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Cyclo [videorecording]
Tran, Anh Hung
Adult Fiction Drama CYCLO

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62triplet said:
(1995) 72% (A) (14) PAID * * * * "See my profile for the key to this code" * * * * SYNOPSIS: "A haunting tale set in a turbulent, decaying Ho Chi Minh City, chronicling the exploits of a teenage "cyclo" (rickshaw driver) and his vulnerable sister. Trying to eke out a meager living in order to support his family (two sisters and an elderly grandfather), the cyclo immerses himself in a violent gang, and begins committing petty crimes. After entering this seedy underworld the young man discovers that his sister already belongs to it, selling her body to sexual deviants. As a result, each sibling's innocence is shattered, representing the moral and physical collapse of the city they reside in." CONSENSUS: "This powerful film offers westerners a dosage of what life is like in a Third World country, a country most Americans only envision in a depersonalized way." MOTIVATION FOR ME TO SEE: This film came up in reviews comparing it to Vittorio DeSica's classic "The Bicycle Thief" while the director Tran Anh Hung, born in Vietnam but raised in France, compared it to Martin Scorcese's "Taxi Driver." If that weren't enough to give it a look, it contains my favorite mode of transportation: the bicycle. MY THOUGHTS: A visual feast, with heaping measures of symbolism, poetry, sudden violence (accompanied by little dialogue) and countless details in each frame. Even when I didn't understand a character's motivations, it was great fun going on the journey. Unforgettable images of poverty and scraping by (more powerful, IMHO, than "Slumdog Millionaire" [11 Apr 09], "City of God" [17 Jun 09], and "Born into Brothels" [21 Apr 09]), this film, with such a strong, visual style, will stay with me for some time. His Oscar-nominated "The Scent of Green Papaya" (1993) is now on my to-see-soon list.
posted Jul 30, 2009 at 7:22AM
62triplet said:
16 Jul 09 - Came to this after watching Dir. Le Van Loc's first film "The Scent of Green Papayas." Review at **** ****
posted Dec 15, 2009 at 6:50AM
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