Around 39 A.D. in Vietnam, two sisters and their supporters lead a huge rebellion against Chinese invasion. These Amazonian-like women are Trưng Trắc, Trưng Nhị, and their army made of many female warriors. I don't think anywhere else in the world during this time women have such freedom and power. Even though they fail in driving the Chinese away for good, their exploits imply a very different Vietnamese social order. Maybe, Vietnam is a matriarchal society before Chinese domination. ...continue reading "Happy Mother’s Day From Surname Viet Given Name Nam By Surname Nam Given Name Nam"
Trương Quế Chi's film Black Sun (2013) will be screened at the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen in the International Competition Program. The date is 6/05/2014 and the location is the Lichtburg Filmpalast theater in Oberhausen, Germany. I don't know what the time is. If anyone is in the area, check that film out. It's an amazing short film! I saw it at Yxine's website when they put it up. The film is taken down at the moment due to distribution acquisition. ...continue reading "Trương Quế Chi’s Film Mặt trời đen – Vietnamese Classic Psych Rock’n’ Roll"
On February 8th, 2014 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), there was a single channel screening of films from a group of artists including Nguyen Trinh Thi. The video above is an interview conducted by the facility to illuminate the filmmaker's background, her process of working, her thoughts on media art, and her take on landscape. ...continue reading "Nguyễn Trinh Thi talks Landscapes, her works, and Media Art in Vietnam"
Back in November 2013 there was an article from Than Nien News on an interview with Dang Di Phan, the director of Bi, Don’t Be Afraid – an acclaimed Vietnamese art film. In the interview, he revealed some current challenges faced by the fledgling Vietnamese film industry. One of which is the lack of support for young film directors. Follow the link to read the full interview. ...continue reading "The Future of Vietnamese Cinema – Young Filmmakers"
THE SOUND WE SEE: A HANOI CITY SYMPHONY
This is from early last year. At Doclab there was a screening for a film project made by 18 local filmmakers. Shot with 8mm cameras and hand-processed at Doclab, the film was shown with a live soundtrack. Click here for more details.
I first heard about T. Kim Trang Tran at the Flaherty Film Seminar many years ago and have been fascinated with her work. She’s been making experimental films since the early 90s and is one of the only three accomplished Vietnamese experimental filmmakers that I’m aware of in the US. The others are Trinh Minh Ha and Nguyen Tan Hoang. Tran started working on The Blindness Series since she was in graduate school. In an interview, she says that her purpose for making these films is to address the fear of blindness and its opposite, which is vision. This motive stems from her inspiration by the philosopher Jacques Derrida and his theory of binary opposition. There are eight films in the series-- Alethaia, Operculum, Kore, Ocularis, Ekleipsis, Alexia, Amaurosis, and Epilogue: The Palpable Invisibility of Life. Each one tackles the theme of vision loss through various social, psychological, historical, sexual, and political issues. What struck me most was how different they are. However, the marriage of style and theme in each film is not arbitrary. For each film's structure fits perfectly with its subject. I didn't see them in order since they each stands on their own. I'm really inspired and compelled to write about the films but I don't just want to write about them in a conventional sense. Add to the fact that I'm not that good at writing and has a bullheaded background in experimental filmmaking. All in all, cinema is a visual and aural art form. You just have to see and hear the films to be moved by them. So I want to play with different ways of writing hoping to do justice to Tran's effective pairing of structure and content. The way that I write each film is different. I played with textual imagery, inverse text, mirror text, hidden text, missing text, and multi-language text to make each method of writing relevant to the theme of each film. I'd like the reader to break out of his/her comfort zone when reading the article and hopefully will try to see the films someday. They are difficult to get but are available from various distributors in the US. Many thanks to Tran and Third World News Reel, I got to see the films and here is what I have seen with my male Vietnamese slanted eyes. ...continue reading "Vietnamese-American Avant Garde Films: The Blindness Series"
From 11-16 January 2014, at Doclab, there will be daily video projections of the performances pf artist Hoang Minh Duc. The exhibition is from 1-7PM. Video made by artist Vincent Baumont. ...continue reading "HOANG MINH DUC: Video Projection of Performances"
This will take place from January 11-19, 2014 at Doclab in Hanoi, the place for experimental video in Vietnam. The director, Nguyen Trinh Thi, has put together this event which includes screening/workshop/performance/exhibitions to focus on art video in Vietnam. ...continue reading "Experimental Moving Image in Vietnam: Súp Video Soup"
Operated in Los Angeles and Ho Chi Minh, The Propeller Group is created by Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Phu Nam, and Matt Lucero. They use various art mediums such as film, video, painting, sculpture to create large scale projects. Check out their website, blog, news, and artist information here: ...continue reading "The Propeller Group – Art Collective Group with Multi-Platform projects"
Dinh Q. Lê, a Vietnamese artist living in Ho Chi Minh city, had an installation at MOMA back in 2011. He juxtaposes images of Vietnamese recollecting their memories of the Vietnam war with clips from American films. ...continue reading "Dinh Q. Le – Vietnamese Artist’s 3-Channel Video Installation at MOMA"