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Tsai Ming-Liang Film Series at Asia Society

In collaboration with Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, the Asia Society presents “Faces of Tsai Ming-Liang,” a film series devoted to one of the most unique auteurs in world cinema, from November 13-21, as part of its CITI Series on Asian Arts and Culture.

Malaysian-born and Taiwan-based director Tsai Ming-Liang is deemed the key figure of Taiwanese cinema’s “Second New Wave.” His work is less political and historically freighted than that of forerunners like Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Edward Yang, but often offers “unblinking portraits of rootlessness in post-boom Taiwan [that] double as trenchant anatomies of desire” (Dennis Lim, Village Voice). Called a “poet of urban anomie” (Leslie Camhi, New York Times), Tsai has created a uniquely coherent oeuvre and film language to express ideas of desire, alienation, loss, and emotional bankruptcy, punctuated by moments of absurdist humor and based on deep humanist concern.

One of world cinema’s most significant auteurs, Tsai is a regular at the most renowned film festivals including Cannes, New York, Venice, Toronto, and Berlin, where his films have garnered major awards. His talent and vision also won him admiration from many younger directors. As an homage to Tsai, Jia Zhangke named his protagonist/alter ego of the semi-autobiographical film Platform (Zhan tai, 2000) Cui Mingliang. One can also trace an influence of Tsai’s filmmaking, with its fixed long takes and often wordless, behavioral performances, on a number of films in dGenerate’s catalog, such as Yang Heng’s Betelnut, Yang Jin’s Er Dong, and Ying Liang’s Taking Father Home.

The series at Asia Society will showcase five of Tsai’s nine feature films, including a free preview screening of his most recent Face, an official selection for the main competition at Cannes 2009. On Sunday, November 15 at 5:15 p.m., director Tsai will discuss his films and creative process in an interview with La Frances Hui, Senior Program Officer of Cultural Programs of Asia Society. Lee Kang-Sheng, the star of all Tsai films and a director of his own right, will join the conversation.


Rebels of the Neon God (Qing shao nian nuo zha, 1992/106 min./35mm) Friday, Nov. 13, 6:45 pm

Face (Lian, 2009/141 min./35mm) Free Preview Screening Sunday, Nov. 15, 2:00 pm

Discussion: Conversation with Tsai Ming-Liang, with Special Guest Actor Lee Kang-Sheng Sunday, Nov. 15, 5:15 pm

Vive L’Amour (Ai qing wan sui, 1994/118 min./35mm) Tuesday, Nov. 17, 6:45 pm

The Hole (Dong, 1998/95 min./35mm) Saturday, Nov. 21, 3:00 pm

What Time Is It There? (Ni na bian ji dian?, 2001/116 min./35mm) Saturday, Nov. 21, 5:00 pm

Asia Society is the leading global and pan-Asian organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of the United States and Asia. It is located at 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street). You can visit their website for more information on the series and ticket reservation.

For West Coast audiences, the School of Cinematic Arts and the East Asian Studies Center of University of Southern California will hold a special screening of Tsai’s 1992 classic Rebels of the Neon God on Wednesday, November 18 at 6:15 p.m., followed by a Q&A session with director Tsai Ming-Liang and actor Lee Kang-Sheng. A catered reception will start at 5:15 p.m. in the School of Cinematic Arts Gallery.

Location: SCA 108, George Lucas Building, School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

For more information, visit the event site.


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