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The Film and Electronic Arts Department Hosts Reception and Screening To Celebrate Gift from Taipei of Rare Taiwanese Films, November 5

Screening Hou Hsiao-hsien’s City of Sadness To Be Held in the Ottaway Theater

Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang
 Image Credit: Hou Hsiao-hsien�s City of Sadness (1989, 166 minutes)
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard College Film and Electronic Arts Department, in conjunction with the Asian Studies Program, will host a reception to celebrate the arrival of a new collection of 60 rare English-subtitled film prints from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO). These prints constitute a micro-history of Taiwanese cinema from the 1950s to the 1990s and will be available for both research and teaching purposes. The reception will be held on Friday, November 5, at 6:30 p.m. in the Jim Ottaway Jr. Film Center, Bard College. It will be followed by a screening of an imported 35mm print of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s City of Sadness (1989, 166 minutes), beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Ottaway Theater of the Avery Center for the Arts. Both the reception and the screening are free and open to the public.

Tony Ong, director of the Press Division of TECO in New York, expressed his great pleasure at having this opportunity to be part of a cultural exchange with Bard College. “We at TECO are overjoyed that these prints have found a home at Bard,” says Ong. “Here, they will be carefully preserved and will have the chance to be seen and studied by a wider range of individuals who are really passionate about film and Taiwanese culture. For us, this is a prime example of a really meaningful exchange, not only raising the intrinsic value of the prints themselves, but strengthening the cultural bonds between Taiwan and the U.S. I hope this will be the beginning of a long friendship between our office and Bard College.”

Richard Suchenski, assistant professor of film history who coordinated the acquisition of these prints, will be supervising the collection, which he described as a major contribution to Bard College. “The Taiwanese cinema of the 1980s and 1990s was one of the strongest in the world, and this collection reflects the range and sophistication of filmmaking in Taiwan both before and during that period. A dedicated, temperature-controlled storage facility is being constructed to house the new print collection, which, as the largest donation of its kind to Bard, will greatly expand the size, importance, and function of the film archive. City of Sadness is one of the most artistically and historically significant films made anywhere in the last quarter-century, and it is also the best possible introduction to the richness of Taiwanese cinema,” says Suchenski. “The special screening of a new, English-subtitled 35mm print is the perfect way to celebrate this very generous gift and what I hope will be the beginning of a lasting relationship with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.”

For more information, please email Richard Suchenski at To download high-resolution images, please go to:

Critical thinking and creative work go hand in hand in the Film and Electronic Arts Program, which integrates various creative practices with the study of theory and criticism. For example, all filmmaking majors take courses in film history and video production, and a student writing a Senior Project in the history of film and electronic arts will have taken some kind of creative production workshop. The program encourages interest in a wide range of expressive modes in film, video, and the expanding field of computer-based art. These include screenwriting, animation, narrative and nonnarrative filmmaking, documentary, and interactive video. Regardless of a student’s choice of specialization, the program’s emphasis leans toward neither fixed professional formulas nor mere technical expertise, but toward imaginative engagement and the cultivation of an individual artistic voice that has command over the entire creative process. For example, a student interested in narrative filmmaking would be expected to write an original script, shoot it, and then edit the film into its final form. Students are also expected to take advantage of Bard’s liberal arts curriculum by studying subjects that relate to their specialties. A documentarian might take courses in anthropology, an animator in painting, a screenwriter in literature, and a film critic in art history.

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This event was last updated on 10-26-2010