6ixtynin9

6ixtynin9 was the head of the critics' jury at last spring's Hong Kong film festival, which awarded half of its first prize to this macabre 1999 comedy-thriller from Thailand. It's as commercial as anything from Hollywood—as was writer-director Pen-ek Ratanaruang's previous feature, a crazed Tarantino spin-off called Fun Bar Karaoke that I liked even more. Ratanaruang spent eight years in New York studying at the Pratt Institute and working as a freelance illustrator and designer, which explains his mastery of American-style entertainment—though his Thai and global observations are no less striking. This picture might be described broadly as clever Hitchcock lite, but that doesn't mean it doesn't also have pertinent things to say about the recent Asian economic crisis. 114 min. Jonathan Rosenbaum

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