See Three Hong Kong Classics FOR FREE in DC!
Attention East-Coasters! It is a rare enough experience to see anything from Hong Kong's golden era of cinemas on a big screen anywhere, but thanks to those fine people at The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art in Washington DC, three undisputed masterpieces - currently unavailable to watch on any format in the USA - will be screening absolutely free!
Stanley Kwan's ghostly melodrama Rouge, starring Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui, Mabel Cheung's classic romance An Autumn Tale, featuring Chow Yun Fat and Cherie Chung, and Chor Yuen's swordplay classic Killer Clans will each be screening twice at the Freer Gallery in the Meyer Auditorium across the next three weekends, as part of the 17th Annual Made In Hong Kong Film Festival. Admission is free and seats will be assigned on a first-come first-served basis, and I strongly urge anybody in the area not to miss this all-too-rare opportunity. For more information about the exact screening times, visit the official website.
Here's some more information about the films, taken from the site:
Rouge (dir. Stanley Kwan, 1988)
One of the most acclaimed films by iconic Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan (Center Stage, Lan Yu), Rouge is a combination of ghost story and melodrama. It stars Anita Mui as a prostitute in 1930s Hong Kong and Leslie Cheung as her lover, the scion of a wealthy family who forbids their relationship. When he chickens out of their suicide pact, she returns from the afterlife to look for him--and finds herself in a completely changed 1980s Hong Kong. Two journalists repair their own relationship by helping her solve her supernatural problems.
An Autumn Tale (dir. Mabel Cheung, 1987)
This wildly popular romantic drama from Mabel Cheung proves that there's more to '80s Hong Kong cinema than fast-paced action and gunplay. Cherie Chung stars as a student who moves to New York to pursue her studies. When her boyfriend abruptly leaves, her downstairs neighbor and distant cousin (Chow Yun-Fat) resolves to cheer her up--and they develop feelings for one another as a result. Departing from his usual action hero persona, Chow excels as a working-class immigrant, and Cheung's subtle direction makes this tale of heartbreak and desire a classic date movie.
Killer Clans (dir. Chor Yuen, 1976)
This year's festival closes with a classic Shaw Brothers martial arts extravaganza. Adapted from the popular novel Meteor, Butterfly, Sword by Ku Lung, this film is a breathtaking mix of swordplay, treachery, and titillation, as rival assassins fall for the beautiful daughter of the man they've been hired to kill. "[Chor] gave full reign to his artistic sensibilities--vicious fight scenes are set incongruously against his whimsical poetic scenery; such contrast brings an unprecedented sense of modernity to this ancient genre" (Chinlin Hsieh, International Film Festival Rotterdam).
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