The Adventure of Iron Pussy (หัวใจทรนง)

Adventure of Iron Pussy image
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 @ 6:30 PM
Center for Korean Studies Building, UHM
Thailand (2003, 90 mins)
Thai w/English subtitles

Director: Michael Shaowanasai, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Cinematography: Surachet Thongmee
Cast: Siriyakorn Pukkavesh (as Rungranee), Michael Shaowanasai (as Iron Pussy) Krissada Sukosol (as Tang), Theerawat Thongjitti (as Pew)

The Adventure of Iron Pussy is many things. It’s a spoof of James Bond films. It’s a transgendered comedy. It’s a musical. It’s also a homage to Thai films of the 1960s and ’70s.

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and co-directed by the star, Michael Shaowanasai, Iron Pussy is the story of a transvestite Thai secret agent.

While not on duty, Iron Pussy is a man, a shop clerk working in a 7-Eleven. His missions are relayed to him by shadowy characters that come to the shop to pay their phone bills. When the billing info is keyed into the system, details of Iron Pussy’s next mission come up.

In the film, the mission involves some shady goings-on at a socialite’s garishly lavish, castle-like mansion. Tasked personally by Prime Minister Thaksin and the cabinet (supplied by a comedy group of impersonators), Iron Pussy is sent off to crack the case, after some hilarious song and dance antics with the PM and his cabinet.

Of course, there are a few other weird, implausible twists and turns here and there, making the movie a satire of Thai melodramas and action films of years past. What makes the film effective is that all the voices are dubbed by top voice actors, people who do radio dramas and record Thai soundtracks for Western films. When Iron Pussy is a man, the voice is a deep, smooth baritone. But when she’s a woman, it’s a lyrically high-pitched voice that really shines on the musical numbers.

The settings and stunts are all very obviously staged and played strictly for camp effect. The “film” was shot digitally and in the presentation at the theater, the relatively low-res projection made the film seem grainy, giving it an even more low-budget feel. It’s as if the film was being viewed in an outdoor setting, on sheet in the village market – a common form of entertainment in rural villages.

For the uninitiated or close-minded it might seem unprofessional, but I think this is the effect that Apichatpong was going for.

Wise Kwai, thaifilmjournal.blogspot.com

Please support the filmmaker by purchasing their film!

Distributor: YesAsia - http://goo.gl/StqIY

Reminder…dress warmly, the auditorium is heavily air-conditioned.

Pin It

Comments are closed.