Closing Night Program – Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 7:00 pm


Admission: Free. Tickets required. Tickets are distributed one hour before the screenings.

Documentary Feature

Title

Director

Running Time

Format

The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam

Ann Marie Fleming

90

35mm

Filmmaker in attendance

Acrobat, magician, vaudevillian and restauranteur, Long Tack Sam could only be described as an international superstar in his time. Strikingly handsome, with a magnetic personality, he was an early pioneer who broke many Western stereotypes about the Chinese, long before Bruce Lee. Friends with Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles, and peers with many other performers of the day, his story was almost completely lost—even within his own family.

In this unconventional documentary, filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming incorporates archival footage, photographs, comics and period music to evoke a time and place long ago. Rather than rely on the staid documentary techniques of voice-over narration and still images, Fleming decides to have fun with this film. An animator by training, she uses her experience to bring photographs and comic books to life.

This film is also the story of a personal journey of discovery. Ann Marie Fleming is Long Tack Sam’s great-granddaughter, yet few in her family ever spoke of him. The secrecy and mystery surrounding this man motivated her four-year quest to document his life in this film. This search takes her from North America to Europe to China and back. Along the way, she interviews family, friends, magicians and acrobats for their perspectives. Not everyone agrees and mysteries still remain, yet the film creates a fascinating, multi-faceted portrait of a man and his times.

-Tad Doyle

This program is preceded by two short films: Request and Blue Skies.

Filmmaker bio:
Ann Marie Fleming is an independent Canadian filmmaker, writer and artist, born in Okinawa, of Chinese and Australian parentage. Her film work incorporates various techniques: animation, documentary, experimental, dramatic, and primarily deals with themes of family, history and memory, in a continuing media critique. For the past 4 years she has been researching the life and times of her great grandfather, Long Tack Sam, the world famous, globe-hopping Chinese vaudeville magician and acrobat.


Narrative Short

Title

Director

Running Time

Format

Request

Jinoh Park

12

35mm

A precocious eight-year-old boy makes a most unusual request. An official selection at the 2002 Cannes and 2003 Sundance Film Festivals.

 

Narrative Short

Title

Director

Running Time

Format

Blue Skies

Ann Marie Fleming

7

35mm

A distraught singer overcomes his grief through song in this poetic and moving response to the events of September 11.

Venue Information

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Meyer Auditorium
Jefferson Drive at 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC
202-633-4880
http://www.asia.si.edu

Notes: Tickets required. Tickets are distributed one hour before the screenings.