ECHOES, EMBERS: A story of Vietnamese and French cinema

  • November 11, 2022 | 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM | Friday
  • Oldham Theatre
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About the programme

First comes the resonance, then a light, quivering with no definite rhythms. Proceeding from specific spheres of Vietnamese filmmaking, Echoes, Embers operates as a sonogram reflecting on the relationship between the cinema of Vietnam and France, two nations whose embroiled entanglement have stretched over a century. 

Each film, on its own or in tandem with its surroundings, emanates frequencies of varied intensity across multilayered space-time. Hope and desire. Spectres and scars. Remembrance and resistance. Violence and obsession. Losses and reconciliation. A narrative constellation of contemporary renewal, diasporic returning, heritage and historical interventions.

Through works of diverse genres mostly made between the 1980s and now, the programme alludes to an ever-expanding nexus where individual cinematic practices cross paths, influence, refract, contribute to, or parallel one another. Trần Vũ and Jacques Tati; Síu Phạm and Claire Denis; Nguyễn Trinh Thi and Chris Marker; Trần Phương Thảo and Jean Rouch; Đỗ Văn Hoàng and Leos Carax. 

These interlacing perspectives weave a common plane on which one fate illuminates the other: orphaned youngsters, soldiers of a fallen army, a female worker seeking employment, zany veterans, a punished preacher, a filmmaker in reminiscence, a lovelorn adolescent, a one-eyed stray dog in a big city, amongst others.

Echoes, Embers opens in present-day Hanoi and ends in 1950s Paris, the setting of one of the first Vietnamese sound motion pictures. Shot entirely in France with an all-Vietnamese ensemble, the film, even at the dawn of Vietnamese cinema, already contemplated the nuanced relations between its titular “two worlds”. 

ECHOES, EMBERS: A story of Vietnamese and French cinema will run from 11 – 26 November 2022 at Oldham Theatre. There will be an in-person panel discussion as well.


We Come into Life (Vào Đời) (2019), dir. Síu Phạm, Vietnam

Probationary (Thử Việc) (2022), dir. Đỗ Văn Hoàng, Vietnam
Boy Meets Girl (1994), dir. Leos Carax, France

Bi, Don’t Be Afraid (Bi, đừng sợ!) (2010), dir. Phan Đăng Di, Vietnam/France/Germany

Point De Départ (Starting Place) (1994), dir. Robert Kramer, France
Worker’s Dream (Giấc Mơ Là Công Nhân) (2006), dir. Trần Phương Thảo, Vietnam

Hanoi’s Landscape (Phong Cảnh Hà Nội ) (1958), dir. Bùi Đình Hạc & Nguyễn Đăng Bẩy, Vietnam
Điện Biên Phủ (1992), dir. Pierre Schoendoerffer, France

Beau Travail (1999), dir. Claire Denis, France

Song to the Front (Bài Ca Ra Trận) (2011), dir. Nguyễn Trinh Thi, Vietnam
Money, Money! (Tiền Ơi!) (1989), dir. Trần Vũ & Nguyễn Hữu Luyện, Vietnam

Once Upon A Time In Mê Thảo (Mê Thảo, Thời Vang Bóng) (2002), dir. Việt Linh, Vietnam

Two Worlds (Hai Thế Giới) (1953), dir. Phạm Văn Nhận, dir. Vietnam

Shorts Programme:
Memory of the Blind Elephant (Kí Ức Voi Mù) (2016), dir. Nguyễn Phương Linh, Vietnam
Memory of the Day No. 1 (2019), dir. Trương Công Tùng
Cadavre Exquise (2018), dir. Stephanie Lansaques & François Leroy
Tropical Siesta (Giấc Trưa Nhiệt Đới) (2015-2017), dir. Phan Thảo Nguyên, Vietnam
My Paradise (2012), dir. Quynh Dong
Camera-eye (1967), dir. Jean-Luc Godard, France
Kindred (2021), dir. Lêna Bùi

About the Curators

Echoes, Embers: A Story of Vietnamese and French Cinema was conceived by Trương Quế Chi and Trần Duy Hưng, the two lead curators of Như Trăng Trong Đêm (Like The Moon In The Night Sky). Như Trăng Trong Đêm is a series of events on Vietnamese cinema across different genres, periods and contexts – pathway into film heritage from the perspective of today. Initiated and organised in conjunction with Hanoi’s TPD Film Centre and realised with its associated community of Film Curating students, Như Trăng Trong Đêm has taken place across three annual editions between 2020-2022, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. 

Trương Quế Chi is an artist and curator working in the domains of cinema, visual arts and performing arts. She has participated in various film festivals and exhibitions. Chi is an M.A. graduate of Film Studies from the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle. Since 2015, she has been a board member of the Hanoi-based artist initiative Nhà Sàn Collective. Chi is also a film lecturer at the Hanoi University of Theatre and Cinema.

Trần Duy Hưng is a curator, producer, writer and musician. He has undertaken extensive work with The Onion Cellar, TPD Film Centre, Galerie Quynh, British Council Vietnam, Out Of Frame Festival of Moving Image, Dogma Prize, Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective, amongst other organisations and individuals in Vietnam and beyond, in various capacities and across disciplines.

Trailer music by Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective, taken from Ngủ Ngày Ngay Ngày Tận Thế (Subtext, 2021). Tracks: Distant People and Images

Texts and translation in collaboration with Nguyễn Đình Tôn Nữ, Trần Trung Hiếu and Nguyễn Hoàng Thiên Ngân


As part of

With the support of the regional audiovisual cooperation in South-East Asia of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France and

About Reframe

An initiative by the Asian Film Archive (AFA), Reframe is a salon series that aims to bring together diverse audiences and the film community at large through an innovative range of programmes, encouraging dialogue and examining topics surrounding cinema and the moving image.

By asking the hard questions and re-looking at trends and issues critically, the series will construct meaningful frameworks that bring forth multi-perspective viewpoints and an increased appreciation of film and culture.

Tickets for this programme will go on sale Friday, 28 October 2022. 

Oldham Theatre’s opening hours

Friends of AFA members may select the “Friends of AFA” option and enter your membership number if you wish to redeem your remaining complimentary tickets.

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Important Notice:
Do note that Oldham Theatre operates on a free seating arrangement. Doors will open 20 minutes before showtime so arrive early to choose a seat and avoid disrupting the screenings as AFA does not play ads and screenings will start promptly.
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