention meandering musings on the man's work, of course) helps us to pass time while waiting for the next book from Haruki-baby.

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