The Master

The Master
Contry of Production
Thailand
Director
Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
Category
Status
Finished

“We knew that such films existed but we had never watched them. Arthouse films of the 1990s were like ghosts to us.” This is what the protagonists in this documentary say about a man who influenced Thai art-house films and cinephiles from the 1990s to the 2000s. We actually don’t know many things about the man who ran Van VDO. In the era when art films were not available in Thailand, this shop sold pirated videotapes, thus becoming the only place providing such films. Its repeat customers and its employees are now Thailand’s major film directors, scenarists and critics. This place helped them see films by Wong Kar-wai, Tsai Ming Liang, François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. Talking about the fact that a shop selling pirated films paradoxically contributed to forming today’s art film market in Thailand, the protagonists express diverse emotions and opinions. The culture of watching films has changed and in this digitized world; access to art films has become easier. This documentary fills us with nostalgia for the cinephile culture characterized by watching films thanks to cultural centers and video rental shops when art films were almost unavailable.

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