The Chinese in American Feature Films

  • The-Chinese-in-American-Feature-Films

Event Category: Cultural Events

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    Crowell Public Library is happy to welcome back Arthur Dong, whose latest book, Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films, provides a spectacular view of the Chinese American impact on the movies. On Tuesday, January 28 at 7:00 pm, Arthur will discuss some of the earliest films set in America’s renowned Chinatowns as well as contemporary hits and artists that are remaking the face of Hollywood. His lavish coffee-table book is not only an opulent and entertaining look at some of the movie world’s most fascinating characters, it also illustrates the myths, misconceptions, and memorable moments of the Chinese and Chinese Americans in films made in the United States. It vividly captures the drama inherent in how Asian cultures have been portrayed by Hollywood studios. Although Hollywood Chinese centers on the Chinese, its analysis will resonate with other ethnic and marginalized groups as well, challenging racist assumptions about minorities in America, biases that were especially pervasive in early Hollywood films.

    Arthur Dong includes his personal interviews with Chinese and Chinese American artists who have produced, directed, written, and starred in Hollywood films. Ang Lee, Nancy Kwan, Justin Lin, James Hong, Joan Chen, Wayne Wang, David Henry Hwang, and Amy Tan provide insights, while Dong’s impeccable research traces the uphill battle fought by pioneers such as Marion Wong who was the first Asian American to direct and produce a feature in California. Hollywood Chinese is the second book highlighting Chinese American culture by the Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Arthur Dong. His first book, Forbidden City, USA: Chinatown Nightclubs 1936–1970 received an American Book Award in 2015.

    A San Francisco Chinatown native, Arthur Dong is an Oscar-nominee, a Peabody and Sundance award-winning filmmaker, author, and curator whose work centers on Asian American, and LGBTQ stories. Dong has curated exhibitions showcasing his extensive archive of cultural ephemera, including Chop Suey on Wax: The Flower Drum Song Album, Forbidden City, USA, and his most recent, Hollywood Chinese, on display at the iconic Formosa Café in West Hollywood.

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