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Nang Nak: Thai bourgeois heritage cinema

Ingawanij, May Adadol (2007) Nang Nak: Thai bourgeois heritage cinema. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 8 (2). pp. 180-193. ISSN 1464-9373

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649370701295599

Abstract

From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, history has been flooding commercial Thai cinema as never before. These contemporary 'films that go back in time' (nang yon yuk) can be distinguished by their ambition to maximise visibility at both domestic and international levels. Their novelty in the Thai context lies in combining the aesthetics of the nostalgia film, the promotional practices of the high concept film, with the insistent claim of attentive historical representation as a mark of quality and seriousness. The article explores Nonzee Nimibutr's ghost remake Nang Nak (1999) as an exemplary instance of contemporary Thai bourgeois heritage cinema. It argues that the film's signification of heritage takes the narrative form of self-exoticisation, or the inscription of generically arcane Old Siamness for the fascinated gaze of the bourgeois Thai spectator. The article considers the tension between the self-exoticising aesthetics and the yearning for national self-representation, brought out especially acutely in this heritage film's international foray on the film festival circuit.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Media, Arts and Design, School of
ID Code:5508
Deposited On:15 Sep 2008 12:07
Last Modified:01 Jun 2011 15:05

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