Friday, 10/11/2023 13:12

30 years of Vietnamese cinema through the eyes of a prominent film critic

HÀ NỘI – The cinema criticism essay book “Outline of Vietnamese Cinema in the Period of Renovation and Integration” by film critic Ngô Phương Lan, former Director of the Cinema Department, has been released to the public.

The book includes two parts about Vietnamese cinema during the period of renovation and about its integration over the past 30 years.

The book depicts Vietnamese cinema during the period of renovation and integration over the past 30 years. Photo courtesy of Ngô Phương Lan.

“I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the academic ambience after many years of being occupied with management duties in the Cinema Department. When the words beckon, I returned to write,” Lan said.

In part one, the author overviews cinematographic works since 1990 and criticizes selected prominent films that represent Việt Nam cinema.

Because there are reviews originally written in the early 1990s in this book, she revised and updated them to reflect today's viewpoint.

The author expertly analyses and critiques the film's script, scene, music, character development, and actors' performances in simple language, making the work easily accessible to anyone interested in the country's cinematic works.

Part two of the book is Lan's commentaries on the development of Vietnamese cinema in the context of international integration and how to advance Việt Nam’s cinema industry.

In this section, Lan also outlined the map of international film festivals, the journey of internationalising Vietnamese cinema, and the challenges and lessons learned in building the Vietnamese film industry.

"I have known Lan since she returned from studying in the former Soviet Union and began working in the Cinema Department. Some of her essays were deemed thoughtful, and I recommended her to write books about Vietnamese cinema,” Director and People's Artist Đặng Nhật Minh said.

Various cultural and arts managers, merited artists, prominent screenwriters and filmmakers of different eras also attended the book launch celebration.

"As Lan's companion since the idea of the book was sparked, I think her writings are full of internationality on Việt Nam’s cinema,” said Lý Phương Dung, Deputy Director of the Cinema Department.

“Lan truly values film directors' unique characteristics and their artistic style in film criticism,” Director and Merited Artist Lê Đức Tiến said.

"Lan has been meticulous and intelligent in her criticism of the most notable films that have marked the era of Vietnamese cinema's creativity and integration," said Nguyễn Thế Kỷ, Chairman of the Central Council of Literature and Art Theory and Criticism.

“She is also a visionary manager with enthusiastic insights on how to effectively boost the Vietnamese film industry and bring Vietnamese cinema to its rightful place on the regional and global film maps." 

Dr Ngô Phương Lan at the book launch celebration. Photo courtesy of Ngô Phương Lan.

Ngô Phương Lan was born in 1963 in Hà Nội. She graduated with a degree in Cinematography from the Soviet State University of Cinema in 1988.

She used to work at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, holding the position of Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Department and Director of the Cinema Department.

She currently holds the role of President of the Việt Nam Cinema Development Promotion Association and constantly contributes to Vietnamese cinema.

For her tireless dedication to the country's cinema industry, Lan was bestowed the National Award for Literature and Arts in 2017.

At CineAsia in 2022, she won the title of the person with many contributions to copyright in the Asia Pacific region. – VNS

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