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Hi-So

HiSoLarge

A film by Aditya Assarat (Thailand, 102 mins)

Set against the backdrop of a post-tsunami Thailand, Aditya Assarat’s second film features Thai film star Ananda Everingham in a bittersweet tale of love, memories and belonging.

Returning to Thailand after studying in the US, Ananda (played by leading Thailand based actor Ananda Everingham) lands a part in a new film and finds himself swept up in a whirlwind of success. When American girlfriend Zoe turns up to visit, she soon begins to feel shut out and the distance between them grows as Ananda becomes increasingly absorbed with his role in the film. His attention soon turns to May from the film’s production crew, and so as one relationship fades, another ignites. All the while, Ananda finds himself revisiting his past and reflecting on his present – from the building he grew up in and a Bangkok he once knew, to two cultures that he is now caught between.

Official festival selections: Pusan Film Festival 2010, Berlinale 2011

Country of Production: Thailand
Director: Aditya Assarat
Production Company: Pop Pictures
Co-Production Company: Spicy Disc, Halo Productions
Cast: Ananda Everingham, Cerise Leang, Sajee Apiwong
Executive Producers:  Pichai Chirathivat
Producers: Soros Sukhum, Aditya Assarat, Ananda Everingham, Napassarin Prompila
Director of Photography: Umpornpol Yugala
Art Director: Rasigate Sookkarn
Editor: Lee Chatametikool
Sound Design: Akaritchalerm Kalayanamitr
Music: Koichi Shimizu, Desktop Error
Duration: 102 minutes
Format: DCP
Genre: Drama
Language: Thai & English + English subtitles

Forthcoming Screenings

previous screenings:

London, The Proud Archivist: 25 Jun 2014

London, Hackney Picturehouse + Q&A with director Aditya Assarat: 2 Mar 2013

London, Curzon Renoir + Q&A with director Aditya Assarat: 1 Mar 2013

★★★★ The Guardian 

 

“Assarat shares Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s ability to conjure delicate moods and memories…“ (Mike McCahill, Mar 2013)

 

★★★★ Time Out

aditya1

About the Filmmaker

Aditya Assarat was born in Bangkok, Thailand. He studied film production at the University of Southern California. He started his career by making his thesis film Motorcycle (2000) which was the first Thai film to compete in Clermont-Ferrand, Tampere, Oberhausen and Sundance. His other shorts include Waiting (2002),Boy Genius (2004), and The Sigh (2005) which together won fifteen awards. In 2006, he started the production company Pop Pictures to produce his debut featureWonderful Town (2007).

The film, supported by Rolex, the Hubert Bals Fund, the Sundance Annenberg Fund, and the Pusan Asian Cinema Fund, won the New Currents Award at Pusan and Tiger Award at Rotterdam.

Director’s Statement

I think this project should start with voices, it should get the voices right. We talk in our own language and it sounds like no other language in the world. It’s a mix of Thai and English and probably nobody can understand it except people who know both languages. If you know one but not the other, then only half of it makes sense. In this way, we’re no different from a tribe. So my approach is to shoot a documentary about a tribe of youth. It’s a new tribe which only recently came into being. A century ago, if you were born in Thailand, it meant something definite. It meant you spoke Thai, probably never left your country, maybe never even left your town. But nowadays, with low cost airlines and internet, things aren’t so simple. New tribes have sprouted up around the world that are not defined by national borders but by education, taste and opportunity. On Facebook, I have some 300 friends. Most of them don’t live in this country but I have more in common with them than people who live down the street: favourite movies, favourite music, favourite books. We’re all the same, a pop tribe sprouted from pop stuff.

Things change quickly, so this film should be a snapshot of the way things are now. Like a Polaroid, as soon as you take it, it’s already fading into the past. This year has been one of changes. The political mess we’re in isn’t a beginning nor an end. It’s the culmination of nothing. I think it’s a marker on the road, stretching far back and far ahead, and we’re just standing in the middle. I feel it: old things dying away, new things being formed. So I want to express these changes in the spaces around me. Thailand is not a large country, about the same as an average US state or an eastern European country. But it’s filled with such contrasts. From the sea and sky of the south to the dense grey and glass blocks of the city, the disparity is staring you in the face.

Ananda asked me, “Hey, you think anyone is going to get any of this besides us?”. “Yeah,” I lied. The truth is the people who are going to get this are my 300 some Facebook friends. But I think in the future, more people will join our little tribe. It might become so big it will no longer be a tribe, but the mainstream. Maybe they can pull out this Polaroid and recognise themselves in it.

Aditya Assarat

September 2009

Press

The Guardian ★★★★

“Assarat shares Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s ability to conjure delicate moods and memories…“ (Mike McCahill, Mar 2013)

Time Out ★★★★

“…those attuned to the quiet desolation of an Antonioni or Hou Hsiao-Hsien will find much to admire. A welcome discovery“ (Trevor Johnston, Feb 2013)

Sight & Sound

“…skillfully crafted images do succeed in defining moods of ennui and dislocation and are none the worse for echoing Antonionii and Edward Yang.” (Tony Rayns, Mar 2013)

Screen International

“An absorbing and beguilingly simple film… beautifully haunting and effortlessly cool” (Mark Adams, Chief Film Critic, Nov 2010)

AnOther (Mar 2013)

Indie London (Feb 2013)

Movie Emporium (Feb 2013)

The Right Copy (Feb 2013)

Bangkok Online (Oct 2011)