Starburst: Icons of Chinese Cinema

Film, Special screenings Free
Maggie Cheung in Hero

The latest free film series at the Art Gallery of New South Wales celebrates the careers of four trailblazing Chinese actresses

Four Chinese screen divas dominate the screen in a series of free movies at the AGNSW on Wednesdays and Sundays until August

Starburst: Icons of Chinese Cinema features highlights of Shanghai silent cinema, golden age Hollywood, the Hong Kong New Wave and recent masterpieces from mainland China.

The film series commences by showcasing the career highlights of two 1930s screen icons, Ruan Lingyu and Anna May Wong. On the opening weekend (24 June, 2pm), Lingyu’s brilliant performance in the silent classic The Goddess will be accompanied by a new live score by Hong Kong-born, Sydney-based musician and artist, Chun Yin Rainbow Chan.

Live musical accompaniment will also accompany all three screenings of EA Dupont’s lavish Art Deco noir Piccadilly starring Anna May Wong. LA-born Wong was Hollywood’s first Chinese-American film star and even toured Australia in 1939.

Starburst continues with films featuring two contemporary Chinese superstars: Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung and Zhao Tao, muse of mainland China’s most acclaimed director, Jia Zhangke.

Zhao appears as a theme-park dancer in the surrealist drama The World. Cheung gives an indelible performance as a latex-clad catwoman in Olivier Assasyas’ Irma Vep, stars as Ruan Lingyu in Stanley Kwan’s biopic Center Stage, and kicks arse in Jang Yimou's martial arts actioner Hero.

All screenings are free in the Domain Theatre but early arrival is recommended to avoid disappointment. To see what’s screening and when click on the Dates and Times tab above.

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