Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Film

A century of Chinese and Chinese-American screen representation is gracefully charted in Arthur Dong's documentary "Hollywood Chinese."

With:
With: Turhan Bey, Joan Chen, Tsai Chin, Stephen Gong, James Hong, David Henry Hwang, Nancy Kwan, Christopher Lee, Ang Lee, James Leong Jr., Justin Lin, Lisa Lu, Luise Rainer, James Shigeta, Amy Tan, Wayne Wang, B.D. Wong.

A century of Chinese and Chinese-American screen representation is gracefully charted in “Hollywood Chinese.” While documentarian Arthur Dong has often dealt with discomfiting subjects before (“Coming Out Under Fire,” “License to Kill”), here he and his interviewees take a circumspect tact that parts from the more accusatory tenor in “The Celluloid Closet” and other surveys of cinematic minority portrayal. Result has softer impact, but still holds attention via myriad familiar and rare clips, plus a stellar array of talking heads. Brief theatrical exposure is possible before longterm broadcast and educational play.

Chronology starts with stereotypes from the silent and early sound era, though the picnotes forgotten pioneers like Violet Wong, who tried to create independent production channels for Asian-themed pictures. “Yellowface” casting dominated mainstream hits like the Charlie Chan series and epic “The Good Earth,” reducing actual Chinese-American thesps to background players. Later luminaries from Nancy Kwan to Joan Chen bemusedly note the sometimes embarrassing roles and community criticism they endured. Key pics like “The World of Suzie Wong,” “Flower Drum Song” and “The Joy Luck Club” are spotlit, though 1985’s hotly protested “Year of the Dragon” goes unmentioned.

Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Film

Production: A DeepFocus production in association with the Center for Asian American Media. Produced, directed, written, edited by Arthur Dong.

Crew: Camera (color), Hiroki Miyano; music, Mark Adler. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Real to Reel), Sept. 6, 2007. Running time: 89 MIN.

With: With: Turhan Bey, Joan Chen, Tsai Chin, Stephen Gong, James Hong, David Henry Hwang, Nancy Kwan, Christopher Lee, Ang Lee, James Leong Jr., Justin Lin, Lisa Lu, Luise Rainer, James Shigeta, Amy Tan, Wayne Wang, B.D. Wong.

More Film

  • China Box Office: 'Dying' Holds off

    China Box Office: 'Dying to Survive' Scores $69 Million, Holds Off 'Hidden Man'

    A century of Chinese and Chinese-American screen representation is gracefully charted in “Hollywood Chinese.” While documentarian Arthur Dong has often dealt with discomfiting subjects before (“Coming Out Under Fire,” “License to Kill”), here he and his interviewees take a circumspect tact that parts from the more accusatory tenor in “The Celluloid Closet” and other surveys […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    'Yellow Submarine': A Dazzling Revival Everyone Should See (Especially the New Leaders of Pixar)

    A century of Chinese and Chinese-American screen representation is gracefully charted in “Hollywood Chinese.” While documentarian Arthur Dong has often dealt with discomfiting subjects before (“Coming Out Under Fire,” “License to Kill”), here he and his interviewees take a circumspect tact that parts from the more accusatory tenor in “The Celluloid Closet” and other surveys […]

  • Elsie Fisher appears in I Think

    'Eighth Grade' Rules Indie Box Office With Top Screen Average of 2018

    A century of Chinese and Chinese-American screen representation is gracefully charted in “Hollywood Chinese.” While documentarian Arthur Dong has often dealt with discomfiting subjects before (“Coming Out Under Fire,” “License to Kill”), here he and his interviewees take a circumspect tact that parts from the more accusatory tenor in “The Celluloid Closet” and other surveys […]

  • International Box Office: 'Hotel Transylvania 3'

    'Hotel Transylvania 3' Climbs Past 'Skyscraper' at International Box Office

    A century of Chinese and Chinese-American screen representation is gracefully charted in “Hollywood Chinese.” While documentarian Arthur Dong has often dealt with discomfiting subjects before (“Coming Out Under Fire,” “License to Kill”), here he and his interviewees take a circumspect tact that parts from the more accusatory tenor in “The Celluloid Closet” and other surveys […]

  • Box Office: 'Skyscraper' Underperforms; 'Hotel Transylvania

    Box Office: 'Skyscraper' Gets Rocky Start as 'Hotel Transylvania 3' Checks In at No. 1

    A century of Chinese and Chinese-American screen representation is gracefully charted in “Hollywood Chinese.” While documentarian Arthur Dong has often dealt with discomfiting subjects before (“Coming Out Under Fire,” “License to Kill”), here he and his interviewees take a circumspect tact that parts from the more accusatory tenor in “The Celluloid Closet” and other surveys […]

  • Mitzi Gaynor and Nancy Sinatra Sr.

    Nancy Sinatra Sr., Frank Sinatra's First Wife, Dies at 101

    A century of Chinese and Chinese-American screen representation is gracefully charted in “Hollywood Chinese.” While documentarian Arthur Dong has often dealt with discomfiting subjects before (“Coming Out Under Fire,” “License to Kill”), here he and his interviewees take a circumspect tact that parts from the more accusatory tenor in “The Celluloid Closet” and other surveys […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    'There's Something About Mary' at 20: Cameron Diaz, the Farrelly Brothers on 'Hair Gel' Scene and Other Raunchy Gags

    A century of Chinese and Chinese-American screen representation is gracefully charted in “Hollywood Chinese.” While documentarian Arthur Dong has often dealt with discomfiting subjects before (“Coming Out Under Fire,” “License to Kill”), here he and his interviewees take a circumspect tact that parts from the more accusatory tenor in “The Celluloid Closet” and other surveys […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content