Friday, August 28

StSA: Love of Siam to be released on Region 1 DVD

Thanks to Kevin for leaving a comment about the Region 1 DVD release of Love of Siam on my review of the film (which was written immediately after a viewing of the Director's Cut thus the emotional rambling).

A confession, Love of Siam is responsible for my exponentially growing love for Thai cinema. Equally devastating and buoyant, it is a deliberate drama about different aspects of love: familial, romantic, and to an extent, ascetic.

It is also one of the best depictions, if not the most emotionally accurate portrayal, of teen homosexuality. But this seems to have boxed the film into a convenient niche, which I think is a damn shame. The Region 1 DVD will be released by Strand Releasing, which is also distributing Bangkok Love Story, and Lino Brocka's Macho Dancer among others. It's the Theatrical Cut, and not the Director's Cut, that will be released. But I'm not complaining.

The Taiwan Special Edition English-subtitled release comes short in providing good subtitles. Grammatical errors, misspelled names; my copy also had a problem with the subtitle timing. A few lines flashed on the screen ahead of the dialogue and made it quite confusing: Why would Mew be asking Tong if he had already taken a bath? (A line that was supposed to be Sunee's, Tong's mom.) Kevin also pointed out an aspect ratio problem, which totally went over my head.

But it does provide a few extras for fans of the of the movie and the stars. Pchy Witwisit Hiranyawongkul's visit to Taiwan had no subtitles so I didn't get much of what was going on. The deleted scenes with the director's commentary have decent subs. Then there's the August Band mini-concert in Bangkok, in between Siam Discovery and Siam Center, which I quite liked.

Here's hoping Love of Siam sells well so we could have other Thai dramas on Region 1 DVD. It's a welcome glimmer of hope for us Thai cinema fans.

9 comments:

Mark Hodgson, said...

After FORMULA 17 I've been waiting for nother good gay story from Thailand and am looking forwards to this.

Thor Bee said...

Taiwan's Formula 17 was a hoot! Loved the comedy, and the normalcy of the way they depicted gay love.

Love of Siam was also my introduction to Thai Pop. It's amazing how the movie works on so many levels.

Andy said...

I have a bootleg copy of Bangkok Love Story. It's fairly decent: it comes with several features and the subtitles are terrific.

Strand Releasing did a great job on Bangkok Love Story. I'm hoping they do the same thing on Love of Siam. =)

Kevin (Ket) said...

It's a tired cliche, but the only thing really wrong with the way the cover presents the movie is that the people who really should see this movie the most are the ones who are never going to see it. (actually, I also wonder why we plain don't see movies of its kind in theaters anymore. Didn't "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" show people that audiences are willing to see a subtitled film in theaters? I hear virtually every other country shows stuff subtitled all the time)

Anyway, about the Taiwan DVD, it's not just your copy. Mine has the exact same subtitle timing problem. It also almost seemed as though there were two people responsible for subtitling the movie who flipped a coin to decide who gets to subtitle what scene. One of them was really good, the other couldn't have cared less.

Jove Francisco said...

I really love visiting your blog. Keep those entries about films (specifically thai films) coming, thor! Thanks!

(and i even declared it on my twitter page, do you have one thor?)

Thor Bee said...

Thanks, Jove, for the kind words. And the plug! My Twitter is still Thor Bee or ThorGB. :-)

Kevin (Ket) said...

...Bah, the subtitles are burned right onto the image of the film. Why did I buy it knowing Wisekwai warned me that Strand Releasing burned the subs right onto the image of "Syndromes and a Century"?

Thor Bee said...

Meh. Was just listing down titles that I would be ordering. Thanks for the heads up. But the subs are decent, yeah?

I recently Amazon-ed Tears of the Black Tiger (released by Magnolia). The subs aren't pasted on. And what a great, crazy movie.

Kevin (Ket) said...

The subtitles are decent, yes. It doesn't make a lot of the mistakes that the Taiwanese version one did. Though a lot of the subtitles are still similar. Still, if you have the Taiwanese one, you still want to hold on to that, if only for Disc 3. No real supplemental materials to speak of.