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Jasper Sharp jasper_sharp
Sat Jun 21 15:17:22 EDT 2008

Just a quick note to all Kinejapanners in the Bristol area, if there indeed are any. Over June-July the Arnolfini are putting on a great season of Asian and Asian-related docs and features to go with their Far West exhibition..

I'll be up and around for Prisoner / Terrorist and The New God in mid-July, and am very excited about seeing Daniel Gordon's great North Korean documentaries again. 

Its just a crying shame I won't be around for the Hidden Fortress and the Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires double bill....

All details below and on Arnolfini website:


Alongside the Far West project we present a series of film screenings reflecting on cultural and economic transfer between east and west.

Far West is a major cross artform project exploring the neww cultural and economic relationships that are emerging as the economic centre of the world shifts towards the East. The project includes exhibitions, off site presentations, performance, film and a range of talks and events.

Tickets: ?5.50/?4.00 (concs)
Arnolfini's double bills offer fantastic value for money - two films back to back for the price of one.  
(some screenings are less)

Full Program:

I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK (15)
Fri 20 & Sat 21 Jun, 8.30pm

A whimsical comedy, something of a change of course for Park Chan-Wook. The heroine is a production-line worker who comes to believe that she's a cyborg, attempts to repair a cut with a strong electric current, only to end up in a mental hospital packed with similarly colourful eccentrics.

Dir. Park Chan-Wook South Korea 2006 1h 47m Subtitled

Park Chan-Wook Double Bill
Oldboy (18)
Sun 22 Jun, 6.30pm

Don't let the title fool you. Nothing could be less English and clubbable than this horrifying, brilliant, revenge thriller from the Korean maestro. You?ll never look at an octopus in the same way again. Cinema that holds an edge of cold steel against your throat.

Dir. Park Chan-Wook South Korea 2003 2h Subtitled

Lady Vengeance (18)
Sun 22 Jun, 9.00pm

Modern violent films have often lazily been compared to Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, by way of excuse for their excesses. Yet Lady Vengeance really does justify this specific comparison. It is a pulp-nightmare that builds inexorably to a truly stomach-turning finish.

Dir. Park Chan-Wook South Korea 2005 1h 52m Subtitled

Foreign Skies
Sat 28 Jun, 7.30pm

Artist Mayling To introduces a selection of films that document the processes of cultural exchange during China?s 'Open Door' Policy to the West, contrasting the impact and consequences of experience between performers including Wham!, Jean-Michel Jarre and Isaac Stern.

?3.00 / 2.00 concs

Culture Chop Double Bill

The Hidden Fortress (PG)
Sun 29 Jun, 6.30pm

Lighter in tone than his other samurai adventures, but no less rewarding, this epic romance is the film George Lucas based Star Wars on, but Kurosawa?s editing is more accomplished. Comedy co-exists with a dark view of life's brevity, cast within exhilarating set pieces and captivating images. Few arthouse classics are as entertaining.

Dir. Akira Kurosawa Japan 1958 2h 6m Subtitled

The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires (18)
Sun 29 Jun, 9.00pm

A remarkable venture, in which British institution Hammer tried to cash-in on the martial arts boom by teaming up with Hong Kong?s Shaw Brothers Studios. They produced this cult/camp fusion of classic Hammer gore and Kung-Fu. Some have read a metaphor for Chinese revolutionary history into Dracula?s colonial exploits, but that might be stretching it a little.

Dir. Roy Ward Baker Hong Kong / UK 1974 1h 31m 

Manufactured Landscapes (U)
Thu 10 - Sat 12 Jul, 6.30pm

Acting as a companion piece to Jia Zhangke's films as part of the Three Gorges Weekend, the award-winning documentary which captures photographer Edward Burtynsky at work amid the mountains of ?e-waste? in China; the Yangtze Valley where whole towns are being demolished to make way for the Three Gorges Dam; the shipbreaking yards of Bangladesh; the crowded skyline of Shanghai. Eschewing polemics, Burtynsky aims simply to bring these landscapes into our consciousness.

Dir. Jennifer Baichwal Canada 2006 1h 30m 

Three Gorges Weekend: Still Life (PG)
Thu 10 - Sat 12 Jul, 8.30pm

A weekend of films from Jia Zhangke - a leading figure among the 'Sixth Generation' of Chinese directors. Feted in the West but almost unknown in China until recent years, his work rejects the idealism of older generations of filmmakers, reflecting upon the strangeness of a globalised world. 

Winner of Venice 2006, the vivid and absorbing tale of two individuals struggling to keep up with the dizzying pace of change in 21st century China, searching for their missing partners. Their respective quests bring them to Fengjie, a town soon to disappear forever in the flooding caused by the controversial Three Gorges Dam.
The Sat 12 July screening will be preceded by a 30 min talk on Jia Zhangke's work by Wing-Fai Leung, contextualising several of the major themes present in his films.

Dir. Jia Zhangke China 2006 1h 49m Subtitled

Three Gorges Weekend: Jia Zhangke Double Bill

Unknown Pleasures (12A)
Sun 13 Jul, 5.30pm

As the 80s progress and the state begins to dabble in the free market, a Maoist state theatre troupe in a remote Chinese province abandons communist crooning to become the ?All Stars Rock'n'Breakdance Band?. An intimate study of the ennui produced by the state's restrictions of personal freedom.

Dir. Jia Zhangke South Korea/France/Japan/China 2002 1h 52m Subtitled

Platform (12A)
Sun 13 Jul, 7.45pm

Set in a hyper-contemporary China, this is a beautifully photographed story of desperation in which everything happens with an underwater dreaminess. It depicts the emptiness in the lives of dispossessed youths in a provincial city stalled between old communism and the modern economy.

Dir. Jia Zhangke Hong Kong/China/Japan/France 2000 2h 34m Subtitled

Far Left Weekend: Prisoner / Terrorist (CTBA)
Thu 17 Jul, 8.30pm

During a suicide attack on an airport, the hand grenade of 'M', one of three terrorists, malfunctions and he is captured. Exposed to maltreatment in prison he slowly loses his grip on reality, as he is forced to confront his ideological convictions. Based on director Masao?s own experiences as a member of the Japanese Red Army who joined the Palestinian cause.

Dir. Adachi Masao Japan 2007 1h 53m Subtitled

Far Left Weekend: La Chinoise (PG)
Fri 18 Jul, 8.30pm

A group of students share an apartment over one summer while studying Maoism and planning a terrorist revolt. Godard uses stunningly stylized visuals, and treats his characters with both respect and irony, making it clear how problematic their ideology really is.

Dir. Jean-Luc Godard France 1967 1h 36m 

Far Left Weekend: Daniel Gordon?s North Korea Double Bill
A State of Mind (CTBA)
Sat 19 Jul, 4.00pm
A State of Mind follows two pre-teen gymnasts balancing school and family life with intense training in preparation for a dance performance at the Mass Games, a government-directed performance extravaganza that lasts for days and celebrates major national holidays. A rare western perspective on North Korean life.

Dir. Daniel Gordon UK 2006 1h 34m

Crossing the Line (CTBA)

Sat 19 Jul, 6.00pm

Virginia-born James Dresnok was an average American soldier who simply walked across the two Koreas? de-militarised zone in 1962, and has made his happy home in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ever since. Gordon, trusted by the authorities, remains morally neutral, even as Dresnok plays mouthpiece for the regime.

Dir. Daniel Gordon UK 2004 1h 33m 

Far Left Weekend: The New God (CTBA)

Sat 19 Jul, 8.00pm

Funny and unpredictable, The New God delves beyond the political rhetoric of singer Amamiya (of shock-punk act The Revolutionary Truth) who begins to question her beliefs in right wing nationalism after a trip to North Korea. An intimate portrait of Japanese youth in a society 'choking in peace and stability', in which the director gets, ahem, fully involved.
Introduced by Jasper Sharp, author and co-founder of the specialist Asian film website

Dir. Yutaka Tsuchiya Japan 1999 1h 39m Subtitled

Chung Kuo-Cina (CTBA)
Sun 20 Jul, 2.00pm

Because of his revolutionary approach, Antonioni was invited to make a documentary to demonstrate the success of China?s revolution to the West. The resulting work, however beautifully shot, was decried as an 'openly anti-Chinese, anti-Communist and counter-revolutionary work.' Overnight, Antonioni became a hate-figure in China. Banned for years in China, and seldom shown in the West, this is a rare chance to experience this controversial work.

Dir. Michaelangelo Antonioni Italy 1972 4h 47m Subtitled

Hitch-Wok Double Bill
Sun 20 Jul, 6.30pm

Suzhou River

The Suzhou River, one of the main waterways in Shanghai, is the backdrop for this excellent drama about two complex relationships. From one of China's top current filmmakers, paying homage to Hitchcock's Vertigo. ?A great director's remake is a Chinese masterpiece? genius? (The Times).

Dir. Lou Ye China / Germany 2000 1h 23m Subtitled

Blind Shaft (15)

Sun 20 Jul, 8.30pm

Set among murderous coalminers, this is exciting drama clothed in documentary garb. Part psychological thriller, part study of the itinerant poor in northern China, it's like a cross between Hitchcock and Jia Zhangke.

Dir. Li Yang China 2003 1h 32m Subtitled

Midnight Eye


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