“the nostalgia film is unable to recreate a real past but only a simulation of it, based on pre-existing representations and styles. For Jameson, the nostalgia film therefore expresses ‘pastiche’ and the loss of historicity, substituting for history an ‘idea’ of the past that reflects our postmodern difficulties of naming the present” pg 202 (Do you think TOTBT is a nostalgia film?)
“Wisit Sasanatieng’s (re)construction and reinvention of a Thai cinematic past represents not so much an indigenous postmodern crisis with regard to history as it does an untroubled statement of uninterrupted and unsullied continuity between past and present” pg 205
Which of these critiques of the film do you think is more accurate? Why?
Pg 196: “Peripheral nations have few channels for self-representation within global media; their image is highly reductive. For this reason a director upon whom international critical acclaim is heaped cannot avoid the burden of national representation.” What does the film (and its huge success abroad) say about Thai nationality? Is the film inaccurately representing the country? (i.e. is it “speaking” for a silenced group? And by doing so, silencing that group?)
TOTBT was a huge success internationally, but a total flop in Thailand. What does this say about the director’s interpretation of Thai “locality?”
Many critics have claimed that TOTBT was heavily influenced (or, in Bhabha’s words, “mimicked”) by old Westerns and its post-colonial past. Do you think using these images (the Western, throwing in references that international viewers relate to, etc) detracts from the film’s appeal to Thai people?