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Movies lead the way in 2009 while television lags behind   2009-12-28 - VietNamNet/VNE

This year Vietnam’s movie industry has won new admirers for its innovation but the same cannot be said of television.


Director Dang Nhat Minh (second from the left) received the Gold Lotus Award 2009 for "Don’t Burn".


2009 was a year of high achieving movies with filmmakers achieving both critical and commercial success. Art house movies like Choi Voi (Adrift), Trang Noi Day Gieng (The Moon at the Bottom of the Well), Dung Dot (Don’t Burn) all caught experts’ eyes at film festivals and audience’s attention at cinemas.


Meanwhile more traditionally entertaining movies focus have also been praised. Bay Rong (Clash), featuring a hot actors Johny Tri Nguyen and Ngo Thanh Van, was truly an action movie. Meanwhile Khi Yeu Dung Quay Dau Lai (Don’t Look Back When You Are in Love) by Nguyen Vo Nghiem Minh, the director of Buffalo Boy, is a more romantic effort.


Elsewhere there were horror films Miss Muoi and Chet Luc Nua Dem (Die at Midnight) while there was also Quang Dung’s Nhung Nu Hon Ruc Ro (Splendid Kisses) – a musical.


Many highly appreciated movies in 2008-2009 gathered at the Golden Kite Awards and the Gold Lotus Awards. The Golden Kite Awards was the between Huyen Thoai Bat Tu (Legend Is Alive), Trang Noi Day Gieng “The Moon at the Bottom of the Well”, Chuyen Tinh Xa Xu (Passport for Love), Dep Tung Centimet (Beautiful in Every Centimeter), Giai Cuu Than Chet (Save the Death).


Finally, art house films “Legend Is Alive” and “The Moon at the Bottom of the Well” shared the Silver Kite Award while “Passport for Love”, won the Consolation Award.


Meanwhile, art house movies performed well at the Gold Lotus Awards 2009. Don’t Burn won the Gold Lotus Award and the Press Award while the Silver Lotus went to “The Moon at the Bottom of the Well” and “Rung Den” (Black Forest).


Certificates of merit were presented to Trai Tim Be Bong (Little Heart) and Legend Is Alive. Bui Thac Chuyen was honored as the outstanding director for Adrift. An entertaining movie entitled “14 Ngay Phep” (14 Days Off) was voted best by the audience.


Internationally, Adrift was introduced at the oldest film festival in the world – Venice – and won the FIPRESCI award. This film made a tour of prestigious film festivals including Toronto, Vancouver, London, Bangkok and Pusan receiving rave reviews along the way.


Actress Hong Anh won the Best Leading Actress award at the Golden Kite Awards ceremony for her role in “The Moon at the Bottom of the Well”.


Actress Hong Anh won the Best Leading Actress award at the Dubai film festival for her role in “The Moon at the Bottom of the Well”. Director Dang Nhat Minh’s “Don’t Burn” has been chosen as Vietnam’s representative at the Oscar 2010. This film also won the only prize at the Fukuoka Film Festival in Japan and was warmly welcomed at the Pusan Film Festival in South Korea.


Don’t Burn was also introduced at 14 universities in the US with professor Bruno Bosacchi, lecturer at the Princeton University, commenting: “Don’t Burn is the best movie about the Vietnam War that I’ve ever watched”.


Television series are unprofessional and Koreanized


Meanwhile critics have their knives out for Vietnamese TV. Vietnamese series like Lap Trinh Cho Trai Tim (Programming the Heart), Xin Loi Tinh Love (Sorry for Love), Co Le Nao Ta Yeu Nhau (We Are In Love, Really), Co Nang Bat Dac Di (Unwilling Girl), Ngoi Nha Hanh Phuc (Happy House) are favored with prime time slots. However, not all have impressed viewers.


The two leading actors in "Happy House", the Vietnamese version of South Korean "Full House" TV series.


“We Are In Love, Really?” has been dubbed “We Turn Off TV, Really?” and “Sorry for Love” into “Sorry the Audience”. Critics complain that many TV series just focus on the loves and lives of rich youngsters, not burning issues of daily life.


Producers have not been successful in Vietnamizing famous foreign scripts like Unwilling Girl (based on Argentina’s Lalola series), Happy House (based on South Korea’s Full House), We Are in Love, Really? (based on South Korea’s The Twins).


Nhung Nguoi Doc Than Vui Ve (Joyful Singles) (based on a Chinese script) had to stop at the 171st episode while it was supposed to have 500 episodes over two years.


Vietnamese series like Programming the Heart and Sorry for Love are said to be too similar to Korean series, including the plots, rich characters and beautiful actors. Unsurprisingly when wanting Korean style entertainment audiences prefer genuine Korean made TV like Boys over Flowers, Hwanjini and East of Eden.


Meanwhile audiences also complained of TV movies chopped up to create more room for advertisements.

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