Friday 6 June 2014

"36" (The Guardian 06/06/14)

36 ***
Dir: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit. With: Vajrasthira Koramit, Wanlop Rungkamjad. Cert: NC. 68 mins

Thai writer-director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit here presents us with three-dozen single shots, lasting two or three minutes apiece; operating rather like a slo-mo flicker book, these come to track several years in the life of a location scout with her own tendency towards photo-hoarding. Formally, it’s not so far from Kiarostami’s Five and Ten, or its producer Aditya Assarat’s blissful Hi-So, which cast a similar spell with the same basic ingredients: image as memory, people wandering among symbolic rubble. Thamrongrattanarit works hard on this exercise, eliciting wry chuckles from one character’s frustrated attempts to retrieve his email password, and palpable poignancy when another dies, leaving those left behind with only images like these – becalmed moments, suspended in time – to remember them by. Succumb to its peaceable rhythms, and it adds up to a distinctive if slight experience – an object lesson in what can be achieved without recourse to frenetic cutting or camera-twirling.

36 opens in selected cinemas from today.

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