The Asian Film Archive (AFA) has launched a brand new collaborative film programme that spotlights the archival collections of AFA and a partnering archive. Titled Reciprocal, the 2022 edition of the programme sees the AFA partnering up with the Thai Film Archive (TFA), as the two archives take inspiration from and respond to the resonance of each other’s featured collections, curating a line-up of films that explores the creative intersections and juxtapositions between the preserved national, regional, and international film and moving image, offering perspectives on archival issues and concerns confronting contemporary archivists.
In the inaugural edition, Reciprocal explores a selection of women-oriented stories and works from their collections that interrogate the female representation in film, with eight films each from the AFA and TFA to be screened. Reciprocal 2022 will run from 1 July – 7 August at Oldham Theatre. There will be an online talk with TFA and AFA’s curator for the programme on Thursday, 21 July, 7pm.
The programme opened on 1 July with Prae Dum (Black Silk, แพรดำ, 1961, dir. R.D. Pestonji). Coined as the first Thai film noir, Black Silk was among the first Thai films that were screened at international film festivals, including the 11th Berlin International Film Festival. In 2020, the Thai Film Archive completed a 4K restoration of the film using the original 35mm negative. The restored film was selected for Cannes Classics at the 73rd Cannes Film Festival. The story itself follows Prae, a woman who, after her husband’s death, is left to bring up a young child on her own, and mourns her loss by wearing only black clothing. Her life takes a darker turn when she becomes romantically involved with Tom, who works as a henchman of a nightclub owner. Prae gets entangled within a web of deception and blackmail, putting her own survival and that of her child at stake.
Other films in the line-up include, from TFA:
Forever Yours (ชั่วฟ้าดินสลาย, 1955, dir. Tawee Na Bangchang)
Bar 21 (เทพธิดาบาร์21, 1978, dir. Euthana Mukdasanit)
Boon Rawd (ผู้หญิงคนนั้นชื่อบุญรอด, 1985, dir. Vijitra Kunawut)
Whatever, I Don’t Care (ช่างมันฉันไม่แคร์, 1986, dir. ML Bhandevanop Devakula)
6IXTYNIN9 (เรื่องตลก 69, 1999, dir. Pen-Ek Ratanaruang)
One Night Husband (คืนไร้เงา, 2003, dir. Pimpaka Towira)
Karaoke Girl (สาวคาราโอเกะ, 2013, dir. Visra Vichit-Vadakan)
Meanwhile, the AFA features the following films:
Penchuri (The Thief, 1956, dir. K.M. Basker, Singapore)
Aku Mahu Hidup (I Want to Live, 1971, dir. M. Amin, Singapore)
They Call Her… Cleopatra Wong (1978, dir. Bobby A. Suarez, Singapore, Philippines)
Miss Wonton (云吞小姐, 2001, dir. Meng Ong, USA)
Ho Yuk (Let’s Love Hong Kong) (好郁, 2002, Yau Ching, Hong Kong)
Feet Unbound (2006, Ng Khee Jin, Singapore, China, Australia)
My Daughter (理发店的女儿, 2009, Charlotte Lim, Malaysia)
hUSh (2016, Djenar Maesa Ayu & Kan Lume, Indonesia)
Reciprocal 2022 runs from 1st July to 7th August 2022 at Oldham Theatre. Full programme and more information available here