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Arthur Dong gives us unprecedented access to trail blazers of Asian American cinema--both current and legendary. Through a careful balance of archival footage, movie clips, and importantly, rich, informative, and moving interviews, we get a front-stage look at the various historical stages of Chinese Americans in mainstream cinema along with what is in store for this community in the future. This important work gives Chinese Americans hope that Hollywood will shift to be more reflective of diverse communities and also gives the mainstream community a template and a vision of how Chinese Americans ought to be represented--that is, as fully-human, three-dimensional characters and not merely stereotypes in the background of someone else's story.
A very entertaining documentary about Chinese film history in US. As the new Chinese filmmakers have become greatly acclaimed in the world now, this one shows and reminds audience that Chinese filmmakers have shined in the film history all along. Whether Bruce Lee to Jet Li or Nancy Kwan to Zhang Ziyi.
Set me thinking about the stereotypes of asian actors in Hollywood as well as insensitivity of race issue in Hollywood. American Born Chinese relooked at through light of this film. Somehow I think it is rather similar to asian designers breaking into the design world.
A good, very solid documentary about the role of Chinese-Americans in film. Lots of great interview footage with Asian Americans who have been apart of film history, and the movie looks at some films that have really helped shape and define the Asian culture in Hollywood. Although a bit dry at times, it covers a nice, broad range of film history and is definitely an interesting and educational film to watch.
Fantastic! Honest and moving. I only wish it could have lasted longer.
Really interesting documentary about the Chinese-American experience in Hollywood. Well worth watching, but even more so for those of Chinese descent.
Interesting side note: I saw this in a Asian-American Film Festival screening here in Austin with the director/producer(?) in attendance. During the Q&A, it was interesting but also a bit sad to find out that funding for this film was very difficult and/or nearly impossible to come by, especially among the Chinese-American/ABC community.
I really enjoyed this movie. It was definitely an enlightening film.
This was a true documentary: instead of going in for entertainment value or slick styling, it just told you the facts. And the facts were really interesting. There was no moralizing or divisive aggression like there is to be found in other discussions of racial experience in Hollywood; the stories speak for themselves, the mere situations described and remembered communicate a lot of emotion.
The interviewees were great: funny, honest, insightful, and articulate. You couldn't ask for a better platform upon which to build an interest in Chinese/Asian-American film.
I thoroughly enjoyed this complex, well-researched and nicely put-together film. Arthur Dong did an amazing job of interviewing the subjects and telling a fascinating story of 100 years of Asians (Chinese) in Hollywood. Particularly compelling interviewees were Joan Chen, Ang Lee, B.D. Wong, Nancy Kwan and Justin Lin.
Also, Arthur somehow got ahold of footage from the infamous Sundance shouting match at the end of the BETTER LUCK TOMORROW screening where Roger Ebert stands up and defends the Asian Americans for portraying Asian Americans on film however they wanted to do so. Worth watching this film for this alone.
Sadly, tonight is the end of the theatrical run in NY, SF, and LA, but jump if you get a chance to watch it when it comes out on DVD (or hopefully) PBS. :)