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
The original “The Napalm Girl” photo, along with some 24 other photographs by awardwinning Vietnamese-American photojournalist Nick Ut, is now in Bangkok for the launch of the Leica-branded gallery. Ut was an AP photographer when he captured a group of adults and children—one of whom was a naked nine-yearold girl—running from a napalm bomb attack during the Vietnam War in 1972. The photo won Ut both the Pulitzer Prize and World Press Photo of the Year the following year.
Street art troupe Souled Out Studios, whose members include Alex Face, A.M.P., Beejoir, Candice Tripp, Gong, Gus, Jace, Lucas Price, Mau Mau, and MUEBON— will liven up Bangkok CityCity Gallery with art installation in various forms, all revolving around the changes in Bangkok’s cityscape and the community that they live in. Grab some booze and enjoy a walking tour led by the artists.
American photographer Sandró showcases a multiple photographic series of various genres: My Hair, My Soul, My Freedom celebrates the diversity of black women’s hair; Eyes of Morocco shows photos taken in the city of Marrakesh, the Atlas Mountains and the small cities surrounding the Sahara Desert; and Massa (meaning “mass” in Italian) exhibits a series of black and white photographs of large men and women captured from underneath a plexiglas table.
Two Thai photographers, who believe photography is an ongoing conversation between the artist and the environment they live in, tell stories from their own perspective. Kamthorn Paowattanasuk focuses on the simplicity of nature and building structures, while Montre Kumsiri concentrates on cultural aspects, from the local way of life to the mundane nature of daily living. Please note that if you want to visit the gallery at weekends, it is open by appointment only.
What is it? An over 90-day exhibition to celebrate the significant growth in the Isaan (northeastern Thai) contemporary art and culture scene. The exhibition, presented in multi-disciplinary practices (we’re talking paintings, photos, audio and video installations), examines a vast number of cultural phenomena in the contemporary Isaan scene. Who’s in it? Big names include Chokchai Tukpoe, Thaworn Kwamsawat, Songwit Pimpakun, Boonnam Sasood, Paisarn Am-pim, Thitiya Lao-an, Pattarapong Sripanya, Maitree Siriboon, Roengrit Kongmuang, Worawit Kaewsrinoum, Sompop Budtarad and Adisak Phupa. Why’s it worth going? Twelve Isaan-born artists present exceptional works that explore their roots, and contemplate the changes and challenges Isaan natives are facing. The event also features educational activities, storytelling sessions for kids and musical events. On which subjects? The exhibition focuses on the growth of the Isaan dynamic and how Isaan natives determine themselves based on folk norms and values. Where? The show will take over almost the entire BACC building, including the outdoor space in front of the building.
Looking for an open-air beer terrace in Thonglor? Come to 72 Courtyard and enjoy the Beer Belly x Little Creatures Pop-Up Beer Terrace on the second floor of the 72 Courtyard (in front of Beam). This six-month pop up, starting from this November to April 2018, offers 6 selections from the award-winning Australian brewery, Little Creatures Brewing. The launcing party featuring a live acoutic from the one and only Hugo and buy-2-get-1-free deal is on November 3. Don't miss!
The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles celebrates Her Majesty’s seventh cycle birthday by showcasing her exquisite taste in fashion. The exhibition Fit for a Queen: HM Queen Sirikit’s Creations by Balmain focuses on her relationships with Pierre Balmain and François Lesage, two legendary French couturiers who created dresses for the monarch during her trips to Europe and America. Lovers of fashion history will be privy to how Her Majesty’s impeccable style evolved and developed over the years through a series of luxurious gowns, suits, cocktail dresses, and traditional and modern Thai costumes. These pieces are displayed alongside pictures of the Queen wearing them at different occasions during her trips to Europe and America in the 1960s, as well as the rarely-seen Louis Vuitton trunks that were used to transport the dresses. Balmain’s original sketchbook and a video interview with François Lesage, shot only a few months before he passed, are also on exhibit. See how Balmain cast his legendary magic on Thai silk, and take a closer look on Lesage’s delicate embroidery. Some nationalists may question why the Queen chose a foreign designer? According to museum consultant, Melissa Leventon, who co-curated the exhibition, no Thai fashion designer at that time was familiar with the complicated etiquette associated with royal dressing in the Western hemisphere. Her Majesty needed to attend several state events with the King, and no risk could be taken with her wardrob
Fashion photographer Jakrin von Bueren exhibits negative black and white photos that portray the expressions of his friends and models. All of the photographs have been rusted in bleach and vinegar to create surprising textures and color transformations.
Decoding Thainess is Museum Siam's permanent exhibition that focuses on rediscovering the true definition of Thainess. Spread across 14 rooms on two floors, the exhibit digs into different cultural elements to discover the kingdom’s truest cultural roots via multi-disciplinary presentations and installations.
Movies now showing
Strenuously, almost painfully inspirational, Ava DuVernay’s take on Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 sci-fi classic—a back-pocket perennial for generations of smart kids—has an alive mind but you’ll wish it would stop telling you once in a while. How could it not, with Oprah onboard? Winfrey plays our regal guide to the fantastic, Mrs. Which: gigantic, benevolent, purring with advice. It’s not really acting for her. Still, this is a character whose bejeweled eyebrows change from scene to scene in an effortless show of fabulousness; DuVernay and her star are having so much fun with the character, an unencumbered cosmic mother with no mansplainers in sight, that they almost get you over the weaker bits. A Wrinkle in Time, the movie, loses some of L’Engle’s braininess—“tesseracting” time travel becomes less a consciousness-expanding journey than a yoga class in one scene—but in its place, there’s a quiet radicalism, some of it offscreen. Meg Murry, the story’s insecure teenage hero, in search of her missing NASA-scientist dad, has been cast with a biracial actor (Storm Reid, charming in her gentler moments), and the decision is of a piece with the morphing material. Similarly, DuVernay is the first woman of color to command a $100-million-plus budget and that’s not insignificant: With Selma and her criminal-justice exposé 13TH, she’s committed herself to films of seriousness, her new YA movie not excepted. It’s about nothing less than coming into intellectual confidence. Sometimes tha
The most bluntly titled thriller since Snakes on a Plane, The Hurricane Heist is neither good enough nor bad enough to command eyeballs. Still coasting on being the director of the first The Fast and the Furious a full 17 years ago, Rob Cohen is unable to muster true engagement with the banal plot and characters, or deliver the kind of inspired ridiculousness that makes for a guilty pleasure. Toby Kebbell, a good British actor doing a bad Southern accent, stars as Will, a meteorologist in Alabama (by way of Bulgarian filming locations). Will and his brother, Breeze (True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten), a mechanic, witnessed their father getting blown away by Hurricane Andrew as children; these days the siblings are estranged. But of course, they must put aside their differences to defeat a gang of ruthless thieves attempting to rip off a local Treasury facility of $600 million in old bills, just as Category 5 Hurricane Tammy is rolling into town. Lost’s Maggie Grace is an ATF agent with a past, while the bad guys are led by The Witch’s ominous patriarch Ralph Ineson (thankfully not phoning it in). The screenplay by Jeff Dixon and Scott Windhauser (yes, that’s his real name) is largely comprised of expository dialogue and unlikely developments, and Cohen wrangles the workmanlike action with professionalism but not much flair. A true “good bad flick” has to catch us off guard with its audacity and ridiculousness, and too much of The Hurricane Heist is rote. This one’s just blowing thr
There aren’t many filmmakers that could tell a story of small-town rape, murder, grief and guilt while taking you down all sorts of blackly comic paths and having immense fun with the writing and acting as well. But Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) is one of them, and his bloody, ballsy third feature, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, takes his work to a new level of versatility and surprise. It’s been nearly a year since Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand, absolutely fierce) lost her teenage daughter to an unknown assailant still at large. She’s angry as well as distraught, and she pays for a series of disused billboards outside her town to carry huge posters asking why no one has been arrested. Everyone sides against her, including her abusive and philandering former husband (John Hawkes) and a rash and racist hothead young cop, Dixon (Sam Rockwell in a blinding performance, brilliantly comic but so much more). But she’s having none of it. From there, Three Billboards takes all sorts of unexpected turns too good to spoil here. McDonagh has already shown us that he can flip between laughs and violence in a second, but there’s a new layer of compassion here, fueled by a wryly enlightened view of our world—how it can be at once cruel and caring. For a story built on such dark foundations, it’s weirdly reassuring.
Not long after the heavy-handed Atomic Blonde slipped Charlize Theron into the high heels, platinum wigs and dubious accent of a globetrotting spy, a stony-faced Jennifer Lawrence leads the way in the bleak, excessively long Red Sparrow, which sets off promisingly but tangles into a confusing clump. Lawrence plays disciplined Russian prima ballerina Dominika Egorova, whose career ends after a spine-chilling (yet attractively filmed) accident during a performance at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater. To safeguard her frail mother and maintain their financial security, Dominika accepts the offer of her scheming uncle (Matthias Schoenaerts) and enrolls at Sparrow School as a new intelligence recruit. There, she learns to master the arts of sexual and psychological manipulation through a humiliating training process, headed by a menacing Charlotte Rampling (who disappears from the film before we get nearly enough of her). The set-up is not unlike The Hunger Games (Red Sparrow director Francis Lawrence also worked on that saga, helming all but the first chapter), with Dominika’s body technically owned by a callous government. Paradoxically, Red Sparrow itself puts its glum-looking star through a parade of indignities: The movie’s most shocking feature isn’t any of its twisty plot reveals—mainly involving Dominika getting romantically mixed up with a CIA operative (Joel Edgerton)—but the exploitative brutality it rains down on Lawrence. A smashed leg, physical torture and rape are just a f
The arrival of a top-notch new thriller—pounding with excitement and suffused with the kind of mote-flecked grandeur that director Ridley Scott seems to conjure effortlessly—should be news enough, but there’s something that must be addressed first. Christopher Plummer, as the billionaire J. Paul Getty (All the Money in the World’s thorny antagonist of sorts), is a wondrously stubborn and ominous presence. An evil magician pulling a fortune out of the Saudi desert yet turning a blind eye to the 1973 kidnapping of his grandson, Getty is a hissable figure but Plummer makes him impossibly magnetic: petty, consumed with money, prone to self-mythologizing, the lord of a dusty English mansion he seems to occupy alone. Unless you’ve been kidnapped yourself, you’ll know that Kevin Spacey, beleaguered by scandal and suddenly toxic, was digitally removed from the movie and replaced, last-minute, by Plummer. Any curiosity you may have should now be rechanneled to Scott, who, almost brazenly, has pulled off one of the most seamlessly entertaining dares of his career (one that includes such postproduction nightmares as Blade Runner and Gladiator). A wizardly conductor of mood and technique, the director drops us into a La Dolce Vita Rome—teeming with paparazzi that will become a scary human wave—as well as a chilly corporate boardroom where Getty’s feisty daughter-in-law, Gail (Michelle Williams, well-suited to the pantheon of tough-jawed Scott heroines), extracts herself from a ruined ma
False gods strut through the movies of Paul Thomas Anderson: rapacious oilmen, well-endowed porn stars, inventors of new religions and spinners of old lies. Phantom Thread, the writer-director’s ultra-fascinating bad romance (powered by a uncommonly sophisticated script by Anderson himself ), gives us a real god—or at least one who’s earned his perch. Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis, graying, fastidious, never unpersuasive) rules his private corner of London’s 1950s haute fashion world. A dresser of wasp-waisted princesses, he pursues his craft in total concentration and near-complete silence: “There’s entirely too much movement at breakfast!” Woodcock shouts with terrifying severity, an Anderson hallmark. When his character woos a lowly waitress, Alma (Vicky Krieps, purposefully blank), onto his tailoring pedestal to be his new lust object, you cringe on her behalf. What an absolute joy it is, then, to watch Alma slowly turn the tables on this insufferable creep. Phantom Thread hides this development until it can no longer; its buildup is consumed with subtle flirtations, the thrill of driving fast in a sports car, the elegance of the clothes and the ritualization of Woodcock turning bodies into consumable things. It’s almost a little too square and prestigey for the maker of Inherent Vice, but then Jonny Greenwood’s delicate piano score goes cello-heavy and the mood darkens into neediness—and worse. Anderson’s swing of the power pendulum represents his most fun piece
Aaron Sorkin’s distinct verbal cadences have been so recognizable in a zillion movies and TV shows, it’s strange to think that he’s never directed any of them himself. Rise-and-fall poker tale Molly’s Game finally changes that. It’s a real-life story about a regular high-stakes game for business execs and Hollywood elites. Unsurprisingly, the one-upmanship among arrogant gamblers and big cheeses fits effortlessly into Sorkin’s universe, resulting in a wild ride with smarts to burn. We meet soon-to-be-ex-Olympic-skier Molly Bloom (a terrific Jessica Chastain, at ease with Sorkin’s language) moments before a freak accident curtails her career. Following her recovery, she halts her law school plans and moves to L.A., where a shady businessman (Jeremy Strong) offers an intro to his underground poker games. From there, Molly—provocatively costumed to intimidating effect—takes over, upgrades the client list and unwittingly gets mixed up with organized crime. When the FBI raids her home, she hires ethically torn New York lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) to run her defense. Despite an underbaked effort to boil Molly’s defiance down to a father-daughter story—an overindulged Sorkin instinct in Steve Jobs too—Molly’s Game rips along at an exciting pace. A sharply judged edit stitches together three separate timelines, shaping Molly as a complex and razor-sharp character in a world dominated by entitled mansplainers. Forget Rounders—here’s a poker movie to go all-in on.
Italian writer-director Luca Guadagnino likes to show off his homeland as a place of sensual self-discovery. That's especially true of his last two fiction features, the exquisite Milanese romance I Am Love (2009)—a film with the power to make you pack your bags and head off to the nearest airport—and the languorous island thriller A Bigger Splash (2015). But he’s never mounted the total swirl of sultry weather, budding libidos and teenage confusion that marks his new drama, Call Me by Your Name, a triumphant, heartbreaking tale of coming out based on André Aciman’s acclaimed 2007 novel. When considered within the tradition of onscreen gay courtship, the movie takes its immediate place alongside such all-time greats as Brokeback Mountain, Carol and the recent Moonlight. When viewed outside that esteemed lineage, Call Me by Your Name has a choking emotional intensity that will be apparent to anyone who’s ever dared to reach out to another. The movie takes place “somewhere in northern Italy,” but it’s actually set at the peak of Western civilization—which, in case you didn’t know it, was the summer of 1983. In the breezy villa of a beloved American professor of antiquities (Michael Stuhlbarg), multiple languages are spoken by a loving family. Plates of food are passed around along with side dishes of intellectual debate and affectionate teasing. Girls in sundresses pedal to the lake on bicycles. A brilliant pop song, the Psychedelic Furs’ “Love My Way,” throbs out of radios an
A sweet, deeply personal portrayal of female adolescence that’s more attuned to the bonds between girlfriends than casual flings with boys, writer-director Greta Gerwig’s beautiful Lady Bird flutters with the attractively loose rhythms of youth. Anchored by an expressive mother-daughter story in which unconditional love and enmity often seem one and the same, and elevated by an entrancing Saoirse Ronan (easily among the best and most intimate actors of her generation), Gerwig’s accomplished second directorial effort makes you wish she’d spend more time behind the camera. With her keen ear for female familiarity (she cowrote Frances Ha and Mistress America), Gerwig sets Lady Bird during that exhilarating, confusing period known as high school senior year, when childhood-defining friendships start slipping away, hormones begin calling the shots and a better existence seems to await elsewhere. We follow the rebellious, opinionated Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Ronan, vanishing inside her funky, disorderly character) as she completes her final year of Catholic school in 2002. This is right after 9/11, during the Iraq War (often referenced in the background) and before cell phones got smart, further complicating teenagers’ lives. Lady Bird spends her days quarreling with her equally strong-willed mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf, invincible), slacking off with her good-natured best friend, Julie (a pitch-perfect Beanie Feldstein), and dreaming of a liberal East Coast college, aw