The diversity found in the languages, religious practices, and histories of Southeast Asia defy any understandings of a united region. Likewise, films from these countries, the focus of this season of Asia and the Pacific Screens, often turn to the surreal to express the complexities of modern life.
This season of Asia and the Pacific Screens deals with borders and their various manifestations. Borders play a fundamental role in people’s sense of being at home, or adrift, in the world. The films in this season deal with borders as spaces of people and places in transition.
Taking its title from a 1997 film by indie director Fruit Chan, this season of Asia and the Pacific Screens presents a selection of films showcasing Hong Kong’s New Wave cinema and its legacies. In the late 1970s, a new generation of filmmakers came to be dubbed Hong Kong’s ‘New Wave’.
The fourth season of Asia & the Pacific Screens explores transnational and transcultural experiences that inflect our understanding of ‘China’ and ‘Chinese’, past and present. While responding to the global impact of China’s recent rise, these films also emphasize the long legacy of Chinese transnational movements. How have such migrations created specific cultural experiences?
Across Asia and the Pacific the pursuit of rapid economic growth and urbanization has had severe ecological ramifications, resulting in community displacement, food safety concerns, and grave challenges to the survival of individuals and their cultures. How do communities react and organize in the face of complex political, economic and ecological pressures?
How do visual media such as cinema and photography allow us to experience other cultures and perceive the world through an other’s point of view? This season's films offer meditations on the art of observation, perception and representation of cultures, and foreground their practitioners: actors, filmmakers, photographers, film projectionists and visual anthropologists.
Monsters have long roamed our imaginations, and they continue to find their way onto our screens. Coming from the depths of the ocean, the reaches of outer space, from scientific misadventure or even supernatural realms, they are often villainous outcasts and social others that articulate our perennial fears, troubled memories or suppressed desires.