Current & Upcoming Films
Vietnamese Film Fest: Departure / Adaptation Fever series
Hong-An Troung’s ADAPTATION FEVER (2006-2007 | US | experimental video installation | 20 min) is a trilogy that both appropriates and disrupts the archive. ‘The Past is a Distant Colony,’ ‘A Story in the Process of Self-Alienation,’ ‘It’s True Because It’s Absurd,’ and ‘Explosions in the Sky’ were each constructed using found footage of Viet Nam during its French Indochina period, to explore questions about the politics of representation and the construction of difference in relation to history, time, and memory. The split screen and juxtaposition become a simple technique whereby the “real” and by extension, its historical referent, are permanently deferred objects, further diminished through the overdubbed narratives in Vietnamese and French which are only briefly summarized in English subtitles. Playing with the idea that nostalgia can be evoked without memory or experience, and also by the co-dependent relationship between the West’s present and the Other’s desire for that present, this video appropriates archival images as a way to consider translation, postcolonial subjectivity, and sentimentality. With an introduction by Vi?t Lê, curator and director of LOVE BANG! (screening later at 4:30.)
After that, Lin+Lam’s DEPARTURE (2004 | US | video essay | 48 min) considers modernization and foreign intervention, through transportation methods. Shot from the exploratory perspective of moving car, cycle, and trains, the video travels through three former colonial Asian cities: Taipei, Shanghai, and Hanoi. In recognition of language hierarchies and the politics of translation, five women narrate interrelated histories of urban environments under transformation, in their native languages—Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese, English, Shanghainese, and Vietnamese.