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Tuesday night film series “Space, Body, Sound” showcasing "The River"

Date: 05/06/2014

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: Best Buy Theater Northrop Memorial Auditorium

Cost: Free


The Tuesday night film series “Space, Body, Sound” showcases five films, selected by film studies faculty from five departments, chosen to reflect some aspect of Northrop’s primary focus on the performing arts. Each film will be introduced and framed by the faculty person who selected it. Curated by Verena Mund.

April 8: The Blood of a Poet
(France 1930; Jean Cocteau); programmed by Christophe Wall-Romana (French & Italian)

April 15: Itam Hakim Hopiit
(US 1984; Victor Masayesva) documentary; programmed by Angelica Lawson (American Indian); course: AMIN 3304 Indigenous Filmmakers

April 22: Reality
(Italy 2012; Matteo Garrone); programmed by Laurie Ouellette (Communication Studies); course: COMM 3231 Reality TV: History, Culture, and Economics

April 29: We Can’t Go Home Again
(US 1973; Nicholas Ray) experimental film; programmed Alice Lovejoy (Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature); course: MIMS 8003 Historiography of the Moving Image

May 6: The River
(Taiwan 1997; Tsai Ming-liang); programmed by Jason McGrath (Asian Languages and Literatures); course: ALL 3356 Chinese Film

Tsai Ming-liang’s The River (1997) is the third and most devastating of his initial film trilogy (this one following Rebels of the Neon God and Vive L’Amour) focusing on lonely young Taipei resident Hsiao-Kang and his dysfunctional (to say the least) family. The film rigorously captures the nooks and crannies of urban Taipei, and its storyline, such as it is, is launched when Hsiao-Kang happens upon a film shoot in which Hong Kong director Ann Hui (playing herself) needs to film a corpse floating in the highly polluted Tamshui River. Hsiao-Kang volunteers for the role, and later he develops a chronic and worsening mysterious injury to his neck. The rest of the film traces his efforts to get physically healed as well as his and his parents’ desperate attempts to assuage their intimate desires with everything from anonymous sex and pornography to (accidental) incest. Here Tsai Ming-liang showed just how rigorous and uncompromising a director he would prove to be throughout is career, anticipating controversial masterpieces such as Goodbye Dragon Inn and Wayward Cloud.



  • Name: Graeme Stout
  • E-mail: stou0046@umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-625-2901
  • Sponsored by: Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, Institute for Advanced Study, Moving Image Studies (MIMS), University Libraries

More information: http://ias.umn.edu/2014/04/08/space-body-sound/

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, cscl@umn.edu, 612-624-8099.

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