Asian-American Cinema Part VII - The 1980s

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 25, 2009 04:16pm | Post a Comment
The seventh of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera


In the 1980s, the Asian-American population grew radically, with over 2.5 million immigrants joining the already large, native-born, Asian-American population. Nonetheless, Asian-Americans continued to be disproportionately underrepresented on the silver screen.


On the stage, David Henry Hwang's play M. Butterfly was the first Asian-American play to appear on Broadway. Other successful Asian playwrights followed, including Philip Kan Gotanda and Velina Hasu Houston. New APA theaters were founded too, including Cold Tofu Arts and Entertainment/Theatre inLos AngelesNew York's Ma-Yi Theater Company and National Asian American Theatre Company, and the Asian Story Theater in San Diego.


Whilst in Hollywood most Asian males were invariably cast as fortune-cookie mystics and ninjas, a new stereotype emerged for younger Asian males; the studious, awkward and almost always heavily-accented Asian nerd (e.g. Long Duck Dong, Data WangToshiro TakashiVinh Kelly, &c). One notable exception to the young Asian nerd stereotype in Hollywood is Dustin Nguyen as Harry Truman Ioki on 21 Jump Street. In 1987, Pat Morita stars on the TV show Ohara, the third series with an Asian lead.


Asian American media arts organizations including Los Angeles' Visual Communications and New York's Asian CineVision began producing Asian American works.

                                  Wayne Wang                                                                               Steve Okazaki

Asian-American Cinema Part VI - The 1970s

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 25, 2009 04:16pm | Post a Comment
The sixth of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera


After short-lived attempts in the silent era to establish an Asian-American Cinema, for most of the in the first and second halves of the studio era, Hollywood single-handedly created and controlled almost all celluloid images of Asian-Americans. With the beginnings of Asian-American theater in the 1960s and its growth in the 1970s coinciding with the decline of the Hollywood studio system, all that began to change with the rebirth of Asia-American Cinema, albeit slowly at first. Only in the 1990s and 2000s has a large and diverse Asian-American cinema, Asian-American theater and Asian-American comedy scene truly flourished -- offering a viable alternative to Hollywood's continued stereotypes and ongoing homogeneity.

Orphaned Cambodian Children Vietnamese Boat People

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 5/25/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 25, 2009 03:12pm | Post a Comment

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend:



DISKOKAINE (produced by SALLY SHAPIRO) rips out this club- focused, high energy electro tech record chock full of ear piercing synths & big room fuzz. Includes a ghetto-tech remix by DJ FUNK and two other storming remixes from TELONIUS and CHRISTOPHER JUST.




Posted by Billyjam, May 25, 2009 06:52am | Post a Comment
Grizzly Bear "Two Weeks" video by Patrick Daughters from the new album Veckatimest on
Warp Records - official release date tomorrow but available today at Amoeba Music

The buzz surrounding Brooklyn's Grizzly Bear and the anticipation for their new album Veckatimest on Warp Records is well justifiedGrizzly Bear Veckatimest. The record will be officially released tomorrow (May 26th), but is available exclusively today at Amoeba! Grizzly Bear is the sort of muscial group that comes along way too rarely: one that is truly original yet somehow familiar sounding, and also extremely talented. Their music draws you in with timeless melodies and harmonies so beautiful that they might make you weep, but will definitely remind you of snatches of a myriad of other (mostly bygone) great rock/pop/folk acts including the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, and even a bit of Radiohead (who they opened for on part of their North American tour last summer).

Comprised of guitarists/songwriters Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen, along with drummer/vocalist Christopher Bear and multi-instrumentalist Chris Taylor (bass/electronics/woodwinds/vocals), Grizzly Bear released their first record as a quartet in 2006. Yellow House came out on Warp and included their infectious song "Knife" (see video below). Although released under the name Grizzly Bear, 2004's Horn Of Plenty on Kanine Records was really an Ed Droste solo release. Most recently, in late 2007, they released the EP Friend.

Asian-American Cinema Part V - The 1960s

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 24, 2009 04:58pm | Post a Comment
 The fifth of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera

The 1960s also the growth of minority-minded civil rights like AIM, the Black Panthersthe Brown Beretsand the Yellow Brotherhood. With Asian-themed musicals no longer in vogue, Asian actors struggled to find work in the entertainment industry. As a result, Asian theatre blossomed, beginning in earnest with Los Angeles' East West Players in 1965 and followed by San Francisco’s Asian American Theatre Workshop, New York’s Oriental Actors of America and Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, and Seattle’sTheatrical Ensemble

The theater groups performed Asian-created works by the likes of Edward Sakamoto, Frank Chin, Hiroshi Kashiwagi,  Momoko Iko and Wakako Yamauchi.

On TV, Asian American actors continued to be nearly non-existent with Green Hornet, Hawaii Five-O, Hong Kong, I Spy and Star Trek being exceptions. 

In film, the fetishization of Asian women continued. More shocking was the way films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Thoroughly Modern Millie still represented Asian men in the most hateful ways.


Bill M. Ryusaki Brian Tochi Chao Li Chi
               Bill M. Rusaki                                                Brian Tochi                                                Chao Li Ch 

 Gina Alajar Harold Sakata Irene Tsu
                   Gina Alajar                            Harold Sakata                                                     Irene Tsu 

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