Western's Cinema East Film Series continues June 6 with Stanley Kwan's 'Rouge'

The next film in the Cinema East series is Stanley Kwan’s 1988 feature "Rouge," which screens on Tuesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. at the Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay St., in downtown Bellingham.

After several years working in the film industry as a continuity supervisor and assistant director, Kwan started directing his own films in 1985. Rouge was Kwan’s third feature film, and although Kwan’s prior films were well-received, Rouge was something of a breakout film for him. He has since had a legendary career, and he was also a pioneer in being an openly queer filmmaker in Chinese-language cinema.

Anita Mui stars as the main character, Fleur, and she gives a towering performance. Rouge was adapted from a contemporary novel by Lilian Lee, who also wrote the source novel that became the Chen Kaige film "Farewell, My Concubine," a film that also stars Rouge co-star Leslie Cheung. The two stars, Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung, also appeared together in other films, but according to WWU librarian and film series curator Jeff Purdue, this is the film that best shows their magnetism and screen presence, as well as the chemistry they had together.

Rouge is the last film for this year’s Cinema East series, which will return to the Pickford in the fall of 2023. Co-sponsored by Western Libraries and Pickford Film Center, each film in the Cinema East series begins with an introduction from select speakers including local professors, artists, and educators. Rouge will be introduced by Western Washington University librarian and film series curator, Jeff Purdue. For more information about the Cinema East series, please see the PFC website, or contact Jeff Purdue at: purduej@wwu.edu, (360)-650-7750. All PFC theaters are ADA accessible with wheelchair seating, and closed captioning and assistive listening devices are available at the box office.

For questions about or to request disability accommodation, please contact Meghan Schilling, meghan@pickfordfilmcenter.org.

Anita Mui in Stanley Kwan's "Rouge"