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Hommage To A Chinese Film Master

Tian ZhuangzhuangTian Zhuangzhuang 

Thursday, March 15----The Film Society of Lincoln Center is presenting a mini-hommage to Chinese film master Tian Zhuangzhuang, which includes the premiere U.S. engagement of his newest film THE GO MASTER, The director has had a long relationship with the New York Film Festival, the flagship event of the Film Society, who will also screen two of the director's past classics (and past New York Film Festival premieres) THE BLUE KITE and SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN.

“Over the past twenty-five years, Tian Zhuangzhuang has created one of the most thoughtful, powerful, and beautiful bodies of work in contemporary cinema,” commented Richard Peña, program director at the Film Society.  “He's that rare example of a completely uncompromised artist and has been a beacon of inspiration for independent filmmakers in China and beyond.”

A 1978 graduate of the Beijing Film Academy, the director is one of the leading members of the "fifth generation" of Chinese filmmakers, which includes such contemporaries as Zhang Yimou (RAISE THE RED LANTERN, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS) and Chen Kaige (FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE, THE PROMISE). He first came to international prominence with his first two features, ON THE HUNTING GROUND (1984) and THE HORSE THIEF (1985).

THE BLUE KITE (1993) solidified Tian’s standing as a filmmaker of rare patience and lyricism.  The film’s story of a family dealing with the political upheavals of China in the 1950s won the Grand Prix at the Tokyo Film Festival and had its US Premiere at the 1993 New York Film Festival. SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN (2002) tells a kind of Chekovian story which was a remake of director Fei Mu’s 1948 romance drama. The film won the San Marco Prize at the Venice Film Festival and had its US Premiere at the 2002 New York Film Festival, in advance of its theatrical release by Palm Pictures.

THE GO MASTER, which premiered at last year's New York Film Festivalreveals the world of Wu Qingyuan, the most renowned modern master of the Japanese board game Go.  Chinese-born and brought to Japan as a young man, Wu won every honor imaginable, while his own nation and his adopted one were locked in brutal combat.  The film’s ambiguous political stance did not go over as well with China ’s censorship board, which hit Tian with a five-year ban. 

This special event series runs from March 14 to March 20 at the Walter Reade Theater. To get film schedule information and purchase tickets, visit the website of the Film Society of Lincoln Center:

Sandy Mandelberger, Film New York Editor

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The Ultimate Guide to the New York Film, Video and New Media Scene.

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