A food safety factory shutdown has Americans hunting for baby formula. Readying themselves for a covid-19 lockdown, Chinese in Beijing emptied store shelves. Emerging from lockdown, some in Shanghai are visiting well-provisioned markets. U.S.-China agricultural trade is booming, but many are still being left hungry. Food security, sustainability and safety remain issues.
Screening – The Puppetmaster
The Smithsonian's Museum of Asian Art presents a screening of Hou Hsiao-hsien's film "The Puppetmaster". Richard Suchenski, director of the Center for Moving Image Arts at Bard College and editor of Hou Hsiao-hsien, will introduce the screening and do a book signing.
Introduction and book-signing by Richard Suchenski, director of the Center for Moving Image Arts at Bard College and editor of Hou Hsiao-hsien
The puppeteer Li Tien-lu (1909–1998) was one of Taiwan's official national treasures. Hou Hsiao-hsien showcased the old man's acting talents in such films as Dust in the Wind, where he played the incendiary Grandpa. In The Puppetmaster, Hou achieves a masterpiece of storytelling in recreating Li's life, which was set against tumultuous times that made art both impossible and essential.
Born during the fifty-year occupation by Japan, Li honed the subtleties of his classical puppet craft amid the politics of censorship, just as he developed as an artist despite everyday pressures of family and poverty. As an intermittent narrator, Li recounts the kind of personal anecdotes from which Hou naturally builds his films, sumptuous with visual detail and, here, punctuated by stunning sequences of puppet performances. This is history filmed, to quote the moniker of Li's puppet troop, "Also Like Life."