The Last Emperor (1987)

  • April 16, 2022 | 8:00 PM - 10:40 PM | Saturday
  • Oldham Theatre

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Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Runtime: 163 minutes
Country: United Kingdom, China, Italy, France, United States
Language: English, Mandarin, Japanese
Rating: PG



Awards
BEST PICTURE
BEST DIRECTOR
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
BEST SCREENPLAY – BASED ON A MATERIAL FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM
& 5 more
Academy Awards 1988

BEST FILM
BEST COSTUME DESIGN & 1 more
BAFTA Awards 1989

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE & 3 more
Golden Globes 1988

“China had become the front projection of our confused utopias”
– Bernardo Bertolucci

Full Synopsis

The first film shot in the Forbidden City, The Last Emperor is a multi-layered biopic which presents the last emperor of China, Pu Yi, as both the subject of and subject to history. Framed within Bernardo Bertolucci’s luscious surface spectacle and extravagant simulations of Qing Dynasty China, the sensual and irrational Pu Yi wrestles with spectatorship and surveillance throughout his life— from being overseen by eunuchs after enthronement at age three and his tutelage under British teacher Reginald Johnston, to his stint as the puppet emperor of the Japanese-controlled Manchukuo and austere re-modelling as an ideal Maoist citizen in his last days.

Scored by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Talking Heads’ David Byrne, The Last Emperor won nine Academy Awards, sweeping every category in which it was nominated. This seductive opium-dream of the Italian director Bertolucci traces decades of Chinese history through a portrait of a contested figure whose agency appears subject to the wiles of various political regimes.

Supplementary Reading

Disclaimer: This programme features films which include outdated and historically inaccurate depictions, including instances of minstrel shows, yellow and brownface. Rather than deny or erase the colonial apparatuses in film history, these films and their complex legacies should be critically viewed in its original form, contextualised and discussed.

Oldham Theatre’s opening hours

The full Orienting Paradise: Western Projections of the East programme can be found here. Tickets will go on sale Friday, 25 March 2022.

Friends of AFA members may select the “Friends of AFA” option and enter your membership number if you wish to redeem your remaining complimentary tickets.

For further assistance, please contact us at ticketing@asianfilmarchive.org 


Important Notice:
Do note that Oldham Theatre does not play ads and screenings will start promptly. Arrive early so as not to disrupt the screenings. All patrons are encouraged to purchase your tickets online to be able to secure a seat. If you choose to purchase tickets or merchandise at Oldham Theatre’s box office, cashless payment is preferred.
Measures will be taken to ensure the health and safety of all patrons at Oldham Theatre. This includes wearing a mask at all times for both staff and patrons and TraceTogether logging. Doors will open 20 minutes before showtime, so arrive early to register and find a seat.

T&Cs
Concession tickets apply to Students (Local & Overseas), Full-time National Servicemen (NSF), Senior Citizens (55 years and above) only.
Please check film ratings before purchase of tickets. Please note that you may be asked to present your ID at the door (this applies to concession tickets as well). Only physical photographic identification is allowed, digital copies of identification are not allowed. AFA reserves the right to turn away any members of the public without physical photographic identification.
Upon confirmation of your order for Tickets, no exchange of Tickets will be made under any circumstances and Tickets are not transferable. No refund on Tickets will be made under any circumstances except due to cancellation of the event. The resale of Tickets at any price is prohibited.