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Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

Thailand on Screen (post '97)

Course Code:
155901317
Unit value:
0.5
Year of study:
Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4
Taught in:
Term 2

Prerequisites

South East Asia on Film (or equivalent).

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course a student will have acquired a broad knowledge of the work of the key filmmakers who have risen to fame since the regeneration of Thai cinema post 1997. The student will have developed the ability to consider these films critically in terms of the historical and cultural context in which they have been created. Students will have learned how to analyse the films both visually and culturally. 

In terms of generic skills, students will have had the opportunity to strengthen their skills in essay writing and will have learned how to extract and process information from cinematic and secondary sources, and to combine the two. As a result of the emphasis on group discussion of the cinematic texts explored in this course, they will learn how to contribute constructively to debates, how to accommodate the views of others in the learning group and how to present their own views orally.

Workload

A total of 11 weeks teaching with 4 hours classroom contact per week (2 hours of which are film viewing).

Scope and syllabus

The course will examine key issues pertaining to the work of Thai filmmakers who have risen to fame since the rejuvenation of cinema in Thailand post 1997. It will focus in particular on the work of Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Nonzee Nimibutr, Wisit Sasanathieng, Yutthlert Sippapak, Parchya Pinkaew and Youngyooth Thongkongthoon with an examination of their principal cinematic works and with reference to the Thai and Western cinematic sources on which they draw. For this reason the course will also include a consideration of the older generation of Thai filmmakers who have influenced the current 'avant-garde', most notable M.C. Chatrichalerm Yukhol. The course will contextualize the chosen films in light of the cultural, economic, political and historical context in which they have been produced. It will focus in particular on the effects of Thailand's cultural and cinematic response to the economic crash of 1997 and the reorientation of attitudes to globalization and the West which this crisis provoked.

Method of assessment

One 3,000 word essay to be submitted on the first day of term immediately after that in which the course is taught (50%). Five reaction papers of 600 words each to be handed directly to the class tutor in weeks 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 (10% each).

Suggested reading

A comprehensive reading list for this course will be supplied by the convenor at the beginning of the course.