A Six-Week Introduction to the Cinema of East Asia
October 8th 2019 – November 12th 2019
With the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival going to East Asia two years in a row, it is timely to consider some of the vast cinema output from the region that comprises Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and mainland China. Whether an approach is historical, stretching back to Japanese cinema origins in kabuki theatre, or generic, such as the evolution of the martial arts wuxia genre, any overview of East Asian cinema will yield a wealth of styles, and also richly moving family dramas and socio-cultural statements. A full film will screen each evening, followed by a talk from a different film specialist. The course will run on
consecutive Tuesdays, commencing at 18.30 unless otherwise stated. Order of screenings may vary slightly.
TICKETS: €83 (including tea/coffee) for complete course (concessions €78). Tickets not individually sold.
GOLDEN SWALLOW (Jin yan zi)
From Shaw Brothers, the legendary Hong Kong studio, and director Chang Cheh, comes one of their defining kung fu successes. Cheng Pei-Pei stars as Golden
Swallow, a woman having to choose between two swordsmen. Cheh’s artistry is evident in this film, shot on location in Japan, with stylish, fast-paced action.
Tara Brady, film critic with The Irish Times, will present Golden Swallow and talk about the martial arts genre, its lasting impact on both East Asian and
Director: Chang Cheh
Film Info: 89 mins, Hong Kong, 1968, Digital, Subtitled
LATE SPRING (Banshun)
Often described as the “most Japanese” filmmaker, especially when compared to Kurosawa or Mizoguchi, Yasujirô Ozu is also one of the most respected. When
Tokyo Story came first place in a Sight and Sound poll, it promoted reissues of Ozu’s other works too, including this one, which deals with familiar themes
of family ties, duty and love. Dr Till Weingartner (UCC) will consider Ozu’s films in the history of Japanese cinema, his deeply human stories and his lasting influence on other filmmakers.
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Film Info: 108 mins, Japan, 1949, Digital, Subtitled
THE HANDMAIDEN (Ah-ga-ssi)
Oct 22nd (18.15)
Inspired by Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith, Korean Park Chan-wook continues his career of gleefully delivered horror with this erotic thriller, shifting the action from
Victorian England to 1930s Japanese-occupied Korea. Handmaiden Sookee sets out to con the aristocratic Lady Hideko, who has more to her than meets the eye.
Film critic John Maguire will talk about Chan-wook’s work, from the Vengeance trilogy to this film and recent TV work.
Director: Park Chan-wook
Film Info: 145 mins, South Korea, 2016, Digital, Subtitled
A TOUCH OF SIN (Tian Zhu Ding)
October 29th (18.15)
Director Jia Zhangke gained recognition for work outside of the state subsidised industry, focusing on major societal changes in mainland China. Critiquing
the one-child policy amongst other issues, Jia built a reputation for an authentic Chinese cinema with his distinct style of long takes, colour and realism.
Dr Qĭ Zhāng, Assistant Professor, SALIS (DCU), will discuss Jia’s work as one of mainland China’s revered contemporary filmmakers.
Director: Jia Zhangke
Film Info: 130 mins, China-Japan, 2013, Digital, Subtitled
POLICE STORY (Ging chaat goo si)
From the 1980s, the cinema of Hong Kong yielded a new, stylised genre of action, effects and dizzying plots, with leading stars Chow Yun-Fat, Brigitte Lin and others. Jackie Chan perfected the stunt-driven, kung fu style, as seen in this rapid-fire comic thriller. Editor-in-Chief of Asian Cinema journal and lecturer,
Dr Gary Bettinson (University of Lancaster) will discuss the Hong Kong cinema heyday of the 1980s and early 90s, considering works of Jackie Chan, John Woo, and Stanley Kwan.
Directors: Jackie Chan, Chi-Hwa Chen
Film Info: 100 mins, 1985, Hong Kong, Digital, Subtitles
PRINCESS MONONOKE (Mononoke-hime)
Nov 12th (18.15)
To watch a Studio Ghibli animation feature on the big screen is to enter a universe inhabited by plants, animals, mythical beings and, often, heroines navigating
their own way. Studio Ghibli frames are densely populated, as seen in this film, with gods, humans and forest animals fighting for a share of the world order.
Tomm Moore of Cartoon Saloon, director of Secret of Kells and Song of Sea, will talk about Ghibli and explain why this, his favourite film, inspires his work as one of Ireland’s leading animators.
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Film Info: 134 mins, Japan, 1997, Digital, Subtitled