Flummoxed Coccoon

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Flummoxed Coccoon

Theerapat Wongpaisarnkit (Beam Wong) (Thailand, 28:06)

Beam Wong is no stranger to the Bangkok Underground Film Festival. In 2015 we screened his film Huu which explored themes of isolation, relationships and the nature of communication against a backdrop of experimental Thai indie music.

Premiering at on Day 1 of BUFF Noise Market 6, Beam’s latest film Flummoxed Cocoon delves deeper into another realm within same universe in a highly personal story of imaginary romance stemming from an undisclosed illness against an anxious soundscape of Beam’s signature discordant DIY music. Taking place in locations culturally significant to Bangkok’s underground music scene such as Jam Cafe, Flummoxed Cocoon’s fascinating use of literal symbolism of what unfolds on screen is not limited to it’s rich sound design. With the presence of a floating 3D object in the night sky above Bangkok, the audience is taken into a subtext of the multifaceted nature of the film making process and the subjective reality in which the plot it takes place.

—Sam Freeman

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Flummoxed Cocoon

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Flummoxed Cocoon

Theerapat Wongpaisarnkit (Beam Wong)

Thailand (28:06)

A songwriter who transforms to a cocoon. He tries to cure himself by writing more songs but this inadvertently brings into existence a girl.

ดักแด้โกลาหลเป็นหนัง musical เกี่ยวกับนักแต่งเพลงที่กำลังกลายร่างเป็นดักแด้ เขาพยายามรักษาอาการของตัวเองด้วยการแต่งเพลงแบบที่ไม่เคยทำมาก่อน แต่นั่นกลับทำให้หญิงสาวคนหนึ่งมีตัวตนขึ้นมา

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แสงจากลา

แสงจากลา

Sattaya Janchana

Thailand 18:33

When Paan and Aun, the childhood friend returned to meet again, they were reminded of the painful memories they shared.

ในวันที่ป่านและอั๋น เพื่อนสนิทในวัยเด็กหวนกลับมาพบเจอกันอีกครั้ง ทั้งคู่ได้ระลึกถึงความทรงจำที่เจ็บปวดร่วมกัน

Ghost

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Ghost

Worapoj Inlao (Thailand / Estonia, 21:29)

Thai superstition and the nature of tourism are drawn into an unlikely narrative against the backdrop of the frightening trend of environmental devastation that’s all too familiar in the modern world. Produced in Thailand and Estonia, this haunting piece of storytelling serves as an important and stark reminder that tradition often extends beyond humanity, sometimes for reasons not clear to us until our respect for it has lapsed.

—Sam Freeman

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Fat Boy Never Slim

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Fat Boy Never Slim

Sorayos Prapapan (Thailand, 13:46)

In Prapapan’s light-hearted look at national service in Thailand, and the various loopholes available to those who would prefer not to give up years to the armed forces, two overweight high-schoolers try to pass the physical to join the territorial defense course and avoid the obligation of full scale military service.

Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, the film-maker maintains his blackly comic, slapstick approach, without diminishing stories of military brutality and abuse, not to mention corruption.

Prapapan’s style of static camera cinematography, mostly making use of natural light sources, and absence of non-diegetic sound puts the onus of engagement on the actors and their performances, and here, as in his other works, he succeeds admirably in drawing us into the two main characters’ existential dread.

—Dan Burman (Bridge Art Space)

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My Buddha is Punk

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My Buddha is Punk

Andreas Hartmann (Germany / Burma, 1:07:41)

Punk is not music or fashion - although it can most certainly manifest itself in these forms. Punk is an ethos. A do it yourself attitude. It is about looking beyond our artificial class and social structures, challenging a system that is not right, rather than simply complying.

As Burma slowly emerges from half a century of military dictatorship, some find not enough is being done to build what could be a new better Burma and are willing to take positive action rather than simply criticise.

German filmmaker Hartmann follows Kyaw Kyaw, frontman of Burmese punk band Rebel Riot as he goes about his business, educating the next generations of punks, rehearsing, selling merchandise and the behind the scenes conversations with his crew. What emerges is a triumph of what a human being can be, an intimate portrait of young zen-punk; idealistic, charismatic and extremely driven.

Kyaw Kyaw is outspoken against authoritarianism, racism and the persecution of ethnic minorities not recognised as Burmese, encouraging all around him to think for themselves. Spreading his message through street protests, music, zines and most importantly dialogue. Showing Buddhist and Punk ideologies can exist in harmony.

—Dhyan Ho (Jam Café)

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Confrontational Electroencephalographic Re-Programming

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Confrontational Electroencephalographic Re-Programming

John Franklin Aldridge (USA 11:17)

Aldridge references digital art pioneer Nechvatal, whose concept of viractuality and cyberspace/meatspace interfaces, and the nested idea of cybism, an approach to art that starts where the scientific method ends, using cutting edge technological means to creative ends, has been influential on many artists and thinkers dealing with the challenges of the hyperconnected world and the dichotomy of the real and the virtual self.

In this short, three subjects’ brainwaves are mapped and visualised, then fed back to the subjects, who manipulate the visualisations, their brainwaves reacting and being fed back into the visualiser, creating a human-machine feedback loop. The result is a jarring, glitchy abstraction, noise-soundtracked, people making sense of the world as seen by the machine.

The subjects are confronted with the seeds of their labour, the cognitive process of sensory input and decision making behind actions taken, try to make  sense of this data, with an awareness that they are bound to alter the data in doing so. Confrontational Electro-encephalographic Re-programming is a frenetic yet contemplative meditation on the nature of consciousness and how little we know of its workings. Beautiful and troubling, we see with the subjects eyes the struggle to make sense of self, unable to keep track without changing with it.

—Dan Burman (Bridge Art Space)

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Sincrónico

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Sincrónico

Ricardo Fernández Jiménez (Colombia, 13:39)

Hailing from Colombia, Ricardo Fernández Jiménez uses an experimental split-screen technique to induce a time-shifted viewing experience within which a series of intertwined events take place in this impeccably produced and innovative short film.

—Sam Freeman

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Monument

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Monument

Liam Morgan (Thailand, 3:20)

Thai based artist Liam Morgan effectively hijacks the Sathon Unique, a 49 storey abandoned skyscraper near the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok with nothing but 200,000 watts of red light for several hours, highlighting the cyclical ‘reproduction of failure’ of crony capitalism, mass speculation and unbalanced advertising. The temporary monument, an uneasy reminder of our collective amnesia and the ‘denial of decay and inevitable death’.

—Dhyan Ho (Jam Café)

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Diplopia

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Diplopia

Liew Niyomkarn (Thailand, 8:53)

Viractuality: Experimental Video Art (Floor 3) 2-6pm, 5-12 March 2017 - Bridge Art Space

Flickers of lightning, lights in prismatic rainbows, point of view within a fogged up, crystaline diving bell, moving through an aquatic forest, but nothing quite coalescing into clarity. A single guitar string is played, as if with a rock. The industrial darkness of the distorted, metallic noise soundtrack starkly in contrast to the effervescent brightness of the visual.

—Dan Burman (Bridge Art Space)

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The Universe of Bitterness

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The Universe of Bitterness

Anukul Chueamon (Thailand, 7:11)

Screening 23:14, Day 4: 5 March- Gallery VER

Chueamon presents his dystopian vision which leaves us with a sense of unease. Strewn across the ramshackled dwelling we find fragments of broken, obsolete and some still functioning pieces of technology. Like the family of inhabitants, they are disparate and disconnected from each other, they have lived past their purpose yet have no other place to go. Broken technology like a metaphor for collective memory we still hang on to the past, familiar and yet dysfunctional.

A clear cyberpunk aesthetic throughout, with an underbelly slum meeting mangled electronics in a way that is distinctly Bladrunneresque Thailand. The ambiguous narrative leaves this work open for interpretation. 

—Dhyan Ho (Jam Café)

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Puerto Rico Tautology (14 Dubs High)

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Puerto Rico Tautology (14 Dubs High)

Rob Feulner (Vidéographe) (Canada, 6:59)

Actuality: Dystopian Video Art (Floor 2) 2-6pm, 5-12 March 2017 - Bridge Art Space

A cameraman moves through a busy street in Puerto Rico. Salsa music plays and there is a carnival atmosphere. The clip cuts to black and starts again, and again, and the quality of sound and video gradually degrades - as the tape is copied over and over again.

The colours wash out, shapes blur into each other, unto abstraction. The salsa becomes inaudible. A commentary becomes audible, on the ongoing government-debt crisis in the country. The continued degradation/destruction of the footage renders the barely-audible-to-begin-with commentary impossible to follow.

The carnival is over and Congress cannot/does not want to hear about the plight of the citizens of this unincorporated territory.

—Dan Burman (Bridge Art Space)

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Slate

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Slate

Khin Warso (Yangon Film School) (Burma, 14:27)

Screening 22:34, Day 2: 26 Feb - Arunkarn

In the age of iPads it’s strange to think that there are still corners of the world learning their alphabet by scratching a piece of rock. Burmese filmmaker Warso finds an old slate board behind her cupboard, the one she use to use when she was a kid. She decides to examine where this slate come from returning ‘to her native Mon State to chronicle its entire manufacturing process, from back-breaking extraction to utilisation’.

During this beautifully simple documentary we see the archaic process of miners extracting rocks with hand tools by candle light to it’s final use in the classroom. Revealing even the most basic of objects also have a story.

—Dhyan Ho (Jam Café)

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