Masters of Asian Cinema

MoAc

One of our longest running, most loved series – the films offered in the Masters of Asian Cinema Series span decades and genres, but Curator Jeff Purdue’s selections always represent the very best in World Cinema. Each film features an introduction from select speakers including local professors, artists, and educators.

Charulata

Introduction by David Curley
This film by Satyajit Ray, India's most renowned filmmaker, tells the story of Charu (Madhabi Mukherjee), a woman in late 19th-century Calcutta. She is neglected by her busy husband, Bhupati (Shailen Mukherjee), a politically active newspaper publisher. When Bhupati's younger cousin Amal (Soumitra Chatterjee), a sensitive, intellectual student on break from the university, comes for an extended visit, Charu enjoys Amal's company, and the two while away the hours in conversation. But as their relationship grows...
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A Brighter Summer Day

Among the most praised and sought-after titles in all contemporary film, this singular masterpiece of Taiwanese cinema, directed by Edward Yang, finally comes to home video in the United States. Set in the early sixties in Taiwan, A Brighter Summer Day is based on the true story of a crime that rocked the nation. A film of both sprawling scope and tender intimacy, this novelistic, patiently observed epic centers on the gradual, inexorable fall of a young teenager (Chen Chang,...
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Maborosi

In Japan, the Maborosi refers to a mysterious beautiful light that lures sailors to their deaths far out at sea. This poetic, exquisitely photographed drama tells the story of Yumiko, a young woman trying to make sense of her first husband's mysterious death. She is no stranger to mysterious loss. When she was 12, Yumiko was in charge of taking care of her senile grandmother. The old woman wandered away one day and was never seen again, leaving the girl...
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The Big City (Mahanagar)

Satyajit Ray, India's premiere film director, takes a rare foray into social satire with 1963's The Big City. Anil Chaterjee stars as the typically subjugated wife of an Indian bank official. When the banker loses his job, he orders Anil to find work to make ends meet. The wife subsequently runs the household finances so brilliantly that soon she is in the driver's seat, in direct opposition to long-established Indian matrimonial custom. Seen by some critics as a subtle plea...
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Taipei Story

Edward Yang’s second feature is a mournful anatomy of a city caught between the past and the present. Made in collaboration with Yang’s fellow New Taiwan Cinema master Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taipei Story chronicles the growing estrangement between a washed-up baseball player (Hou, in a rare on-screen performance) working in his family’s textile business and his girlfriend (Tsai Chin), who clings to the upward mobility of her career in property development. As the couple’s dreams of marriage and emigration begin to...
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The Personals

Issues of modern romance and personal identity are played for intelligent laughter in this tart comedy from Taiwan. Wu (played by Rene Liu) is a businesswoman in her early 30's whose professional life is going just fine. It's her personal life that's giving her problems. Since she's not meeting the right sort of man in her daily life, she decides to take the bull by the horns and place a personal ad in the newspaper; she gets over 100 responses...
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Yi Yi

The extraordinary, internationally embraced Yi Yi (A One and a Two . . .), directed by the late Taiwanese master Edward Yang, follows a middle-class family in Taipei over the course of one year, beginning with a wedding and ending with a funeral. Whether chronicling middle-age father NJ’s tentative flirtations with an old flame or precocious young son Yang-Yang’s attempts at capturing reality with his beloved camera, the filmmaker deftly imbues every gorgeous frame with a compassionate clarity. Warm, sprawling,...
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