The Scent Of Green Papaya

A beautiful first feature (1993) by Vietnamese filmmaker Tran Anh Hung, shot on a French soundstage and set in two bourgeois Saigon households in 1951 and ‘61. The central character, inspired by Tran’s mother, is a servant girl, played as a ten-year-old by Lu Man San and as a young woman by Tran’s wife, Tran Nu Yen-khe, and the main focus is on everyday household chores and sensual discoveries, all made mesmerizing by elaborately choreographed camera movements that link interiors and exteriors in the same fluid itineraries. The first household contains an unhappy family, the second a wealthy Europeanized composer, and, perhaps significantly, only the first seems to have much connection with the surrounding neighborhood. The Vietnam war is dealt with so elliptically that it figures only as offscreen sirens and overhead planes. This stylish period piece won the Camera d’Or at the 1993 Cannes film festival and was nominated for an Oscar. In Vietnamese with subtitles. 103 min. (JR)

Published on 01 Mar 1994 in Featured Texts, by admin

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Wuthering Heights

Like every other screen version of the great Emily Bronte novel, including the ones by Luis Bu

Published on 01 Mar 1994 in Featured Texts, by admin

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For A Lost Soldier

The sole interest of this rather flat-footed 1992 Dutch feature by Roeland Kerbosch, based on a novel by Rudi van Dantzig, is its taboo subject, a pederastic love story. A famous choreographer from Amsterdam, who’s having difficulty creating a ballet inspired by his memories of World War II, recalls his youth during the mid-40s, when he was sheltered by a fisherman and his family. Shortly after the liberation, he had a brief affair with a Canadian soldier (Andrew Kelley), which the film charts in detail. With Maarten Smit as the boy and Jeroen Krabbe as his older self. (JR)

Published on 01 Mar 1994 in Featured Texts, by admin

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