Excavation begins at ancient tomb in Ben Tre
A museum from the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre and the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City on April 26 began the excavation of an ancient tomb in Cho Lach town.
Assoc. Prof. Pham Duc Manh, dean of the university’s Faculty of Archaeology, said this is a large-scaled double tomb dating back to the late 18th or the early 19th century. It embodies features of tombs built for officials under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945).
However, the tomb has degraded due to natural and human impacts, he added.
The dig will be conducted on an area of 100 square metres over 10 days. The Ben Tre Museum will preserve artefacts unearthed during the excavation.-
Japanese wisteria tunnel to bring flowery display to Ha Noi
The first festival inspired by wisteria (or fuji in Japanese) will be organised today at Times City urban area in Ha Noi to honour Japanese culture.
Titled Fuji Matsuri, the two-day festival will recreate the Wisteria Tunnel from the Kawachi Fuji Gardens, a famous tourism attraction in Japan where a similar festival is takes place annually. The flower is said to be the flower of eternal love.
The stage for art performance will be designed as a 1,000-year-old wisteria tree from Japan. As many as 300 amateur performers will introduce Japanese yosakoi (street dance) and cosplay; the art of wearing costumes and accessories to represent a specific character in Japanese comics and animated films.
Visitors will also have a chance to enjoy Japanese cuisine and buy souvenirs. Entrance to the festival is free.
Int’l short film festival calls for submissions
The international short film festival YxineFF 2014 launched on Thursday in Da Nang City with the theme The Dreamers.
As part of the launch, audience members were able to speak with Director Nguyen Trong Khoi, who received the Audience Award last year for his film Khong Co Gi Quy (Even Just for One Day). The film was presented at the ceremony together with two other award-winning films.
The fifth edition of YxineFF follows the previous festivals themed Choice in 2013, Individual in 2012, Belief in 2011 and Love in 2010.
YxineFF 2014 will accept submissions from now until June 30. Submissions from Vietnamese and international filmmakers can cover any genre and can’t exceed 60 minutes. There are four categories: International Competition, Local Competition, Panorama and In Focus.
Movie screenings will commence from September 19, with the closing and award ceremony to take place in December.
“We look forward to receiving the most distinctive and creative works from young filmmakers who dare to follow their dreams. Just let your minds fly, discover the world through your personal lenses,” said president of YxineFF Marcus Manh Cuong Vu.
Vu added that filmmakers could tell stories that transcend reality or reflect their inner personal aspirations through cinema.
YxineFF, a voluntary, non-profit and independent project, has received widespread support from organisations, companies and individuals, including the IDFA Bertha Fund from the Netherlands, Danish Cultural Development and Exchange Fund, Goethe Institute Viet Nam, British Council Viet Nam and the US Consulate General in HCM City.
Holland Artisan attends Flower Arrangement in Da Lat
Dalat Hasfarm is hosting a flower festival “Flower & Life” on April 26.
There will be art performances and flower arrangements.
Klass Jacob Dijkstra from Holland is displaying 12 flower arrangements. His pieces feature a modern fusion of Asian and European style. The Dalat Hasfarm Company supplies his pieces.
Dijkstra’s collection, Holland Garden, features various flowers such as roses, carnations, daisies, mushrooms, and lianas.
He is one of the top flower arrangers in Holland with over 30 years of experience.
HCM City introduces readers to book ‘Nick Ut -Simple Legend’
Nick Ut, originally known as Huynh Cong Ut, was born on March 29, 1951 in Long An Province. He started working as a photographer for the Associated Press when he was 16 years old. His career ended at the Ho Chi Minh City Police Newspaper. He is currently retired.
The photographer wants to teach many younger generations how to use the camera. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his pieces Terrible War ( other name of Napalm Girl’ when he was 21 years old. The winning pieces depicted children fleeing from napalm bombing during the war.
Napalm Girl was ranked the 41st in the most influential photos in the 20th century.
The book is a collection of photos, articles, and comments from local and foreign reporters.
Films mark historical milestones
Nationwide screening of an array of historical films and documentary movies will be held to celebrate the nation’s notable anniversaries, announced the culture ministry’s Cinematography Department.
The department’s director, Ngo Phuong Lan, revealed that the films will be shown to the public between April 25 and May 20 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Dien Bien Phu Victory, the National Reunification Day (April 30), Labour Day (May 1), and late President Ho Chi Minh’s 124th birth anniversary (May 19).
“The film screening is an important activity marking the 60th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu Victory and is held at a national level,” noted Lan.
“Only high-quality films in terms of ideology and educational significance are selected for screening,” she emphasised.
According to the organisers, the film screening programme aims to showcase high-quality movies and documentary films of the Vietnamese film industry in the recent years, notably Song Cung Lich Su (Living With History) and Dien Bien Que Toi (Dien Bien, My Hometown). These two films were made to fill an order from the State in order to celebrate the historical victory.
Screening of the two films last night officially kicked off the month-long event at the National Cinema Centre, 87 Lang Ha Street, Ha Noi.
“Song Cung Lich Su is the voice of the young generation and the nation about the Dien Bien Phu Victory, whereas Dien Bien Que Toi is worthy of being presented to the audience, not only in Dien Bien, but in localities across the nation on this occasion,” Lan remarked.
Song Cung Lich Su by director Nguyen Thanh Van portrays the journey of youngsters to Dien Bien after getting to know about the historical victory through documentaries and images.
The documentary Dien Bien Que Toi sheds light on the story of a big family, Vu in Dien Bien who is strongly patriotic and dares to challenge the clan’s prejudice to work for the revolutionary cause and current social development.
The film also displays a novel present-day perspective on the land and people of Dien Bien.
Other works scheduled to be screened are feature films, Nga Ba Dong Loc (Dong Loc T-junction), Vao Nam Ra Bac (Heading towards the South and Returning to the North), and documentaries, such as Dia Chan o Dia Bien Phu (Shake in Dien Bien Phu) and Hoi Uc Dien Bien (Memory of Dien Bien).
The programme is jointly organised by the Cinematography Department, National Film Centre, the FAFIM Viet Nam Joint-stock Company, and other film production companies.
TV series to decode General An’s life
Revered Vietnamese General Pham Xuan An, whose life was the subject of American historian Larry Berman’s book, will be the focus of a US$ 1-million television series.
Today, Professor Berman comes to Viet Nam to sign a contract with local book publisher First News and the Cat Tien Sa Entertainment Company to make the 30-episode TV series on General An, with each episode being 45 minutes long.
The film will be shot in Viet Nam and the US, with the script being revised by the professor himself. The first episode is scheduled to be broadcast on the occasion of National Day, which falls on September 2, next year.
Berman’s revised book, titled Perfect Spy – The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An, was first published in 2007, and stirred both the Vietnamese and American public. The English version of the edition was also released across the world later.
Early this year, Berman visited Viet Nam to release the updated version of the book, Perfect Spy X6, which gives an honest and vivid account of the thrilling but dangerous life of An.
Pham Xuan An (1927 – 2006), who was also known as “X6,” “Hai Trung” or “Tran Van Trung,” worked in southern Viet Nam as a reporter for Reuters, Time magazine and the New York Herald Tribune during the war. At the same time, he was spying for northern Viet Nam.
An lived this dangerous double life for more than 20 years. After the war, he was conferred with the title “Hero of the People’s Army” and promoted to “General,” one of the country’s only two intelligence officers to achieve that rank.
Berman, winner of the Bernath Lecture Prize, has written several books on the Viet Nam War, including Planning a Tragedy: The Americanization of the War in Viet Nam and Lyndon Johnson’s War: The Road to Stalemate in Viet Nam.
He is also working on a 120-minute feature film on the general, entitled The Perfect Spy X6.
“I really hope that the film will be screened at the Academy Awards or the Cannes Festival. My responsibility is to let the world know about General An, a brilliant Vietnamese spy,” he said.
National Tai tu music festival opens
Six organisations and five individuals who have contributed to preserving and developing the artistic value of UNESCO recognised heritage Don ca tai tu received merit certificates from the Prime Minister at the opening ceremony of the first National Don Ca Tai Tu Festival in Bac Lieu last night.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam handed the certificates to the awardees on behalf of the Government and Prime Minister. The five individuals who received the certificates were Professor Tran Van Khe, musical advisor at Viet Nam Institute of Musicology, Associate Professor Le Van Toan, Director Viet Nam Institute of Musicology, Professor To Ngoc Thanh, Chairman of the Viet Nam Folk Arts Association, composer Trong Nguyen and reseacher Tran Quoc Thinh of Bac Lieu Province.
“The festival is organised by Bac Lieu, the birthplace of Don ca tai tu, along with other localities in the region to show our gratitude to the ancestors, individuals and organisations who contributed to creating and preserving the music,” Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said at the opening ceremony.
Dam also said it was a challenge for people to maintain the unique art form’s spirit and soul. “Things that seem very simple have become a heritage of humankind,” he noted.
The national festival aimed to highlight the value of this Vietnamese art form, four months after it was recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The festival gathered 350 tai tu artisans from 21 provinces and cities in the southern region, where the music is popular. Bac Lieu city is the center of the activities, which include exhibitions of paintings, photos and traditional musical instruments and Don ca tai tu performances.
Vo Van Dung, secretary of Bac Lieu Province’s Party Committee, said the festival was an opportunity for people in southern provinces to boost solidarity for better development. “We are aware that culture is one of the essential factors for development,” Dung said. A few hours before the official opening ceremony for the festival, local and central officials inaugurated the 2,772sq.m. memorial site to Cao Van Lau (1892-1976), known as the father of cai long or southern traditional opera. They recognised the site, which cost VND6.3 billion to renovate, as a national historical cultural site.
Placed where the musician was buried in 1976, the memorial was listed as a provincial historical cultural site in 1997.
Bac Lieu is where the musician wrote classic cai luong piece Da co hoai lang in 1919. It tells the story of a wife waiting for her husband to return home from battle.
Considered one of the country’s main music genres, Don ca tai tu originated from Hue court music and folk music of the southern region. The genre has been developing since the 19th century, adapting to local tastes. It thrived in the early 20th century and remains crucial to the country’s traditional culture.
The music is typically performed at festivals, death anniversary rituals and celebrations by farmer-artists. Instrumentalists and singers express their feelings by improvising based on 20 principal songs and 72 classical songs. The art has been handed down orally through generations.
The festival will last until April 29.
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