Hong Kong, 1970
Cathay Asia Films, Film Dynasty. PROD/DIR/SCR: Cecile Tang Shu Shuen. CINE: Subrata Mitra. EDIT: Les Blank, C.C. See. CAST: Lisa Lu, Roy Chiao Hung, Hilda Chou Hsuan, Li Ying, Wen Hsui.
The incomparably original Cecile Tang, one of the few female filmmakers working in Hong Kong in the ‘60s and ‘70s, made two of the most interesting and important films of the era with her debut The Arch and its follow-up China Behind. A profound character study that feels like a hybrid of Kenji Mizoguchi's tales of female sacrifice, the tragic romances of Chinese costume drama and the interruptive techniques of the French New Wave, The Arch focuses on a wealthy widow (Lisa Lu) in the early Qing dynasty on the eve of her crowning achievement, the erection of a triumphal arch in honor of her many good works. When a young and handsome cavalry officer is billeted at her palatial house and soon begins to court both the matriarch and her immature daughter, the widow is forced to choose between her own happiness and her daughter's well-being. Shot in soft, luminous black and white by Satyajit Ray's longtime cinematographer Subrata Mitra, The Arch is "one of the most significant art-house classics in [Hong Kong] film history...as if Alain Resnais met Henrik Ibsen in seventeenth-century China" (Edmund Lee, Time Out Hong Kong).
35mm, b/w, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 95 min.
Followed by: CHINA BEHIND
UCLA Film & Television Archive
Billy Wilder Theater
Courtyard Level, Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard (at the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood Boulevards)
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tickets: $10 online. $9 general admission, $8 for non-UCLA students, seniors and UCLA Alumni Association members (ID required) if purchased at the box office only. Free admission for UCLA students (current ID required); free tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis at the box office until 15 minutes before showtime, or the rush line afterwards. Online tickets available at ; click on the individual program.
Parking: Museum parking lot; enter from Westwood Blvd, just north of Wilshire. $3 flat rate after 6:00 pm on Mondays-Fridays and all day on weekends.
UCLA Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024