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Historic discovery of earliest sound films shot in Thailand

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation / University of South Carolina

“Film historian Dome Sukhawong discovered the films in 2018, in the University of South Carolina archives.”

Four films made nearly 100 years ago are believed to be the first sound films recorded in Thailand. The films were screened at the Thai Film Archive for the first time on Monday.

Film historian Dome Sukhawong discovered the films in 2018, in the University of South Carolina archives. Dome is a founder of the Thai Film Archive, which received high-quality copies of the films in July. All reels were shot by Fox Movietone and recorded in 1930.

One film is of a traditional Thai musical group, while another shows a three person group playing western music and doing a funny dance. The third film depicts a puppet play performed for Queen Rambai Barni, the wife of Rama VII, while the last clip shows monks chanting, a baby being bathed in a metal bowl, and a navy officer talking to a girl.

Together, the films are slightly over half an hour in length.

The deputy director of the Thai Film Archive, Kong Rithdee, who is also a well-respected film critic, notes that the clips are very traditional, but points out that the third film has a more European feel, with the recording showing not just the puppet performance but the audience looking with some curiosity at the camera.

Smart phones were still a long way off…

SOURCE: Khaosodenglish.com

 

 

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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