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Film Art Set in Times of Chaos: Chinese Martial Arts Films

February 16, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Speakers: Richard Peña, Jim Zhang, Annette Juliano, Morris Rossabi, Raymond Tsang
Per Screening: Free for all Members/$5 Non-Members
Location: 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006

This five-week film series is dedicated to classics of wuxia, China’s heroic stories of martial arts and swordplay, and accompanies China Institute’s exhibition Art in a Time of Chaos: Masterworks from Six Dynasties China, 3rd – 6th Centuries. Directed by guiding lights of Chinese cinema — King Hu, Zhang Yimou, John Woo, Feng Xiaogang, and Tsui Hark – each film is set in a different dynastic period, during a time of chaos marked by immense change. The screenings will be introduced by a distinguished scholar and will feature accompanying contextual materials written by series curator Nancy Jervis.

For questions or to register by phone, please contact Aaron Nicholson at 212-744-8181 ext. 138 or by email at [email protected]

Dragon Inn

Directed by King Hu (1967)
Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Introduced by Richard Peña, Director Emeritus of the New York Film Festival; Professor of Cinema Studies at Columbia University

Set in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 CE), Dragon Inn laid the foundations for many of the archetypes of wuxia films. Featuring masterful compositions by cinematographer Hua Hui-ying, Hu’s film contains a sequence of increasingly spectacular set pieces. A Blu-ray of the recently restored print by Janus Films, created from the original negative, will be screened. Register Now!


Directed by Zhang Yimou (2002)
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Introduced by Jim Zhang, Instructor of Chinese and Chinese film, Queens College and China Institute.

Hero is set in the Qin Dynasty (221 to 206 BCE), and is a tale of two female assassins. The film received considerable critical acclaim upon its release, and was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 2003 Academy Awards. Register Now!

Red Cliff

Directed by John Woo (2009)
Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Introduced by Annette Juliano, Professor of Asian Art and History, Rutgers University – Newark; Guest Co-Curator of Art in a Time of Chaos: Masterworks from Six Dynasties China, 3rd-6th Centuries, China Institute.

John Woo’s Red Cliff was inspired by the Battle of Red Cliffs (208–209 CE), which marked the last days of China’s culturally seminal Han dynasty and the transition to the Three Kingdoms Period. Register Now!

Legend of the Black Scorpion

Directed by Feng Xiaogang (2006)
Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Introduced by Morris Rossabi, Senior Scholar and Adjunct Professor, Columbia University; Distinguished Professor of History, CUNY Queens College

Legend of the Black Scorpion combines elements from two immortal Western plays—William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts—to create a Chinese tale of intrigue set in the Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE). Register Now!

Once Upon a Time in China

Directed by Tsui Hark (1991)
Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Introduced by Raymond Tsang, Doctoral Candidate in Cinema Studies at New York University.

A distinctive update of a renowned tale: the life of the great physician and martial artist Wong Fei Hung (1847-1924). Set in the latter years of Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912), the film depicts the crime-ridden and semi-colonialized city of Guangdong. Register Now!

This film series is sponsored by a Humanities New York Action Grant, with additional support from the Confucius Institute at China Institute.



February 16, 2017
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Downtown Office
40 Rector Street
New York, NY 10006 United States
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