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TEARS OF THE w,“ '~ BLACK TIGER ‘* (15) 100 mins .00.

Universally acclaimed by the

critics upon its release last

summer, Tears of The Black figer -

perhaps the only example of the

Thai Western genre you’ll ever see

- was alternately described as

‘gloriously stylised’, ‘totally unique’

and ‘mad as a bag of spiders’. It is,

of course, all of these things and

more. r '

Shot in ultra-vivid colour, not v ~ . x -' , ' . F seen on screen since Jacques 1' Demy’s Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, the film opens on beautiful young Rumpoey (Stella Malucchi) as she shelters in the rain awaiting her childhood sweetheart, the interestingly- named Dum (Chartchai Ngamsan). But, as Dum’s an outlaw gunslinger and right-hand man to the biggest bandit in the paddy field and Rumpoey’s the daughter of the Bangkok Governor, we somehow suspect that their true love is never meant to be. And to make matters worse, Rumpoey’s only got herself betrothed to the plucky young captain intent on gunning down her dark prince. Oh, the calamity.

The critics were right in all their sage judgements, but failed to pick up on the point that director Wisit Sasanatieng’s willfully exuberant homage to the western is quite possibly the ultimate date movie. Boys brought up on ‘bullet ballets’, the like of which John Woo does so well, will love the Peckinpah- esque slow-mo gore of the gunslinging, while the ladies can cry quietly into their handkerchiefs at the tragic romance. Few films could please both sexes so well. (Catherine Bromley)

I Ava/lame on DVD rental and retail through Pat/lo from Mon] Apr.

m a"

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