Watching Victor Vu’s film


The Coke, (pop) corn and cinema.

Heroes of Destiny.

Boom, bang! karate kid! Justified violence (revenge).

Boy meets girl, boy almost loses girl, boy gets girl in the end. Happy Ending.

When the bewitched Empress released her grip, she broke the chain of self-perpetuated violence.

It’s like cutting the credit card when you  are a shopaholic.

Blood-thirsting regime shed more blood to solidify power (the East was used to “Chu Di Tam Toc” i.e. wipe out the enemy’s descendants down to the third generation.)

We got some humor and and we got the resolution (breaking the chain).

As Vietnam‘s m0vie-going is improved, so has its film industry.

More investors and actors take a plunge, as barriers to entry are much lower than in Hollywood.

Valentine should see another date movie (the horror genre): House in the Alley.

My cousin used to work in Vietnam’s film industry. We used to get invited to premiers at Rex cinema.

Back then, actors all lined up to greet guests on the red carpet.

We had our own version of Brigitte Bardot (without Jean Paul Belmondo) in Tham Thuy Hang, and many generations of comedian. Still, the industry was in its infancy. By the time it matured, technology has moved on to home theatres and small screens.

It’s an act of love and faith to plunge deep into movie making in Vietnam.

I admire the efforts such as Norwegian Wood.

You can’t get a flatter world than that: Beatles’ title, Japanese novel, Vietnamese mis-en-scene talent.

Victor Vu started out with horror genre, then moved on to action flicks.

He used Matrix and X-men special effects throughout his work.

But definitely, you know it’s a Vietnamese story: Nguyen Trai‘s sole surviving descendant seeking revenge and restoration to the family’s name.

Part philosophy, part action (but not mindless); settling then stirring.

It’s entertaining, but not surprising.

What surprised me was the setting (Parkson) and the friendly greeting when we exited the premise. In the States, you are lucky if they show you out to the right exit.

I hope producers and directors find strong materials and backing to ride the waves of change (low barriers of entry, yet declining ticket sales). I know we have yet told stories like the Fall of Saigon, Last Men Out, and A Day in the life (of successful Vietnamese immigrants). Before you know it, the digital generation is taking over, with fuzzy memories of how they have come to be who they are, with Ipad and Iphone.

No wonder why Steve Jobs commissioned his biography, “so my kids understand what I was doing”. Il’etait une fois……Once upon a time…..Everybody loves a good bed-time story, well-crafted and well- told. Victor Vu’s that I saw today luckily did not put me to sleep.

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