Find the best things to do from the daytime to the nighttime in Bangkok with our events calendar of 2017’s coolest events, including parties, concerts, films and art exhibits.
Events in Bangkok today
Two Thai photographers—Manit Sriwanichpoom and Rammy Narula—have produced a photography series taken at Hua Lamphong Railway Station 30 years apart. Manit’s set, taken in 1985, depicts a gloomy atmosphere, with exhausted passengers trapped at the station. Rammy’s series, meanwhile, shows passengers with their backs turned or gazing absentmindedly elsewhere, against a backdrop of train carriages. Both series are now on exhibit at the Kathmandu Photo Gallery.
Bangkok-born, New York-based artist Kantapon “Gongkan” Metheekul explores how time has an overbearing control in our lives. The artist compares his own time to a river that doesn't flow backward, and makes us question if we would be able to really enjoy life or see its many facets and colors if we had complete control of time.
ICONSIAM, an Awakening Bangkok partner, celebrates its first anniversary and the festive year-end season with a golden lighting installation that takes over its entire riverfront promenade. This stunning extravaganza features massive glittering Christmas trees and light decorations inspired by traditional Thai architecture.
The history of Persian Carpet is a culmination of artistic magnificence dating back to 2,500 years ago. Its aesthetical exquisiteness has been long recognized among lifestyle connoisseurs until the present time. River City Bangkok is proud to present Bangkok Persian Carpet Exhibition 2019. This is a splendid showcase featured in 6 different concepts inside the well-decorated rooms. Visitors can exclusively discover a highlight piece of carpet at more than 10 million baht. Some of the collectible pieces are brought to present with a beautiful antique piano, home furnishing, high-end audio, and classic cars. Discover from Oct 17 until Nov 24 on the 3rd floor. Content provided by Time Out partner
The late 1980s to 2000s was a period marked by a significant transition in Thai art. A handful of local artists, even big-name ones, started challenging traditional art practices by incorporating unconventional and unexpected materials and objects into their works, featuring subjects beyond religious and political themes, and using their bodies as part of a performance. These “rebellious” practices resulted in the creation of independent art spaces and connections with transnational art networks. This turning point, however, also created what seem to be “rifts” in the Thai art scene that are still present today. The Main Gallery of Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC) is now displaying carefully selected artworks created by 13 Thai artists during this transitional period. The exhibition includes installations, sculptures, photography, and video art. Here are the ones that piqued our interest the most. Song for the Dead by Kamol Phaosavasdi, 1985Probably one of the most provocative pieces in the exhibition, Song for the Dead narrates the artist Kamol Phaosavasdi’s obvious rejection of both traditional aesthetic norms and Modern Art. The artist challenges modern aesthetics by using objects that, at first glance, seem random but actually hide a profound meaning. His original exhibition in 1985 featured both installation and performance art. The installation featured scrap metal, a wall adorned with random book pages, and pictures of Marilyn Monroe, while his live performance
Only a few, and not Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang’s entire terracotta army, traveled to Bangkok, but even these four earthenware statues are enough to draw in history buffs and the archeology-obsessed to this exhibit, which also includes almost a hundred ancient artifacts from China. In Thailand for the first time at Bangkok National Museum’s Siwamokkhaphiman Throne Hall, Qin Shi Huang: The First Emperor of China and Terracotta Warriors features the life-sized soldiers from Qin Shi Huang’s unearthed mausoleum in Xi’an, China, as well as ancient weapons, a bronze chariot, armor, pottery, jade and gold amulets, and inscriptions. Altogether, these give an insight into the life and work of Qin Shi Huang, who was named the first emperor of a unified China more than two thousand years ago. It also sheds light on his obsession with immortality, and how his rule has had a lasting influence on Chinese culture. According to Chinese historian Sima Qian, the construction of the massive mausoleum started soon after Qin Shi Huang ascended the throne in 246 BC. The project, which spanned decades, required a workforce of about 700,000 men to build a massive underground necropolis similar to Xianyang, the capital of the Qin Dynasty. In 1974, archeologists discovered an army of around 7,000 terracotta warriors, each one bearing different facial, hair, and clothing details at the site of the ancient resting place. These rows of statues served as guardians of what’s believed to be the much la
Explore the world of legendary Japanese photographer and contemporary artist, Nobuyoshi Araki, who is best known for blending eroticism and fine art, through a series of 30 images. The 79-year-old artist is probably one of the most radical and critically acclaimed photographers of our time. Araki became more renowned when his work turned increasingly towards eroticism, exploring the deepest depths of human desire. His prominent collections include photographs of women in Japanese bondage, the female genitalia, and subjects like food and flowers depicted in a sensual light. The artist has published over 500 books with these photographs to date. Despite coping with prostate cancer, losing his right eye, a malfunctioning heart and, most importantly losing his wife, Yoko, Araki’s fascination with photography has never waned. In fact, he has taken inspiration from these challenges to create more delicate and sentimental photographs that discuss the narrative of life and death, as reflected in his latest exhibition, Life by Film by Nobuyoshi Araki. The exhibition, specially curated for Leica Gallery Bangkok, showcases 30 black-and-white images shot with a Leica M7. The images highlight “I-photography,” in which Araki muses on his life in close proximately with others.
Keep your eyes peeled for our biggest event of this year! This November—15-24, to be precise, Time Out Bangkok, with support from Tourism Authority of Thailand, will bring back Awakening Bangkok, a glorious spectacle that will light up in the historic Charoenkrung quarter, illuminating the district’s most iconic attractions—from Grand Postal Building and Prince Theater to O.P. Place and Warehouse 30—with state-of-the-art lighting installations. Click here for more details.
Movies now showing
This (re)animation kicks off with the Addams clan getting chased out of town by a pitchfork-wielding mob and looking for somewhere “horrible and corrupt” to settle. They opt for New Jersey. It’s one of the few decent gags in an animated comedy that’s hardly overflowing with the macabre wit that made Barry Sonnenfeld’s The Addams Family and Addams Family Values such ghoulish delights back in the ’90s. Despite the stellar voice cast, the film’s celebration of misunderstood outsiderdom is too generic to amount to much more than a bargain-basement Despicable Me, the franchise it’s trying to emulate. For Charles Addams purists, the characters’ looks—the pencil-thin Morticia (voiced by Charlize Theron), the roly-poly Gomez (Oscar Isaac), teardrop-faced Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moretz)—are dead faithful to his original New Yorker cartoons. But that nicely antique feel quickly gets washed away by the cheap-looking CG animation. The story isn’t much more sophisticated. It involves persecution from the nearby ultra-conformist town of Assimilation (geddit?), a scheming home-improvement TV star (Allison Janney) and, for Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard) at least, a folk-dancing rite of passage involving a sword. Co-directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon (Sausage Party) find a neat way to introduce the theme song and have some fun with the family’s haunted asylum-cum-mansion (Morticia feeds it morning coffee via the toilet). But by this iconic family’s standards, there’s a real shortage of snap.
Emma Stone, still with her post–La La Land and The Favourite glow yet palpably bored to be in a zombie sequel, isn’t the only thing that’s tired about this belated follow-up to 2009’s Zombieland. The redneck-liberal alliance of the first movie—embodied by Woody Harrelson’s strutting Tallahassee and Jesse Eisenberg’s neurotic Columbus (people assume the names of their hometowns in this post-apocalyptic universe)—once felt edgy. But in today’s political landscape, it’s less believable than reanimated corpses. Meanwhile, screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have honed their R-rated snarksmanship in two Deadpool movies. What was left to be said here? Very little, and the film seems to realize as much. (Eisenberg even thanks the audience in a cringingly clever voiceover: “Everyone has choices when it comes to zombie entertainment.”) It’s extra infuriating that the new plot line does so little to justify its own existence. The gang now lives in a gone-to-seed White House—the front façade, overgrown with weeds and stray lumbering flesh-eaters, is a dreamy piece of CGI—but the new residents bicker just like they did the last time, and only Little Rock (a grown-up Abigail Breslin, underutilized) fantasizes about straying off the grounds. She does, triggering a rescue effort. Heroically, Double Tap’s new actors, rare though they are, save it from being completely brain-dead. Zoey Deutch (soulful and spunky in Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!!) does what she can—a lot—w
The headline on this latest addition to the Terminator franchise—a Hollywood series that’s creaking like an aging T-800 with stiff joints—is that it reunites the people who made it great in the first place: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and James Cameron (though not original co-producer Gale Anne Hurd). They’re back for Dark Fate, promising to straighten all those crooked timelines and deliver some honest-to-goodness shock and awe. On paper at least, that’s a tantalizing prospect. In reality, however, the involvement of James Cameron is limited to a story and producer credit—and it’s hard to imagine the story took him longer than an Avatar 2 lunch break to whip together. The set-up and structure is so similar to 1991’s landmark Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Dark Fate could almost be called a remake. It’s a watery facsimile of that movie, full of nods and winks to iconic moments long past. Deadpool director Tim Miller is the latest filmmaker to try to bring freshness to these reheated beats, and there are some promising flashes early on. That iconic shot of terminators skull-crunching their way across an apocalyptic landscape transforms into a tranquil beachside scene in one smooth edit. The tension at the heart of these Terminator movies was always between the clutch of terrified, clued-up survivors and the oblivious masses, and the moment captures it neatly. The setting, 27 years after Judgment Day, then shifts south of the U.S. border where a Mexican woman, Dani (N
An overstuffed follow-up to 2014’s Maleficent (a skillful Sleeping Beauty spin-off), Joachim Rønning’s sequel finds one worthy reason to exist in Michelle Pfeiffer’s wicked Queen Ingrith. As the nemesis to Angelina Jolie’s red-lipped siren, Pfeiffer gives us exactly what we want—the same hissing Catwoman attitude she heated up for Mother! Intimidating in Ellen Mirojnick’s pearl-encrusted costumes, Pfeiffer strides into character: Her Ingrith plots to overtake the realm, poisoning the familial bond between its young queen, Aurora (a graceful Elle Fanning), and her misunderstood godmother, Maleficent (Jolie, glamorous and imposing). Will Ingrith’s villainy destroy the duo’s love, which the first film so thoughtfully built? Even if you have an idea how that question gets answered, Pfeiffer’s deceitful empress (with flower allergies) keeps things entertaining. The rest of the package isn’t as inspired, despite Patrick Tatopoulos’s fanciful production design, which recalls a lesser Avatar, and all the cute, flickering things hovering around. A smitten Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson), engaged to Aurora, sometimes downgrades the otherwise central Maleficent from feared potentate to anxious empty-nester. There’s also an underground clan of creatures that includes Chiwetel Ejiofor’s horned Conall, living in hiding from human threat. It all leads to a noisy finale that wears out its welcome. (You’ll crave for more of the quieter battle from an earlier dinner scene, when Pfeiffer an
It's the laugh that gets you: Joaquin Phoenix’s half cackle, half rasp has all the soothing music of a vulture in a blender. It’ll be ratting around in your head long after the old-school “The End” card flashes up on this unrelenting, grimly funny and brilliantly visceral reinvention of the DC supervillain. Joker is a truly nightmarish vision of late-era capitalism—arguably the best “social horror” film since Get Out—and Phoenix is magnetic in it. He runs Heath Ledger cigarette paper-close as the finest screen Joker. Like everything in this drum-tight movie, the title’s lack of a definite article is no accident: It’s not the fully formed Joker being introduced here, but Arthur Fleck, a man whose ambition to tell jokes professionally is at odds with the living he scraps as a clown for hire on Gotham’s grimy streets. Judging by posters of the movies playing—Excalibur and Blow Out—it’s 1981, but it feels more like the ’70s of Death Wish. He lives with his frail mom (Frances Conroy) in a broken-down tenement, eking out a little joy watching a TV chat show hosted with oily relish by Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro). Arthur’s on seven types of medication and has a neurological condition that causes him to laugh—okay, cackle—uncontrollably. In these domestic early scenes, Phoenix establishes Arthur as a man who sees himself less as an underdog than a mutt waiting to be put down. “I just don’t want to feel so bad anymore,” he says. And no wonder: It’s a seriously bleak world he inh
This Jessie Pinkman-centric spin-off is a fun if inert slice of fan service.
A languid, undercooked affair, writer-director Jim Jarmusch’s playful stab at the zombie movie returns the genre to the backwoods America of George Romero’s seminal Night of the Living Dead and gives it a half-meta reworking. It sprinkles in an ensemble cast to die for, bursts of OTT flesh-chomping gore, nods to zombie classics (look out for Living Dead’s 1967 Pontiac LeMans) and a few big laughs, but its zeitgeist-y concerns and self-conscious final-act twists don’t quite land. It’s a love letter to zombie movies typed in Comic Sans, and it reminds you that Jarmusch’s best work has an invisible rigor, even at its loosest. Sadly, that’s missing here. In the spirit of Romero, the undead apocalypse arrives in the Midwestern town of Centerville via interrupted radio signals, daylight that lasts too long and, most alarmingly for this rural spot, a missing chicken. Is the cranky hermit outside of town to blame? (He’s played by Jarmusch lucky charm Tom Waits, 50 percent gravel-voiced omniscience, 50 percent beard.) Disturbing news bulletins about fracking knocking the Earth off its axis point to a bigger story. But at the urging of an obnoxious MAGA type (Steve Buscemi), cops Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray) and Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver) investigate, with the latter oddly certain that it all points to an invasion of the undead. Sure enough, said invasion arrives, presaged by a zombie Iggy Pop and a particularly chewy scene at the town’s diner. The shuf
She risked everything to stop an unjust war. Her government called her a traitor. Based on world-shaking true events, Official Secrets tells the gripping story of Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley), a British intelligence specialist whose job involves routine handling of classified information. One day in 2003, in the lead up to the Iraq War, Gun receives a memo from the NSA with a shocking directive: the United States is enlisting Britain's help in collecting compromising information on United Nations Security Council members in order to blackmail them into voting in favor of an invasion of Iraq. Unable to stand by and watch the world be rushed into an illegal war, Gun makes the gut-wrenching decision to defy her government and leak the memo to the press. So begins an explosive chain of events that will ignite an international firestorm, expose a vast political conspiracy, and put Gun and her family directly in harm's way.
If you like your space odysseys brimming with formula-filled blackboards and quantum mechanics, consider this a trigger warning: Ad Astra is not that kind of sci-fi. Unlike 2001: A Space Odyssey or Interstellar, two obvious points of parallel, there’s no Arthur C Clarke or Kip Thorne behind the scenes to bring Nobel-worthy science to the fiction. This is a movie where a man travels to Neptune, a distance of 2.7 billion miles, without aging a day—a reach even when that man is Brad Pitt. It features killer baboons in zero gravity. At one point, Pitt jacks a spaceship—while it’s taking off. On paper, at least, it’s just Moonraker with a PhD. Leave any disbelief at the door, though, and you’ll be rewarded with an often gorgeous, soulful sci-fi that’s charged with emotion and bursting with spectacle. It has meaningful things to say about letting go, dads and their sons, and the challenges of reconciling with the past. Sure, it’s set in “the near future” and mostly against the endless solitude of space – captured by Interstellar cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema with lunar greys and Martian ochres – and it boasts possibly cinema’s first moon-buggy chase (as awesome as it sounds), but director James Grey and his co-writer Ethan Gross never lose sight of its intimate heart. They’re aided in that by a terrific, nuanced performance from Pitt. For the most part, Ad Astra wears its near-future-ness with a light touch. Exactly what’s happening on Earth is kept deliberately murky, beyond
Think Ocean’s Eleven with strippers and you’ve got the premise of Lorene Scafaria’s surprising, gripping Hustlers. Constance Wu stars as Dorothy, a.k.a. Destiny, the new girl at a hot Manhattan gentlemen’s club. The wildly successful Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) takes Dorothy under her wing and shows her how to get ahead in exotic dancing. But after the 2008 financial crash, the pair and their friends resort to criminal means to keep the cash coming in. This is a deeply feminist film, one where men are given less screen time than the cameoing Cardi B and Lizzo. These women are objectified by the world, though rarely by Scafaria’s camera. They use that fact to scam money and take revenge on Wall Streeters. Scafaria treats the women as flawed, fractious characters and folk heroes, not sex dolls. She packs in some visual flourishes too, like a shaky-cam shot of one of the crew’s walk of shame to her daughter’s school. It’s a reminder that there’s more at stake for these women than the ability to buy designer clothes. If Wu is compelling as Destiny, Lopez is magnetic as her savvy mentor. It’s her most authoritative role since Out of Sight. The plot, in contrast to the stars, sags in the middle and there are a few more celebratory hang-out scenes than we need, but the gang is so charismatic, it’s no great chore to spend extra time with them. Some people would pay thousands for just a few minutes.