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Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.

Introduction to Thai cinema

The first public film screening took place in Bangkok in 1897, and the Siam royal court commissioned films and recorded ceremonies at the turn of the century, with Prince Sanbhassatra a keen amateur filmmaker. Cinemas began opening from 1905, with programmes dominated by imports from Japan and the West, especially France. US films increasingly dominated the market from the late 1910s, with the Siam Film Company establishing a near monopoly on distribution and exhibition. A key early feature was the US-Thai co-production, Suwan/Miss Suwanna of Siam (Henry MacRae, 1923), and the first domestic feature proper is usually considered to be Chok Sorng Chan/Double Luck (Manit Wasuwat, 1927). Influenced by the benshi tradition (see japan, film in), imported synchronized sound films were often described by a professional narrator who provided dialogue and sound effects, a practice that continued into the early 1970s. A national censorship regime was established through the Cinema Act of 1930, and while the transition to democracy in 1932 led to significant changes in Siamese society, film censorship remained firmly in place. A domestic film industry began to develop in the 1930s: the Siam Film Company was superseded by the Saha Cinema Company; and the Sri Krung Sound Films studio was built at Bangkapi and the Thai Films Sound Studio at Thung Maha Mek.  ...

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Thailand, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 7 Jun. 2021

In the Library Collection

This guide focuses on film-making in Thailand. Below are some of the subject headings to will help you narrow your searching.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book title(s)

Other library resource(s)

Finding journal articles

Articles and other writings about Thai cinema can be found in many publications. Our collection does not have any journals which look exclusively at Thai film. You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find articles or use the search box at the top of the page.

Selected movie titles

Find more Thai film titles in the library's online catalog.