Thai Culture: Movie “Crazy in Thailand” Gets Zapped by Thai Politics

I lost my Siamese cats, but they will be back

I lost my Siamese cats, but they will be back

By Tammy-this blog’s humanity journalist

The high budget action comedy Indonesian movie, Crazy in Thailand, will not debit in Thailand any time soon, as the Thai political environment is not ready, said the Thai lead actress of the movie.

“We are having a great deal of difficulty meeting our schedule because of the political situation in Thailand and the Indonesia team says Thailand is not ready for the movie,” said the leading actress of the movie.

  • One of Thailand’s largest movie studio told this blog that a great many movie studios in the region are trying to ride the popular wave of Thai movies globally.

“First it was Singapore, then it was Japan, then Chinese, and now it is Indonesia. Everyone is clamoring to get something into their movies that has the Thai word associated with it. I suspect that when Thailand’s politic can support it, there will be a flood of movies about Thailand hitting the globe,” said GMM Grammy.

  • Directors, actor, actress and movies-anything-remotely associated with Thailand have been very hot for the past few years.

Many Thai movies have gotten rave review at the big international movie meet at Cann. Thai action hero, Tony Jar, is considered on the verge of rising to the ranks of Bruce Lee. Action movies based on the Thai martial art, “Muay Thai” have been incorporated by top Hollywood action hero into their movies.

  • However, under the current conservative political mood in Thailand, many movies have tanked.

A major Hollywood movie about the life of Anna, a teacher in the court of a Thai king, had to be made in Malaysia. Then several movies were censored so badly by Thai censorship board, the directors decided to make a political statement instead by leaving the movies with long black blank portions in the movies.

Then because Thailand’s ministry in charged of developing Thailand’s digital infrastructure, turned itself into a censorship group, major animation studios decided to locate themselves in Singapore instead of Thailand, even when Thailand’s animation studio, has produced many animation that went successfully globally.

“It is an odd situation that Singapore animation house is growing fast, by coming to Thailand to recruit Thailand’s best talents to go and work in Singapore,” said Mark, a Thai animators, adding that he actually prefer to work in Singapore because his salary there is much higher than in Thailand.

  • “They really value talent there, but it is very competitive,” said Mark.

Thailand has identified movies and animation as a new market for Thailand and have dedicated great attention into the area. While the current conservative mood has slowed that development, Thai creative talents in all area are fighting hard for their interest.

  • But even young Thais are getting a lesson in movie making these days. At Wattana, a very conservative Thai school, students ages anywhere from 13-15, are clamoring to attend “Mini-Film School” that are offered by the school.

The Thai current conservative government has decided to address the situation by using tax money to fund one of Thailand’s best director to make an epic movie about a historical Thai king’s fight to liberate Thailand from Burma’s occupation. The movie will be a third in the series, that after he first two, finances dried up.

But movies base on Thai history have a record of doing very well locally and internationally. The movie “Suriyothathai,” about the dedicated wife of a famous Thai king, impressed Hollywood so much, many cutting edge Hollywood studio had to compete to re-edit the movie and then marketed in the US.

Then another movie about a small hamlet, that resisted to the death, against the invading Burma’s army, was so fulled with blood, guts and tears, that it has become a “Cult Classic” around the world.

  • While movie box office tickets sales have tanked about 30% in Thailand currently, several major movie theaters groups, many listed in the Thai stock market, have announced significant expansion plans.

However, the bottom line appeared to have dropped. At Thailand’s top school for movie making, the enrollment has dropped to the level that classes have been canceled now for a year. “We had to keep calling up those who want to take the course, that we have to delay the course, because of this and that. But there is no hiding the fact that currently, the interest in film is gone.”

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