SFGVFF :: Việt Lê — Love Bang! | Nguyễn Trinh Thi — Retrospective
Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 4:30 PM to 5:45 PM (PDT)
San Francisco, CA
Việt Lê’s LOVE BANG! (2012 | Cambodia | music video | 5.5min) is a sexperimental music video exploring the Southeast Asian popular culture scene with a fantastic vision of queer love. Lê’s sensational trilingual hip pop song (Vietnamese, Khmer and English) also reveals contradictions in modernity and memory of Southeast Asia’s fraught history of war and trauma. “Hip pop” is a fictitious cross between pop and hip hop. The disjunctured video features a queer, star-crossed, time-traveling war-time love triangle. Sounds complicated? Love is! Filmed in Cambodia, Lê collaborated with many talented artists to realize his retro sci-fi pop vision. Working during the summer of 2011 with Phnom-Penh based musician and music producer DJ Peanut, he recorded a new song which samples Fleetwood Mac’s Riahannon (1975) and the iconic Thanh Lanh’s Vietnamese and French rendition of Cher’s 1966 hit Bang Bang. Cambodian rapper RJ co-penned the Khmer rap lyrics and soulful singer Dollar sang the bittersweet hook. After several reworkings of the song, using different singers and numerous recordings in Peanut’s studio, they got the sound they wanted. LOVE BANG! is the first installment of a video/ photographic trilogy executed and exhibited in Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, and Los Angeles. These three global cities are contradictory characters, metaphors, and mirrors for the lovers. The project addresses the intersections of trauma, memory and modernity. The new songs pay tongue-in-cheek homage to Vietnamese and Cambodian tunes as well as Western pop songs, which are ever-present on the streets of the two countries.
A retrospective by Nguyễn Trinh Thi, a pioneer of Viêt Nam’s independent cinema, featuring LOVE MAN LOVE WOMAN, SPRING COMES WINTER AFTER, CHRONICLE OF A TAPE RECORDED OVER, and SONG TO THE FRONT. In LOVE MAN LOVE WOMAN (2007 | Viêt Nam | documentary | 52min), through Master Luu Ngoc Duc, one of the most prominent spirit mediums in Hanoi, and his vibrant community, Trinh Thi explores how effeminate and gay men in homophobic Vietnam have traditionally found community and expression in the country’s popular Mother Goddess Religion, Đạo Mẫu. Using footage from the public funeral of an important poet who was banned for decades in Vietnam, SPRING COMES WINTER AFTER (2008 | experimental film | 4min) is connected to the political and historical situation of the country, provoking some questions still impermissible to be asked publicly in present-day Vietnam. What if one can play history in reverse and then replay it again? CHRONICLE OF A TAPE RECORDED OVER (2010 | single-channel | 25min) uses ‘exquisite corpse’, a method by which each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, as the filmmaker journeys over the Việt Nam War’s notorious Ho Chi Minh Trail. Along once-contested roads, the filmmaker asked local villagers to contribute their tales while the camera was observing their present-day life, merging past with present, reality with fiction, in her effort to assemble a piece of collective history, a history told by the people from the bottom up. And SONG TO THE FRONT (2011 | single-channel | 5.25min) takes a historical Vietnamese war film from 1973 as its central source. Re-editing ‘Bai ca rat ran (Song to the Front)’, produced by the Vietnam Feature Film Studio and directed by Tran Dac, Trinh Thi has turned this rarely seen black and white classic feature into a small vignette that decomposes the aesthetic and romantic elements of this social-realist melodrama. At the core of her work, a progressive exploration of her personal vision, Nguyễn Trinh Thi pays attention to gestural details, to the expressive faces of people who expose themselves and emerge out of the backdrop of a chaotic world. Her gaze is silent, anxious, humanist.
Doors open 4:15 pm
Screening 4:30 pm
Located at the Roxie Theater (3117 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103), this event is part of the San Francisco Global Vietnamese Film Festival, which centers the histories and imaginaries of those in Việt Nam and in the diaspora—through narrative, documentary, and experimental genres.
For a complete program visit sfgvff.wordpress.com.
When & Where
San Francisco Global Vietnamese Film Festival, a project of Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network
The San Francisco Global Vietnamese Film Festival (April 26-28, 2013) is a biennial film and video showcase centering Vietnamese filmmakers in Việt Nam and the diaspora—a international vision reflecting a transnational reality. SFGVFF is the first and only festival of its kind in the Bay Area. With an Opening Night Gala ($10, 7:30-10pm, 4/26) at Artists Television Access (992 Valencia St), the SFGVFF runs from 2:30pm to midnight each day, April 27-28, 2013, at the historic Roxie Theater (3117 16th Street) built in 1909 in the Mission district of San Francisco. Guest director talks and Q&A discussion with Bay Area filmmakers Việt Lê and Tony Nguyen. Each screening is $10, and may include multiple films or events. We expect over 2,000 attendees. Sponsored in part by the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, SFGVFF is part of the 2013 United States of Asian America Festival. For a complete schedule or to buy advanced tickets, visit the festival website at: sfgvff.wordpress.com.
Our film festival is organized biennially by the core members and staff of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN). The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) is a San Francisco-based organization established to promote artists from the Vietnamese diaspora whose work in literature, visual art, film, and performance art enriches Vietnamese American local communities and strengthens ties amongst Vietnamese across the globe. Unlike many other Vietnamese art organizations, DVAN is international in scope, which enables the Vietnamese American community in the Bay Area to know Vietnamese artists from different parts of the world. We accomplish this mission through the sponsorship of exhibits, symposiums, publications, festivals, readings, and other cultural/art events. DVAN was formally established in the winter of 2007 and received fiscal sponsorship from Intersection for the Arts (through its Incubator program) in February 2008.