Sessue Hayakawa, EarlyTransnational Film Star

Beginning September 5, the Museum of Modern Art will be presenting a retrospective of the films of Sessue Hayakawa. While Hayakawa (1886–1973) is perhaps best known today for his Oscar-nominated turn as a Japanese military officer in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), in the early twentieth century he was an internationally renowned silent film star, as recognizable as Charlie Chaplin or Douglas Fairbanks.

Daisuke Miyao, author of Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom (2007), will be introducing many of the films this week. Miyao will also be appearing on WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show to discuss Hayakawa’s international appeal. The film website Twitch has posted a nice interview with Miyao.

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