The Emperor's New Clothes (2001)

The Emperor's New Clothes (2001)

CIW Film Screening

Directed by Alan Taylor and starring Ian Holm, 2001, 107 mins

5:00pm Drinks Reception

5:30pm Film Screening

The Emperor's New Clothes is a 2001 film starring Ian Holm as Napoleon. Based on a novel by Pierre Ryckmans, the film re-imagines the story surrounding Napoleon Bonaparte's exile to St Helena following his defeat at Waterloo.

The plot of this film is known to readers of The Death of Napoleon, a novel originally published in French as La Mort de Napoléon (1986) under the nom de plume Simon Leys. The English version of the book has recently been republished in the New York Review of Books Classics series. This cinematic interpretation of the novel is being screened with the kind support of Hanfang Ryckmans to mark the first anniversary of Pierre Ryckmans' passing, in Sydney, on 11 August 2014. Of the film, Pierre himself observed with characteristic acerbity: that this 'latter avatar [of the novel] ... was both sad and funny: sad, because Napoleon was interpreted to perfection by an actor (Ian Holm) whose performance made me dream of what could have been achieved had the producer and director bothered to read the book.'

Pierre Ryckmans was a mentor and inspiration to many students of China, in particular those he taught at The Australian National University from 1970 to 1987. A prolific author and translator, Pierre was above all a littérateur, a man of letters; his scholarship was itself literature. His essay collection, The Hall of Uselessness was published in 2011, and his last translation, which appeared in 2013, was of Simon Weil's On the Abolition of All Political Parties. His work profoundly influenced the development of New Sinology 後漢學, the intellectual underpinning of the Australian Centre on China in the World. - Geremie R Barmé

The film screening is free and open to the public.

Dates & times

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

5.00pm - 7.30pm


Auditorium, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU

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