I knew very little about film production
companies in Thailand, in fact movie making of any kind, until one day I
was stopped on the street in Pattaya. Two young people jumped out of a
car. They explained that they had just driven down from Bangkok and were
looking for people to act in a movie. In particular they were looking
for an old fat farang (westerner) who could speak a little Thai. I
explained that there were plenty of old fat farang in Pattaya. In fact
half the population of visitors must be old and fat.
I walked off and then they ran after me.
"Hey you speak Thai good" "and you are old and fat" They set up a video
camera and asked me to smile. "I can't smile I said as I have no teeth"
"Perfect" he said with a chuckle. "now I want you to act like you have a
hangover and stagger a bit" This is too easy I thought. I had had a few
drinks the night before so I just acted naturally.
Then came the difficult part. "now I want
you to act like you just saw a beautiful woman" so I put on my best
leary face and blew a kiss and shouted "hey up honey how about you and
me doing some horizontal gymnastics" Perfect! Perfect! he
extolled. Little did he know there was a cute Thai girl walking along
the street behind the cameraman. "you are a natural actor" yeah yeah
A few months later I was costumed, my
make up was perfect. The director explained that I was the new boss of
the tin mine. Now Norman the boss drank too much and could I act a
little drunk. God life is hard being a movie star.
Maha lai Muang Rae - The Tin Mine won
first prize for Thai movie of the year. I had my few minutes of on
screen stardom. Back to the real life. Beer and cute sexy Thai girls.
The phone never stops ringing. Not with offers of work on the next
blockbuster movie but with people wanting money - and the occasional
cute Thai girl.
The Tin Mine In 1949 a young
student, Archin Panjabhan, finds his life upturned when he is expelled
from Thailand’s top university. He is sent away from the city by his
father to the wilderness of southern Thailand, arriving in a mining
camp, where he embarks on a four-year odyssey of self-discovery. Adapted
from Panjabhan’s acclaimed autobiography, this beautiful film offers a
lush, lyrical insight into a way of life from a bygone era.
Writer/Director: Jira Maligool
A full-length trailer (2:58) and promo
video (9:10) have been added (in ZIP files) to the official website for
Jira Maligool's The Tin Mine (Maha'lai muang rae).
Tin Mine is based on a collection of short stories by Ajin Panjapan (b.
October 11, 1927). It stars Pijaya Vachajitpan as Ajin Panjapan (at age
22), and Donlaya Mudcha as La-iad. The principal cast also includes
Sonthaya Chitmanee, Jumpol Thongtan, Niran Sattar, and Anthony Howard
Gould. The film was produced by Dedicate Ltd. and GMM Tai Hub (GTH) Co.
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