A Six-Week Introduction to the Cinema of East Asia
October 8th – November 12th
With the prestigious Palme d’Or at 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.
This six-week course will offer a sample of films from the region. 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 6.30pm unless otherwise stated. Order of screenings may vary slightly.
TICKETS: €83 (including tea/coffee) for complete course (concessions €78). Booking for the complete course through our website. Film tickets not individually sold.
Please note: Order of screenings may vary slightly
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 (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) stars as Golden Swallow, a woman caught up in a love triangle, having to choose between two swordsmen. Cheh aimed for a distinct artistry in this film, shooting on location in Japan and achieving a fast-paced action, bursting with style.
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 mainstream cinema.
Director: Chang Cheh
Film Info: 89 mins, Hong Kong, 1968, Digital, Subtitled
LATE SPRING (Banshun)
Often described as the “most Japanese” film maker, especially when compared to Kurosawa or Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu is also one of the most respected. When Tokyo Story came first place in the Sight and Sound Director’s Poll, it won the director new audiences, while prompting reissues of his other works, including this one, which deals with familiar themes of family ties, duty and love.
In this talk, Dr Till Weingartner (UCC) will consider the significance of 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 the Sarah Waters novel 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. Acting as handmaiden, the beautiful Sookee sets out to con the aristocratic Lady Hideko, but it turns out there’s more to her than meets the eye.
Film critic John Maguire will present the film and talk about Chan-wook, from his groundbreaking 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)
As a leading figure of the 6th Generation group, Jia Zhangke began outside of the state subsidised industry, gaining recognition for work that focused on the major changes being experienced in mainland China. Critiquing the one-child policy, alienated youth, urbanisation and the impact of globalisation, Jia built an international reputation for an authentic contemporary Chinese cinema with his distinct style of long takes, colour and realism.
Dr Qǐ Zhāng, Assistant Professor, SALIS (DCU), will discuss Jia’s work as one of mainland China’s most admired contemporary filmmakers.
Director: Jia Zhangke
Film Info: 130 mins, China-Japan, 2013, Digital, Subtitled
POLICE STORY (Ging chaat goo si)
Emerging in the 1980s, the cinema of Hong Kong yielded a new, stylised genre of action, effects and dizzying plots, alongside leading stars Chow Yun-Fat, Brigitte Lin, Jet Li and others. Former Shaw Bros director John Woo launched his death-defying gangster triad, while Jackie Chan perfected a stunt-driven, kung fu action packed style, as seen in this rapid-fire comic thriller.
Editor-in-Chief of Asian Cinema journal and film studies lecturer Dr Gary Bettinson (University of Lancaster) will discuss the Hong Kong cinema heyday of the 1980s and early 1990s, 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
PRINCE MONONOKE (Mononoke-hime)
April 16th (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 female heroines navigating their way while confronting issues of life and death. Studio Ghibli frames are densely populated, and none more so than in this film, in which gods, humans and forest animals in ancient Japan fight for a share of the world order.
Revel in the artistry and listen to Tomm Moore of Cartoon Saloon, director of The Secret of Kells, 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