Thai Culture: Apichatpong’s Uncle Boonmee one of big hitter at the Oscar foreign language film hopeful

Someone in Boston thinks Uncle Boonmee is a heavy hitter-well, Thai Intel wants to hit on a Red Sox babe

Blog Note: Just quickly that Uncle Boonmee just got a really awful reception in Thailand. Why? Who knows, but judging by the stuff on Thai TV-it is pretty clear that the Thais are not into thought provoking movies and reflection. The Thai TV soap, highly popular, is filled with stories of jealousy. By the way, jealousy is a key socio-cultural characteristic of the Thais.

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences published its list for this years foreign-language possibilities. It’s simply a list of each country’s top submission and means only that the submitting country may or may not have good sense. Most Americans haven’t seen most of these films, and by January the list will be whittled down to nine, five of which will be nominees for the February broadcast.

The big movies include Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s holy miracle “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” from Thailand,” Xavier Beauvois’s “Of Gods and Men,” from France, and Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s “Biutiful,” from Mexico, which is such a Best Picture contender (Roadside Attractions, wisely, is releasing it at the end of year.) It’s also funny that Greece submitted Yorgos Lanthimos’s extremely interesting family experiment “Dogtooth,” and that Friðrik Þór Friðriksson‘s melodramedy “Mamma Gógó,” from Iceland could at least make the semifinals. Last year, Angentina’s “The Secret in Their Eyes” won and Peru’s “The Milk of Sorrow” was a nominee, so anything is possible.

Here’s the complete list.

Albania: “East, West, East,” directed by Gjergj Xhuvani
Algeria: “Outside the Law,” directed by Rachid Bouchareb
Argentina: “Carancho,” Pablo Trapero
Austria: “La Pivellina,” directed by Tizza Covi & Rainer Frimmel
Azerbaijan: “Precinct,” directed by Ilgar Safat
Bangladesh: “Third Person Singular Number,” directed by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki
Belgium: “Illegal,” directed by Olivier Masset-Depasse
Bosnia and Herzegovina: “Cirkus Columbia,” directed by Danis Tanovic
Brazil: “Lula, o filho do Brasil,” directed by Fábio Barreto
Bulgaria: “Eastern Plays,” directed by Kamen Kalev
Canada: “Incendies,” directed by Denis Villeneuve
Chile: “The Life of Fish,” directed by Matías Bize
China: “Aftershock,” directed by Feng Xiaogang
Colombia: “Crab Trap,” directed by Oscar Ruíz Navia
Costa Rica: “Of Love and Other Demons,” directed by Hilda Hidalgo
Croatia: “The Blacks,” directed by Goran Devic and Zvonimir Juric
Czech Republic: “Kawasaki?s Rose,” directed by Jan Hrebejk
Denmark: “In a Better World,” directed by Susanne Bier
Egypt: “Messages From The Sea,” directed by Daoud Abdel Sayed
Estonia: “The Temptation of St. Tony,” directed by Veiko Öunpuu
Ethiopia: “The Athlete,” directed by Davey Frankel and Rasselas Lakew
Finland: “Steam of Life,” directed by Joonas Berghail & Mika Hotakainen
France: “Of Gods and Men,” directed by Xavier Beauvois
Georgia: “Street Days,” directed Levan Koguashvili
Germany: “When We Leave,” directed by Feo Aladag
Greece: “Dogtooth,” directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Greenland: “Nuummioq,” directed by Torben Bech and Otto Rosing
Hong Kong: “Echoes of the Rainbow,” directed by Alex Law
Hungary: “Bibliteque Pascal,” directed by Szabolcs Hajdu
Iceland: “Mamma Gógó,” directed by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson
India: “Peepli Live,” directed by Anusha Rizvi
Indonesia: “How Funny (This Country Is),” directed by Deddy Mizwar
Iran: “Farewell Baghdad,” directed by Mehdi Naderi
Iraq: “Son of Babylon,” directed by Mohamed Al-Daradji
Italy: “The First Beautiful Thing,” directed by Paolo Virzì
Israel: “The Human Resources Manager,” directed by Eran Riklis
Japan: Confessions, directed by Tetsuya Nakashima
Kazakhstan: “Strayed,” directed by Akan Satayev
Latvia: “Hong Kong Confidential,” directed by Maris Martinsons
Macedonia: “Mothers,” directed by Milcho Manchevski
Mexico: “Biutiful,” directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Netherlands: “Tirza,” directed by Rudolph van den Berg
Nicaragua: “Le Yuma,” directed by Florence Jaugey
Norway: “Angel,” directed by Margreth Olin
Peru: “Undertow,” directed by Javier Fuentes-León
Philippines: “Noy,” directed by Dondon Santos
Poland: “All That I Love,” directed by Jacek Borcuch
Portugal: “To Die Like A Man,” directed by João Pedro Rodrigues
Puerto Rico: “Miente,” directed by Rafi Mercado
Romania: “If I Want to Whistle?I Whistle,” directed by Florin Serban
Russia: The Edge, directed by Aleksei Uchitel
Serbia: “Besa,” directed by Srdjan Karanovic
Slovakia: The Border, directed by Jaroslav Vojtek
Slovenia: “9:06,” directed by Igor Sterk
South Africa: “Life, Above All,” directed by Oliver Schmitz
South Korea: “A Barefoot Dream,” directed by Tae-gyun Kim
Spain: “Even The Rain,” directed by Iciar Bollain
Sweden: “Simple Simon,” directed by Andreas Ohman
Switzerland: “La petite chambre,” directed by Stéphanie Chaut & Véronique Reymond
Taiwan: “Monga,” directed by Doze Niu
Thailand: “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” directed by Apichatpong Weerathesakul
Turkey: “Honey,” directed by Semih Kaplanoglu
Venezuela: “Hermano,” directed by Marcel Rasquin