This article returns to an untimely cinematic practice. Watching feature-length narrative films in rural and urban Thailand, and around the northeastern and southern borderlands, during the mid-twentieth century did not necessarily mean going to cinema theatres. The predominant modality of cinematic encounter and experience would have been via itinerant makeshift cinema. Mobile film troupes criss-crossed the country, and wandered into territories beyond that of the nation-state, with their assemblage of voice performers, 16mm reels and projector, speakers, electricity generator, and an array of other technical tools and locomotives. A variety of events above and beyond commercial ones aiming to sell tickets occasioned the arrival of the projection performance troupes. There were shows to promote goods, to give offerings and thanks to the spirits, and also to propagate anti-communist messages and feelings.
What kind of a cinematic apparatus is itinerant makeshift cinema? My article proposes to understand itinerant makeshift cinema as a cinematic apparatus, or more precisely, a dispositive whose ontological basis for manifesting moving images and occasioning bodily experiences of images are grounded in itinerancy of display, intensified durational dilation and indeterminacy, and a logic of transmission that associates presence and transformation with the exchanging and channelling of forces between the human and non-human.