Family Film Sunday: The King of Masks 变脸
Sunday Feb 18 10:30 AM
Sunday Feb 18 01:00 PM
Doris Duke Theatre
About the Film:
Part of 吴天明 Wu Tianming Tribute.
Directed by Wu Tianming. 1996. China. 91 min. Mandarin with English subtitles.
After the events of Tiananmen Square, Wu Tianming was branded a dissident while he was on a trip in the U.S. and was unable to return to China for five years. During that time he ran a video store outside Los Angeles, and had a bit part in Joy Luck Club. This is the first film he made after moving back home. Produced by the Shaw Brothers, child-friendly King of Masks garnered international acclaim, winning a slew of film festival awards.
The King of Masks follows an aging street performer, Wang, who practices the opera art of ban lian. Lamenting the lack of a male heir to carry on the art, Wang adopts an orphan boy to be his grandson and apprentice. When he discovers that the orphan is actually a girl, the two face cultural and societal obstacles to acceptance.
Special guest: Wu Tianming’s daughter Janet Wu will lead a post-screening discussion of her father’s work.