Since June 2017, UCCA has collaborated with Lantern Cine-Club and Blackfin to host the “New Asian Scenery” screening series, presenting one outstanding Asian film every month. Past film screenings include The City of Mirrors: A Fictional Biography by Vietnamese director Truong Minh Quy, Turah by Indonesia director Wicaksono, Snakeskin by Singaporean director Daniel Hui, Time to Read Poems by Lee Soojung, and The Return by Green Zeng. In November, UCCA will screen Yokohama Mary by Japanese director Nakamura Takayuki. The film tells the story of an aging prostitute, whose make-up is as white as Kabuki actor’s, standing in the streets of Yokohama.
As a platform for art film screenings, UCCA strives for cross-cultural exchange across Asia through the medium of film. Previous highly acclaimed films that have premiered at UCCA include Tharlo by Pema Tseden, and Kaili Blues by Bi Gan, among others.
20 RMB/UCCA member
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Director: Nakamura Takayuki
Runtime: 92 min
An old lady, whose make-up is as white as a Kabuki actor’s, is standing in the streets of Yokohama. She has concealed her real name and age, and for 50 years after the war, has lived her life as a prostitute. She was known as the most beautiful prostitute of her time, and her elegant presence became part of the city’s scenery. People called her “Yokohama Mary.” Then in the winter of 1995, Mary suddenly disappeared. Rumors started to spread, and one day she became the heroine of an urban legend.
The director of this documentary is 30 year-old director and Yokohama native Nakamura Takahiro. After Mary’s disappearance, he began interviewing various Yokohama inhabitants about her, as if following her shadow. Through their impressions of Mary, he was able to observe the subtleties of urban life, as well as the citizens’ shared sense of empathy. After five years of filming, he created a documentary that is an homage to his hometown.
Nakamura Takayuki (Director)
Born in 1975, Nakamura Takayuki is part of the last generation working within the Japanese studio system. Drawing on his extensive work in TV documentary and industry promotion, he made his theatrical debut film with Yokohama Mary (2005). It was released in over 50 cinemas in Japan, and grossed over a million dollars. Zen and Bones will be his second feature documentary.
New Asian Scenery
New Asian Scenery is co-founded by Lantern Cine-Club and Blackfin. Following a monthly schedule, New Asian Scenery has already held seven events in Beijing since late 2016, with attendees including Vietnamese director Minggui Zhang, Japanese director Kiyoshi Sato, Malaysian director Kek Haut Lau, Japanese director Tetsuya Mariko, Indonesian director Wicaksono Wisnu Legowo, Singaporean director Daniel Hui, Korean director Lee Soojung, and Singaporean director Green Zeng. All of these directors brought their movies to Beijing, and engaged with both local audiences and members of the Chinese film industry. By focusing its efforts and endeavors in Asia, New Asian Scenery aims to, through screening events, create a consolidating, community-building platform that brings together filmmakers and cinephiles, and in this way promote further collaboration between Asian filmmakers, and contribute to Asian film industries’ potential for growth and development.
Founded in 2015, Lantern Cine-Club has screened more than a hundred independent films and hosted several directors—along with their film teams—to share insight into the making of their works. Audiences are brought “on scene” as the creators share unforgettable commentary, bringing the action on screen to life and offering new interpretations for the work.
Blackfin Production is a production company focusing on the investment, production, and distribution of art films and independent documentaries. Based in Beijing, it has branch offices in Hangzhou, Hong Kong, and Paris, which are responsible for production, project development, and international sales and acquisition respectively. For the past three years since its founding, Blackfin has discovered several young promising directors. Their films have been selected for many international film festivals, including Kaili Blues (2015) by Bi Gan (Best Emerging Director and Special Mention for First Feature at the Festival del film Locarno 2015; Best New Director at the Golden Horse Awards 2015), Mr. Zhang Believes (2015) by Qiu Jiongjiong (selected at the Sign of Life of Festival del Film Locarno), This Worldly Life (2015) by Zhai Yixiang (Best Feature Film at K26 of Filmfest Hamburg 2015, Best Art Contribution at FIRST), Knife in the Clear Water (2016) by Wang Xuebo (New Currents Award at the 21st Busan International Film Festival), and Free and Easy (2016) by Geng Jun (Special Jury Award in Cinematic Vision at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival). Director Zhai Yixiang’s new film Mosaic Portrait won the Grand Prize million TWD award from the Taipei Golden Horse Film Project Promotion (FPP). Blackfin Production aims to continue working towards its cinematic dreams with an international outlook, persist in making art films, and introduce greater diversity to the film industry both in China and abroad.
15:30-17:10 Film Screening
17:10-18:10 Director Q&A
- Japanese with Chinese and English Subtitles