Exclusive to Scala’s ticket-holders: Perspectives Film Festival is proud to invite Ananta Thitanat, the director of Scala; Chew Tee Pao, the lead archivist at the Asian Film Archive; Ben Slater, script editor and writer for features like Camera (2014) and Malam (2020); and Wong Han Min, a philatelist and reputable collector of film memorabilia with extensive knowledge of Singapore's social history, in a panel discussion on the death of cinema and its spaces. The panel will happen immediately after the screening of Scala, and will run for an hour beginning with a short Q&A session with director Thitanat. The topics covered are an extension of the themes in Scala, and include: cinema as an institution, cinema as a physical and spiritual entity, and cinema in the age of streaming.
Film Short Description:
A poignant real-time eulogy to the disassembled Scala theatre, one of the final vestiges of Thai cinema’s golden age.
Amidst the pandemic, Bangkok’s Scala, the last standalone theatre from the glory days of 1960s Thai cinema, closed its doors to the public. Director Ananta Thitanat, who grew up in the nearby Siam cinema house where her father worked, documents this quiet tragedy through the intimate lens of her nostalgic attachment towards the disappearing space. Delving into the stories of the in-house workers who raised her, Thitanat’s debut feature humanises a public space with her personal history, and includes a subtle commentary on present-day Thai politics.
Running through the film is a thread of unresolved loss; the collateral emotional damage that results from the physical dissolution of an institution while its memory is still alive—when an unyielding timeline doesn’t align with the natural ebb and flow of memory.