The Age of Anxiety
An audiovisual meditation on the fin de siècle in Thailand. The film deconstructs hallucinatory footage of the typical 80’s Thai melodrama B-film into thousands of frantic fragments. They feel like violent stabs: disturbing memories and reinvented histories that ascend the viewer into mind-expanding views 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: 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 traumatized and anxious mental state . The line between nightmare and reality is a thin one — will the horror ever end? Amid the franticness, however, there is a yearning to escape the senselessness of it all, and a hope for freedom to break through.
Leong Puiyee is an arts manager and film programmer based in Singapore. She currently manages the film programmes for Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film. She was previously the short film programmer of the Singapore International Film Festival (2014 to 2019) and was on the selection comittee of SEAShorts Film Festival in Malaysia, World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest, and festivals in Busan and Bangkok.