10 films for $50 with punch card
$8 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Film Students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus


Big Trouble in Little China

Muenzinger Auditorium

Big Trouble in Little China
Film 3003: The Cinema of John Carpenter with introductions by Professor Sabrina Negri of C.U.'s Cinema Studies.

Kurt Russell's loudmouthed truck driver Jack Burton is just a tourist in John Carpenter's 1986 supernatural action film Big Trouble in Little China , which involves (for starters) exploding green flames, warring Chinatown street gangs and time traveling ancient warriors. But for any of this insane fantasy to make sense to Western ears, narrator Egg Shen (Victor Wong) falsely paint him the hero.

That's just not the case, though. Burton simply gets swept up in an ongoing battle for supremacy happening behind the fa├žade of San Francisco's trademark tourist destination. "I'm a reasonable guy, but I just saw some unreasonable things," he says after witnessing an act of Chinese black magic that defies Western rationale. Juxtaposing perception and reality through cultural tradition and mainstream ignorance is just one of the film's many virtues.

Carpenter and Russell had worked together on two masterpieces before, the great horror remake The Thing and scathing social critique/survival yarn Escape From New York . But Big Trouble in Little China deconstructs Russell's role as a leading man, turning him into comic relief in service of an Asian-American badass named Wang (Dennis Dun).

Carpenter's trademark style is still present, including the moody synthesizer score that complements the film's crisp pacing and slaphappy action. Yet Big Trouble in Little China 's irreverent and schizoid nature stands out in relation to the director's other work. Violence is both silly and gruesome; an early sequence involving a gnarly street fight gives the opening of Gangs of New York a run for its money.

Thematically, history is respected but the conventions of standard narrative storytelling are thrown to the wind.

All of this contradiction makes for a startlingly joyous revisionist Western that, as one wise man says, "can shake the pillars of heaven." Review by Glenn Heath Jr.

Big Trouble in Little China

Wed March 6, 7:30 PM, Muenzinger Auditorium

USA, 1986, in English, Color, 99 min, 2.35 : 1 • official site

Director: John Carpenter, Screenplay: David Z. Weinstein, Adaptation: W.D. Richter, Screenplay: Gary Goldman, Cast: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong

remind me export to calendar recommend

Thank you, sponsors!
Radio 1190
Boulder Weekly
Your Logo Here
Boulder International Film Festival

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $50 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (an $80 value).