LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - Three Seasons
If one wants a real appreciation of film making one needs to watch a foreign film from time to time. This is not to knock the fair from Hollywood. However, Hollywood does have certain constraints on film created by the very high risk of the investment in the film. Hollywood needs to play it safe when throwing the dice with several tens of millions of dollars.
Many times the foreign film does not have this risk and can explore the human condition in a much more subtle way. Three Seasons is a film about redemption. Taking place in Saigon in modern times, film maker Tony Bui follows several people in the city and the surrounding area. Some of the people's live intersect, some do not. In each of the four sub-plots one person redeems another.
A bicycle cab driver shows a prostitute that the key to her happiness is not money, but the dreams she had as a little girl. A young student volunteers to be the fingers of her poet teacher, allowing him to write his last poems before he accepts his death. A street child learns to accept the help of other street children, and not loose his childhood to the harsh realities of his life. And finally, an ex-marine finds the daughter he left behind. These are very real and very simple stories. They are also told very quietly. There's nothing shoved in your face. No assault on the senses. The loudest sound one hears is the background of the city.
I also have to comment on the superior cinematography. This would be the work of Lisa Rinzler. Rinzler uses a lot of soft lighting from the sides of people's faces. This brings out the beauty of an Asian face. In some scenes the light is a golden color. Scenes tend to be soft and inviting.
Three Seasons is a great break from the loud, fast-paced Hollywood feature. It's in Vietnamese so unless you speak the language, you'll have to read subtitles that often are not on the screen long enough. However, the effort is worth it to receive the message that anyone you meet could be your redeemer, and in turn, you can be the redeemer of anyone you come upon. This movie is a great break from what we see most of the time.
Directed by Tony Bui
Released in 1999
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Reviewed by Mongo