×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Yellow

An "Asian-American Graffiti" following eight high-schoolers during their eventful graduation night, "Yellow" boasts some diverting moments --- but no discernible control whatsoever over numerous fluctuations in tone and narrative focus. Fests looking for fresh (if highly formative) Amerindie voices might take a look, but commercial prospects are doubtful. Central figure is Sin (Michael Chung), who faces yet more hard time slaving in his strict, unpleasant Korean dad's L.A. convenience store if college scholarships don't pan out. Tonight he's dismayed to discover that his parents are leaving him in charge of closing up shop; after they leave, a trio of African-American youths show up and --- we're led to believe --- rob the store. Sin delivers this bad news to his party-ready friends. They don't question why Sin didn't call the police, creating a major hole in plot logic that hangs over all subsequent action.

With:
With: Michael Chung (Sin), Burt Bulos (Alex), John Cho, Jason Tobin, Angie Suh, Mia Suh, Mary Chen, Lela Lee, Soon-Tek Oh, Emily Kuroda, Amy Hill.

Best pal Alex (Burt Bulos) decides the group will pool resources to help out Sin. Their available cash supply, however, comes up far short; the teens try other, variously on-the-level methods to score the necessary dough. Meanwhile, Sin puts pressure on his baffled girlfriend, Teri (Mia Suh), to join him in a spur-of-the-moment road trip to San Francisco.

As both writer and director, feature debutante Chris Chan Lee lets “Yellow” jump all over the place, without the thematic daring or stylistic bravado that might have lent such arbitrariness an internal logic. While numerous small

moments sport youthful energy and humor, they often run smack against poorly judged serious ones. Typically offbeat yet unsuccessful is the late juxtaposition of a tense, potentially violent second store robbery with broad comedy as Sin’s concerned mother (Emily Kuroda) consults an over-the-top spiritualist (Amy Hill).

Character development amongst the leads is spotty; there’s too much of Sin’s nervous gloom (overdone by Chung), and virtually no insight into fellow travelers like shy Janet (Lela Lee). Adult figures are painted in terms of

first-generation-immigrant stereotypes — sometimes with deliberate parodic intent. The scrutiny of larger racial attitudes promised by “Yellow’s” title never comes through.

Throwaway comic bits often demonstrate an assurance lacking in more dramatically important scenes; performances and lensing follow that same pattern. Other tech aspects are adequate. One consistent element is

soundtracking of some excellent indie-rock songs by Asian-American-led bands; their propulsive energy suggests the larkier, more enjoyable youth pic “Yellow”

might have been if its ambitions had been kept manageable.

Yellow

Production: A Public Works Films production, in association with Legend Filmworks. Produced by Chris Chan Lee, David Yang. Co-producer, Rita Yoon. Directed, written by Chris Chan Lee.

Crew: Camera (color, 16mm), Theodore Cohen; editor, Kenn Kashima; sound, Curtis Choy; assistant director, Howard Karesh. Reviewed at AMC Kabuki 8, San Francisco, March 8, 1997. (In S.F. Asian American Film Festival; also in L.A. Indie Fest.) Running time: 101 MIN.

With: With: Michael Chung (Sin), Burt Bulos (Alex), John Cho, Jason Tobin, Angie Suh, Mia Suh, Mary Chen, Lela Lee, Soon-Tek Oh, Emily Kuroda, Amy Hill.

More Film

  • Storyboard Media Announce David Albala’s ‘Viento

    Storyboard Media Announce David Albala’s ‘Viento Blanco’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chile’s Storyboard Media has announced an agreement to co-produce, along with Caliber 71, Javier Valdés and Benjamin Vicuña, director David Albala’s second feature, “Viento Blanco.” (“White Wind”) Albala’s debut, “Jailbreak Pact,” turned on a dramatic real-life prison-break which took place in Santiago, Chile in 1990. That film was also produced by Caliber 71, distributed by [...]

  • C International Sales, Pablo Solarz Ink

    C International Sales Inks Sales Representation Deal with Argentina’s Pablo Solarz

    Argentina’s Pablo Salarz, one of Latin America’s best-known film and TV writer-directors, has entered a non-exclusive financing relationship with C International Sales, the international arm of Cinestaan Film Company. Although non-exclusive, the deal is an early example of international companies moving to court or tie-down key talent in Latin America. The deal was negotiated by C International [...]

  • Director’s Feature Debut Paints Dark Comic

    Cuba’s Marcos Diaz Sosa Delivers ‘Shock’ to Ventana Sur

    A disenchanted young pregnant woman is afraid of getting stuck in the small Cuban town where she lives. But when a tornado whisks her away to a luxury resort – where her competitive shooting skills turn her into a celebrity amongst the island’s Communist elite – she comes to realize, like a Hollywood heroine of [...]

  • Alan Moore's 'The Show' to Star

    First Look: Alan Moore's 'The Show,' Starring Tom Burke

    The first look image has been released from British independent movie “The Show,” based on an original story by graphic novel creator Alan Moore, best known for “Watchmen,” “V for Vendetta,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and “From Hell.” The cast is led by Tom Burke, whose credits include “War and Peace,” “The Souvenir” and [...]

  • Thierry Frémaux on Netflix, the Oscars,

    Ventana Sur: Thierry Fremaux on Netflix, the Oscars, Argentine Cinema, Educating Spectators

    BUENOS AIRES — “You can’t condition Cannes on an event which takes place in Hollywood the following March,” said Thierry Frémaux in a keynote speech at Ventana Sur, “Questions on the Present of Cinema,” which took in Netflix,  “Roma,” and the need to educate audiences for more complex cinema. Cannes Festival’s charter insisted that it [...]

  • Inseparables Venice

    Sony Pictures TV Clinches Expands Multi-Territory Deal on ‘Inseparable’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — In another Hollywood studio deal unveiled at Ventana Sur, Sony Pictures Television has expanded its multi-territory deal on Marcos Carnevale’s “Inseparables” (Inseparable) to take in four new major territories: France, Germany, South Korea and Japan. Sony Pictures Television already holds all TV/VOD rights for Latin America and all rights for México, Chile and [...]

  • Assumptions Of Digital Disruption Challenged at

    IFFAM: Disruption Assumptions Challenged at Industry Forum

    What a difference a year makes. At the 2017 Industry Forum, part of the International Film Festival and Awards Macao, executives had concluded that disruptors to traditional models of distribution, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, are temporary, while film is forever. Only 12 months later, two of the three topics discussed at the same [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content