The Poetic Brilliance of Hon Hoang: Viet-Am Filmmaker

Reveel Features Filmmaker Hon Hoang

 

In the heart of Los Angeles, where cultures collide and dreams are forged, a young Asian American director is leaving an indelible mark on the cinematic landscape. Hon Hoang, a Vietnamese American artist armed with a psychology degree from UCLA, wields his camera like a poet’s pen, capturing the profound depths of the human experience through his unique cultural lens.

Reveel is honored to feature two of Hon’s films, “Calling” and “Taciturn Tango,” both of them somber meditations on life’s most poignant themes – love lost, despair, aging, and the ever-present tug between our past and future selves.

“In Calling, a man reflects as people in his life begin to leave, in one way or another,” Hon describes. “With not much left to do in his golden years, he spends his time thinking about the past.” And Taciturn Tango? He describes it as “at an inopportune time in life, two strangers meet on a train.”

There’s a wistful melancholy that permeates Hon’s work, a delicate dance between light and shadow that mirrors the complexities of the human condition. We asked him what draws him to dwell on melancholic, even bittersweet or downright aching themes of humanity.

“I’m not sure those themes are really a choice. They seem to just happen. I’ve tried to write in other genres, but sadness seems to be easy for me. I’m trying my best not to do the easy thing.”

Perhaps it’s Hon’s unique perspective, shaped by his Vietnamese American experience, that allows him to tap into those profound emotional truths with such resonance. Like an archaeologist delicately brushing away layers of sediment, he unearths the raw, unvarnished moments that often go unnoticed, holding a mirror to our innermost selves.

We ask him what influenced Calling and Taciturn Tango. “Life experiences,” he tells us right out. “They won’t come from little moments of life that pushed pass the everyday banality to cause some inspiration within my mind. Through these moments of life and little truths, I begin fabricating lies and fiction to build stories around them.

We dive deeper into the winding paths behind Hon’s creative process, and can’t help but wonder about the filmmakers who have inspired his singular approach to storytelling. His answer? “Chan Wook Park is a master of his craft and has influenced me greatly in how I approach story and balance juxtapositions within film. I feel like there should always be something complementing and contradicting for the audiences to process and grapple with. I often look to his work when I need inspiration in trying to find beauty within the grime and sorrow that exists.”

With a poet’s gaze that seems to pierce the very soul of human existence, Hon Hoang is undoubtedly doing something worthwhile – reminding us, one powerful frame at a time, of the profound beauty and vulnerability that lie within the seemingly ordinary moments of our lives.

“Any words of encouragement to Hon Hoang of ten years ago?”

“You’re still here, now go do something worthwhile so regret won’t consume you.”

Interested to watch Hon Hoang’s films in Reveel? Click on the movie posters below to stream right away. Reveel is free as long as you register.

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