Graham Greene Aromas


Vietnamese actress Hai Yen (a.k.a., Do Thi Hai Yen), star of Phillip Noyce’s The Quiet American and more recently Story of Pao (’05), Adrift (’08) and Floating Lives (’10). I joined Hai Yen, her husband Calvin Lam and daughter-in-law Crystal Lam for a chat this afternoon on the outdoor terrace of Hanoi’s Hotel Metropole, a world-class establishment where Graham Greene, Charlie Chaplin, Jane Fonda, George H. W. Bush and Francois Mitterrand have stayed.


Hotel Metropole restaurant/cafe.

(l. to r.) Crystal Lam, Calvin Lam (Hai Yen’s husband), Hai Yen.

Hotel Metropole pool.

Ticket booth for the Hanoi Cinematheque, 22A Hai Ba Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. A Coen brothers series is currently playing.

I was told a couple of days ago that it might be possible to actually meet General Giap, who is now 101 years old and residing in Hanoi, at least temporarily. I’m not holding my breath but what an earth-shaker that would be, tantamount to meeting George Washington or General George S. Patton.

4 thoughts on “Graham Greene Aromas

  1. Love The Quiet American. I remember you championing it at the time and I still watch it quite regularly – it’s also the perfect film to take in after a visit to Vietnam. It captures the atmopshere of the country wonderfully (even if it was set 60 years ago.) The people, the sounds, the atmosphere…

    Brilliant film. And how on earth Adrian Brody beat out Michael Caine still rankles. Great physical transformation but not a performance in the same league as Caine that year (with Nicholson a close second.)

  2. Brody was the least of the nominees that year, IMO.

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Caine, and Cage all turned in arguably their career best work, and Nicholson may be behind them but still topped Brody.

    A travesty that is remembered fondly because of a great speech. Or kiss, to be more accurate.

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