TRAFFIC IN GENRE:
East Asian Film and Lecture Series

In conjunction with the WEAI 60th Anniversary. Sponsors: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Center for Korean Research

FILM AND LECTURE SERIES SCHEDULE

All screenings and lectures start at 6:30PM. Each film screening will be accompanied by an introduction to the film/director and a post-viewing discussion will be led by the professors and specialists in East Asian cinema.

Please click here for organizer bios
Please click here for speaker bios

February 4 (Wednesday)
VENGEANCE directed by Chang Cheh (1970)
413 Kent Hall with Professor Weihong Bao


Film Synopsis:
Vengeance (1970) is one of the earliest collaborative efforts by director Chang Cheh and his star team of David Chiang and Ti Lung. Set in 1920 Peking, a Chinese Opera performer (Ti Lung) confronts his boss over his straying wife and is killed in a valiant fight. Ti's brother (David Chiang) seeks his revenge, culminating in a spectacular gang fight and a surprise ending. The film showcases expert use of cramped interiors in well-designed period settings and though it places more emphasis on knife fighting and judo than kung fu it is clearly a lead-in to subsequent gangster-style kung fu films by Chang Cheh such as the Duel of the Iron Fist and Boxer From Shantung. At the 16th Asian Film Festival, Director Chang Cheh won the Best Director Award, David Chiang won the Best Actor Award and Vengeance went on to win the Best Movie Award and the Iron Triangle.

February 5 (Thursday)
Yomi Braester, University of Washington
"Urban Film as Genre: Between Subjective Experience and Official Policy"
918 IAB

February 24 (Tuesday)
SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO directed by Takashi Miike (2007)
413 Kent Hall with Professor Hikari Hori


Film Synopsis:
Maverick Japanese director Takashi Miike, best known for cult classics Audition and Ichi the Killer, re-teams with longtime writing partner Masa Nakamura for this musical western inspired by Sergio Corbucci's violent 1966 classic Django. It's been hundreds of years since the Battle of Dannoura, yet the Genji and Heiki clans continue to battle for a legendary treasure hidden in a desolate mountain town. One day, a lone gunman, burdened with deep emotional scars but blessed with incredible shooting skills, drifts into town. The two clans try to woo the lone gunman but he has ulterior motives. Dirty tricks, betrayal, desire and love collide as the situation erupts into a final, explosive showdown.

February 26 (Thursday)
Michael Raine, University of Chicago
"Eastern Westerns and Buddhist Tales Without Nationality: Citation and Intertextuality as Post-National Signature in Sukiyaki Western Django"
918 IAB

March 10 (Tuesday)
TOKYO STORY directed by Yasujiro Ozu (1953)
413 Kent Hall with Professor Hikari Hori


Film Synopsis:
Tokyo Story is a 1953 Japanese film directed by Yasujiro Ozu which contemplates the breakdown of the relationship between elderly parents and their children, post WWII. It follows an aging couple, Tomi (Chishu Ryu) and Sukichi (Setsuko Hara), on their journey from their rural village to visit their two married children in bustling, postwar Tokyo. Their reception is disappointing: too busy to entertain them, their children send them off to a health spa. After Tomi falls ill she and Sukichi return home, while the children, grief-stricken, hasten to be with her. The film reprises one of the director's favorite themes—that of generational conflict—in a way that is quintessentially Japanese and yet universally appealing and continues to resonate as one of cinema's greatest masterpieces. In Sight and Sound magazine's polls of directors and critics, Tokyo Story is regularly listed as one of the ten greatest films ever made (it was 3rd in 1992 and 5th in 2002 on the critics' poll).

March 25 (Wednesday)
ZU WARRIORS FROM THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN directed by Tsui Hark (1983)
413 Kent Hall with Professor Weihong Bao


Film Synopsis:
Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain is a groundbreaking film that established Tsui Hark as one of Hong Kong's best New Wave filmmakers. Loosely based on Chinese mythology, the film stars Yuen Biao as Ti Ming Chi, a soldier caught between warring armies on Zu Mountain. He escapes into the mountain's mystical regions, which are home to ghoulish evil disciples and noble heroes, all possessing magical abilities. By joining Ting Yin (Adam Cheng), a master swordsman, Ming Chi is thrust onto a perilous quest to find the powerful Twin Swords. They are the only weapons capable of destroying an evil demon, contained temporarily by the wise Long Brows (Sammo Hung). When the demon possesses the swordsman's body in the palace of a healer Countess (Brigitte Lin), Ming Chi must complete the quest by finding the swords' keeper and uniting the weapons with the aid of an insecure monk.

April 6 (Monday)
R-Point directed by Kong Su-Chang (2004)
413 Kent Hall with Professor Ted Hughes


Film Synopsis:
A troop of South Korean soldiers in search of a missing patrol unit find that the horrors of war aren't limited to the human realm in director Kong Su-Chang's (GP506) tale of supernatural terror on the battlefield. During the Vietnam War, a South Korean army base begins receiving mysterious radio transmissions from a patrol that went missing six months earlier. With resources dwindling and the battle taking its toll on the fatigued troops, the determined but shell-shocked commanding officer (Kam Woo-Sung) and a ragtag military unit are sent into the desolate stretch of land known only as R-Point to gather clues as to the whereabouts of the missing soldiers. What appeared to be a clear search and rescue mission turns into a harrowing struggle for survival and something far more terrifying than any battle.

April 13 (Monday)
THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD directed by Kim Ji-woon (2008)
413 Kent Hall with Professor Ted Hughes


Film Synopsis:
Director Kim Ji-woon's 'Kimchi Western' offers a new, unique reworking of its spaghetti
forebears in The Good, The Bad and The Weird. As the Korean peninsula falls into the hands of Japanese imperialists and countless Koreans seek refuge in the vast wilderness of Manchuria, a determined thief (Song Kang-ho), a cold-blooded assassin (Lee Byeong-hun), and a mysterious bounty hunter (Chung Woo-sung) all vie for an elusive map that could lead them to a buried treasure from the Qing Dynasty. As these three strangers converge in a sprawling landscape that none of them can truly call home, they quickly discover that Korean resistance fighters, resilient mountain bandits, and the Japanese army also covet the prized map, resulting in an unpredictable, escalating battle. The Good, The Bad, The Weird was premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

April 16 (Thursday)
Jinsoo An, Hongik University
"Political Economy of Korean Action Films"
918 IAB

 

BIOGRAPHIES OF SPEAKERS

JINSOO AN is an Assistant Professor at School of Design and Media of Hongik University in Korea. He completed a Ph.D. at UCLA with a dissertation on the golden age melodrama films of Korea (from 1953 to 1972). He has written on the topics related to Korean cinema of the 1960s including representation of Christianity, historical drama, courtroom drama, cult film and Manchurian action film. His current project focuses on representation of colonialism as historical past in South Korean cinema. His other interests include history and visuality of interactive media art.

YOMI BRAESTER, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Washington in Seattle, is the author of Witness against History: Literature, Film, and Public Discourse in Twentieth-Century China (Stanford University Press, 2003) and Painting the City Red: Chinese Cinema and the Urban Contract (forthcoming from Duke University Press).

MICHAEL RAINE is Assistant Professor in Japanese Cinema at the University of Chicago. He is writing a book on the tension between a "culture of the copy" in postwar Japanese commercial cinema and a "culture of authenticity" in the Japanese New Wave around 1960. He is also developing a project on image culture in wartime Japan and its territories, with a particular focus on the rhetorical construction of documentary (bunka eiga) and propaganda features (kokusaku eiga). His other interests in film studies include the history of film theory, particularly political modernism and the potential for a Peircian theory of film, and using digital media for teaching and research, including subtitling as both an historical practice and an aesthetic problem in the relation between text and image.

 

BIOGRAPHIES OF ORGANIZERS

WEIHONG BAO, assistant professor of Chinese film and media culture, received her Ph.D. from University of Chicago (2006). Trained in both film studies and East Asian literature and culture, she focuses on early Chinese cinema, with broad interests in Chinese cinema, drama, and visual culture from late Qing to the contemporary period as well as international silent cinema, film theory, and film history. Her book manuscript deals with questions of spectatorship and aesthetic affect across Shanghai (1896-1937) and Chongqing (1938-1945) cinema and their impact on New China cinema. Her research and teaching interests center on film and intermedial aesthetics, spectatorship and the history of perception, visual and acoustic modernity, and genre connections across modern Chinese literature, drama, and cinema. Her recent publications include "In Search of a Cinematic Esperanto (forthcoming in the Journal of Chinese Cinemas), "Biomechanics of
Love: Reinventing the Avant-Garde in Tsai Ming-liang's Wayward 'Pornographic Musical,'" Journal of Chinese Cinemas, 1:2 (2007); "From Pearl White to White Rose Woo, Tracing the Vernacular Body of Nüxia in Chinese Silent Cinema, 1927-1931," Camera Obscura 60 (2005); "A Panoramic Worldview: Probing the Visuality of Dianshizhai huabao," Journal of Modern Chinese Literature 32 (March 2005).

HIKARI HORI, Visiting Assistant Professor in East Asian Languages and Cultures, received her Ph. D. in gender studies and Japanese visual culture from Gakushuin University, Tokyo in 2004.  She has worked as a research associate at the National Film Center, Tokyo and also as a film program coordinator at the Japan Society, New York.  Her current research interests include a history of women's activism in modern Japan; war, state and gender represented in arts and film; the representation of sexuality and film censorship; and women's filmmaking in Asia.  Recent publications include: "Oshima Nagisa's 'Ai no korida' Reconsidered: Law, Gender, and Sexually Explicit Film in Japanese Cinema," in Creekmur and Sidel, eds., Cinema, Law and the State in Asia (Palgrave, 2007); "Written by a Woman's Body: Atsugi Taka and Wartime Representation of Women," in Saito and Yomota, eds., Nihon eigashi sosho (Shinwasha, 2006); "Representing a Woman's Story: Sexually Explicit Film and the Efficacy of Censorship in Japan," SARAI Reader Vol. 5 (2005);  "Migration and Transgression: Female Pioneers Documentary Filmmaking in Japan," Asian Cinema Journal Vol. 11 (2005).

THEODORE HUGHES, Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of Korean Studies in the Humanities, received his Ph.D. in modern Korean literature from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2002. His current research interests include coloniality; proletarian literature and art; collaboration, wartime mobilization, and race; national division and sovereignty; Cold War visual culture. Recent publications include "Dongducheon: Everyday Life, Violence, and the State of Exception," forthcoming in BOL (Vol. 9, no. 1); ‘"North Koreans' and other Virtual Subjects: Kim Yŏng-ha, Hwang Suk-young, and National Division in the Age of Posthumanism" (The Review of Korean Studies, 2008); " Korean Memories of the Vietnam and Korean Wars: A Counter-History" ( Japan Focus , 2007); "Korean Visual Modernity and the Developmental Imagination" (SAI, 2006); "Development as Devolution: Nam Chŏng-hyŏn and the ‘Land of Excrement' Incident" (Journal of Korean Studies, 2005); "Producing Sovereign Spaces in the Emerging Cold War World Order: Immediate Postliberation ‘North' and ‘South' Korean Literature" (Han'guk Mmunhak Yŏn'gu, 2005); Panmunjom and Other Stories by Lee Ho-Chul (Norwalk: EastBridge, 2005).

 

SERIES COORDINATOR

MEE CHANG is an MA student in Korean Literature at Columbia University.


All events will be open both to the academic community at Columbia and the general public. Films, dates & speakers are subject to change.

 

SEARCH ENTIRE SITE

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

 

SCREENINGS TO BE HELD IN KENT HALL

Directions

Subway Line 1 to 116 th St. (Columbia University)
Kent Hall is located on 116 th St. at Amsterdam.
Click here for a map.

 

SPEAKER SERIES TO BE HELD IN THE
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BUILDING (IAB)

Directions

Subway Line 1 to 116 th St. (Columbia University)
IAB is located on 420 West 118 th St. off Amsterdam
Click here for a map.  

 

Contact: mc3084@columbia.edu  

 

FILM AND LECTURE SERIES OVERVIEW

All screenings and lectures start at 6:30PM

February 4, 413 Kent Hall
Vengeance

February 5, 918 IAB
Yomi Braester, University of Washington
"Urban Film as Genre: Between Subjective Experience and Official Policy"

February 24, 413 Kent Hall
Sukiyaki Western Django

February 26, 918 IAB
Michael Raine, University of Chicago
"Eastern Westerns and Buddhist Tales Without Nationality: Citation and Intertextuality as Post-National Signature in Sukiyaki Western Django"

March 10, 413 Kent Hall
Tokyo Story

March 25, 413 Kent Hall
Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain

April 6, 413 Kent Hall
R-Point

April 13, 413 Kent Hall
The Good, the Bad, the Weird

April 16, 918 IAB
Jinsoo An, Hongik University
"Political Economy of Korean Action Films"