Citizen Dog

from the moment Pod walks out of his house with the gorgeous mural, to him losing his finger in a canned sardine, to him finding his lost tapping-index-finger, to the enigma that is Jin (who buries her face in a book she cannot understand), to the streets filled with maid-uniforms, to the smoking teddy bear and the little grownup girl, to the licking-man, and the bus-squeezing couple, to the mountain of recyclable plastic bottles, to the reincarnated grandma, to the zombie motorcycle-taxi-rider, CITIZEN DOG had me thoroughly enthralled from opening singing sequence to the last.
TRAILER (In Thai with Eng-subs):

with a production design so vivid and subtly dynamic, the art direction immaculate, right down to the costumes (gotta be diggin' the tees Pod rawks), it puts my heart to solemn tears, equalled-mixed emotions of inner joy and abject sadness ... a script with a simple message that fills every nook and cranny of the screen with an abundance of quirkiness and charm, that it threatens the message itself with it's own irreverence. a meltingpot of cliched-goodness and a heap tinge of originality, it charms still. /// CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

admittedly, a small part of me wished i hadn't watched this movie, as tis a production which i've longed to be a part of; to design for, to feel for, is slapped down hard by the current reality of it probably never being able to be realized in this lifetime for me ... but a huge part of me is grateful for the opportunity to see this movie, to feel and bathe in it's visual-splendour, and somehow (however minute) instill in me a wee bit of "hope", if not for my own lamented and forgone passion for a continued-career in films, at the very least in the fact that a film such as this flawed-gem, simply exists.

i have become an unashamed commercial-movie-lurvin'whore ... my mistress; art films losing my favour as of late (too many caught up in their own artsyness to be reverent by any token), indie-flicks my concubine still ... but with this, i thee wed, and happily so (altho not necessarily in script-sickness and in box-office-health).

now, im not going to begrudge that Citizen Dog was a 2004 Thai-movie but we've only gotten on our local screens in end-2007, im just grateful it did. currently showing @ The Picturehouse, tis a movie i would heartily and sincerely recommend to anyone with a penchant for fairytale-tomfoolery and to say it is "quirky" is to belittle it's immense "heart" (on the same token, tis like asking if Tom Cruise is short, so...), and yes, tis "off-the-beaten-track", as opposed to the commerciality that confounds (and entertains, no doubt) the current crop of celluloid-offerings on Singapore-screens. and don't try to unravel the intent nor logic (or lack thereof), just go along for the ride and hopefully you'd be able to find yourself smiling throughout, as did i :)

if you've watched and loved Tears Of The Black Tiger (for which Wisit Sasanatieng is the director for both), you would enjoy this immensely - atlho make no mistake, as polished an effort as it is compared to Tears, it too has it's fair share of cliches, some not quite making the mark, but thankfully most do (but of coz im glossed over and blinded by the visuals to be totally non-biased, im sorry LOL) ... moving away from the inanity of the pseudo-Thai-cowboy outback to the modern bustling streets of bangkok, where people grow tails and the tone and mood is drenched in kitschy-retro-goodness.
SYNOPSIS [via wiki]:
Mah Nakorn (English title: Citizen Dog) is a 2004 Thai romance film, directed by Wisit Sasanatieng and based on a story by Wisit's wife, Koynuch (Siriphan Techajindawong), which was illustrated by him. The second film by the director of Tears of the Black Tiger, it is a colorfully surrealistic story set in contemporary Bangkok, where a boy (Pod) without a goal in life falls in love with a girl (Jin) who lives for her dreams. The movie is frequently compared with the French movie Amélie. One of the main themes of the movie is that people will only find something from the moment when they stopped looking for it.

i'd mentioned to my movie-date (and bless her for choosing this movie) that this was the sort of movie that i'd miss from earlier Japanese flicks, and somehow the notion remains still, altho i cannot quantify it enough to be written/typed down ... and yes, Amelie comes very close to a comparison (with Delicatessen coming up real close, IMHO)
Pod is a country boy who moves to Bangkok, despite his grandmother's warning that he'll grow a tail. He finds a small house to live in and takes a job in a sardine cannery, getting rides to work on the back of a motorcycle taxi, the rider of which has been made a zombie after one day it rained motorcycle helmets and he wasn't wearing one.
One hot day the assembly line at the cannery malfunctions. In the confusion, Pod chops his index finger off and it ends up in a can that is trucked away to a local grocery store. He searches everyday, buying can after can of sardines. Eventually he sees a can jumping around and opens it to find a finger. He attaches it simply by pressing it into place.

Wisit has been attached to a local (Singaporean) project: ARMFUL (to be produced by One Ton Cinema) but unfortunately has been put on (indefinite) hold, awaiting further funding (read more here - under "Projects in development"), to which i have to add: "give them the money so we could all revel in more of his story-telling!"

the movie has been released on DVD and i can't wait for the opportunity to track it down :)


CREDITS ROLL MUSIC SEQUENCE (performed by Modern Dog):

which has become my fav movie-song of the year ~ *heh*