THE MISSING OBJECT
A film by Vương Đức
16:30 & 19:00 (2 sessions) – 24.03.2022
L’Espace – 24 Tràng Tiền, Hà Nội
Who watches Hanoi from above? Who wanders on the street? Sword Lake, Hỏa Lò Prison and Ô Quan Chưởng. The camera stops at a small street, perhaps the Hàng Đồng. The alley is dark, going past somebody’s room from where one could hear the sounds from a video game, leading up to an attic. These movements unfold into the meeting with which begins Của Rơi, directed by Vương Đức and adapted from a short story of the same title by Nguyễn Việt Hà. A Hanoian landscape from 20 years ago.
The film follows university lecturer Thắng as he drifts aimlessly across the city during the sombre winter days just before the Lunar New Year. Rhythms ebbs and flows, broken up by various unexpected ‘falls’. So as to protect himself from the expectations of society and of those who are more atuned to reality, Thắng spends his hours pursuing his personal research of a ‘freaky mathematical theory’, seeking the guidance of the I Ching and his grandfather in an Old Quarter house, or drinking in a street-side joint by the side of Văn Miếu. Thắng’s map of Hanoi is one of geometric cartography, from one point to the next. His world quietly goes on, until the day of his chance encounter with Huyền. From here, an unusual search begins, amidst an intertwined network of individual relationships.
In relation to the short story it’s based on, the added notion of love in the film is one of a doomed undertaking. Thắng is seemingly in agreement with everything, willing to let things take their own courses, but love he deliberately rejects. In life, a ‘missing object’ is a debt, and this applies not only to Thắng but to all characters. To whom will this debt be paid?
16:00 – Doors open
16:30 – Film starts
18:30 – Doors open
19:00 – Film starts
* With subtitles in English
CỦA RƠI (THE MISSING OBJECT), drama film, 2002, 97’
Directed by: Vương Đức
Written by Nguyễn Việt Hà
Cinematography: Nguyễn Hữu Tuấn
Editing: Lê Vinh Quốc, Phạm Anh Thắng
Set design: Phạm Quang Vinh
Sound: Nguyễn Thái Vũ
Music: Đỗ Hồng Quân
Featuring the acting of: Đức Khuê, Huệ Minh, Lê Vũ Long, amongst others (listed in accordance with the film’s credits)