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8.16.2007

PLOY

Ploy
Directed and Written by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang







The part of you that comes loose in transit and takes its time catching up, William Gibson says it's your soul and maybe that's what it is and what we have here - - -bodies waiting for missing souls to catch up. The eerie lull of jet lag is the rhythm of its secret heart , that sensation of not being here nor there and having nowhere to hang your hat. Husband and wife here are both homeless in their homeland and neither one wants to be the first to say goodbye. He says they're past their sell-bys. She just wants him to try a little tenderness and a fuck now and then wouldn't hurt either. And the maid and bartender getting nasty somewhere else in the hotel could be their disembodied souls having one last mad go before re-entering their frigid shells or could all be in the dreaming head of the eponymous teenager sleeping on their couch. Jealousies simmer, dire things occur in a roomful of old clocks, youth and obsolescence rub shoulders, someone breaks into song , another declares love and means it and everything is framed sticky and intimate like an eavesdrop. Makes or breaks on aura because Pen-ek's not your go-to man for artfilm languor and it's not even the artfilm languor you're used to that he's trying to nail here but something gauzier, almost spectral - - - the opaque vacuum of hotels. You could feel a little disembodied and lightheaded , too, that's the risk, but for evoking the metaphorical half-sleep of marriages and the hope that you do wake up from it, no other tone will catch. Sometimes being alone together is better than being alone.



14 comments:

Oggs Cruz said...

Eksakto!

I'm jealous; you said what I wanted to say in one paragraph. Hehe.

dodo dayao said...

Thanks man. :) I actually want to watch this again.

Was Village People Radio Show any good? Missed it. Bumped into some friends sa Cafe Bola and ended up talking longer than I planned. Hehe.

Oggs Cruz said...

Village People Radio Show is good; might have missed a lot since I haven't seen The Last Communist (which also tackles on the same subject).

Ronald said...

My first time seeing a Pen-ek flick. Thanks for the recommendation, i became more interested in Thai cinema.

dodo dayao said...

No problem, pre.

Ploy's very uncharacteristic Pen-Ek in many ways, though, so expect something else when you go see his other work: Last Life In The Universe, Monrak Transistor and 6ixtynin9.

DIGITAL BURYONG said...

Hi sir, your Ploy review is exceptional. Really, really good. I wrote a "short review" but I think it fell "short." Hehe.
Anyway, have you also seen Syndromes and a Century? Great Thai film as well.

-chard

dodo dayao said...

Thanks, chard.:)

Yes I've seen Syndromes, also at Cinemanila and I thought it was absolutely beautiful. On just this and Mysterious Object at Noon I have become a Apichatpong fan.

I'm posting a review of it up here soon. Still wrapping my head around it.

Thanks for dropping by and please visit often.

DIGITAL BURYONG said...

whoa, where have you seen Mysterious Object? I'm dying to see a copy of Blissfully Yours or Tropical Malady whenever I visit Quiapo but damn luck -- I haven't seen any.

Asian filmmakers are having a blast these years in festivals. Jia Zhangke won last year's Golden Lion, and how I wish Lav will do the same. Hehe. Wishful thinking.

Anyway, great to be here. :)

dodo dayao said...

I blind-bought a DVD off amazon. At the very least, that title would look good on the shelf. Hehe. Thinking of doing the same with his other films since they aren't cropping up at Makati Square.

And yeah, it's a heady time for Asian films and Asian film fans. After new Pen-Ek and new Apichatpong, there's also news of new Johnny To and Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Hong San Soo and Tsai Ming Liang and Takeshi Kitano and yes, even new Lav in 2007.

Asian films are go!

DIGITAL BURYONG said...

hindi ba mahal dun?

have you been to quiapo recently? they have these criterion releases and the good news is that they are playing quite well, even the interviews, trailers, and most of the special features! hehe. china is truly a God.

has someone told you that you have an eclectic way of writing? (compliment un a hehe)

dodo dayao said...

Sa Makati Square? O sa amazon? 20 pesos difference sa Square pero madaming umaabot dun na mahirap makita sa Quiapo. Tsaka may suki na 'ko dun who keeps the new stocks for me for months, if need be, until I get the money to ransom them. As for amazon - - - yeah, it is pricey pero tinataon ko ang pagbili pag may raket.

I was lucky enough to go to China a few years back and man, nahilo ako sa DVDs! They sell bootlegs inside their big mall and at less than Quiapo price even. And the choices - - hayop! Buti na lang umaabot dito yung mga Criterion.:)

Thanks for the compliment. First time I've been called that, though. :)

francesbean said...

you do have a way with words.
i had the pleasure of seeing monrak transistor and last life in the universe, so i'm very much looking forward to seeing this too. i hope it'll be available in mcs haha.

dodo dayao said...

Thank you and . . .me,too, on the MCS availability. Wanna watch this again. Hehe.

chard bolisay said...

tsong, there's a copy now of Ploy at Quiapo Cinematheque. :)