Screen Play

Thailand Tatler - - ASIA TATLER -

Tired of watch­ing films in soul­less mul­ti­plexes? Crave new cin­e­matic ex­pe­ri­ences? Thai­land Tatler gets the low­down on Bangkok’s in­de­pen­dent cin­ema scene with four pi­o­neer­ing movie the­atre op­er­a­tors

A visit to one of the city’s many mul­ti­plex cin­e­mas can be a util­i­tar­ian ex­pe­ri­ence. How­ever, for afi­ciona­dos of the sil­ver screen look­ing for a dif­fer­ent flick fix, there are al­ter­na­tives. Thai­land Tatler talks to four pi­o­neer­ing movie the­atre op­er­a­tors who have helped to put in­de­pen­dent cin­e­mas on Bangkok’s cul­tural map The Friese-Greene Club

Tucked away in a small sub-soi off Sukhumvit 22 is The Friese-Greene Club where a nine-seat screen­ing room is avail­able for mem­bers to en­joy rare, art and cult films. Bri­tish film­maker Paul Spurrier founded the club af­ter per­ceiv­ing a lack of in­de­pen­dent art house cin­e­mas in the city. “When I grew up, there were a lot of dif­fer­ent reper­tory cin­e­mas, that is cin­e­mas where the pro­grammes were con­stantly chang­ing. Af­ter mov­ing to Bangkok I dis­cov­ered there wasn’t a place where film­mak­ers, or just film fans even, could go and see the sort of films that don’t play in the mul­ti­plex cin­e­mas. Where do you go to see films from the early 1930s or films from In­dia for ex­am­ple?” So in May 2013 the grad­u­ate of the Lon­don Film School, whose works in­clude The For­est and Un­der­ground, de­cided to set up a small cin­ema of his own. “We try to show all sorts of things that are hard to find. Thank­fully I think the sit­u­a­tion has changed a lit­tle bit now. Within the last five years we’ve seen Bangkok Screen­ing Room and Cin­ema Oa­sis open. I think it’s great that there are new venues be­cause there were vir­tu­ally none 10 years ago.”

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