Amoeblog

Asian-American Cinema Part I - The Silent Era

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 3, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment
The first of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera

ASIAN-AMERICANS IN SILENT FILM


In the early days of west coast film production, there were few roles for Asian actors except as unflattering stereotypes or anonymous background work. Nonetheless, a small number pursued careers in front of and behind the camera, intersecting and influencing Hollywood's embryonic phase. Although most worked in near complete obscurity, two -- Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa -- became veritable superstars. They still were virtually unable to find roles to their liking, since most of the lead roles (still usually degrading) went to actors in yellowface, a practice that continued long after blackface became taboo. Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa used their earnings to attempt to improve opportunities for less famous Asians by creating more positive depictions, following black cinema's lead. However, with immigration restricted and laws preventing citizenship and property ownership, even the few rich, famous Americanized Asians faced considerable challenges.




ASIAN-AMERICANS IN THE SILENT FILM ERA

In the silent era, most of the APA-related films were low budget, forgettable Chinatown mysteries and crude yellow peril thrillers but they do remain interesting for multiple reasons, including their reflection of changing American attitudes as well as as documents of the efforts of the country's second largest racial minority to break into a system who viewed them as subhuman at worst and as generally as exotic, inscrutable aliens at best.

Anthony Mann /James Stewart/ Rock Hudson @ New Bev

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 2, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Having just seen a couple of Mann's earliest films, I'm very intrigued by this double feature. In addition to Stewart & Hudson, you've got Shelly Winters, Dan Duryea, Tony Curtis, Harry Morgan & Arthur Kennedy as well as William Daniels (Naked City/Abandoned/Brute Force) behind the lens on Winchester '73.

Sun-Tues
New Beverly Cinema
7165 Beverly Blvd.
LA, CA  90036

Modern Romantix Tonight!!!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 2, 2009 02:35pm | Post a Comment

This Week At The New Bev!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 2, 2009 10:23am | Post a Comment

The May / June Calendar is NOW online!
http://newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm


Friday & Saturday May 1 & 2


Two Favorites of Forrest J. Ackerman

Vetiver Performance & Interview Video

Posted by Miss Ess, May 1, 2009 02:16pm | Post a Comment
vetiver

Local band Vetiver has risen in the folk rock ranks over the past few years, and their latest album, out now on the lovely Sub Pop, is called Tight Knit. We have a video of Vetiver performing May 15, 2008 at Amoeba Berkeley freshly up on the website as well as a video interview which I've included below, conducted by our own Arvel. The songs they play at the instore performance are mostly from their excellent covers album Thing of the Past, and also include one of my personal favorites, "Maureen," originally found on the Between EP. Check out the performance, track by track right here.


Stay tuned for an upcoming interview here in the blogs with Alissa Anderson, formerly of Vetiver, Andy Cabic's other half and a bonafide rock photographer with several album credits to her name, including Devendra Banhart's Cripple Crow.

Click here to read the interview I did with Andy from Vetiver last year.

Also, our website has tons of performance and interview videos and photos with the many artists who have hit the Amoeba stage over the years, such as Devendra Banhart, Band of Horses, Flight of the Conchords, M.I.A, Thurston Moore, Six Organs of Admittance and a zillion more. Just click here to take a peek at the archives.
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