Monday, December 15, 2008

Miracles (1989)

Miracles (1989)

December 18th, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

In 1930's Hong Kong, Jackie Chan plays Kuo Cheng-wah a country bumpkin trying his luck in the big city. Soon after arriving he has a series of bad experiences before receiving a rose from an old destitute flower seller (Gua Ah-leh). Instantly his luck seems to change as he becomes involved in a fight between two large triad gangs only to be made into one of the gangs leaders after the triad members misinterpret their dying leaders last words.

Being far from a criminal Kuo attempts to reform the gangs criminal ways by opening a legitimate nightclub. Soon after he encounters a talented singer (Anita Mui) who he employs at his club in order that she can settle a family debt. After a time he starts to fall into his new life only to be faced with a problem involving the rose seller. He has a belief that her roses bring him luck and will not make a decision or take action until he buys his daily rose. It seems her daughter who has been living in boarding school for most of her life believes her mother is a wealthy social light. Now the daughter has informed her that she will soon be arriving with her fiancé who is the son of a wealthy businessman from the mainland. Now Kuo using the power of his gang attempts to help by convincing her daughter’s fiancé and his family that her clams are true.

Miracles is a remake of the 1961 Frank Capra film A Pocket Full of Miracles which was in fact a remake of a 1933 Capra film Lady For a Day. As surprising as some not familiar with Hong Kong film making might find this next statement, this film might be superior to Capra’s. Those that know of his work and creative output should be well aware of Jackie Chan’s great reverence for the Hollywood films of the 1920's and 30's and this can be said to be his ultimate tribute to them not to mention probably his most polished and personal film. This can also be said to be one of the last great epics of the Hong Kong film industry before its partial collapse after 1993.

The cast of the film is extremely impressive. Containing some of Hong Kong’s greatest principal and character actors in major roles and frequent cameos. Some of the best of these secondary performances include Wu Ma who plays the second in command of Chan’s gang and Richard Ng who has the role of a bumbling police detective.

As for the principal actors, actor/singer Anita Mui finds one of her greatest film roles as Chan’s love interest. The two of them show a kind of kinetic on screen chemistry. She also excels in a scene involving a musical montage showing the clubs development over time. Chan too is in top form both as a actor and in the directors chair. In some ways this film for him can be likened to Hart of Dragon (1985) in that they are both meant to put to rest criticism regarding Chan’s supposed lack of range. In Heart of Dragon he plays the sole guardian of his retarded brother who to some degree is forced to give up his own happiness and prospects for the future to care for him. The film had a lot in the way of drama and little in terms of action. In Miracles there is more in the way of action, but not an excess of it, although what there is remains some of the most impressive pieces of his career. Instead the film relies much more on plot and character development. Some people that are only interested in Chan in action roles might find this a bit slow, but for those that appreciate other elements as well might find one of his best.

In terms of the production values I did not use the term epic haphazardly. The film fielded a very impressive budget for a Hong Kong film of the period and it uses it to construct some massive sets and to import the latest technical equipment from the US and Japan and it shows. Chan had progressed substantially as a director by this period and possesses a strong artistic vison for the film. Also present is the expert cinematography of Arthur Wong and the highly enjoyable jazz score of Lei Siu-Tin who also has a cameo in the film.

This is one of the must see films for those who believes that Jackie Chan is a one trick pony. The only problem that some might find with it is if they came into the film expecting nonstop action and instead found equal parts story, style and characterization.
Hong Kong, Director Jackie Chan. Starring Jackie Chan, Anita Mui Yim-Fong, Gloria Yip Wan-Yi, Wu Ma, Richard Ng Yil-Hon, Bill Tung Piu, Ray Lui Leung-Wai. In Cantonese with English subtitles, 127 minutes.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ring Virus (1999)

Ring VIrus (1999)

December 11th, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Remakes are no more uncommon among the cinemas of Asia then they are in the United States and Ring Virus is a prime example of this. In Japan adaptations of the Ring novels have included an initial 1995 TV movie, the 1998 feature film that most people are familiar with along with its two sequels and one prequel and a twelve episode TV miniseries. But the first adaptation of the story made outside of Japan is not the US remake and its sequel, but this South Korean film.

Besides going through the basic story of the novel, it does give the tale its own cultural fingerprint. Parts of the US Ring remake also seem to reference this film as opposed to purely drawing from its Japanese counterpart.

The films star, Shin Eun-Kyung, is otherwise known for such roles as the tittle character in My Wife is a Gangster and a suporting role in the Japanese surealistic horror film Uzumaki.

South Korea, Director Kim Dong-bin. Starring Shin Eun-Kyung, Lee Seung-Hyeon, Jeong Jin-Yeong and Bae Du-na. In Korean with English subtitles, 95 minutes.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Citizen Dog (2004)

Citizen Dog (2004)

December 4th, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

In the past decade Thai cinema has experienced an explosion of new creativity and international recognition. Like Last Life in the Universe the previous Thai film shown in this series, Citizen Dog is a product of this change.

One of the most widely viewed Thai films in the United States is a visually stunning Thai version of the American Western called Tears of the Black Tiger, the first Thai film to be an official selection at Cannes. The director for that film and Citizen Dog is Wisit Sasanatieng and he would impart this, his second film with every bit the visual spectacle of Tears while also delivering a engaging story and characters.

The story centers around the character of a young man from the country who comes to the city for work. Later he falls in love and tries to understand what his existence is all about. This light comedy with surrealistic overtones deals with issues of society and life in a relaxed manner typical of Thai cinema.

Thailand, Director Wisit Sasanatieng. Staring Mahasamut Boonyaruk, Saengthong Gate-Uthong, and Sawatwong Palakawong Na Autthaya. In Thai with English subtitles, 104 minutes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Scandal (1974)

Scandal (1974)

Scandal (1974)

November 20th, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Set in the early twentieth century during the chaotic age of Warlords and the early Nationalists struggling against them, the film tells the story of two ne’er-do-wells Chen Ming (Michael Hui) and Chia Liang (Wang Sheng) who witness the rampant corruption going on at every level of government. They eventually decide to attempt to liberate some of the county officials ill gotten gains for themselves but in the midst of doing so they fall into the situation of acquiring information that gives them power over those around them. Now suddenly they are in positions of power and influence and even though everything seems to be spiraling out of control business seem to be going on as usual.

Scandal is the fourth and last collaboration between actor Michael Hui and director Li Han-Hsiang made at the Shaw Brothers studio. The other three being 1972's The Warlord, The Happiest Moment (1973) and Sinful Confession (1974). Before making these four films Hui had become famous with his television comedy/variety program The Hui Brothers Show along with his two brothers Sam and Ricky. American viewers can think of the program as a cross between Laugh-In and The Smothers Brothers and soon became incredibly popular. At this point Michael was offered the opportunity to try his hand at film at the then completely dominant Shaw Brothers Studio.

The four films he eventually made there were written and directed by one of the Shaw Brothers greatest in-house directors Li Han-Hsiang who had previously been known for his lavish period films and Huangmei Operas such as Diau Charn (1958) and Beyond the Great Wall (1964) but had later, after leaving the Shaw Studio for a time, branched out into erotic drama and comedy that frequently intermixed social satire and the four Hui collaborations are examples of this at its very best. The first of the four The Warlord cast Hui as a sometimes bumbling but always bombastic warlord who is morally ambagious to say the least. They follow his character through the glory days of the warlords in the 1920's through to the bitter end. Along with The House of 72 Tenants (1973) the film was instrumental in reviving Cantonese dialect cinema that had previously been outmoded by Mandarin beginning more then a decade before.

The next two films were anthologies that feature Hui in three separate roles each. The Happiest Moment being again set in the early part of the century and Sinful Confession which takes place in modern day Hong Kong. Both films take a comedic bent on the issues of greed, corruption and sexuality in society.

The forth film Scandal deals with corruption and government in the vein of the more things change the more they stay the same. In this sense out of the four Scandal is the most accomplished. When the two miscreants start to work their way into county government they soon discover they are probably the least overtly criminal officials around. Annotating this story there is one completely honest official, the county medical inspector who is completely oblivious to all shady goings on despite interacting with those perpetrating these acts on a daily basis.

After Scandal Li Han-Hsiang went on to make many similar films for Shaw Brothers throughout the 1970's. Michael Hui on the other hand ended his collaboration at Shaw’s owing to the limitations of the ridged studio system. He then joined the Golden Harvest studio which was becoming the Shaw Brothers chief rival at the time. There he was given complete creative freedom and control of his work which lead to a string of now legendary films that changed the face of Hong Kong comedy that he wrote, directed and starred in with his brothers such as Games Gamblers Play (1974) and The Private Eyes (1976). Ironically it was these films which significantly helped Golden Harvest win its fight against Shaw Brothers for dominance in the early to mid 1980's so to an extent in this case they played a major role in their own downfall.
Along with the other four Shaw Hui films Scandal is required viewing for those interested in the evolution of Hong Kong comedy and cinema in general and must be viewed to gain a balanced view of the Hui Brothers and their legacy.

Hong Kong, Director Li Han Hsiang. Starring Michael Hui Koon-Man, Tanny Tien Ni, Lily Li, Zhu Mu, Wong Sam, Ku Feng and Cheng Miu. In Mandarin with English subtitles, 94 minutes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fire (1996)

Fire (1996)

November 13th, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Fire (1996)

The first of a trilogy of films by the same director. They are unconnected in story but each exploring a different tone of storytelling marked by the tittles Fire, Earth and Water. The story is a contemporary tale of a young woman who marries into a family only to find neglect and hopelessness.

She befriends another married woman who has similar feelings and they begin to develop a romantic relationship. Billed as the first Indian film dealing with lesbians, it was protested during its initial release and later banned.

India/Canada, Director Deepa Mehta. Starring Nandita Das, Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Alice Poon. In English, 108 minutes.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Princess Iron Fan (1941)
Romance of the Western Chamber (1927)

November 6th, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Enjoy two early Chinese films, each with a fairly short viewing time that together is under two hours.

Princess Iron Fan (1941)

Animation began in China in the early 1920's, less then a decade after the birth of Japanese animation. Like the early animation of almost any nation it began with silent shorts, then longer more developed talkies finally leading to features. China’s first feature was largely the result of the efforts of the Wan Brothers who also created early shorts and the first Chinese animated talkie. They used a rhotoscope process for much of the film, which gives it a fairly unique look compared to many other early animated features.

The films story was adapted from a popular chapter of The Journey to the West, a novel regarded along with Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Dream of the Red Chamber and The Water Margin as one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature. The plot revolves around a Monk who is traveling to India to find and bring back the original Buddhist scriptures to China. He is accompanied by the impish Monkey King who is forced to become his protector and guide as well as sever other magical helpers. During there journey they encounter all manor of magical creatures that attempt to halt their journey.

The continued popularity of this story has continued since it was written in the 16th century. There have been many media adaptations of the story including animated and live action films, TV series and video games. In the United States the story is most well known through two Japanese animated series, the first being Dragonball which uses a loose adaptation of the story and the short lived series Monkey Magic from the 1990's. Even with this limited exposure, its story is arguably the most well known of the four novels in the United States.

The circumstances surrounding the film are also somewhat unusual. It was made in 1940-41 during a time when China was being invaded by the Japanese. It was actually exported to Japan where it helped spur the creation of the first Japanese animated feature Warriors of the Wind a anti Western propaganda film promoting the goal of a Japan centered Greater East Asian Prosperity Sphere.

China, Director Wan Guchan, Wan Laiming, Mandarin with English subtitles, 72 mins.

Romance of the Western Chamber (1927)

During the 1920's Shanghai developed a vibrant film industry. Much of this history is completely unknown to many Chinese much less western viewers. Aside from a few super stars like actress Ruan Lingyu, most of figures behind the films are equally as forgotten. Romance of the Western Chamber was made by important figures engaging in an early struggle to shape the direction of Chinese cinema.

Lai Man-Wai was one of the films co-directors and at the time of the films making he was on a self proclaimed mission to improve the quality of Chinese cinema. Lai had become deeply interested in film from the time he encountered it. Early on in his film making career he developed close ties to Sun Yat-Sen and the Nationalists, even accompanying the army on its Norther Expatiations against the warlords, making a documenting the events on film.
Later after some difficulties he relocated to Hong Kong where he attempted to set up his studio Minxin. After many difficulties and the unhelpful attitude of the British administration governing the region, he returned to the mainland and was able to establish his studio.

The stated goal was to make films of superior quality which included lavish historical epics. He was able to use his Nationalist connections to engage thousands of government troops as extras on some of his films. Despite this support he frequently lost out to his rivals which typically made much cheaper films at a faster pace, giving much less thought goals of fine cinema. This meant that while one of his epics was filming, another studio might knock off a film copying its story, only made in less then half the time and using a small fraction of its budget, thus saturating the market before the Lai film finishes its production.

Romance of the Western Chamber is a film of a much smaller scale then the greatest of Lai’s epics. Its short, only forty-three minutes, it really is a medium level production for its time. The chief claim to fame of the film is an early dream sequence which uses sever in camera effects shots that were rare for the period. The dedication to quality is also still present and it shines through even more then eighty years later.

China, Director Lai Man-Wai, Cast Ge Cijiang, Hu Chinchang, Lam Cho-Cho, Li Dandan, 43 mins.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Village of Eight Gravestones (1977)

Village of Eight Gravestones (1977)

October 31st, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Village of Eight Gravestones (1977)

Tatsuya Terada (Kenichi Hagiwara) works at an airport and leads what seems a happily mundane life. Suddenly he is summoned to a lawyers offices and confronted with his aged grandfather who he didn’t ever know existed. He is then informed that he apparently has many relatives in the form of a wealthy family presiding over a small rural village in a valley surrounded by heavily forested mountains. On top of that he is informed that he has become the next heir to the family fortune. At this very moment to double the shock his grandfather has some kind of strange attack and dies horribly right in front of his eyes.

He then travels to meet this unknown family and upon arriving discovers an atmosphere of suspension and strange goings on. Soon after he arrives people connected with the family begin dying strangely and many believe it is somehow connected to a curse put upon the village by eight wondering Samurai who met there fate there centuries before.

When people talk about the great suspense film directors of the 20th century two names seem to always come up, British Director Alfred Hitchcock and French Director Henri-Georges Clouzot. But as more of his films begin to be widely available in the west in the coming decades, you might see the name of Nomura Yoshitaro added to that list. Nomura Yoshitaro, or Yoshitaro Nomura if you are using the western name order is a prolithic classical studio director, working under Japans large Shochiku Studio. During his time there he learned from and mentored many of Japans greatest directors including Akira Kurosawa in the former and Yoji Yamada in the latter. But even with his large and varied career what he tends to be best remembered for in Japan are his suspense films. He began with 1958's The Chase which was based upon a story by famed mystery author Matsumoto Seicho. It was so popular that he then directed a string of other films based upon the authors works including 1974's The Castle of Sand which is routinely pointed out as one of the greatest Japanese films of all time.
Apart from his collaborations with Matsumoto he also directed sever other suspense films based upon other works Village of Eight Gravestones being the most famous of these. Based upon a novel of the same name by Yokomizo Seishi, the films creates a murky mixture of horror and dread that few suspense films could ever hope come close to. While watching it the viewer is constantly hit by the feeling that there is something horrible just below the surface that seems to be drawing all the characters into a dark abyss. Another hallmark of a Nomura film is the cinematography, in this case opening up upon grand rural views that even in broad daylight tend to have the feel of some kind of gothic hell.

It looks like Nomura’s death in 2005 might have speeded up the recognition of his films outside of Japan compared with the trickle of praise that has been slowly growing in the west for decades. More of his films are now receiving domestic American release then ever before. For anyone who loves the genre of suspense and mystery this directors films are required viewing and Village of Eight Gravestones remains one of his best.
Japan, Director Nomura Yoshitaro. Cast Kenichi Hagiwara, Ogawa Mayumi, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kiyoshi Atsumi, 151 minutes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fun Movie (2002)

Fun Movie (2002)

October 23rd, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Fun Movie (2002)

Fun Movie was billed as the first ever South Korean movie parody film. Since the mid 1990's the Korean film industry has seen a dramatic rise as it watched its films gain worldwide circulation and domestic Korean box office dominance. From romantic comedies like My Sassy Girl and Marring the Mafia, to big budget action films such as Shiri and Tai Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War as well as everything in between the Korean cinema in embracing its modernity while earning acclaim from around the world.

Fun Movie is a visible example of this in that it uses the idea that Korean film is finally grand enough to support a high profile parody film. The film is especially enjoyable to those who have seen the blockbusters of the late 90's early 2000's but still functions as a entertaining comedy either way.

The main story is a variation on the popular action film Shiri in which a rouge group of special forces commandoes try to stop unification talks between the North and South. The parodies go on to include Nowhere to Hide, My Sassy Girl and Ditto.

South Korea, Director Jang Gyu-Seong. Cast Lim Won-Hie, Kim Jeong-Eun, Kim Su-Ro and Seo Tae-Hwa 120 minutes

Monday, October 6, 2008

Charisma (1999)

October 9th, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Charisma (1999)
aka Karisuma

Detective Goro Yabuike (Kôji Yakusho) is called in as a hostage negotiator. It seems a lone enraged man is holding a high profile politician at gunpoint in the his office. Upon arriving Yabuike enters and begins to converse with the gunman. He is then told by the man to "restore the order of things". This has a dramatic effect on Yabuike and things then take a turn for the worse.

With the end of the hostage taking Yabuike is told he is being put on extended leave and to go home. Instead after being dropped off by an officer he starts to wonder deep into a forest. There he encounters several strange individuals. They include a Botanist by the name of Mitsuko (Jun Fubuki) and her unstable sister, Kiriyama (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi) a young hermit and a group of forest rangers. All of them is seems have become obsessed with a strange old tree located in a clearing which they have named Charisma. Some of them want to destroy it, others to sell it while still others want to protect the tree at any cost. Yabuike is given several conflicting stories regarding the tree and its relationship to the decline of the health of the forest. Over the course of several days Yabuike wonders the forest observing and interacting with its inhabitants.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no relation to Akira Kurosawa) has been growing in renown and is now widely seen as one of the best of the current crop of Japanese directors. The film that rocketed him into major international fame was 1997's Cure which told the story of seemingly random pointless murders committed by a variety of people and the detective who attempts to understand what is going on. Later films such as Kairo aka Pulse (2001) and Bright Future (2003) have further cemented his reputation as a film maker of note.

In 1999 he created what many see as one of his best and also most puzzling films, Charisma. Originally the screenplay was written in the early 1990's and submitted to the American Sundance institutes film workshops and was thought of highly enough to allow Kurosawa to come to the US to study American film. This high profile learning experience helped to revitalize his, at the time waning career that had hit a bumpy patch after a falling out with director Juzo Itami. After that it lay dormant until finally being filmed later in the decade. In that time another Kurosawa film Cure had come about that in tone and feel was almost a sequel of sorts to Charisma. This is heightened even more so do to the fact that Kôji Yakusho starred in both playing a similar police detective, although the name of his character differs from one film to the other.

Some of the basic structure of the film is often compared to 1964 Japanese film Woman of the Dunes and many see this as a homage on Kurosawa’s part. These similarities however are only skin deep. The films plot and style are loaded with Kurosawa director trademarks. These include the slow pacing and the fact that the plot is a hodgepodge of allegory and metaphor. In this way it is a film that the viewer must actively be observing and pondering the meaning of the events in order to pick up on what is really going on. Most theories regarding the meaning of the film center around modern Japanese society and ecology, but it really is something that the viewer should at least for the first viewing tackle on there own.

Country Japan, Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Cast Kôji Yakusho, Ren Osugi,Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Jun Fubuki, Yoriko Douguchi, Akira Otaka, Yutaka Matsushige, Sachiko Meguro, Masayuki Shionoya, 104 Mins

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dragon Gate Inn (1966)

(See bellow for time and location)

Dragon Gate Inn (1966)
aka Long men ke zhen

Taking place during the Ming Dynasty the film tells of the struggles between righteous heroes and corrupt government officials. More specifically a ruthless eunuch named Zho Ji (Pai Ying) falsely accuses a powerful but honest official named Yu Cian of capital crimes and then executes him in order to consolidate Yu’s power for himself. Weary of reprisals Cao orders a underling named Cao Shocin to intercept the officials two young children who at that time are being exiled to a boarder garrison in the desert. At the same time forces loyal to the now dead Yu are still about and making there own plans. Both sides eventually meet along with numerous enigmatic strangers at the isolated Dragon Gate Inn located along a lonely stretch of the Chinese frontier. Thus begins a series of deceptions and staling tactics, each side trying to achieve the optimal advantage before any open hostilities break out.

Dragon Gate Inn is one of the most important films by one of China’s greatest directors King Hu otherwise known as Hu Jinquan. Together with Come Drink With Me (1966), A Touch of Zen (1971), The Fate of Lee Kahn (1973) and The Valiant Ones (1975) Dragon Gate Inn revolutionized and modernized the Chinese Wu Xia Genre in effectively the span of less then a decade.

King Hu came to Hong Kong to further his education shortly before the end of the Chinese Civil War during the late 1940's. Due to the chaos and the fact that Hu had engaged in many political activities that would be viewed as radical by the communists he was forced to make Hong Kong his home for some time. Having a great deal of interest in the arts Hu eventually followed his close friend Li Han-Hsiang into the film industry eventually ending up at the Shaw Brothers Studio where Li would later go on to considerable fame as a director.

Hu worked in a number of positions including scriptwriter and actor among others. Eventually he came to direct a series of dramas such as Sons of the Good Earth (1965) before making the film that would change his career forever, Come Drink With Me (1966). It was a Wu Xia film the likes of which had not been seen before. He used new and innovative technics of cinematography to shape and control the action, inventive uses of sound to influence the flow of the film. These factors mixed with a more complex plot then was average for the genre at this time, created something groundbreaking.

A short time after this King Hu left Shaw Brothers for a much smaller Taiwanese production company called Union. This was mainly do to his dislike of the restrictions of the studio system that ruled the Shaw Borhers studio. At this point he started work on Dragon Gate Inn. Given his recent Shaw experience coupled with his new found freedom he was able to experiment with the look and feel of his films more then ever before. His bold experiments with flying angles, more complex wirework and use of sound insured the films future influence on the genre would be strong.

Like Come Drink With Me before it Dragon Gate Inn was infused with allegory, be it social or political. This would come to be one of King Hu’s principal trademarks and would only increase as time went on. In Dragon Gate Inn much of the influence comes from the mainland governments oppression of noted intellectuals and intellectual freedom in general, which included individuals Hu knew personally. The allegory for this issue comes in the form of the oppressive and corrupt Dong Chang or as it would loosely translate into English as the Eastern Workshop or Eastern Chamber. This was a real internal intelligence organization that existed during the Ming dynasty. The Dong Chang and the eunuchs that ran it have come to be frequently used in later Wu Xia films as prominent villains in Ming era settings. Hu himself would later go on to use them as characters and plot points in several of his later films.

Beyond its own merit, Dragon Gate Inn is also noteworthy as a proving ground for the technics that would later be utilized in Hu's next feature length film that many people consider his greatest masterpiece A Touch of Zen. Before this however he participated in a anthology titled Four Moods (1970) for which he spawned another short Wu Xia tale.

Dragon Gate Inn is also known as the second instalment in what has come to be known as King Hu’s Inn Trilogy or Inn Films which started with Come Drink With Me then Dragon Inn and finally The Fate of Lee Kahn. They share several similarities. Each of them takes place at an Inn, which was otherwise a very common setting for Wu Xia fiction. Each involves allegorical messages and each was particularly innovative for its time.

Years latter director Tsui Hark would pen a script for a 1992 remake entitled New Dragon Gate Inn or Dragon Inn for short, which was directed by Raymond Lee. This film was very much in the vein of a late new wave Hong Kong Wu Xia film, making its look and feel very distinctly from the original. Despite this it was something of an important and successful film in its own right.

In 2003 a controversial Taiwanese art film entitled Goodbye Dragon Inn actually featured the 1966 version as part of its story. The film revolves around the final screening at a aging Taiwanese movie theater that is about to be demolished. The film that is being screened is of corse Dragon Gate Inn. Other then the segments and background dialog from Dragon Gate Inn heard during the film there is almost no dialog and just features the characters interacting with each other to varying extent. Shih Jun who also plays swordsman Xiao Shao-Zi one of the principal characters in the 1966 film is one of the viewers at the theater and is seen watching his younger self repeatedly. Very likely he is playing himself in this film and this interaction is used as symbolism.

Taiwan, Director King Hu, Cast Polly Kuan, Hsu Feng, Shih Jun, Pai Ying, Tin Peng, Cho Kin, Go Ming, Got Siu-Bo, Ko Fei, Han Ying-Chieh, Man Chung San, Miu Tin, Sit Hon, 111 Mins
Time & Location: October 2nd, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford).

Welcome to the first blog entry of the Asian Film Series

Welcome to first blog entry of the Asian Film Series at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and hosted by the Center for International Education. This blog will contain further information regarding the films to be screened as well as times and dates. It will also function as a forum to let those interested suggest future films and comment about the series.

The Goal of this series is to expose students and those in the community to a diverse range of Asian films many of which are little known in the United States. All screenings are free and open to students and non-student alike.

The screenings will be held on Thursdays in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford) typically at 6:30PM. The times and date will also be listed with the individual blog entry.

The series is hosted by the Center for International Education, but is not directly connected with the Center or the University and does not necessarily represent the views of either