North American Asian movies

One fourth into Banana Boys, a novel by Terry Woo on five Canadian-Chinese youths growing up. It is such an easy read: perhaps not the most well-written thing of all times, but the premise hits home, and the switching between points of view is an interesting literary device. Will be available for borrowing within a week's time, I think.

Isn't The Joy Luck Club such a hated movie. I saw the movie when it came out (I was 13). What I remembered the clearest from that movie was the portrayal of the Asian male player (the watermelon carving scene) and that of the unsensitive traditional Asian male (who was subsequently divorced by one of the young female protagonists). I either felt attacked in the portrayal of Asian males (we aren't paternalistically dominant in-that-way starting from my father's generation, but what society hasn't gone through an age of socio-economic austerity combined to patriarchal dominance? I tend to think that the first leads to the second - and am frequently told of China's Tang dynasty was a flourishing era for arts and gender-wise emancipation), or retained the idea that it was generally bad to be an paternalistic traditional asshole, therefore must be nice and thoughtful (and whether that is how Cedric really appears in RL is another barrel of oats), and that (et ce), even before ever hearing the assertive Banana let's-break-stereotypes (and bash on The Joy Luck Club, ironically written by a Chinese author, Amy Tan) argumentation.

What I really wanted to point out, were movies *worth* watching, and which I haven't had the chance to watch, or missed the chance to watch when they were actually in theatres. The first one is Better Luck Tomorrow, which came out in accessible and cheap cinemas in Montreal (Eaton Centre!) during the winter of 2003. John Cho, of Harold & Kumar fame (another movie that a certain friend of mine has), stars in that movie, telling the story of four young Asian males going from scam to scam until they reach the point of no return. It sounded like a hell of a movie, and a story that, as the director Justin Lin was saying, could've been told with non-Asian kids as well.

The other movie is Eve and the Fire Horse (corrected), a movie that was shown at Sundance this year, and which told the story of two sisters growing up in the suburbs of Vancouver in the 70s. I just hope it gets at least a local release in Canadian markets...

Another one would probably be Saving Face.

More suggestions? (Please don't say Charlie's Angel, or Shanghai Noon...)



a.n. said:

Actually the Sisters of Mercy film you're referring to is titled Eve & The Fire horse.

Other NA-Asian films: Eric Byler's Americanese (which focuses on a Chinese-American man struggling through his relationships) and Ham Tran's Journey Through a Fall (on Vietnamese refugees at the end of the Vietnam War).

You might want to check out Angry Asian Man ( for news about Asian-American films sometimes as well as other Asian-American news; it's a great blog.

smurfmatic said:

Oh shite, indeed!

And thanks for aam, I also check it from time to time.

Dee said:

Ced, this has to be one of my favorite entries. ^_^

smurfmatic said:

So therefore you comment with something, like the titles of a few Asian American films you liked (or even disliked -one's garbage is another's treasure)! :D


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This page contains a single entry by Cedric published on April 12, 2006 1:11 AM.

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