fragments of obsolete cinema

Haunted houses and ghostly crowds

In their different ways the best teachers I’ve had and the cinema of Apichatpong Weerasethakul tell me similar things: people try to overcome the hell of the eternal present by … Continue reading

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From the dustbin of history

Greetings from the dustin of history. I’m a film historian researching cinema’s early and Cold War history in Siam or Thailand. On this blog you’ll find scribblings and ephemera that … Continue reading

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Figures of plebeian modernity

I had the fortune to shift into film studies in the mid-1990s as this relatively young discipline was hitting a crisis. As cinema reached its centenary the object of the … Continue reading

October 10, 2012 · 1 Comment

Attractions for consumption

In the early decades of cinema in Siam, before the nationwide circulation of newspapers and the expansion of radio broadcasting, film exhibitors adopted highly localised tactics to advertise their coming … Continue reading

June 27, 2012 · Leave a comment

Bayinnaung in MovieScope

When we speak of the globalisation of cinema we tend to forget previous trajectories of film circulation. So I was excited to come across this advert in an issue of … Continue reading

May 30, 2012 · Leave a comment

Loiter and learn

Here are some snapshots of cinemagoing in Siam/Thailand roughly between the 1920s and 1950s. I found this uncredited photo in a stall round the corner from Jatujak Market in Bangkok, … Continue reading

May 25, 2012 · Leave a comment

Stilled frames 1: Kallapangha

Kallapangha [Corals], dir. Vichit Kounnavudhi, 1962. Shot on silent 16mm with voices performed live at the point of projection. In Kallapangha the incredibly dishy Chana Sri-ubon, who plays two characters, pairs … Continue reading

May 12, 2012 · Leave a comment

A Thai in Hollywood

If you’re doing Thai film history, it helps to have friends who amuse themselves by trawling secondhand book websites. Some months ago Ida Aroonwong of Aan Journal passed me a … Continue reading

May 4, 2012 · Leave a comment

Freaks in Bangkok

Not quite my translation of salim, nope. Discovering this little review in a November 30, 1932, issue of Bangkok Times Weekly one afternoon as I was yawning my way through … Continue reading

December 10, 2011 · Leave a comment

The ghost of snowy Texas

It’s now a sukiyaki restaurant whose one remnant of its past life is the word Texas in its name. But once upon a time there stood a cinema in an … Continue reading

December 5, 2011 · 1 Comment

‘Scope with scraps

A few years ago I spent a strangely enjoyable summer looking up dog-eared newspapers and badly deteriorated magazines from the 1950s and 1960s at the National Library in Bangkok, just … Continue reading

December 2, 2011 · 1 Comment

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