Vientiane in Love (2015) by Anysay Keola, Phanumad Disattha, Vannaphone Sitthirath, Xaisongkham Induangchanthy

A great introduction to Lao cinema


In the latest years, Laotian cinema seems to begin overcoming the plights of the past, that tortured it with forced propaganda and the lack of funding, through directors like Mattie Do and the ones included in this omnibus. Furthermore, Anysay Keola, Phanumad Disattha, Vannaphone Sitthirath, Xaisongkham Induangchanthy, who are responsible for the five segments of the film, are part of a collective known as  Lao New Wave Cinema, whose main purpose is to change the face of the Lao movie industry. Their efforts have resulted in this particular collection, which presents five love stories taking place in the country's capital.

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The first part of the omnibus is called "Update Status" and is directed by Xaisongkham Induangchanthy. It takes place in a cafeteria, over two tables across each other. At the first one, a middle aged American and a girl in a school uniform are talking. The girl seems to be bored with his constant talking, but she bares with it. At the table across, two young men watch the scene and assume that she is a prostitute who came to meet a client. Furthermore, they take a photo of them, and comment just that on Facebook, creating a torrent of misunderstandings. At the same time, the girl, who watches the two talking and laughing, thinks that they are a gay couple and does the same thing they did.

The director highlights the consequences of the extensive use of smartphones and social media and how much they affect the social lives of people. On a second point, he also presents the consequences of "assuming" instead of actually knowing. On a third one, through the American's monologue, he makes a comment about idiocracy currently ruling the world, a point I found completely accurate. However, the tone of the segment is rather light, and finishes with optimism.


The second part is called "The Truth" and is directed by Vannaphone Sitthirath. It revolves around a businesswoman who discovers that her husband cheats on her with one of the models working for her agency, and proceeds on getting to know the woman.

The short starts as a social drama, but Sitthirath transforms it into a thriller midway, through agony and even some minor gore, in a tactic that makes it rather interesting. The cheated woman provides one of the best performances in the whole film. Furthermore, the color palette and the lighting are rather impressive, presenting a number of very beautiful images.

The third one is called "I'm fine, Thank you" and is directed by Phanumad Disatth. The story involves a couple who meet again after years and a bad break up, and reminisce about the past, as they walk on the streets of Vientiane.The man is a singer in a band and the short features some very interesting pop/rock performances.

Disatth directs the most impressionistic segment of the omnibus, in a rather abstract fashion. He uses a very interesting technique of cinematography, presenting the past in color and the present in black-and-white, while he takes a definite side on the matter with the ending

The fourth one is called "Against the Tide" and is directed by Anysay Keola and written by Xaisongkham Induangchanthy. The script focuses on an elderly fisherman working and living by himself near Mekong River. When he decides to visit his daughter, she and her husband try to persuade him to sell his house and come to live with them. He protests.

Headed by a great performance from the elder man, the segment highlights the gap in Lao society among generations and among the rural and the urban people. At the same time, it makes a comment about the blight of illegal fishing on Mekong, that has made the lives of the fishermen much more difficult.


The last segment is called "Longing for Love" and is directed by Anysay Keola. The story revolves around a street photographer, who meets a girl that wants him to photograph her while she is crying, in order to remember to avoid her ex-boyfriend in the future. On her initial, the two of them even go out on a date, in a series events that make the photographer extremely happy, until her ex-boyfriend reappears.

This segment is the most funny one, drawing humor through a great performance by the photographer, some utterly unexpected dancing and singing (bollywood style), and a number of hilarious sequences, intensified by quirky sounds and fitting music.

Overall, the five parts of "Vientiane in Love" are rather entertaining, implementing a (more or less) light tone, highlighting many aspects of life in Vientane, through different kind of love stories. The fact that they differ much in theme and style definitely plays a major role in that aspect. In that fashion, the film provides a great introduction to the unknown cinema of the country. And on a final, and rather superficial note, I have to stress the fact that almost all the women appearing on the five parts are gorgeous.


COMMENTS

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13 Assassins,1,1428,1,1987: When The Day Comes,1,2016,1,2017,3,2LDK,1,3-Iron,1,A Better Tomorrow 2018,2,A Bittersweet Life,1,A Company Man,1,A Day,1,A Dirty Carnival,1,A Feeling Greater Than Love,1,A few words about us,1,A Girl at my Door,1,A Lonely Cow Weeps at Dawm,1,A Love,1,A Man of Integrity,1,A Man Vanishes,1,A Simple Life,2,A Single Rider,1,A Special Lady,1,A Stone from Another Mountain to Polish Your Own Stone. Go Shibata,1,A Tale of Love,1,A Taxi Driver,1,A tiger in winter,1,A Whale of a Tale,1,Abdullah Mohammad Saad,3,About Elly,1,Above the Clouds,1,Adam J. 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Tjut Djalil,1,Haibin Du,1,Han Han,1,Han Jie,1,Hanagatami,1,Hanging Garden,1,Hanuman,1,Hapkido,1,Happy Together,1,Hashiguchi Takaaki,1,Haunters,1,HBO,2,Heart Attack,1,Heiward Mak,1,Helldriver,1,Helsinki Cine Aasia Festival 2018,4,Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait,1,Her Own Address,1,Herman Yau,3,Heung-Boo: The Revolutionist,1,Hidden Gems,66,Hideen Gems,1,Hideo Sakaki,1,High-Kick Girl,1,Hindi,1,Hiro Aihara,1,Hirobumi Watanabe,2,Hirokazu Koreeda,4,Hiroshi Ando,1,Hiroshi Shoji,1,Hiroshi Teshigahara,1,Hiroyuki Kawasaki,1,Hiroyuki Seshita,1,HKETO,1,Ho Yuhang,3,Holy Island,1,Honeygiver Among the Dogs,2,Hong Ki-Seon,1,Hong Kong,42,Hong Kong Godfather,1,Hong Sang-soo,1,Hongkong,1,Horror,4,Hou Hsiao-hsien,1,Hsu Hsiao-ming,1,Huang Fend,1,Huang Huang,1,Huang Hui-chen,1,HUANG Xi,1,Huang Ying-hsiung,1,Husband Killers,1,Hwang Dong-Hyuk,1,Hwang Jung-min,1,I Am A Hero,1,I Have Nothing to Say,2,I Lin-liu,1,I Saw the Devil,1,I Wish,1,I-Lin Liu,17,ICA,3,Icarus Films,6,IFFLA,3,IFFR,2,Im Kyeong-soo,1,Imran Firdaus,1,Imran Fridaus,1,In a Defiled World,3,In the Absence of the Sun,1,In this Corner of the World,3,India,7,Indonesia,19,Initiation Love,1,International Chinese Film Festival,1,International Film Festival Rotterdam,17,Interview,2,Interviews,64,Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan,1,Inugami,1,Inuyashiki,1,Ip Man: The Final Fight,1,Iran,8,Ishmael Bernal,1,Isora Iwakiri,1,J.P. Sniadecki,1,Jackie Chan,5,Jagat,1,Jagga Jasoos,1,James Mudge,1,Jang Chang-won,1,Jang Hoon,1,Jang Joon-hwan,1,Japan,210,Japan Cuts,15,Japan Film Festival Australia,1,Japan Filmfest Hamburg,2,Japan Foundation Touring Programme,3,Japan the Emperor and the Army,1,Japan. Reviews,1,Japanese Film Festival Australia,2,Jeong Jae-eun,1,Jeong Yun-Cheol,1,Jeonju International Film Festival,1,Jess Teong,1,Jesse V. Johnson,1,Jet Leyco,1,Jia Zhangke,2,Jimmy Henderson,2,Jin Xingzheng.,1,Jithin K Mohan,2,Joe Odagiri,2,Johnnie To,2,Johnny Ma,1,Joko Anwar,5,Jonathan Li,1,Jonathan Wilson,7,Jonathan Yi,1,Joo Ji-hong,1,Josh Parmer,1,Journey of the Tortoise,1,Joy of Man's Desiring,1,July Jung,1,Jun Ichikawa,1,Jun Li,1,Jun Tanaka,3,Jung Byung-gil,1,Jung Sik,1,Jung Yoon-suk,1,Junichi Kajioka,1,Junpei Mizusaki,1,Justice in Northwest,1,K-dramas,12,Kaasan Mom’s Life,1,Kam Ka-Wai,1,Kamila Andini,1,Kaneto Shindo,1,Kang Je-gyu,1,Kang Yoon-Sung,2,Kara Hui,1,Katsuya Tomita,3,Katsuyuki Motohiro,1,Kazuya Shiraishi,1,kdrama,1,Ke Guo,1,Keep Calm and Be a Superstar,1,Kei Chikaura,1,Kei Horie,1,Kei Ishikawa,1,Keishimi Oto,1,Ken and Kazu,1,Kengo Yagawa,1,Kenichi Ugaba,1,Kenichi Ugana,1,Kenichi Watanabe,1,Kentaro Hagiwara,1,Kesang P. Jigme,1,Kfc,1,Khavn,2,Khosla Ka Ghosla!,1,Khyentse Norbu,2,Kill me,1,Killing Beauty,1,Kim Bong-han,1,Kim Eun-hee,1,Kim Hong-seon,1,Kim Hong-Sun,1,Kim Hyun-seok,1,Kim Jee-woon,4,Kim Jin-Mook,1,Kim Jong-Kwan,1,Kim Joo-hwan,1,Kim Ki-duk,4,Kim Kih-hoon,1,Kim Min Su kII,1,Kim Min-suk,1,Kim Tae-kyeong,1,Kim Whee,1,Kim Yong-hwa,1,King Hu,1,Kingyo,2,Kirti Raj Singh,1,Kiss me,1,Kiyoshi Kurosawa,5,Kôbun Shizuno,1,Koji Fukada,1,Koji Wakamatsu,1,Komiya Masatetsu,1,Kon Ichikawa,2,Konrad Aderer,1,Korea,2,korean drama,1,Kotoko,1,Krzysztof Pietrzak,1,Kun-Yu Lai,12,Kwak Kyung-taek,2,Kyoko Miyake,1,Kyriacos Kyriacou,3,Labour of Love,1,Lady Snowblood,2,Lam Wingsum,1,Laos,3,Laughing Under the Clouds,1,Le Binh Giang,1,Le Bình Giang,2,Leandro E. Seta,1,Lebanon,1,Lee An-gyu,1,Lee Byeong-Hun,1,Lee Byung-Hun,1,Lee Chang-Hee,1,Lee Je-Yong,1,Lee Joo-young,1,Lee Jung-sun,1,Lee Kwang-kuk,1,Lee Myung-se,1,Lee Sa-rang,1,Lee Seo-goon,1,Legend of the Demon Cat,1,Leo Zhang,1,Leon Lai,1,Leste Chen,2,Leung Wing-Fai,1,Ley Lines,1,Lhaki Dolma,1,Li Cheuk-shing,1,Li Ruijun,1,Liang Ying,1,Life on the Line,2,Like Father,1,Like Son,1,Lim Sang-yoon,1,Lists,12,Little Big Soldier,1,Little Forest,1,Little Shop of Grotesque,1,Little Shop of Horrors,1,Liu Yang He,1,Liu Yang River,1,Live from Dhaka,2,Live Up To Your Name,1,Loi Bao,1,London Korean Film Festival,5,Los Angeles Indian Festival,3,Love,1,Love and Other Cults,1,Love Education,1,Lovely Man,1,Lovers Are Wet,1,Lowlife Love,1,Lucky Kuswandi,1,Lyberis,4,Mad Tiger,1,Mad World,3,Made in Hong Kong,1,Madman,2,Mahde Hasan,1,Mai Chan's Daily Life: The Movie,1,Majid Majidi,1,Makoto Shinkai,1,Malaysia,12,Mama,1,Mamoru Hosoda,1,Manny Araneta,2,March Comes in like a Lion,1,Maria Georgiou,24,Mark Gallagher,1,Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts,3,Mary Jirmanus Saba,1,Masaaki Yuasa,2,Masaharu Take,1,Masahiro Shinoda,1,Masakazu Sugita,1,Masaki Adachi,1,Masanori Tominaga,1,Masaru Konume,1,Masato Harada,2,Masato Ozawa,1,Masatoshi Kurakata,1,Matt Cooper,15,Matthew D. Johnson,1,Matthias Hoene,1,Maundy Thursday,1,Meghe Dhaka Tara,1,Memoir of a Murderer,1,Merantau,1,Mermaid,1,Miaoyan Zhang,1,Michael Haertlein,1,Michelle Hung Tsz-ching,2,Midi Z,1,Midnight Runners,1,Midori Impuls,4,Mikhail Red,4,Milk the Maid,1,Minamata: The Victims and Their World,1,Ming-Yeh Rawnsley,1,Minoru Kunizawa,1,Miss Zombie,1,Miwa Nishikawa,1,Mohammad Rasoulof,1,Mohammad-Reza Lotfi,1,Mon Mon Mon Monsters,1,Mong-Hong Chung,2,Mongolia,2,Monika S-r,1,Moon Lovers,1,Moon So-ri,1,Mototsugu Watanabe,4,Mouly Surya,3,Mountains May Depart,2,Mourning Forest,1,Movie,1,Moving,1,Mr Long,1,Mr. Socrates,1,Mrs Fang,1,Mrs K,2,Mumon: The Land of Stealth,1,My Beloved Yak,1,My Dad and Mr Ito,1,My Heart is that Eternal Rose,1,My Hero Chihiro,1,Myanmar,1,Mystics in Bali,1,Nah Hyeon,1,Namiya,1,Nanachan,1,Naoko Ogigami,3,Naomi Kawase,3,Naosuke Kurosawa,1,Naoyuki Tomomatsu,3,Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit,2,Neko Atsume House,1,Neomanila,2,Nepal,1,Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival,1,Never Ending Blue,1,New Neighbor,2,New World,1,New York Indian Film Festival,1,News,13,Nicholas Poly,4,Night Bus,1,Night is Short,1,Night is Short Walk on Girl,1,Night of the Felines,1,Nikola Cekic,1,Ninja Pussy Cat,1,Niwatsukino Norihiro,1,No. 1 Chung Ying Street,2,Noboru Iguchi,1,Noboru Tanaka,1,Nobuhiko Obayashi,2,Nobuhiro Yamashita,2,Nobuo Nakagawa,1,Nobuyuki Takeuchi,2,Noise,2,Non-fiction Diary,1,Norbu,1,Noriaki Tsuchimoto,1,Norman England,2,North Korea,1,Nurse Diary: Beast Afternoon,1,NYAFF,11,Nyamdavaa Baasansuren,1,NYIFF,1,Odd Obsession,1,Oh In-Chun,1,Old Boy,2,Old Stone,1,Old-School Kung-Fu Fest,3,Omar Rasya Joenoes,3,On The Line Festival,3,On the Run,1,One Cut of the Dead,1,One Man's China,1,Operation Red Sea,1,Ophilia,1,Ordinary Person,1,Orson McClellan Mochizuki,1,Osaka Asian Film Festival,9,Osamu Sato,1,Our Happy time,1,Our Time Will Come,1,Outrage Coda,1,Over the Fence,1,Oxide Pang,1,Pai Kau,2,Palatpol Mingpornpichit,2,Pale Flower,1,Panos,1,Panos Kotzathanasis,193,Park Chan-wook,2,Park Hee-joon,1,Park Hoon-Jung,3,Park In-je,1,Park Ki- hyung,1,Park Kwang-hyun,1,Parkpoom Wongpoom,1,Party Round the Globe,1,Passage of Life,1,Patrick Hofmeister,72,Patrick Tam,1,Pedro Morata,9,Peerachai Kerdsint,1,Pelden Dorji,1,Pema "Tintin" Tshering,1,Pema Tshering,1,Pen-Ek Ratanaruang,1,Peng Xiaolian,1,Pepe Diokno,1,Peque Gallaga,1,Perfect Blue,2,Peter Chan,1,Peter Chen,1,Phanumad Disattha,1,Philippines,11,Pieter - Jan Van Haecke,4,Pieter-Jan Van Haecke,7,Pink Eiga,15,PinkEiga.TV,6,pinku eiga,1,Poet on a Business Trip,1,Poolside Man,1,Press Release,2,Prophecy,1,Proshoon Rahmaan,2,Psychic,1,Pumpkin and Mayonnaise,1,Queen of Triads,1,Rabbit and Lizard,1,Radiance,1,Railway Sleepers,1,Rainy Dog,1,Raja Mukhriz,1,Randy Mckenzie,4,Rape Zombie: Lust of the Dead,1,Rape Zombie: Lust of the Dead 2,1,Ravine of Goodbye,1,Real,1,Realism,1,Red Persimmons,1,Rei Sakamoto,1,Reipu zonbi: Lust of the dead 3,1,Respeto,2,Revenge: A love story,1,Review,3,Reviews,187,Reviews.,2,Reviews. Panos Kotzathanasis,1,Riri Riza,2,Ritwik Ghatak,1,River of Exploding Durians,2,Robin Weng,1,Roger Lee,2,Ronja,1,Rouge,1,Rouven Linnarz,1,Running on Karma,1,Russia,1,RV: Resurrected Victims,1,Ryoo Seung-wan,2,Ryu Kaneda,1,Ryuki,1,Ryutaro Ninomiya,2,S. Korea,65,S.Korea,1,Saayak Santra,4,Sabrina Baracetti,1,Sabu,3,Sade Sato,1,San Diego Asian Film Festival,4,Sanjeewa Pushpakumara,2,Sankha Ray,7,Satan's Slaves,3,Satoru Hirohara,1,Satoshi Kon,3,Say Yes,1,Sayandeep Bandyopadhyay,5,Scarlet Heart,1,Score,1,Sea Fog,1,Seijun Suzuki,3,Sekigahara,1,Serga Mathang,1,Sexy S.W.A.T. 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Bhutan. Five Flavours,1,
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Asian Film Vault: Vientiane in Love (2015) by Anysay Keola, Phanumad Disattha, Vannaphone Sitthirath, Xaisongkham Induangchanthy
Vientiane in Love (2015) by Anysay Keola, Phanumad Disattha, Vannaphone Sitthirath, Xaisongkham Induangchanthy
A great introduction to Lao cinema
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Asian Film Vault
http://www.asianfilmvault.com/2017/05/vientiane-in-love-2015-by-anysay-keola.html
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http://www.asianfilmvault.com/2017/05/vientiane-in-love-2015-by-anysay-keola.html
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