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
Please note: Order of screenings may vary slightly
Golden Swallow /Jin yan zi
October 8th – 18.30
From Shaw Brothers, the legendary Hong Kong studio, and director Chang Cheh, comes one of their defining kung fu successes, starring Cheng Pei-Pei (much later seen in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). As Golden Swallow, first seen in King Hu’s Come Drink with Me, Pei-Pei gets caught up in a love triangle, having to choose between two swordsmen, who get to display their moves. Cheh aimed for a distinct artistry in this film, shooting on location in Japan and achieving a fast paced action that is 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.
Hong Kong / 1968 / 89 mins / Action/Adventure/Romance / English subtitles/ Director: Chang Cheh
Late Spring / Banshun
October 15th – 18.30
Often described as the “most Japanese” film maker, especially when compared to others such as 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.
Japan / 108 mins/ English subtitles / 1949 / Drama/ Director: Yasujiro Ozu
The Handmaiden / Ah-ga-ssi
October 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 Korea, during Japan’s occupation. Acting as handmaiden, the beautiful Sookee sets out to con the aristocratic Lady Hideko. Turns out there’s more to her than meets the eye too. Intrigue and eroticism ensue, Chan-wook managing a fine balancing act between voyeur and observer.
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.
South Korea / 2016 /Drama/Romance/Thriller / 145 mins / English subtitles / Director: Park Chan-wook
October 29th – 18.30
November 5th – 18.30
Princess Mononoke / Mononoke-hime
November 12th – 18.15
Alongside Japanese feature film, there is also the worldwide renown of Studio Ghibli animation, in particular the work of Hayao Miyazaki. To watch a Ghibli animation on the big screen is to enter a complete universe inhabited by plants, animals, mythical beings and beasts, and often female heroines navigating their way while confronting issues of life and death. A Ghibli frame is densely populated, and none more so than in this feature, in which gods, humans and forest animals in ancient Japan fight for a share of the world order.
San is Princess Mononoke, which means spirt of the beast, a human child raised by a wolf. Revel in the artistry and listen to Tomm Moore of Cartoon Saloon, director of Secret of Kells and Song of Sea, explain why this, his favourite film, inspires his work as one of Ireland’s leading animators.
Japan / 1997 / Animation/Adventure/Fantasy / English subtitles / 134 mins / Director: Hayao Miyazaki
There are no current films.
The IFI is supported by The Arts Council