Lady Avengers: Asia, Women, and Chainsaws
In the 1960s-1980s, a group of femme fatales took over Asian cinema with swords and chainsaws. Their shocking images became the spectres lingering at the periphery of film history. To invite these Goddesses of Vengeance back to the center of the film stage, the program presents a selection of five Asian Female Revenge Films from the early 1960s to 1980s, from Nikkatsu Pinky Violence, the Shaw Brothers cult genre, South Korean psychosexual melodrama, Hong Kong New Wave, to Taiwan Pulp Film.
The counterculture and women's rights movements in the 1970s, combined with the
expansion and economic strategies of film industries, gave rise to the craze of global
production and consumption of exploitation films. The program explores “female revenge”
not only as a sub-genre in the exploitation frenzy but a genre-bending and self-reflexive
theme which, with its daring aesthetic experiments and provoking social commentaries,
provides a glimpse of the eternal tangle between nation, class, gender, and female bodies in
Asian film history.