Volume for the retrospective 2001, "Out of the shadows - Asians in American cinema"
The recent successes of filmmakers like John Woo (Face Off, Mission: Impossible 2), and Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Sense and Sensibility) and stars like Jackie Chan (Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon) have highlighted Asian talent in the American film industry. Asian actors and filmmakers working in Hollywood are almost as old as the American cinema itself, beginning with Sessue Hayakawa, a major star in the silent era, and the stunning Anna May Wong (Shanghai Express), Oscar winning cinematographer James Wong Howe (Hud, The Rose Tattoo), and romantic leading man James Shigeta (The Crimson Kimono, The Flower Drum Song). But there is also a darker side to the Asian experience in Hollywood – of Yellow Peril paranoia and subordination to “Yellow Face” stars in films like The Mask of Fu Manchu and The Bitter Tea of General Yen. The independent Asian American cinema was born from civil rights activism of the 1960s and gave voice to a rich and diverse community neglected by the mainstream media. Asian Americans have made documentaries about the Japanese American internment in Second World War; on immigration in the early 20th Century; and on their own struggles as minorities, as well as contributed to the birth of the New American Independent cinema with Wayne Wang’s Chan is Missing.
This book, published on the occasion of the retrospective by the Festival del film Locarno in 2001, is an eclectic collection of voices and views, by the known and not-so-known, that presents a cross-section of Asian Americans working in the American cinema today.
Edited by Roger Garcia. With contributions from Martha Burr, Scarlet Cheng, David Chute, Peter X. Feng, Stephanie Han, Andy Klein, Gina Marchetti, Gary Wray McDonogh, Nicolas Saada, Ariane Simard, Nora Lee Sun, Tony Williams, Cindy Hing-Yuk Wong.