Tears of the Black Tiger

Directed by Wisit Sasanatieng

The first Thai film to screen in selection at Cannes proved a hot ticket at the 2001 festival. This delirious homage to the Thai westerns of the director’s youth is fashioned around a tale of star-crossed lovers. She’s a wealthy girl from the right side of the tracks who falls in love with the most feared bandit in the country. But her powerful father has other plans for her. What makes TEARS especially distinctive is its sheer exuberance and celebration of artifice. Created in digital post-production, its visual style resembles hand-tinted photographs, with outrageous colour combinations and saturated pastel tints; set and costume design echoes the fifties. Even the bullets ricochet in silly slo-mo syncopation. The effect is fabulous, refreshing, and thoroughly enjoyable and marks its young début writer-director as a talent to watch. ‘Just when you thought the Pad Thai Western was dead. TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER’ a full-blooded passion pageant disguised as homage, brought the technicolor Easter egg tints of Pierre et Gilles home to roost in a provincial Thai setting, suggesting a young Sam Raimi’s ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS or Vincente Minnelli’s lost Roy Rogers film’ The Village Voice, New York

114 minutes

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