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Film screenings highlight Asian directors

  • Gong Li stars in Raise the Red Lantern, a film by Zhang Yimou.

Get a preview to some of the Asian filmmakers whose work will be featured at this year’s Hawaii International Film Festival at the University of Phoenix’s downtown Honolulu campus over the next three Fridays.

Screening this Friday Sept. 24 is “Raise the Red Lantern,” Zhang Yimou’s epic tragedy of a young woman who becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy man.

The political maneuverings of the plotline, the lavish cinematography, and the powerful acting in this 1995 film have made it one of the most requested at HIFF and a work that is considered seminal to the new Chinese cinema.

Zhang, who went on to direct big-budget productions like “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers,” as well as the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games, returns to the smaller, more intimate storytelling at this year’s HIFF with “The Love of the Hawthorne Tree.”

Screening Oct. 1 is “The Taste of Tea,” Katsuhito Ishii’s comedy about a housewife-turned-filmmaker and her domestic problems. Ishii worked with Quentin Tarantino on the animated sequences of “Kill Bill Vol. 1.” His latest release, “Red Line,” an animated feature, will be premiered at HIFF.

On Oct. 8, Chinese documentary maker Jia Zhangke will be featured in a screening of his 2000 film “Platform.” The film follows a troupe of amateur actors and how the socioeconomic upheavals of the 1980s affected them. Jia will be the Filmmaker in Focus at this year’s HIFF, which will be screening the U.S. premiere of his documentary “I Wish I Knew.”

The free screenings are at 7 p.m. in room 101/102 at the University of Phoenix’s Honolulu campus on the ground floor of the Topa Financial Center, 745 Fort St.

Call 535-9099, ext. 104 for information.

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