Philly deals and events

A new live music score sparks up 100-year-old movie ‘The Dragon Painter’

It’s opening night at the 10th annual Philly Asian American Film Festival.

the-dragon-painter-770×443-770×433
via PAAFF
Billy Penn statue

— via Philly Asian American Film Festival

The opening night event at the 10th annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (which runs Nov. 9-19) features a 100-year-old classic silent film called “The Dragon Painter.” To honor the legacy of this groundbreaking movie, PAAFF has commissioned a new original score to be performed live by Japanese American singer/songwriter Goh Nakamura.

Starring Japanese immigrant Sessue Hayakawa, the early Hollywood silent film is a fantasy romance about love and creative inspiration. Tatsu (Hayakawa) is a reclusive painter who lives in the mountains, painting images of the dragon princess he loved in another life. Tatsu comes to believe the daughter of a wealthy art collector is his lost princess, but as he finds happiness in love, his art begins to suffer.

In his prime ,Hayakawa was as popular as Charlie Chaplin, as rich as Douglas Fairbanks, and to this day the only Asian American to own his own Hollywood studio.

Although set in Japan, the film was shot on location in Yosemite National Park and stars a predominantly Japanese American cast, including Hayakawa’s wife Tsuru Aoki. Produced by Hayakawa’s own Haworth Pictures, “The Dragon Painter” deliberately provides an authentic perspective on Japanese culture that counters the dominant narrative of stereotypes, violence and melodramatic conflict expected in so-called “Oriental” films of the period. It is considered to be one of the first Asian American films in history.

The showing begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, and $10 tickets are available here. Following a brief Q&A with Goh, attendees will enjoy the opening night reception featuring complimentary food and beverage.

Want some more? Explore other Philly deals and events stories.

Thanks for reading another Billy Penn story

Seems you’re the kind of person who really digs in. Want more? Sign up for our morning update, the quick, easy, free way to stay on top of Philly news.

Thanks for reading Billy Penn!

Like the story above, everything we publish is powered by our members.

If you appreciate local news provide, join today.

Billy Penn runs on reader support

Does Billy Penn help you feel more connected to Philadelphia?

Member donations are critical to our continued existence and growth — join us today!

Lock in your support

The story above was powered by reader support — thank you.

Become a sustainer now with a monthly membership to help lock it in.

Spread the love

Billy Penn members power our newsroom. Know someone who might want to support our work? Send them a link — they just might join the local journalism fight.

Tagged

Movies