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
Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) gathers up three of its biggest, and most stylish, annual trade fairs—Bangkok International Fashion Fair and Bangkok International Leather Fair: BIFF&BIL, Bangkok International Gift Fair, and Bangkok International Houseware Fair: BIG+BIH), and Thailand International Furniture Fair: TIFF—and relaunches as STYLE, which is set to be held this month. The event, taking place from 19-23 April at BITEC Bangna, will feature booths from some of the country's top exporters of design products as well as business matching sessions and an exhibition of winning design masterpieces by Thai craftsmen.
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.
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!
Bangkok is turning 236 years old on 21 April, and a handful of organizations, led by The Ministry of Culture, is hosting a five-day festival to celebrate the occasion. Named The 236th Year of Rattanakosin City Under Royal Benevolence, the event will feature cultural shows, exhibitions, talks and movie screenings taking place at multiple venues including The National Theatre, Santi Chai Prakan Park, Scala Theater and The Bangkok National Museum which will be open late until 21:00 during this celebration.
Great and Good Friends: Historic Gifts between the Kingdom of Thailand and the United States of America
The Embassy of the United States of America in Bangkok is hosting an exhibition of historic gifts exchanged between Kingdom of Thailand and the United States of America to commemorate 200 years of friendship. The exhibit features 79 priceless objects and letters that have never been previously shown anywhere in Thailand which were borrowed from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and its presidential libraries, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, King Prajadhipok’s Institute, Bangkok National Museum Bangkok, Thai Department of Fine Arts, and the Thai Film Archive. Check out more pictures here.
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
Movies now showing
The ’80s arcade classic Rampage allowed players to inhabit the avatars of rabid mutant animals as they punched helicopters, ate people and demolished cities. That premise is a bit obvious for a major studio feature, but star Dwayne Johnson and director Brad Peyton, improving on their 2015 lemon San Andreas, have taken the title and basic thrust of the video game (smash things!) and delivered a colorful, cornball disaster spectacle. Rampage isn’t cause for wild celebration, but with its bright, coherent FX—rare in this genre—and one deliriously fun supporting performance, it’s better than it has any business being. The movie opens with a knockout action sequence, set aboard a space station that’s been overtaken by a gargantuan lab rat. (For fans of the video game, this rodent is the first of several Easter eggs.) The pathogen that’s loose in the space station, which turns animals into supersized killing machines, makes its way back to Earth and is ingested by a crocodile, a wolf and an albino gorilla named George. This simian star provides an emotional element, via friendship and sign language with primatologist Davis (Dwayne Johnson, doing his thing), and sets the story in motion when he destroys a wildlife sanctuary on his way to a rendezvous with his fellow mutants in Chicago. Johnson joins with Naomie Harris, radiating smarts as a genetic engineer, to quell George and minimize the damage. Good luck with that: The annihilation of the Windy City is a thrill to watch—cartoo
Proving once again—especially after last year’s Girls Trip and The Big Sick—that comedies are the undiscovered country for expert (if not Oscar-nominated) acting, Blockers gives the willowy, trembling Leslie Mann two bookends that are, without a doubt, her finest onscreen moments. In the first, she’s offering tame suggestions to her prom-bound, sex-minded daughter (“Mom, are you going to be okay?” the kid asks, legit concerned). In the next, the tears rain down Mann’s face like a shower with robust water pressure—is it even audible?—as she’s saying upbeat goodbyes to a child with college on the horizon. In between those two scenes comes a wonderfully crude film (we're talking Superbad levels of raunchiness), but one in which the overall vibe is sweet: kids patiently waiting for their parents to grow up already. On the occasion of their daughters' big high-school dance, three fussy helicopter parents (Mann, Ike Barinholtz and a revelatory John Cena, a hulking, teary-eyed mess) become aware of their girls' plan to devirginize. Furious at this "sex pact"—it even has its own hashtag, #SEXPACT2018—the olds decide to mount a counteraction; the movie's title once had another word before Blockers, a synonym for rooster, before advertising standards kicked in. Snappily directed by debuting director Kay Cannon (a screenwriter on the Pitch Perfect trilogy and, more substantially, TV’s 30 Rock), Blockers brews a bubbling panic among the parents, invading where they shouldn’t and brandi
After the Twilight saga, we’re used to young-adult romances involving pale sun-dodgers with mysterious depths. The twist with this one is that there’s nothing supernatural about nocturnal teenage guitarist Katie (Bella Thorne). She suffers from a rare genetic disorder called xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), which means her body is unable to repair the damage caused by ultraviolet light. In other words, the sun can literally kill her. It’s an extreme obstacle to put in the way of her finding happiness with childhood crush Charlie, a boy she’s watched from her window most of her life, and who’s grown into the handsome form of Patrick "Son of Arnold" Schwarzenegger. (It’s worth noting this is a relatively straight adaptation of the 2006 Japanese teen drama Taiyo No Uta, not that the target audience will have seen the original.) To be frank, the medical disorder is about the only aspect of this story that lends it any distinction. Midnight Sun is otherwise a bland mix of familiar types (the doofus Dad, the quirky best friend who wears woolly hats indoors, etc.) who trundle along the rails of a predictable plot, one that relies on Katie preposterously keeping her illness a secret from Charlie until it inevitably catches up with her in a Cinderella-ish manner. Leads Thorne and Schwarzenegger are mildly charming in a TV-soapish way, but it’s all so desperately clean (even her XP is photogenic, unlike the condition in reality). The stars struggle to hold your interest, let alone earn y
Like Aliens retooled as a militant librarian’s fantasy, actor-director John Krasinski’s relentlessly effective horror film thrives on a nifty premise: In a post-apocalyptic world, a family holes up in a farmhouse and tries to survive in a countryside where the slightest sound brings out deadly monsters. It’s a high concept that demands the dialogue be kept to a minimum; characters communicate by subtitled sign language, eye contact and extreme whispering. That makes A Quiet Place pure, bold cinema, the images and sound design working together to scare the bejesus out of you. Save some late-in-the-day exposition via basement whiteboards and newspaper headlines, Krasinski gives us admirably little backstory for the alien invasion. Instead, after a tragic prologue, we find a family—dad (Krasinski), mom (Emily Blunt), son (Noah Jupe) and daughter (Wonderstuck’s Millicent Simmonds), whose deafness means she can’t hear anything sneaking up on her—neck-deep in real trouble. Nerve-shredding set pieces revolve around a nail sticking out of a wooden stair, a flooding basement and a Signs–like run through a cornfield. All are mounted with ruthless brio by director Krasinski, fully escaping his cuddly Office niche. The rules of this universe are fast and loose, so the monsters can’t hear over a waterfall, but they can listen through walls from miles away. And while the family dynamics lack nuance, the film is still a neat allegory for the challenges of parenting pushed to extremes. It’
As irresistible as the fresh carrots that grow in Mr. McGregor’s garden, Peter Rabbit gives Beatrix Potter’s classic a modern makeover, complete with intricate animation, cute quips for older audiences and a sweet-natured journey that has you rooting for a happy ending for all involved. Vying for gorgeous grounds and his human next-door neighbor (Rose Byrne), the audacious Peter Rabbit (confidently voiced by James Corden) goes head-to-head with sour Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), who unexpectedly inherits the beautiful property of his estranged late uncle. The only thing the finicky Londoner detests more than the English countryside is the “vermin” inhabiting the land, so naturally we’re braced for a duel. Peter’s shenanigans, though certainly adorable, could have been curtailed for the sake of pacing: One electrocuting gag is plenty. But the lovable supporting crew—Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), Cotton-Tail (Daisy Ridley) and Benjamin (Colin Moody)—makes up for any overdone mischief. Some may cringe at director-cowriter Will Gluck’s modifications (a bunny that twerks, music from the likes of Vampire Weekend and the ubiquitous Rachel Platten), and the heart-wrenching backstory of Peter’s parents might not be appropriate for the smallest of bunnies. (Save this one for young rabbits who can handle more mature content.) It’s certainly a new spin, but those who make the leap will do so vigorously.
A Wiki’s worth of pop-culture references stitched together by the most derivative of plots, Ernest Cline’s 2011 pulp sci-fi novel, Ready Player One, had many readers but substantially fewer devotees. Steven Spielberg’s fun but forgettable adaptation may run into the same difficulties. It’s a CGI-heavy fantasia that will zing your eyeballs while cramming your brain with zeroes and ones, but giddy as it is, it never quite sells its characters or gains much purchase on your emotions. Like Tron given a state-of-the-art update, the film is mostly set in a virtual realm called the OASIS. A world of wish fulfillment, it’s accessed by the downtrodden citizens of a dystopian 2045 with the fervor of addicts ignoring their squalid surroundings for a waking dream. Our Charlie in this computerized chocolate factory is Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), an orphaned teenager who scours the OASIS in the guise of his avatar, Parzival, looking for clues—or Easter eggs—left by its late founder (Mark Rylance). Teaming up with Wade/Parzival, though with a more political agenda, is spiky hacktivist Art3mis (Olivia Cooke). Meanwhile, corporate villain Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn, having a ball) brings oily zeal. Unusually for Spielberg, the emotional grace notes that elevate his best genre work—Elliott’s flying bicycle in E.T. or that first dinosaur reveal in Jurassic Park—are substituted with the sugar rush of endless cyberscapes. Wade’s backstory is hurried in a cursory way, and the supporting chara
The Jaegers (giant robots) and Kaiju (huge primeval creatures with interdimensional containment issues) are again battling head to head in Pacific Rim Uprising, and while original director Guillermo del Toro has not returned for this sequel to his 2013 fun machine, TV vet Steven S. DeKnight proves a more-than-capable replacement. Uprising may lack some of the texture and personality of Del Toro’s work, but it’s still a film he would have seen a dozen times in the theater when he was a preteen monster fan. Over 20 minutes shorter than its predecessor and set 10 years later, Uprising eschews complex world-building and subtle characterizations to provide no-frills, rock-’em-sock-’em robotics for sci-fi fans. John Boyega, the rising MVP from the last two official Star Wars movies, plays Jake Pentecost, son of the first Rim’s heroic, deceased Stacker. Apprehended for illegally dealing Jaeger hardware, Jake is given the chance to wipe his slate clean by helping instruct new robot-pilot cadets, including fellow orphan and mechanical wiz Amara (spunky newcomer Cailee Spaeny). Familiar basic-training shenanigans follow, along with some clichéd intrigue involving a tech CEO (Jing Tian, given a lot more to do than in Kong: Skull Island) who wants to introduce unmanned drone Jaegers. Livening things up are Charlie Day and Burn Gorman as returning oddball scientists Geiszler and Gottlieb; the former has one moment, in which he gets a little too personally involved in his hyperzoological
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
We've come a long way with our tomb raiding. Lara Croft, 2018-style, is now less of a geek’s voluptuous fantasy; as portrayed by Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), she’s sinewy and serious. Moreover, she's not such an anomaly these days, with plenty of female company when it comes to action heroics: Katniss Everdeen rocks a bow and arrow, Imperator Furiosa flings herself into battle and Wonder Woman suddenly has a bright future. Then again, we're still talking about the same limited formula: Take a recent Oscar winner (once Angelina Jolie, now Vikander), put her in a tank top and see how fast she can run while furrowing her brow. Today's Tomb Raider benefits from an occasionally sneaky line reading from its star but inevitably plays like warmed-over Raiders of the Lost Ark, too trapped inside its digital punishments to feel truly dangerous. There's no way to hate a movie that has spiked poles, booby-trapped caves and zombies, but you can fault it for not trying as hard as it should. Effectively starting from zero, these screenwriters do a better job of giving Lara, heiress to the Croft fortune, a believable daddy complex (Dominic West plays her missing adventurer father). She's also got a deranged competitor for buried junk (Walter Goggins) and an Asian sidekick (Daniel Wu, who you wish rated some romantic sparks). Norwegian director Roar Uthaug—also of 2015's enjoyably dumb The Wave—is an old soul who prefers when we can follow the cutting and ooh and aah over the stunt wo
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