Thursday, June 12, 2008

Shout-outs from Sangthong central

I'm long overdue in linking to this wonderful, highly informative post over at Rikker's blog Thai 101. It's the first part of a roundup of all of the classic Thai movies that are currently available on DVD, complete with basic production info, manufacturer name and release dates, and, perhaps most importantly, indications of which DVDs are subtitled in English. (Hopefully a second installment is soon to follow. Rikker?)

My impetus for shaking off my torpor and finally getting to it is the very generous effort Rikker put into translating the Thai Wikipedia entry regarding Sangthong Sisai. As you might recall, Sangthong was the toothless Thai character actor who was the subject of a desperate, tear-stained (well, if a blog post could be tear-stained) plea for information that I posted last week. You can read the entire translation in the comments section below this post, but some highlights include the information that the 1970 film Tone was Sangthong's film debut, and was the vehicle that launched him into stardom. He would go on to appear in many films after that and also have a successful career as a recording artist. His real name was Piak Sihera, and later on he would do hard time for attempted murder. (Believe me, that is not a face I would want to see with murderous intent behind it!)

Thanks again, Rikker. With this information in hand, I'm happy to say that 4DK is that much closer to being the full-fledged Sangthong Sisai fan site that it is destined to become.

Mood: Awesome!


Rikker said...

You're welcome, of course, and thanks for the shout out. I was translating it as I read it, so it ended up like a murder mystery, complete with twist ending. I'm not up to date on the names of hideously ugly Thai actors, so I had him mixed up in my head with another living actor who's just as ugly. Then I got to the end and I was genuinely surprised that he had been dead... for a quarter of a century. Duh-duh-DUH!

Thanks for the kick in the pants about getting the second half of the DVD roundup done, though.

Some bad news up front: no English subtitles on any of the ~30 old Thai movies that Happy Time has released on DVD.

houseinrlyeh aka Denis said...

Thanks for the link. For people like me who know next to nothing about older Thai cinema that's incredibly useful.
Now, if someone made something like that for Bollywood...

Wise Kwai said...

Subtitles or no, I'm also looking forward to another DVD roundup by Rikker.

Todd said...

Yes, I'll be looking forward to it, too. Lack of subtitles have never kept me away from anything that looked interesting. It just means that my reviews of those movies will contain a lot of qualified language and refer to characters as "some guy" or "dude with the mustache".

Doing a similar list of older Bollywood movies would be pretty daunting, because there are so damn many of them that are available on DVD. The real problem is that, for those of us who are interested in older films that may not be held in as high regard as much-hailed classics like Mother India or Deewaar (and whose tastes -- in my case, at least -- might admittedly veer toward the trashier end of the spectrum), there's very little written that would give us guidance as to which of those films are actually worth watching. I guess if you were looking for a plus in the apparent dearth of vintage Thai films on the market, it might be that at least it makes the prospect of choosing from what's available less intimidating.