Friday, November 15, 2013 - 9:00pm to 11:00pm

Mainland China, 1987

Xi’an Film Studio.  PROD: Wu Tian-ming.  DIR: Zhang Yimou.  SCR: Mo Yan, Chen Jianyu, Zhu Wei.  CINE: Gu Changwei.  EDIT: Du Yuan.  CAST: Jiang Wen, Gong Li, Dong Kun, Qian Ming, Chen Zhigang. 

Already a renowned cinematographer for his work on such landmark Fifth Generation films asYellow Earth, Zhang Yimou announced himself as a master director with this deceptively simple folk fable; the film also introduced the world to his muse and future wife Gong Li, who went on to become the most famous film actress to ever emerge from the Mainland.  Set in the lead-up to the Sino-Japanese War, Red Sorghum tells the story of a young peasant girl, Jiu'er (Gong), whose parents sell her into marriage with an elderly winemaker.  Attacked by bandits on the way to her wedding, Jiu'er is rescued by one of her palanquin bearers (Jiang Wen, sporting maximum swagger), who later returns and becomes her lover.  Together they turn around the wine business she has inherited, but then have to grimly dig in to face the invading Japanese armies.  From its bawdy beginnings to its tragic conclusion, where an unimaginable nightmare becomes all too real, Red Sorghum is above all a formidable visual accomplishment: every shot feels utterly original, every nuance of color a boldly symbolic flourish.  "The cinematography in Red Sorghum has no desire to be subtle, or muted; it wants to splash its passionate colors all over the screen with abandon, and the sheer visual impact of the film is voluptuous" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times).

35mm, color, in Mandarin and Japanese with English subtitles, 91 min.

Preceded by: YELLOW EARTH

Admission Information: 

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.

Information:, 310.206.8013


UCLA Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024