Previously at the ICA - Films
6 Oct 2017
BFI Film Festival: 243 features. 67 countries. 15 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.
Singaporean director Kirsten Tan’s lightly surreal road-movie finds a man experiencing a mid-life crisis and encountering an elephant he knew from childhood, which reminds him of brighter days.
Thana, a saggy, middle-aged architect is demoralised at home and work. He’s increasingly out of step with the new breed of client-focused colleagues, while his professional crowning glory—a high rise building—is due to be demolished to make way for a new development. While walking the streets of Bangkok, he spots an elephant from his family farm. The beast was once magnificent, but is now a cheap tourist attraction. Thana decides to liberate the animal and himself from the shackles of their lives, taking off on a road trip to his childhood home.
Tan’s film, executive produced by Sutherland Award-winner Anthony Chen (Ilo Ilo, LFF2013), is a wry, absurdist lament on the cruelty of time and 'progress', tackling ageing, nostalgia and unrealised ambition with a vivid sense of style and warm-natured humour.
(Notes by Tricia Tuttle)
Pop Aye, dir. Kirsten Tan, Singapore-Thailand 2017, 102 mins