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Cine-Concert Refreshes Vintage Vietnamese Cartoons With Soundtracks by Current Musicians

This July brings to Hanoi a unique cine-concert experience combining live music and Vietnamese animation archives. Red Balloons: Music For 20th-century Vietnamese Animation, organized by The Onion Cellar invites five Vietnamese musical acts to re-score animated films produced from the 1970s to the 2000s.

1959, the year national Vietnamese cinema was born, saw the release of Đáng Đời Thằng Cáo (The Fox Got What He Deserved). Since them, the country’s animation lineage has been largely informed by thematics, motifs and social situations of the pre-Đổi mới era. Primarily produced by Hanoi’s Vietnamese Animation Studio (and all its past incarnations) before the 2000s, the films either celebrate heroic endeavors and efforts to modernize and industrialize a post-war nation, or offer satirical lessons on morality. Distilling viewpoints, inspiration, perseverance, hope and even ideologies, they reflect the wider historical context of the times — one way or another, and regardless of the intention they are produced with — as with any other cinematic endeavor.

Two of the films to be screened at the event.

For this one-day event, newly commissioned soundtracks will propose a diversity of contemporary sonic approaches, activating new dynamics between images and sounds and shedding light onto the little-known terrain of Vietnam’s screen heritage. The program introduces a crop of talent from the local alternative music scene with musicians: Lý Trang, Tenkitsune, Junichi Usui + Trần Uy Đức, Nguyễn Ngọc Tú and Minh Nguyễn + Đăng Tùng. Expect upbeat electronics, textured ambient, piano magic, indigenous instrumentation and more!

Red Balloons: Music for 20th-Century Vietnamese Animation is conceived of and curated by Tran Duy Hung (The Onion Cellar), and forms part of an ongoing umbrella initiative — run by the TPD Centre for the Development of Movie Talent — around Vietnamese cinema past, present and future. The event is kindly supported by the Vietnam Film Institute, British Council Vietnam, L’Espace Hanoi, Goethe-Institut HanoiThe Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam and Dogma Collection.

Watch the trailer for the event below:

Red Balloons will take place at 6:30pm this Sunday, July 5 at 6:30pm at L’Espace. For more information, check out the event on Facebook.

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