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.

Manila in the Claws of Light

"Widely (and understandably) considered one of the pinnacles of Filipino cinema, Lino Brocka’s devastating, recently restored 1975 melodrama opens with several stunning, grainy black-and-white shots of Manila, striking a beautiful balance between on-the-ground verisimilitude and fable-like eeriness. As the images morph into color (very urban Wizard of Oz), we meet 21-year-old Julio (Bembol Roco), a fisherman who has traveled from his coastal idyll in pursuit of Ligaya (Hilda Koronel), the woman he loves. She was taken from her home with...
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Masters of Asian Cinema: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

In the dead of night, a group of men - including a police commissioner, a prosecutor, a doctor and a murder suspect - drive through the tenebrous Anatolian countryside, the serpentine roads and rolling hills lit only by the headlights of their cars. They are searching for a corpse, the victim of a brutal murder. The suspect, who claims he was drunk, can't remember where he buried the body. As the night draws on, details about the murder emerge and...
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Masters of Asian Cinema: The World

A young dancer, her security-guard boyfriend and others work at World Park, a bizarre cross-pollination of Las Vegas and Epcot Center where visitors can interact with famous international monuments without ever leaving the Bejing suburbs. Daily lavish shows are performed amongst replicas of the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, St. Mark's Square, Big Ben, the Pyramids and even the Twin Towers. But working beyond the kitsch potential, 'The World' casts a compassionate eye on the daily loves, friendships and desperate...
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Masters of Asian Cinema: Burning

Burning tells the story of three individuals and a mysterious incident they experience. Jongsu bumps into an old friend, Haemi, on a part-time delivery job. Haemi asks Jongsu to take care of her cat while she leaves on a trip to Africa. When she returns, Haemi introduces Jongsu to Ben, a man she met in Africa. One day, Ben and Haemi pay Jongsu a visit, and Ben reveals his secret interests to Jongsu....
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Masters of Asian Cinema: Ash is Purest White

A tragicomedy initially set in the jianghu-criminal underworld-setting, Ash is Purest White is less a gangster movie than a melodrama. With a three-part structure, it begins by following the quick-witted Qiao (Tao Zhao) and her mobster boyfriend Bin (Fan Liao) as they stake out their turf against rivals and upstarts in 2001 postindustrial Datong before expanding out into an epic narrative of how abstract forces shape individual lives, and continues Jia Zhangke's body of work as a record of 21st-century...
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Masters of Asian Cinema: Daughter of the Nile

A compelling Taiwanese drama about a wistful schoolgirl (Yang Lin) who is peripherally involved in a teen-aged crime ring. She escapes from the harshness of her surrounding reality by reading her favorite comic book, Daughter of the Nile. Despite its inherent whimsical nature, the film is a straight-on look at urban decay in modern Taiwan....
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