The East Asia Visual Cultures series, initially funded by EASC’s past Department of Education Title VI grant, sponsors events related to East Asian arts, film, media, and popular culture. The series aims to bring together art and media industry experts, filmmakers, scholars, and the wider community. In years past, EASC has invited renowned film directors such as Li Yang (China), Feng Xiao Gang (China), Im Kwon-Taek (Korea), Iwai Shunji (Japan), and many others.

Past Events

Monday, March 2, 2020
Film screening of Storm Children: Book One about Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, considered the strongest storm in history that struck the Philippines. It left in its path apocalyptic devastation. A few months later, Lav Diaz visited Tacloban Island to film children’s lives in the aftermath. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Director Lav Diaz.

Thursday, January 16, 2020
Film screening of Americaville which follows Annie Liu who escapes China’s increasingly uninhabitable capital city to pursue happiness, freedom, romance, and spiritual fulfillment in Jackson Hole, only to find the American idyll harder to attain than what was promised to her. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Director Adam James Smith

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Film screening of Jeronimo which follows the life of Jeronimo Lim Kim who was born to Korean immigrant parents freed from indentured servitude in early twentieth-century Mexico. He joins the Cuban Revolution with his law school classmate Fidel Castro and becomes an accomplished government official in the Castro regime until he rediscovers his ethnic roots and dedicates his later life to reconstructing his Korean Cuban identity. This feature-length documentary highlights the history and current state of Koreans living in Cuba. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Director Joseph Juhn.

Friday, October 11, 2019
Film screening of Shusenjo: The Main Battleground of the Comfort Women Issue. The “comfort women” issue is perhaps Japan’s most contentious present-day diplomatic quandary. Inside Japan, the issue is dividing the country across clear ideological lines. Supporters and detractors of “comfort women” are caught in a relentless battle over empirical evidence, the validity of oral testimony, the number of victims, the meaning of sexual slavery and the definition of coercive recruitment. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Director Miki Dezaki.

Thursday, November 29, 2018
Film screening of The Great Buddha+, the award-winning 2017 Taiwanese dark comedy and Taiwan’s entry for Best Foreign Language in the 91st Oscars. The film follows a night security guard named Pickle who works at a Buddha statue factory and his colleague Belly Bottom, a recyclables collector. Their dull lives suddenly change when they stumble across videos that document promiscuous meetings of their wealthy, politically well-connected boss. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Director HUANG Hsin-yao.

Friday, August 24, 2018
A film screening of Paradox, which follows Hong Kong police negotiator Lee Chung-Chi who has learned that his 16-year-old daughter has disappeared while in Thailand. He travels to Thailand and teams up with a Chinese officer, Tsui Kit, and his partner, Tak, as they face off against an American gangster, who is operating a black market organ smuggling ring. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Alex Dong, CEO of Sun Entertainment Culture.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Film screening of the 1993 Chinese film Woman Sesame Oil Maker (香魂女). The film tells the story of a woman in a small village who buys a peasant wife for her mentally disabled son after her sesame oil business becomes unexpectedly successful. The screening was followed by a Q&A with the Director Xie Fei (谢飞).

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
A film screening of Nobody Knows based on a true story. Four siblings live happily with their mother in a small apartment in Tokyo. The children all have different fathers and have never been to school. The very existence of three of them has been hidden from the landlord. One day, the mother leaves behind a little money and a note, charging her oldest boy to look after the others. And so begins the children’s odyssey, a journey nobody knows.The screening was followed by a Q&A with Director and Producer Hirokazu Kore-eda.

“Kamome Diner” – Film Screening

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
A film screening of Kamome Diner (Ruokala lokki) – a tale of three Japanese women afoot in Helsinki who open a Japanese eatery. Her only customer, day after day, is a geeky Finnish boy obsessed with Japanese anime. Kamome Diner conveys the topsy-turvy sensation of being a stranger in a strange land and presents food, no matter how alien, as the center of community and cultural understanding.

3 women standing by a lake.

Female Spirit Mediums and the Cult of “Uncle Ho” in Today’s Vietnam with Prof. Hue-Tam Ho Tai

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
A lecture with Prof. Hue-Tam Ho Tai, Harvard University discussing the deification of Ho Chi Minh in Northern Vietnam and the gender-based social roles involved.

A woman in a room with various items, including crystal balls and incense.

From Our Eyes: Community Media and Visual Ethnography in China

Tuesday, April 5, 2016
This event showcased three recent documentary films; a collaboratively produced short by art students and a Baiku Yao filmmaker, a feature-length documentary by a first-time Tibetan filmmaker, and a film about the resurgence of Ami cultural traditions and ethnic identity in Taiwan.

A sepia photo of a film camera.

“Born With It” – A Film Screening and Discussion with filmmaker Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
A screening of Born With It – a short film that follows the story of a 9-year-old Ghanina-Japanese boy, Keishuke. The film highlights the experience of mixed race individuals and their families in Japan. The screening was followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr.

A black child facing a classroom of East Asians

Many Faces of K-pop Music Videos: Reflections of Broadway, Motown, and Revue

Thursday, November 19, 2015
A lecture with Prof. Suk-Young Kim, Santa Barbara discussing how K-pop music videos strategically create means to reach out to a wide range of global audiences through a comparative reading of the music video “Twinkle” by Taetiseo and the 1946 MGM film version of Ziegfeld Follies.

The text reads

New Perspectives on the Cultural History of 1980s South Korea

Friday, November 6 – Saturday, November 7, 2015
A conference aimed at exploring new critical perspectives on the cultural history of 1980s South Korea through a transnational intellectual dialogue among some of the most distinguished international experts on the period.

Black and white photo of multiple people carrying a massive South Korean flag.

“The Assassin”: Screening and Q&A with HOU Hsiao Hsien

Friday, October 16, 2015
A screening and Q&A session with world-renowned Director Hou, Hsiao-Hsien followed by a presentation of the Eisenstein Award to Director Hou.

A woman hidden within trees

Ideas of Asia in the Museum – An International Symposium

Friday-Saturday, January 23-24, 2015
A symposium to examine the collecting and display of Asian art in relation to different conceptualization of Asia that gained currency in the cultural and geopolitical milieu of the modern world.

A close-up of a Buddha statue

Korean Shaman Performance and Screening

Friday-Sunday, January 16-18, 2015
A film screening and exhibition featuring KIM Keum-hwa, a Korean shaman who was designated an “Important Intangible Cultural Property of Korea” in 1985. Manshin: Ten Thousand Spirits is a dramatization of Ms. Kim’s life and career during the changing environment in Korea and the shifting views on shamanism.

The photo on the left is a movie poster consisting of multiple people in traditional robes behind flower bushes. The photo on the right is of a woman in colorful red and blue robes with a red top hat.

“Mao Zedong and Qi Baishi” Screening and Q&A with Mr. Tang Guoqiang

Thursday, November 6, 2014
A film screening to commemorate the 120th birthday of Mao Zedong and the 150th birthday of Qi Baishi and Q&A session with celebrated actor, Tang Guoqiang.

Movie poster featuring Mao Zedong with an old bearded man holding a stick.

2014 KSI/SCA Korean Film Festival

Saturday-Sunday, September 6-7, 2014
Two-day film festival showcasing cinema from and about North Korea, including film screenings and a panel discussion with directors, scholars and members of the film industry

A woman with a miner helmet

From Ground Zero to Degree Zero: “Akira” as Origin and Oblivion

January 22, 2014
Talk by Christopher Bolton, Associate Professor of Comparative and Japanese Literature at Williams College, exploring the limitations and strengths of manga and anime as media through a comparison of the animated film Akira with the manga the film was based on.

An illustration of a ruined city with collapsed buildings

2013 Korean Film Festival

March 1-2, 2013
Two-day film festival celebrating South Korean director, Choi Dong-Hoon, including film screenings and a panel discussion with the director, scholars and members of the film industry.

Text reads

Visions and Voices: Nikkatsu at 100

October 26-28, 2012
Three-day event in honor of the 100th anniversary of Japan’s Nikkatsu Film Studio including screenings and discussions with filmmakers, scholars and critics on Nikkatsu’s enduring legacy in Japan and its historical place in the film world.

Movie poster of multiple people against a red background

Voices of Mono-ha Artists: Contemporary Art in Japan, Circa 1970

February 24, 2012
Symposium featuring several artists of the Mono-ha art movement in Japan. Participants include artists Haraguchi Noriyuki, Koshimizu Susumu, Lee Ufan, Sekine Nobuo and Suga Kishio, as well as curators, art historians and scholars.

Multiple black rocks on hardwood.

Sacred Striptease: A Rite of Renewal or Hadaka Matsuri

October 27, 2011
Screening of an original documentary film by Joseph R. Hawkins, Director of the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC. The film, shot in Ichinobe, Shiga Prefecture, Japan, explores an example of a local hadaka matsuri, or “naked festival,” a centuries-old Japanese ritual.

A performer

2011 USC Korean Film Festival

February 18-20, 2011
Film festival focusing on future directions in Korean cinema and screened six important modern Korean films in 35mm. The festival also featured a panel discussion with Soojin Hwang (KOFIC USA), Nam Lee (Chapman University), Hoonam Lee (Joonang Ilbo), Martin Kim (CJ Entertainment/CFV America), and moderator David James (USC).

Two movie posters. The one on the left is of a group of people surrounding a cartoon penguin. The one on the right is dark and dramatic.