Since the end of the 90s, Thai cinema has been building up international presence. Before then, the Cinema of Thailand was really at the bottom of the barrel and nobody paid attention to it. But with the emergence of a new breed of young filmmakers, both artistically and intellectually more audacious, the national film industry enjoyed a prosperous development. Directors like Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives, 2010) – he also goes by the name of “Joe” – and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Last Life in the Universe), have helped Thailand contribute substantially to the international film scene for the past 15 years. Being part of the so-called new wave in Thai Cinema at the turn of the century, they created a logical gateway for the flourishing of Thai Independent Film. Many new artists have come on the scene to try and experiment, and to express their own voice, in whatever way befits them best.
By giving you a list of the most interesting Thai films of the decade so far, this article should serve as a perfect introductory to Thai Independent and Contemporary Cinema for beginners.
|Popular actors||Jenjira Pongpas, Banlop Lomnoi & Jarinpattra Rueangram|
|Trending movies||Love in Khon Kaen, How To Win Checkers (Every Time) & 36|
Anticipated 2017 Thai movies to watch
By the Time it Gets Dark (Friday January 27, 2017)Director Anocha Suwichakornpong Cast Arak Amornsupasiri
'By the Time it Gets Dark' is a contemplative and meandering film about several lives that are loosely connected. As a whole, it paints a beautiful of both contemporary Thai history and the art of filmmaking. ...Read more
Best Thai movies on Netflix or DVD in 2017 & 20162010's best rated Thai movies out on DVD, Bluray or streaming on VOD (Netflix, Amazon).
Motel Mist (Saturday January 30, 2016)Director Prabda Yoon Cast Prapamonton Eiamchan
Motel Mist is a very entertaining sci-fi film, obviously flirting with exploitation cinema, but in a rather stylish way. The story evolves around four different persons all staying in the same motel, for various reasons. Weird, funny and shocking....Read more
Mekong Hotel (Saturday March 16, 2013)Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul Cast Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Mekong HOTEL is a mix between a horror movie, a documentary and a boring movie rehearsal that gives you the creeps of alienation. Do not ask me what it’s about. Just see it for yourself. It’s weird and annoying for sure, but also strangely pretty and entertaining in its laziness....Read more
In April the Following Year, There was a fire (Tuesday January 31, 2012)Director Wichanon Somunjarn Cast Wichanon Somunjarn
This Thai independent film, with its cool title, is a typical example of fun meta-cinema. It’s quite obvious that the main character is supposed to represent the director himself, so we quickly get into the areas of self-reflection and portrayal, which always proves to be interesting, but sometimes also a tiny bit forgettable....Read more
36 (Monday February 6, 2012)Director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit Cast Vajrasthira Koramit
Memories fade, but photographs live forever. This experimental film explores the differences in this digital age between our own real memories and the memories we capture, meaning the photographs we make. The title of the movie is to be taken literally, as it consists of only 36 static shots, all more random than spectacular. If the main characters are in it or not does not matter, the camera will not move. Life is simple....Read more
Dao khanong (By the Time It Gets Dark) (Wednesday August 10, 2016)Director Anocha Suwichakornpong Cast Arak Amornsupasiri
'By the Time it Gets Dark' is a beautiful and melancholic film, exploring the massacre during a student uprising in Bangkok, 1976. Director/writer Anocha Suwichakornpong chooses to tell her story through identity shifting characters that are different and somehow the same.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Saturday September 25, 2010)Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul Cast Thanapat Saisaymar
It would be a shame not including The Palme D’or of 2010 in this list. It is certainly not Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s best film, but it’s definitely a good start for exploring his oeuvre for film lovers not familiar with him. Because of its sheer absurdity (you will see a man in a monkey suit) it’s quite inarguably his most accessible to date....Read more
Tae peang phu deaw (Monday November 12, 2012)Director Kongdej Jaturanrasamee Cast Margot Chung
Two Friends, Lek and Kong, one of them being a locksmith, have made it a hobby to break into other people’s houses and stay there for a while to drink their wine, watch television, but not really steal anything. One day, things go wrong and the film takes a totally unexpected and different course. A fascinating mystery ensues....Read more