Oscar-nominated, Triple Sundance Award-winning Filmmaker, Author and Curator Arthur Dong Tackles 'Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films'

Published : Sunday, September 15, 2019 | 9:28 AM


Oscar-nominated and triple Sundance award-winning filmmaker, author and curator Arthur Dong will discuss his book, “Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films,” and sign copies on Thursday, October 24, at Vroman’s Bookstore, located at 695 E. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena.

The event begins at 7 p.m.

“Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films” presents an intimate look at the Chinese American role and influence in Hollywood, from some of the earliest films set in America’s Chinatowns to the contemporary artists remaking the face of Hollywood.

Filled with more than 500 stunning, vintage photographs, movie posters, lobby cards and assorted ephemera from the author’s extraordinary personal collection, this lavish coffee-table book’s richly illustrated pages show the myths, misconceptions, and memorable moments of the Chinese in film.

Dong takes the reader on a guided tour of Chinese American film history, from the hyper-stereotyped portrayals of Chinatown Tong Wars to the exoticized romances starring glamorous actresses like Anna May Wong and Nancy Kwan. He highlights the issues and challenges of Hollywood’s history, including the controversial casting of white actors in Asian roles, known as “yellowface.”

Richly detailed and comprehensive in scope, Hollywood Chinese shows how the industry has evolved, beginning with “War of the Tongs (1917),” billed to white audiences as “planned and executed by the Chinese” and ending with “Crazy Rich Asians (2018),” the first film with an all-Asian cast in a quarter century.

Throughout the book, Dong unearths hidden gems from film history, documenting the Chinese actors, screenwriters, directors and producers who worked in Hong Kong, Taipei, San Francisco and elsewhere, producing spectacular films in both Chinese and English for global audiences. All but lost to history, those films have been carefully uncovered and presented in the book.

Dong’s narrative is enhanced by extensive interviews with Hollywood actors, directors, and producers, including Ang Lee, Nancy Kwan, Justin Lin, James Hong, Joan Chen, Wayne Wang, and David Henry Hwang, and writer Amy Tan. The book is published by Angel City Press.

Attendance at the event is free. For more information, call (626) 449-5320 or visit www.vromansbookstore.com.

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