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vertical ray of the sun

tran anh hung    DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars lots of languishing Jan. 28 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Gauguin might like it.
The modern Vietnamese motion picture equivalent of that painting where Greek patricians are lounging on the divan, eating grapes. OK, the photography is good. But the vivid colors and painstakingly arranged scenes (right off the bat I worried it was just another food movie) don't seem to enhance the story; rather they serve as a substitute- because the story and characters are so uninteresting! Is it that I'm too hooked on sex and exploding helicopters to enjoy such a thoughtful movie? No, there just isn't enough to think about here. And I wonder if this urban Eden is the real Hanoi. The characters don't have to work much (are they all trustfunders?) They're not quite believable in that they seem to be able to squeeze the emotion (be it joie de vivre or pathos) out of every single trivial moment. I find myself feeling inadequate at my inability to get such intense pleasure out of cutting a piece of fruit. I'll continue to browse the positive reviews to learn about what I'm missing, but I have one question for the 5 star folks, "What did you get out of the third viewing of little sister and brother going through their Lou Reed morning exercises?"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Watching a painting come to life June 21 2003
First off, I just want to say that I am reviewing this in terms of the movie itself, not the DVD. I rented it but my place only has it on VHS. I watched it 5 times during one rent and I just have to review it. I don't know what extras the DVD does or does not have, but this movie is magical.
This has become one of my favorite movies of all time. I have a feeling that it may be too slow and thoughtful for the majority of the American audience, though. I don't see this as a fault of the movie at all. Only a fault in the bright, flashy dazzle, quick edit after quick edit style of tv, movies, sports, and commercials that Americans are surrounded by 24/7. If the picture isn't jumping around and changing every 1.3 seconds, the average American loses interest. Their (our) loss.
Scent Of Green Papaya has been a favorite of mine since I saw it a few years ago, thus when Vertical Ray showed up at the video store I had to rent it. I hate to slight Green Papaya, but now having seen both, this movie is the better of the two.
Vertical Ray is absolutely hypnotic. There are shots in this movie that take my breath away.
tran nu yen khe (Lien) is so sensual, magnetic, and free in this movie that I can't help but fall for her. I thought I fell for her in Green Papaya, but this movie goes way beyond that one. Her emotional range with just facial expressions, not to mention words, is so alluring. She is so perfectly entrancing. It's a strange thing to say, but just she herself...the way she looks at things, talks, and moves... her face... she is a work of art in and of herself. The camera truly loves her. I really can't explain it. She may be the very definition of grace and sensuality.
I don't think there is any lack of movement in this plot or screenplay.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Sensual Confection May 30 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Tran Anh Hung has given us a distinct impression of Vietnam through his films, and that impression is one of sensuality and beauty. Wheras in "The Scent of Green Papaya," the main focus was on nature, here Tran has turned his camera loose on human sensuality, in all its glorious incarnations. It is a dish seasoned with all the right spices, giving us a richly flavored and mystery filled dining experience.
The story revolves around three beautiful sisters of various ages, living together as a family unit. Two sisters are married and one of those has a child. Together with a younger brother, an extended and supportive family unit is formed in Hanoi. As Tran captures the beauty outside of their home, however, he begins to focus on what lies beneath the surface, and what begins as a tiny sprinkle, becomes a steady rain of sensuality.
The outward happiness and tranquility of this extended family belies what Tran shows us, pulling back the curtain slowly to reveal deep secrets and shocking deceptions. Always present, is the sisters' search for the truth regarding the romance of their parents, which is shrouded in mystery.
Ravishingly beautiful Tran Nu Yen Khe portrays the single sister, Lien. She and her 'big brother' have a flirtatious and teasingly erotic relationship that causes many on the streets of Hanoi to believe they are a couple. Only in the final moments of this film will we come to understand a sensual family history is repeating itself.
The lush foilage of Vietnam and the lovely city of Hanoi are wonderfully brought to life by Tran, and an excellent sountrack enhances the unique atmosphere of another impressionistic rendering of a place and its people by one of the great directors.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Light, natural and seductive Aug. 12 2002
Format:VHS Tape
One of the best movies I have seen in along time. The movie is a virtual collection of images of simple beauty. There is one failing though - despite trying to depict the "ordinary" the movie is far removed from the everyday. The movie is about three sisters and their brother, pressed by the anniversary of their mom's death to congregate at the eldest sister's cafe. They are a tightly knit family, who shares their innermost secrets in a safe and reassuring environment - at least that is what it looks like on the surface. The movie explores "relationships" at different stages of development - which is why it is difficult to really "remember" any one part. At times, they all keep secrets of sexual nature, most significantly - the baby of the siblings - Lien. Lien is seeking a husband not unlike her brother Hai. The movie explores - with a very real sense of beauty the complex and ambiguous relationship of Lien and Hai. When Lien discovers an aspect of their mother's past it seems like the whole clan is thrown into chaos. What she uncovers seems to threaten the romaniticized vision of their parents - something I am certain we all share. Light and lightness pervade this movie and the action is natural and not stilted. I recommend it to one and all who could use a light moment.
Miguel Llora
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing.
Director Anh Hung Tran's third effort is another intoxicating look at post-war Viet Nam that blends modernism and its problems with oriental mysticism and its values. Read more
Published on Oct. 20 2002 by Rheumor
5.0 out of 5 stars a feast for the eye!
This movies has several great points, a great story, lovely coloring and pictures and awsome music to name a few. I had not seen a movie as good as this for a long time if ever. Read more
Published on Sept. 21 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Vertical ray of sheer beauty
After the cold and sharp as knife, but explosive cyclo, the philosopher director returns with vertical ray of the sun. Read more
Published on June 11 2002 by Kuroneko1
5.0 out of 5 stars A light in the dark.
Merely another masterpiece from the best director in the world under the age of 40. This time, Tran Anh Hung takes us to Hanoi, where he introduces us to 3 sisters who are having... Read more
Published on May 2 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars the filmmaker of the modern age...
mr. tran seems unable to make a bad film. in fact, his first 3 films are exquisitely made. they hone in on the intimacies of human nature. they capture the harmonies of nature. Read more
Published on March 11 2002 by John R. Williamson
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than reading it on a travel book....
Vietnam appears very coulourful and cult. The modern, beautiful people blend in nicely with the beautiful photography and beautiful sounds of the movie. Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most beautiful movies I have seen in a long time.
This is a no brainer. Do you love movies that send chills down your spine as you begin to cry with a smile on your face. Buy this film. Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2002 by Michael A Frank
5.0 out of 5 stars Lush Vietnamese Film Transports to Another World
Three sisters living/working in a cafe in contemporary Vietnam wrestle with love, death and pregnancy in this spectacular film. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2001 by M. Colford
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