Why and for whom do you write/work today?
Feature by: Alexis A. Tioseco
My reasons for writing about movies are very selfish ones: I write to satisfy my own curiosity and I write because it is a process which assists me in improving my understanding of the movies, the culture, and of myself as a person in relation to the values of the society and the culture. Shit, I sound serious. I write because as long as movies are still being made, I believe there should be professionals devoted to watch those movies with analytical attention, functioning as the interpreter of culture. Movies that go un-reviewed are like a life that goes unexamined. Wow man...
I have a complex as a writer who writes mostly in English in a country where most people have very limited understanding of the language. My audience is thus limited. But since Thai movies have gained more interest abroad, I believe my writing has some informative and critical values to readers outside of my own country. Not many Thai writers write in English about Thai movies, and I think it's important to have someone who shares the same cultural environment as the filmmakers to write about their works. If we happened to find large oil reserves in this country, we should at least try (successfully or not is another story) to build our own oil refineries before we quickly turn to ask foreigners to come in and dig. Am I making any sense?
Film critic Kong Rithdee is friends with most Thai filmmakers, even if he doesn't like their films. He writes a column on cinema for the Bangkok Post.
Khoo Gaik Cheng
Tan Bee Thiam