Monographs: Video Essays on Asian Cinema
  • May 14, 2021 through May 27, 2021
Free Virtual Program

The four video essays collected in this thematic program deal with the subjective, the ephemeral, and the plasticity of memories.

Casting a Spell to Alter Reality
Pam Virada
14 min.

This video essay from Amsterdam-based Thai artist Pam Virada considers scenes in Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s informal coming-of-age trilogy, where folktales of mysterious occurrences are retold from generation to generation against the backdrop of the Chinese-diasporic home. In Mandarin, Hakka, and English with English subtitles.

Raya Martin
20 min.

Filipino luminary Raya Martin (Independencia, Manila), named one of the 50 best filmmakers under 50 by Cinema Scope, meditates on the propagandizing of Filipino cinema during Japanese occupation—and reclaims these images from the colonizer’s gaze. No dialogue with English captions.

Maung Okkar
15 min.

A personal family story about filmmaking in Myanmar, this essay from Maung Okkar, son of legendary Burmese director Maung Wunna, chronicles Okkar’s upbringing in a movie-studio compound and the struggles of his father, grandfather, and uncle to make films under strict government rule. In Burmese with English subtitles.

A Weirdo Never Fever OverRy
Arnont Nongyao
14 min.

Thai experimental filmmaker Arnont Nongyao’s self-described weird Mekong travelogue about my personal history and story” incorporates anonymous Super 8 footage, a Vietnam train ride, and strange sound recordings to render a portrait of the artist lost to unconscious colonization. No dialogue with English captions.


Feature Image: Reminiscences, Maung Okkar
Media images in order of screening, beginning with Casting a Spell to Alter Reality
All stills courtesy of the Asian Film Archive