Shaw Sisters

August 23 to September 20

The Shaw Brothers Studio may be known for cultivating male filmmakers and gestating genres like horror and kung fu that weren’t always female-centric, but there’s another side to the story that has largely been overlooked. In fact Shaw Bros. gave many women their first crack at making films, particularly towards the end of the studio’s existence, at a time when their genre fare was becoming increasingly baroque and deconstructed. Comprised of the dizzyingly diverse films made at the studio by female directors, our Shaw Sisters program brings together an array of little-screened delights, including a strange urban ghost story (The Siamese Twins); a wrenching melodrama set in NYC’s Chinatown and revolving around the threat of deportation (The Illegal Immigrant); a queer, politicized rebuttal to Hollywood orientalism set in the grimy underworld of G.I.s and sex workers (My Name Ain’t Suzie), an intimate historical epic (Love In a Fallen City), and much more besides. All the crowd-pleasing fun of Hong Kong cinema—but this time, by the women.

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Previously Screened