Friday, 19 January 2018

The jetlag effect... I wake up in the middle of the night. I don't know where I am. Whether it is Paris or Taipei. Or Saigon. I don't know whether I'm still in one of those weird dreams I often have. I recognise my room yet I wonder if it will not morph into another room that ressembles my room but turns out to be another one that feels familiar yet is totally foreign to me...

Will I dream again of buildings crumbling down because of violent storms...?

Sunday, 14 January 2018

I had bought Bi đừng sợ (Bi don't be afraid), one of the two films by Di Phan Dang that are available on DVD in France. The film was praised as a good example of the emergence of Vietnamese cinema. My father was looking forward to watching it.

Then came the screening evening with my parents. I had no idea what the film was really about. 

Beautiful photography. The little boy playing Bi was excellent. Scent of the Taiwanese New Wave, Tsai Ming Liang and Edward Yang in the way they depicted the change of society, the generation gap.

The story evolved three generations of a Vietnamese family in Hanoi. An ailing old man who comes back after a long time away, a married man who neglects his wife and sighs after a masseuse, his wife who tries to forget her husband's lack of affection by taking care of her father in law, the younger sister who teaches at the high school, desperately falls for one handsome boy and also looks for a potential husband, and the little boy Bi, who connects the three generations from his innocent eyes... (don't think of Yi Yi...)

Then came the first sex scene. Raw. The younger sister goes on a date to the beach and is being shagged on the rocks by the seaside. Nice view of the man's bum.

My father (after a while): "It is a what one calls a mating scene."
My mother: "Mating scene... Looks like cats and dogs!"

I didn't know what to say or do. We continued watching.

Then came the second sex scene: the sister is lusting for the young and pretty student and hides behind the high reeds to watch him play football with his friend in the fields. All the young men are shirtless. Rainstorm. The sister is stuck in the reeds. Unaware of her presence, the young student comes near the sister. He doesn't see her of course, but he needs to pee, which he does facing the camera. The sister gasps and so do we. 

No word from my parents. I could hear the crickets from the field...

Third scene: the sister is obviously very frustrated and, in the heat of the summer night, she goes down to the basement to get some ice and use one piece as a refreshing dildo.

More silence.

My mother (after a while): "What on earth is she doing...?"
My father: "Oh well... it is very hot..."

I was dead laughing inside, but was almost grateful that my mother had Alzheimer...
Then the fourth scene: the husband comes back home, drunk and deeply frustrated that his romancing to the masseuse didn't go anywhere. After a fight with his wife, he savagely shaggs her on the bed. Of course there is no music - there was practically no music in the film anyway, although, I was surprised to see the name of Vũ Nhật Tân, one of the Vietnamese composers my father has been supporting and promoting years ago.
All we heard wa the creaking of the bed frame. And the scene went on and on....


My father: "Mating... once more. It seems the younger generation of filmmakers need to say something about the subject..."

Needless to say that my father didn't ask to watch the other film I had bought. He handed back the other DVD without needing to add anything.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

 My nephew: "I want to sit next to my uncle."|
"Yes, because I have to enjoy every minute I have with my uncle."

My parents: !!!

My nephew: "Yes. My uncle lives far away, so when he is there, I want to seize every instant I have with him. It's the same with my best friend Clément. He also lives far away..."

My parents were stunned. Nobody could say anything to that. Six-year-old Vũ An knows life!

My nephew as a photographer, taking a photo of me and my parents:  "Oh! That one is not bad!"

Monday, 8 January 2018

My nephew Vũ An and his dear Lapin before going to bed...