Discontinuous Illusion and Regional Performance Traditions in Contemporary Thai Independent Film
Mingmongkol Sonakul’s “Isarn Special” (2002) as well as a number of other recent Thai independent films, such as those by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, refer to acting and narrating techniques familiar from Thai drama traditions. The ensemble of the troupe is fundamental, as all elements of the play, namely narration, acting, music and chorus, are divided equally and non-hierarchically between the troupe members, assigning to each their specific functions that are, in equal measure, complementally significant in the formation of the artistic synthesis of the play. An equally important dramatic tradition is that of shared narrating. The essay points out how contemporary independent films from Thailand continue a “aesthetics of discontinuity” that goes back to traditional theatre.
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