If you are a fan of Chinese martial arts, action movies, or both, this five-week film series is a Black Belt of happiness. Each film is set in a different Chinese dynastic period, and each screening is introduced by a distinguished Chinese scholar.
Film Art Set in Times of Chaos: Chinese Martial Arts Films is at NYC’s China Institute, with screenings on Wednesdays or Thursdays beginning Feb. 16. Films are is dedicated to classics of wuxia, China’s heroic stories of martial arts and swordplay, and accompanies China Institute’s exhibition Art in a Time of Chaos: Masterworks from Six Dynasties China, 3rd – 6th Centuries.
Films are directed by top guiding lights of Chinese cinema including ing Hu, Zhang Yimou, John Woo, Feng Xiaogang, and Tsui Hark. Each s set in a different dynastic period, during a time of chaos marked by immense change.
Here are film details:
Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Dragon Inn – Directed by King Hu (1967) – Set in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 CE), Dragon Inn laid the foundations for many of the archetypes of wuxia films. Featuring masterful compositions by cinematographer Hua Hui-ying, Hu’s film contains a sequence of increasingly spectacular set pieces. A Blu-ray of the recently restored print by Janus Films, created from the original negative, will be screened.
- Introduced by Richard Peña, Director Emeritus of the New York Film Festival; Professor of Cinema Studies at Columbia University
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Hero – Directed by Zhang Yimou (2002) – Hero is set in the Qin Dynasty (221 to 206 BCE), and is a tale of two female assassins. The film received considerable critical acclaim upon its release, and was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 2003 Academy Awards.
- Introduced by Jim Zhang, Instructor of Chinese and Chinese film, Queens College and China Institute.
Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Red Cliff – Directed by John Woo (2009) – John Woo’s Red Cliff was adapted from the 14th-century novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and was inspired by the Battle of Red Cliffs (208–209 CE), which marked the last days of China’s culturally seminal Han dynasty and the transition to the Three Kingdoms Period.
- Introduced by Annette Juliano, Professor of Asian Art and History, Rutgers University – Newark; Guest Co-Curator of Art in a Time of Chaos: Masterworks from Six Dynasties China, 3rd-6th Centuries, China Institute.
Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Legend of the Black Scorpion – Directed by Feng Xiaogang (2006) – Legend of the Black Scorpion combines elements from two immortal Western plays—William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts—to create a Chinese tale of intrigue set in the Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE)
- Introduced by Morris Rossabi, Senior Scholar and Adjunct Professor, Columbia University; Distinguished Professor of History, CUNY Queens College
Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Once Upon a Time in China – Directed by Tsui Hark (1991) – A distinctive update of a renowned tale: the life of the great physician and martial artist Wong Fei Hung (1847-1924). Set in the latter years of Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912), the film depicts the crime-ridden and semi-colonialized city of Guangdong.
- Introduced by Raymond Tsang, Doctoral Candidate in Cinema Studies at New York University.
The entire five-film series is $40, which – by my math – is just $8 per film. Now that’s NYC on the cheap! Get tickets online, or to register by phone, please contact Aaron Nicholson at 212-744-8181 ext. 138 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Screenings are at the downtown China Institute location on Rector St.