Lusophone film festival in Bangkok

20 05 2015

This is interesting. Everybody’s favourite Charon Krueng art-speakeasy, Speedy Grandma, is hosting a festival of Portuguese language films in the Thai capital, including offerings from Portugal, Angola, Mocambique and the film being billed as East Timor’s first ever feature (although it is conspicuously not in Portuguese), “Beatriz’s War”.

Bangkok was once home to a Portuguese trading community among the river who built the sprawling tropical mansion of the Portuguese Embassy (still) and the church at Santa Cruz and contributed new desserts to Thai cuisine via the fascinating personage of wife-of-former-prime-minister-turned-kitchen-slave Maria Guyomar de Pinha.

Its good to see this long-lapsed connection being picked up again.

The Dos and Don’ts of going OTT in Bangkok

12 05 2015

The Thai capital is no stranger to over-the-top fashion, but this month it has outdone itself with two very loud and very public displays of eccentric couture. But are the two looks really as different as they first appear? The go-go boy costumes for the recent Songkran SK9 dance party represented an elaborate gay fantasy. The tiny hotpants, chains and metallic headresses and body-popping skintight fabrics promised escapism, taut muscles and thrusting male sexuality. They were designed after all to appear on the pecs and loins of an all-star team of go-go boys imported from Tokyo, Shanghai, Taipei and Saigon. Whether the look actually worked of course is a matter of personal opinion, but I would go with…no….

Meanwhile, actress and cosmetics pitchperson Araya Chompoo Hargate, Thailand’s sweetheart, made a rather more successful, but just as elaborate, fashion statement. She wed this week in a gown costing more than a middle class home, virginal white with a flowing cape, before changing into a “simple” Dior dress with Converse sneakers for the reception.

But what both of these styles have in common is that the represented an idealised sexual identity and chanelled into fashion at full force. One represents a fantasy of lusty abandon and the other demure domesticity, but they both represent. Both took their desired effect and cranked it up to eleven. The results: Gay – tacky yet thrillingly liberated, straight – elegant but regressive.

Still, there is some virtue in both, in my opinion. At least they both showed some ambition and imagination. Maybe, the wedding cape with the metallic hotpants would have been the perfect look?

Seoul gets bodied. Meanwhile, Bangkok rocks and Melbourne rejoices.

28 04 2015

In Seoul: new uber-gay underwear brand ‘Twomuch’ launches, with the aid of hardbodied Tokyo go-go boy king Go Kenta here and three anime-style characters, Woong the rugby player, Yong the baseball player and Bum the Swimmer. Cute.

Meanwhile Bangkok has launched a monthly gay indie rock party, called Debaser. Sounds great. When I first started going out in Melbourne in the nineties, my favourite haunt was the Thursday night gay rock night, Q&A, held at the Builders Arms in Fitzroy, still fondly remembered and talked about in the city’s gay community today. Entry was free (or was it two dollars, I can’t remember?) but the line would stretch around the block and inside performance artist (Lightyear Superchampion? What was his name?), future porn stars, disaffected Goths, suburban kids posed as disaffected Goths, uni students and most exotic of all, straight people, would mosh (and sometimes cry) on the tacky light-up dancefloor to Garbage #1 Crush, or Metallica, or the Spice Girls. Such great times. Hopefully Bangkok will experience something like it! They are promising to play Suede, so that is a great start. Its all happening in the off-the-radar neighbourhood of Udom Suk.

And talking of Melbourne, a last-ditch attempt has succeeded in saving the city’s amazing old Astor Theatre, surely one of the world’s greatest art deco picture houses, which had been threatened with closure. Yesssss!!!!! Melburnians, treasure it!

Meanwhile in Bangkok …

28 03 2015

The “murder” of a movie star gay cat.

Yet another ( see here and here) Thai low cost cosplay fashion icon.

Bangkok Hi So

20 03 2015

Bangkok’s hi so (high society) has had a busy week of scandal. The launching of the city’s first lamborghini taxi service got tongues wagging (it turned out to be a promo for a reality TV show Hi So Life, in which wealthy Bangkokians work in blue collar jobs, eg taxi driver for a day).

Following this was the all-too-legitimate announcement of a “sexy plumber service” for penthouse apartments for which repairmen were vetted for their looks.

And as if to top it off, the announcement of a Thai version of Gossip Girl to start filming soon.

Bangkok hipster

9 03 2015

It was another happening week in Bangkok, with Studio Lam’s “Awesome cassettes from Africa” party celebrating old skool African sounds culled from the casette markets of Nigeria, Congo and Ivory Coast. Meanwhile, Gene Kasidit had a new single, casting herself as a transgendered Mrs Madrigal offering solace to Bangkok’s beautiful star-crossed losers in love.

And finally this exhibition opened, “Build Your own Bangkok”, celebrating the niches, subcultures and stereotypes of this most intriguing of metropolises.

According to the official blurb at WTF gallery: The large and stunningly detailed drawings are accompanied by a Field Guide which visitors can use to spot uniquely Bangkokian species in their natural habitats. Learn about the different types of sexpats, their distinguishing characteristics, and see where you can spot them in the drawings. Explore the symbiotic relationship between Khao Sarn Road backpackers and the jaded vendors who cater to their whims. Observe the migratory habits of Chinese tour groups and see how many unique varieties of Sleeping Old Man you can spot in Chinatown. A small pop-up shop celebrates the materialism that makes Bangkok Bangkok, and an interactive display invites visitors to reconstruct the city according to their wildest visions.

Just another week in the Big Mango.

The amazing Pangina

10 02 2015


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