Vietnamese film director Viet Linh, famous for many award-winning films, had a friendly meeting Friday with Ho Chi Minh City movie buffs and press at Hoa Sen University at 93 Cao Thang, District 3.
Movie director Viet Linh (first from right) during the session Photo: Ngoc Dong
At the event titled “The language of cinematography,” the director said she wished to share her knowledge of how to enjoy a movie through its expressive language with the participants.
The meeting opened with the screening of Cannes 2001 winner, “The son’s room,” an Italian movie.
Using some scenes in the movie and also some from the Vietnamese movies, the director began to explain the use and meaning of the cinematographic language.
“The language of cinematography is not verbal and can be appreciated by heart. It only comes where no dialogue exists,” she said.
According to Linh, the cinematographic language of a movie is the meaning concealed behind every detail which is deliberately selected and created by the director.
The language can be expressed through sounds as well as pictures by camera angle and light installation.
“It can take 2 days for you to learn the basics of cinematography language but 2 or even 20 years to know how to apply it to your movies,” she added.
The director told her fans that she first took the inspiration for entering the world of cinematography from the world-renowned German silent movie “The Battleship Potemkin” directed by Sergej Eisenstein in 1925.
The cinematographic language can be used as a spice, adding to the flavor of the movie and making it delicious, but an abuse of it could confuse the audiences and ruin their enjoyment of the movie, she warned.
The director shared the participants’ concerns about contemporary Vietnamese movie industry.
Describing Vietnamese TV film series as “disastrous,” she said they have illogical plots and do not reflect anything about Vietnamese culture.
Agreeing with the director, Thanh Huong, a student from HCMC University of Theater and Cinema said she felt sad about recent Vietnamese movies since they gave her nothing but boredom.
In addition, Linh said a Vietnamese movie at present usually prefers to force the audiences to use their heads to understand it, not to feel it with their hearts.
Linh also introduced to the audience some of the books of which she was editor, such as “Dao Chơi Vuon Dien Anh (A walk around the Cinematography garden)”, “Hai Mươi Bai Hoc Dien Anh (20 Cinematographic Lessons)” and “Chuyen Minh Chuyen Nguoi (My story and the Others’)”.
Dang Chuong, a participant thought attending the meeting was like taking a short course in film for him.
“I come here as a learner who wants to know more about filmmaking. I think a meeting like this is very helpful since it can guide people who want to understand the beauty of art like me”, he said.
Director Viet Linh was born in 1952 in Saigon. She first started her career in 1971 as a montage, and then as editor, writer and finally director of many works which won numerous awards at domestic and international film festivals.
Among her well-known works are Ganh Xiec Rong (The Itinerant Circus), which won the highest prize at Vietnam’s national film festival Golden Lotus in 1988, and Me Thao Thoi vang bong (Glorious Time in Me Thao hamlet), which won the Golden Rose Prize at the Italian Bergamo Film Festival in 2003.
She now lives and works in France.