The Age of Anxiety
A meditation on on fin de siècle in Thailand. The film deconstructs the hallucinatory film footages of the Thai melodrama of the 80’s into thousands of frantic fragments, like the violent stabs of disturbing memories, perpetual nightmares and reinventing histories, that ascend the viewers into the mind-expanding horizons of a fragile nation on the verge of madness.
The Age of Anxiety questions the notion of hallucinations, memories and reality. It starts off with a foreboding tone, as smoke fills the screen while frenzied music plays in the background. The antagonistic music is a constant in the film, and the screams do not relent as the visuals morph into film footage of Thai B-movies from the 1980s. Made in response to the government’s merciless obliteration of the Red Shirt protesters in the 2010s, the music and flashing images are a reflection of a mental state that is traumatized, anxious, and emotional. The line between nightmare and reality is a thin one — will there ever be an end to the horror? Amid the franticness, however, there is a yearning to escape the senselessness of it all, with the hope for freedom to break through.
Leong Puiyee is an arts manager and film programmer based in Singapore. She is currently the Senior Manager at Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, where she manages the film programmes. She was previously the programme manager of the Singapore International Film Festival (2014 to 2019), where she led the Short Films programme. She has been invited to be on the selection panel of SEAShorts Film Festival in Malaysia, World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest (Long category), Busan International Film Festival, Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival, and was a screener for SXSW 2022.
A ship drifts in the middle of an endless sea. Aboard we find a crew of five. They all cope with boredom — some by trying to overpower it; others by escaping into a parallel world, guided by dreams.