Accepted Paper:

DUST & METAL: a cinematic collage film reflecting on Vietnam’s love affair with motorbikes  
Esther Johnson (Sheffield Hallam University)

Paper short abstract:

DUST & METAL (CÁT BỤI & KIM LOẠI) brings together for the first time, a poetic collage film using little seen archive from Hanoi-based Vietnam Film Institute. Artist Filmmaker Esther Johnson will share extracts from her film and discuss the approach to selecting archive material for the work.

Paper long abstract:

DUST & METAL (CÁT BỤI & KIM LOẠI) brings together for the first time, a poetic collage feature film using little seen archive film from Hanoi-based Vietnam Film Institute (VFI). Directed by Esther Johnson, the project has resulted in a unique partnership with VFI, and TPD: The Centre for Assistance and Development of Movie Talents, for digitising rare and difficult to access archive film. With a score composed by San Francisco-based electronic artist Xo Xinh, and sound design by Hanoi-based artist Nhung Nguyễn, the global pandemic led to creative collaborative co-production methods for the production between the UK, Vietnam and US.

Funded by the British Council, DUST & METAL steps away from Hollywood’s portrayals of the American/Vietnam War, to instead offer an unorthodox perspective of Vietnam past and present. Alternative perspectives of Vietnamese cultural heritage are told through the synergy of difficult to access archive film, crowd-sourced material, newly shot footage, and oral histories. At the heart of the research are unfamiliar histories of Vietnam that connect with the country’s ubiquitous mode of transport: the MOTORBIKE. With a population of 97 million, and 45 million registered motorbikes (the highest in SE Asia) that’s almost one bike for every two people.

This presentation will comprise film extracts, discuss archive film selection, the digitisation of and integration of archive within a new work, in addition to learnings from the first ever partnership the Vietnam Film Institute has undertaken with an artist filmmaker.

Panel P02b
Collage Worlds, Imaginary Futures and Collaborative Identity: Collage as a visual / multimodal anthropology medium and method.  
  Session 1 Wednesday 8 March, 2023, -