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BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK (Dao Khanong)

 

a film by Anocha Suwichakornpong

 

Winner: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing, Thai National Film Awards 2017

Special Mention, Osaka Asian Film Festival 2017

– released in the UK & Ireland  16 June 2016 –

 

 

 

Taking the Thammasat student massacre of 1976 as its starting point, By the Time it Gets Dark intricately weaves together the lives of various characters in this beguiling and dizzying second feature by Anocha Suwichakornpong.

The lives of a documentary filmmaker and her subject, a former a student activist, a waitress who constantly drifts from one job to another, an actor and an actress are all loosely connected, hinging on a series of almost invisible threads, while the narrative doesn’t fail to surprise as it unfolds, layer upon layer.

The film intricately weaves together notions of memory, the political and cinematic, offering a bold exploration into film the possibilities of cinema itself.

Anocha Suwichakornpong’s debut feature Mundane History won a Tiger Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2009, and she has also just won three Thai national film awards for By the Time it Gets Dark.

 

“This film is my love letter to cinema.”

— Anocha Suwichakornpong

 

 

 

CREDITS:

Written & Directed by: Anocha Suwichakornpong

Cast: Arak Amornsupasiri, Apinya Sakuljaroensuk, Atchara Suwan, Waywiree Ittianunkul

Production Company: Electric Eel Films

Co-producers: Christof Neracher, Tom Spiess

Co-Production Companies: VS Service, Survivance

Cinematography: Ming Kai Leung

Editors: Lee Chatametikool, Machima Ungsriwon

Sound Design: Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr

Original Music: Wuttipong Leetrakul

Country of production: Thailand

Year: 2016

Running time: 106 mins

Languages: Thai + subtitles

 

“an expansive and imaginative exploration of class, history and spirituality in modern Thailand”

— Eve Watling, Little White Lies

 

“a brilliant work”

— Nick Pinkerton, Artforum

 

“You’ll be lucky to find a more ambitious or enthralling work of cinema in this year’s festival” (on London Film Festival 2016)

— Kieron Corless, Sight & Sound

 

“This is a cinema that is far from the idea of the documentary, a cinema that exalts its proper essence: imagination.”

— Giuseppe Di Salvatore, Filmexplorer

 

“By The Time It Gets Dark is not an easy film to wrap your head around, but the feeling of loss, doubt and suffocated hope is right there.”

— Kong Rithdee, Bangkok Post

 

“To call what happens in By the Time It Gets Dark a “plot” is to do it a disservice of sorts, such is the beguilingly self-reflexive nature of Anocha Suwichakornpong’s becalmed, trippy, historically conscious fungus of a film.”

— Jay Kuehner, Cinema Scope

 

Mundane History was by any measure a self-assured and decidedly unique debut, however the conceptual steps forward in vision, scope, pacing, and coherence marked in By the Time it Gets Dark are phenomenal.”

— Jeremy Elphick, 4:3 Film

 

“Suwichakornpong’s films elevate the ethereality of the physical, human world, as her cosmic imagery intertwines with the relationships between strangers, friends, lovers, families, citizens, and governments.”

— Kelley Dong, Film Comment

 

“The only tangible link between these glittering narrative shards is the figure of the waitress, who pops up toiling away in the background of almost every new setting, an ordinary figure entrusted with gluing together an extraordinary film.”

— James Lattimer, Slant Magazine