Below are some questions posed to director Ukrit Sa-nguanhai about his competition film Trip After.
What kind of work did you do on the archival materials for your film?
Besides projecting sequences from the propaganda film ‘The Community Development Worker,’ which was produced by The United States Information Service, onto present-day buildings and locations, I also did sound design work for the majority of those sequences. The original film was fully narrated using Morlam music without any background sounds. Morlam was and probably still is the most popular form of music in the northeast region of Thailand, the area where this propaganda work was targeted. I want the actions and events in the film to be more separated from the propaganda message and allow them to be perceived and comprehended differently with their new placement within this film.
There is, in your film, a strong metacinematographic aspect, of cinema within cinema, because you film projections of other films on improvised screens. Can you tell us more about how the idea came about?
The idea came together as the concept of the work; it’s about a travel vlog revisiting the filming and screening locations of the film ‘The Community Development Worker,’ which took place back in the early 1960s. At the same time, I want to use these projection techniques, alongside other elements of the work, including narration from excerpts of archival reports of those mobile film trips, for the audience to form their own impression of these propaganda film operations in the northeast of Thailand.
Would you suggest a few found footage films that you think are important?
It is difficult for me to pick a few films as there are many that I adore, so I will just mention a film that I recently watched: ‘The Brilliant Biograph: Earliest Moving Images of Europe (1897-1902),’ a collection of newly restored 68mm films by Eye Filmmuseum Amsterdam. Although it seems to be just a series of Biograph films, some of these shorts, when watched on a big screen without context, brought me a moment of uncanniness, reminding me of the cinematic appeal found in many contemporary films that I enjoy.