Spotlight Screenings

Spotlight Screenings are one-off events throughout the year that highlight single films, present a small retrospective, or preview upcoming releases in partnership with major distributors and studios.

2019

FEBRUARY | AMC FASHION VALLEY

SHADOW (2019)

Directed by Zhang Yimou

 

ADVANCE SCREENINGIn Pei, a kingdom ruled by a young and unpredictable king, the military commander faces peril both inside and outside the palace walls.
MARCH | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

Tag-ulan sa tag-araw (1975)

Directed by Celso Ad. Castillo

 

NEW RESTORATION—A young lonely girl. A lost young man. A house on a deserted beach. This was the beginning.

2018

MARCH | MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

LONG LIFE, PROSPERITY, HAPPINESS (2002)

Directed by Mina Shum

 

Twelve-year-old Mindy Ho inexpertly tries Taoist magic to fix her single mother’s financial situation and seemingly hopeless romantic prospects.
JUNE | EDWARDS MIRA MESA STADIUM

SEARCHING (2018)

Directed by Aneesh Chaganty

 

ADVANCE SCREENING—After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her.
JULY | ARCLIGHT CINEMAS LA JOLLA

CRAZY RICH ASIANS (2018)

Directed by Jon M. Chu

 

ADVANCE SCREENING—This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family.
JULY | THE LOT LA JOLLA

SHANGHAI CALLING (2012)

Directed by Daniel Hsia

 

A New York attorney is sent to Shanghai on business, where he finds himself in a legal mess that threatens his career. With the help of a relocation specialist and her contacts, he soon learns to appreciate the wonders of Shanghai.

2017

FEBRUARY | MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

DAZE OF JUSTICE (2016)

Directed by Michael Siv

 

With cameras, a group of seniors, and a law professor, documentarian Michael Siv returns to his native Cambodia to wring an honest apology out the calloused hands of the worst offenders of Pol Pot’s genocidal regime, in the names of justice and healing alike.
JUNE | READING TOWN SQUARE

OKJA (2017)

Directed by Bong Joon-ho

 

ADVANCE SCREENING—For 10 idyllic years, Mija has been caretaker and companion to Okja at her home in the mountains of South Korea. But that changes when a multinational conglomerate takes Okja for themselves and transports her to New York.
AUGUST | MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

BLUE MOON (1997)

Directed by Ko I-Chen

 

Shot to be played in 120 different possible story combinations, BLUE MOON centers around three characters who intersect in Taipei, forcing them to remember their past and imagine what happy endings life has in store for them.

2016

JUNE | MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

TAIWAN CINEMA SPOTLIGHT: LGBT CLASSICS

Featuring BLUE GATE CROSSING, THE RIVER, BOYS FOR BEAUTY and DRIFTING FLOWERS

JULY-AUGUST | MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

THE MINGEI OF JAPANESE CINEMA

Featuring EQUINOX FLOWER, STILL WALKING, THE MAKIOKA SISTERS, GIANTS AND TOYS and ORNAMENTAL HAIRPIN

2015

MAY | MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

Growing Up With Hou Hsiao-hsien

Part of the international traveling retrospective “Also Like Life: the Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien”

DECEMBER | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

TYRUS (2015)

Directed by Pamela Tom

 

You may not have heard of Tyrus Wong, but you’ve seen his work in classic films like Bambi and Rebel Without a Cause, TYRUS follows the Chinese American pioneer from his art school beginnings during the Depression to his years as a production illustrator leaving indelible brushstrokes on Hollywood history.

2014

FEBRUARY | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

JOURNEY TO THE WEST: CONQUERING THE DEMONS (2013)

Directed by Stephen Chow

 

Things get started with demon hunters pursuing ghouls, and each other. One is played by the ever-hapless Wen Zhang, the other by the ever-plucky Shu Qi in a career-defining comedic performance worthy of the Stephen Chow brand.
JUNE | MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

KING HU IN TAIWAN

Featuring A TOUCH OF ZEN, DRAGON INN, and THE VALIANT ONES

2013

MARCH | ARCLIGHT CINEMAS LA JOLLA

THERMAE ROMAE (2012)

Directed by Hideki Takeuchi

 

Lucius, a Roman architect, is transported through time to modern-day Japan, where he learns about Japanese bathhouses and uses this to his gain back home.
DECEMBER | MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

TOUCH OF THE LIGHT (2012)

Directed by Chang Jung-Chi

 

A drama centered on the experiences of a blind piano prodigy.

2012

FEBRUARY | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

APART TOGETHER (2010)

Directed by Wang Quanan

 

Liu returns to his native city Shanghai after 50 years spent in Taiwan. He has come to find the first love of his life, Qiao, who he left behind pregnant.
MAY | MUSEUM OF ART

THIS IS NOT A FILM (2011)

Directed by Jafar Panahi

 

It’s been months since Jafar Panahi, stuck in jail, has been awaiting a verdict by the appeals court. By depicting a day in his life, Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb try to portray the deprivations looming in contemporary Iranian cinema.
AUGUST | MUSEUM OF ART OUTDOOR SCREENING, BALBOA PARK

LOVE AAJ KAL (2009)

Directed by Imtiaz Ali

 

An old-fashioned romantic tells his personal love story to a modern man who has just broken up with his girlfriend.
SEPTEMBER | MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

GIVE UP TOMORROW (2011)

Directed by Michael Collins

 

When a teenager from a political family in the Philippines is accused of a double murder, the country’s entire judicial system is put to the test after years of alleged corruption.
DECEMBER | ARCLIGHT CINEMAS LA JOLLA

THE THIEVES (2012)

Directed by Choi Dong-hoon

 

In order to let things cool down from their latest heist, Popeye and his group of thieves go to Macau on a job.

2011

FEBRUARY | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

LAST TRAIN HOME (2009)

Directed by Lixin Fan

 

A couple embarks on a journey home for Chinese new year along with 130 million other migrant workers, to reunite with their children and struggle for a future. Their unseen story plays out as China soars towards being a world superpower.
AUGUST | MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

AMIGO (2010)

Directed by John Sayles

 

A fictional account of events during the Philippine-American War.
DECEMBER | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

A GOOD HUSBAND (2009)

Directed by Isao Yukisada

 

A heart-wrenching love story between a married couple. The jobless husband cheats on his wife and has no love for her. The wife wants to go on a trip to get pregnant.

2010

FEBRUARY | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

THE WARLORDS (2007)

Directed by Peter Chen, Wai Man Yip

 

Set in China in the 1860’s during the Taiping Rebellion, the story is based on the assassination of Ma Xinyi in 1870.

2009

FEBRUARY | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

A THOUSAND YEARS OF GOOD PRAYERS (2007)

Directed by Wayne Wang

 

A father (Henry O) flies from China to comfort his newly divorced daughter in America, but finds himself lost in a different culture.
MARCH | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

PLANET B-BOY (2007)

Directed by Benson Lee

 

Jumping continents and crossing cultures, “Planet B-Boy” looks at the history of breakdancing and its vibrant resurgence in urban cultures around the world.
DECEMBER | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

TOKYO SONATA (2008)

Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

 

An ordinary Japanese family slowly disintegrates after its patriarch loses his job at a prominent company.

2008

FEBRUARY | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

NI HAO, KAI-LAN (2007)

Created by Karen Chau, Mary Harrington, Judy Rothman Rofé

 

NI HAO, KAI-LAN is a play-along, think-along series on Nick Jr. that weaves together the Mandarin Chinese language and Chinese culture into stories that young children will relate to and enjoy.
MARCH | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

PLANET B-BOY (2007)

Directed by Benson Lee

 

Jumping continents and crossing cultures, “Planet B-Boy” looks at the history of breakdancing and its vibrant resurgence in urban cultures around the world.
SEPTEMBER | MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

BUDDHA’S LOST CHILDREN (2006)

Directed by Mark Verkerk

 

BUDDHA’S LOST CHILDREN is an award-winning documentary about a Thai Buddhist monk who, armed only with his faith and master boxer skills, wages an inspirational battle to help orphaned children and preserve a vanishing way of life.
DECEMBER | ULTRASTAR CHULA VISTA

Kurosawa Classics

Featuring YOJIMBO, RASHOMON, SEVEN SAMURAI, HIGH AND LOW, HIDDEN FORTRESS and IKIRU

2007

MARCH | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

LINDA LINDA LINDA (2005)

Directed by Nobuhiro Yamashita

 

Only three days before their high school festival, guitarist Kei (Yu Kashii), drummer Kyoko (Aki Maeda of “Battle Royale”), and bassist Nozumi (Shiori Sekine) are forced to recruit a new lead vocalist for their band.
MARCH | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

THE HOST (2006)

Directed by Bong Joon-ho

 

ADVANCE SCREENINGA monster emerges from Seoul’s Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. One victim’s family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.
MAY | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

INFERNAL AFFAIRS (2002)

Directed by Andrew Lau, Alan Mak

 

This romantic fantasy is the story of an extraordinary relationship that literally spans time. It begins when Sung (Jun Ji-hyun), a young woman living in 1997 receives a letter from Unju (Lee Jung-jae), who lives two years in the future.
AUGUST | MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

DOLLS (2002)

Directed by Takeshi Kitano

 

Critically-acclaimed director of “The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi,” Kitano is one of Japan’s most revered contemporary filmmakers working today, and his 10th film unfolds as a trio of powerful stories dealing with issues of the heart where love and loss are forever intertwined.
DECEMBER | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

MY WIFE IS A GANGSTER (2001)

Directed by Cho Jin-gyu

 

Despite her beauty, Eun-jin is a feared and respected fighter who dominates the male-centered underworld. When she finds out her long-lost sister is dying of cancer and that her last wish is to see her married and ‘taken care of,’ she sets out to get married.

2006

MARCH | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

KAMIKAZE GIRLS (2004)

Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima

 

Momoko, a strange and seemingly emotionless girl obsessed with 18th century France, befriends a Yanki biker and the two experience the ups and downs of their unusual lives in a rural Japanese town.
MAY | LANDMARK’S HILLCREST CINEMAS

THE PROMISE (2005)

Directed by Chen Kaige

 

ADVANCE SCREENING—This sweeping fantasy film follows the exploits of a princess (Cecilia Cheung) who charms several men willing to risk everything for her love.
MAY | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

IL MARE (2005)

Directed by Lee Hyun-seung

 

This romantic fantasy is the story of an extraordinary relationship that literally spans time. It begins when Sung (Jun Ji-hyun), a young woman living in 1997 receives a letter from Unju (Lee Jung-jae), who lives two years in the future.
JUNE | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT (2006)

Directed by Justin Lin

 

ADVANCE SCREENING—A teenager becomes a major competitor in the world of drift racing after moving in with his father in Tokyo to avoid a jail sentence in America.
JULY | PACIFIC GASLAMP THEATERS

PARK Chan-wook. One Night. Two Films.

Featuring OLDBOY and SYMPATHY FOR VENGEANCE

JULY | PACIFIC GASLAMP THEATERS

DEATH TRANCE (2005)

Directed by Yuji Shimomura

 

DEATH TRANCE embodies a mix of the modern Samurai movie with highly stylized post-apocalyptic MAD MAX cinematography. Filmed amongst the ancient ruins of rural Japan, DEATH TRANCE depicts non-stop battles between sword and gun, mortal & immortal, myth and reality within a stark desert and forbidden forest. In the end, will destruction win or hope prevail?

AUGUST | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

INITIAL D (2005)

Directed by Andrew Lau, Alan Mak

 

After winning his first competition, Takumi focuses his attention on drift racing, a sport he has unknowingly perfected while delivering tofu in his father’s Toyota AE86.
AUGUST | MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

IMELDA (2003)

Directed by Ramona S. Diaz

 

IMELDA marks the first time that Mrs. Marcos has agreed to tell her story. This feature documentary details her controversial rise from humble provincial origins with a combination of guile, ambition and beauty to become one of the richest and most powerful women in contemporary world history.
DECEMBER | ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY

A STATE OF MIND (2004)

Directed by Daniel Gordon

 

An extraordinary documentary about two North Korean girls training for the day they will perform for their General Kim Jong Il

2005

FEBRUARY | LANDMARK’S HILLCREST CINEMAS

NOBODY KNOWS (2004)

Directed by Hizokaru Kore-eda

 

ADVANCE SCREENINGIn a small Tokyo apartment, twelve-year-old Akira must care for his younger siblings after their mother leaves them and shows no sign of returning.
APRIL | EDWARDS MIRA MESA STADIUM

KUNG FU HUSTLE (2004)

Directed by Stephen Chow

 

ADVANCE SCREENING—In Shanghai, China in the 1940s, a wannabe gangster aspires to join the notorious “Axe Gang” while residents of a housing complex exhibit extraordinary powers in defending their turf.
MAY | EDWARDS MIRA MESA STADIUM

YEAR OF THE YAO (2004)

Directed by James D. Stern, Adam Del Deo

 

ADVANCE SCREENING—The Year of the Yao is a 2004 American documentary film telling the first year of basketball player Yao Ming in the United States.
MAY | AMC MISSION VALLEY

UNLEASHED (2004)

Directed by Louis Leterrier

 

A man enslaved by the mob since childhood and raised into behaving like a human attack dog escapes his captors and attempts to start a new life.
OCTOBER | LANDMARK’S HILLCREST CINEMAS

THREE EXTREMES (2004)

Directed by Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike, Chan-wook Park

 

An Asian cross-cultural trilogy of horror films from accomplished indie directors.

2004

APRIL | LANDMARK LA JOLLA VILLAGE

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (2003)

Directed by Kim Ki-duk

 

A boy is raised by a Buddhist monk on an isolated floating temple where the years pass like the seasons.
JULY | LANDMARK’S HILLCREST CINEMAS

ZHOU YU’S TRAIN (2002)

Directed by Zhou Sun

 

ADVANCE SCREENING—Zhou Yu, a ceramic decorative artist, travels twice a week from her home town of San Ming to Chongyang to visit her boyfriend, Chen Qing, a government worker and budding poet.
JULY | AMC MISSION VALLEY

HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE (2004)

Directed by Danny Leiner

 

ADVANCE SCREENING—An office worker and his stoner friend embark on a quest to satisfy their desire for White Castle burgers.
JULY | LANDMARK’S HILLCREST CINEMAS

THE BLIND SWORDSMAN: ZATOICHI (2003)

Directed by Takeshi Kitano

 

ADVANCE SCREENING—The blind masseur/swordsman comes to a town in control of warring gangs, and while bunking with a farming family, he meets two women with their own agenda.
OCTOBER | REGAL RANCHO DEL REY

MAGNIFICO (2003)

Directed by Maryo J. Delos Reyes

 

Even though he is not good in school and belongs to a poor and unfortunate family, Magnifico still have a big heart and a large amount of optimism that enabled him to help not only his family but also the community.
OCTOBER | REGAL RANCHO DEL REY

KEKA (2003)

Directed by Quark Henares

 

Keka is a beautiful young woman working in a call centre. Wanting to hunt down the killers and avenge her boyfriend’s death, she undergoes rigid trainings.

2001

APRIL | LANDMARK’S HILLCREST CINEMAS

SHAOLIN SOCCER (2001)

Directed by Stephen Chow

 

ADVANCE SCREENINGA young Shaolin follower reunites with his discouraged brothers to form a soccer team using their martial art skills to their advantage.
AUGUST | LANDMARK’S HILLCREST CINEMAS

BROTHER (2000)

Directed by Takeshi Kitano

 

A Japanese gangster is exiled to Los Angeles where his brother lives with a small but respectable multi-racial gang, who he inspires to expand their influence.