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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Films directed by Cambodia's King Norodom Sihanouk

Yesterday, I caught the screening of a documentary called DON'T THINK I'VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA'S LOST ROCK AND ROLL by John Pirozzi (I'll write more on the film in another post). And through this film, I became very intrigued by the late King Norodom Sihanouk, whose love for music helped create the golden rock & roll era in Cambodia. Yes, he played the saxophone and the piano.

There are lots of videos of the King, on Youtube, singing. Here's an entire playlist of videos. Of the king. Singing.

What blew my mind even more was finding out that the king was also a filmmaker. A very prolific filmmaker. Back then, he was the only one with access to a 35mm camera, and other professional equipments. So he generally wrote, directed, composed and starred in his own films. There were more than a dozen feature films, and a lot more documentaries.

I did some more digging on Youtube and found some of the king's works.

This is a 1966 film called APSARA. It's a 2-hour epic.

King Sihanouk even had a film called TWILIGHT in 1969, decades before girls around the world went crazy over shiny vampires and tormented werewolves. He starred in it. But not as a vampire.

This 20-minute video is a compilation of all the musical scenes from 1969's LA JOIE DE VIVRE (THE GOOD LIFE)