First the chandelier is dismantled in the foyer, each string of lamps lowered to the floor one by one. The other retro light fittings come later, after the curtain that lines the walls of the auditorium has been pulled down and before the seats are unscrewed and carried out. As the director narrates in impassive voiceover, the Scala has recently ceased operations, the last of the three great cinemas built in Bangkok in the 1960s to close its doors to the public. Her father used to work at the already shuttered Siam, and she spent much of her childhood there, sleeping behind the projection room, her sheets of the same fabric as the curtains. Her recollections flow into those of who appear on camera, those whose lives are just as linked to such spaces as hers and who now strip it bare. As the space empties out ever further, it is perversely filled by something else: an almost unbearable sense of melancholy that infects director, staff and audience alike, at a life, at a culture, at a community that will soon disperse, even if its importance remains undimmed, here and elsewhere too. In the dark windows behind the palms, the only moving images are reflections of the glowing billboards.
by Ananta Thitanat
with Pongpop Inheen, Saman Watcharasirirot, Nakorn Nuannngein, Sampao Phasukdin, Wilairat Angkabkaew
Thailand 2022 Thai 65’ Colour World premiere Documentary form

With

  • Pongpop Inheen
  • Saman Watcharasirirot
  • Nakorn Nuannngein
  • Sampao Phasukdin
  • Wilairat Angkabkaew

Crew

Written and Directed byAnanta Thitanat
CinematographyAnanta Thitanat
EditingAbhichon Rattanabhayon
Sound DesignNopawat Likitwong
ProducerAbhichon Rattanabhayon
Co-ProducerNontawat Numbenchapol
Co-ProductionMobile Lab Project, Bangkok, Thailand

Produced by

Bandai Dam Studio

Ananta Thitanat

Born in 1982 in Bangkok, Thailand. Following two documentary shorts, Scala is her first feature-length work.

Filmography

2020 Ghost; 30 min. 2021 Kembali; 23 min. 2022 Scala

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022