In the interest of seeing more Asian movies, from time to time I would like to spotlight quality independent Asian films. If you want to see more big budget Hollywood fares with brand name Asian actors, it all starts with making the independent stuff profitable. I’m not advocating you to go see every Asian independent movie nor is it necessary for every Asian independent movie to be a success financially for changes to be seen in mainstream media.
A friend of mine sent me a press release for this documentary, Hollywood Chinese:
Hollywood Chinese is a captivating revelation on a little-known chapter of cinema: the Chinese in American feature films. From the first Chinese American film produced in 1916, to Ang Lee’s triumphant Brokeback Mountain almost a century later, Hollywood Chinese brings together a fascinating portrait of actors, directors, writers, and iconic images to show how the Chinese have been imagined in movies, and how filmmakers have and continue to navigate an industry that was often ignorant about race, but at times paradoxically receptive.
I actually haven’t seen Hollywood Chinese yet but it will be out in New York City on May 30th at the ImaginAsian Theater. Between the trailer, the website, and the friend recommendations, so far I’m sold enough to put it high on my list of Asian movies to watch list. For those of you keeping track at home, the number of movies that Ningin is officially recommending this year is now four:
There’s probably a lot more deserving movies to be on that list, but I just haven’t had the time to go through them all. Gotta finish building out Ningin and everything…
If my word isn’t enough then here’s others you might believe more:
What’s amazing about Arthur Dong’s HOLLYWOOD CHINESE, a chronicle of Chinese Americans in Hollywood beginning in the silent era and culminating in today’s success stories, is how much fun it is. Loaded with film clips, celebrity interviews and without an ax to grind, it’s a film not just for Chinese Americans but for film lovers in general. FOURS STARS!
—C. Allen Johnson, SF Chronicle
Arthur Dong once again proves that he is one of the most intelligent, incisive documentarians alive with HOLLYWOOD CHINESE, his study of the portrayal of this ethnic group in the movies. Myriad, amazingly culled interviews with actors, filmmakers and historians add rich texture to this bracingly entertaining, fast-moving survey.
—David Noh, Film Journal International
Groundbreaking! Overt racism collides with the economics of an industry and the perceptions of a culture in HOLLYWOOD CHINESE, a provocative critical survey of the first century of American cinema and the ways that Chinese and Chinese-Americans have been depicted by the industry.
—S. James Synder, The New York Sun
If you want to see a fantastic overview of the struggle of Asian-Americans in film in the US, a struggle to be included, a struggle for a voice, a struggle for some truth, be sure to check out HOLLYWOOD CHINESE!
—Rick Ayers, The Huffington Post
Los Angeles Resident you’re in luck too:
Laemmle’s Music Hall *
9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills
* Q & A with Filmmaker: May 30, 7:40 pm show only
Laemmle’s One Colorado *
42 Miller Alley, Old Town Pasadena
* Q & A with Filmmaker: May 31, 7:40 pm show only
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