The San Joaquin Film Society celebrates the Holiday Season and closes an extraordinary year with a screening of "Love of Siam" (Rak Haeng Sayam) a groundbreaking teen love story by Director Chukiat Sakveerakul, on Thursday, December 10th at 7:00PM at the Pacific Theatre at University of the Pacific. Admission ranges from $9.00 to $11.00.
Also at this event, the Film Society will be announcing the Opening Night film of February 2010's 3rd Anniversary San Joaquin International Film Festival.
ABOUT THE FILM
Thailand's Official Entry for the 2009 Academy Awards
Set during the Holiday Season, "Love is Siam" is both a commercial and critical hit. It swept most of Thailand's major film awards in 2007 and 2008 including Best Picture and Director at the Thailand National Film Association Awards.
At first glance, this affecting multi-layered tale of family, friendship, and romance seems an unlikely entry from Chukiat Sakveerakul, director of the psychological thriller "13 Beloved" and horror "Pisaj," but the film did not come without its controversies. Produced by Ong Bak director Prachya Pinkaew, "Love of Siam" attracted much attention and debate for its frank and sensitive portrayal of teen homosexuality, making overnight stars of newcomers Mario Maurer and Witwisit Hiranyawongkul who played the film's two confused teenage boys.
With his handsome looks and beautiful girlfriend (Aticha Pongsilpipat), high school senior Tong (Mario Maurer) shouldn't have much to worry about, but he can't seem to sort out certain questions in his mind. One day at Siam Square, he runs into his childhood friend, budding musician Mew (Witwisit Hiranyawongkul), and the encounter opens new possibilities and uncertainties into his life. Tong hires Mew's band manager June (Chermarn Boonyasak) to pose as his longlost sister in hopes that she can help pull his father out of alcoholism. Even more confusing than his family problems though are issues of the heart as Tong faces his own dormant feelings for Mew.
150 min | Thailand | 2007
Film is in Thai, with English Subtitles
From Mark Deming, All Movie Guide: "Two young men go from friends to lovers as one stands on the verge of stardom in this drama from Thailand. Mew and Tong were best friends as children, and Tong's sister Tang was a close confidant to them both. Years later, Mew (Witwisit Hiranyawongkul) has become a professional musician, and he's the lead singer and songwriter with a pop group, August, who are poised to achieve major commercial success. One day, Mew happens to meet Tong (Mario Maurer) for the first time in years, and the two waste no time getting reacquainted; while both of them have girlfriends, it becomes clear that there's a bond between them that they've never felt with other people, and their friendship begins to grow into something deeper. Meanwhile, Tong's family is still reeling from Tang's mysterious disappearance several years before, and her father, Korn (Songsit Roongnophakunsri), has become a hopeless alcoholic. When Tong meets June (Chermarn Boonyasak), a personal assistant for August, he's struck by her uncanny resemblance to Tang, and asks her to pose as his sister in hopes her presence will help his father snap out of his depression. Rak Hang Siam (aka The Love of Siam) was written and directed by Matthew Chookiat Sakveerakul, who also had a hand in writing the songs for the film."
From Vicci Ho:"A groundbreaking teen love story, the Love of Siam is a moving gay romance that took Thailand by storm. Mew and Tong are childhood neighbors and become good friends after Tong protects Mew from bullies. Tragedy strikes when Tong's sister disappears, however, and soon Tong's grief-stricken family moves away. Years later, the two boys are reunited in Siam Square, a trendy teenage hangout in Bangkok, where Mew often performs with a now-popular boy band. Rekindling their affections after all these years, the two must decide if their feelings for one another are as friends, or something more. When they discover that Mew's manager looks exactly like Tong's long-lost sister, a different kind of decision is made, one that may create other problems, or a novel solution to Tong's father's grief.Dealing with both the complexities of family life and teen love, the Love of Siam pushes cultural boundaries further by dealing with sexuality in an honest manner rarely seen in Thai commercial film. Despite its controversial subject matter, it managed to win over both audiences and critics at home, winning all major awards and achieving huge box-office success. It also ignited websites, message boards and a slew of online fan fiction that continued the story of Tong and Mew. Chosen to represent Thailand at the 2009 Academy Awards, the Love of Siam is a well-crafted, affecting drama that captures the vibrancy of Thai pop culture and its modern capitol."
Simplified Directions: Enter main entry at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and W. Knoles Way. Make a right at the first stop. Follow the road, turning left when you approach the Chapel. Pacific Theatre will be straight ahead at the corner, within the McCaffrey Center complex.