Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s long-awaited film noir Samui Song kicks off Venice Days on Wednesday and Screen has obtained a trailer to the picture ahead of the premiere.
Popular Thai actress Cherman “Ploy” Boonyasak plays Viyada, a Thai soap opera whose happy marriage to wealthy expat Jerome turns sour when he becomes devoted to a charismatic cult leader, The Holy One.
Not content with ensnaring Jerome, The Holy One seems to have designs on Viyada too. She resorts to drastic measures to escape his clutches.
“Here we have a story of an actress who struggles in a male-dominated environment where she has no way of defining herself… She tries everything to break free from this oppressive environment… which eventually leads her to becoming entangled in a serious crime,” explains the director.
“Though nominally a dark noir, I want the film to be surprising and unexpected – an ode, if you will, to cinema itself. Using Hitchcock as a starting point, the film serves as an homage to the kinds of movies I enjoy, from Buñuel to Thai cinema from the ‘60s.”
Samui Song is a Thai-German-Norwegian co-production led by Raymond Phathanavirangoon of Bangkok-based Bluering Company Limited in association with Cinema22 and in co-production with Germany’s Augenschein Filmproduktion. It was supported by Thailand’s Ministry of Culture, Germany’s World Cinema Fund and Norway’s Sørfond.
Urban Distribution International is handling sales.