Arts and Culture
In the existing scholarship on Thai cinema, the financial crisis in 1997 Asia or also widely known as Tom Yum Kung crisis is treated as a significant condition that defines the cinema of contemporary Thailand as the year and the following decade saw dramatic changes in terms of production quality, film narrative and distribution. In the area of film narrative, heritage films emerged as a popular genre in which female characters are visualised to serve the thematic nationalism. Grounded on this particular context of Thai cinema, my presentation focuses on the visualisation of the female body in two Thai films; Butterfly Man (dir. Kaprice Kea, 2002) and White Buffalo/Inang oei khoei farang (dir. Chinoret Kamwandi, 2011), both of which depict interracial romance between a western man and a Thai woman. It examines in particular the extent to which the presence of female body on screen is defined through the concepts of gaze and visual pleasure as introduced by Laura Mulvey (1975).