Countervisions: Asian American Film Criticism

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Temple University Press, 2000 - Performing Arts - 317 pages
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Spotlighting Asian Americans on both sides of the motion picture camera, Countervisions examines the aesthetics, material circumstances, and politics of a broad spectrum of films released in the last thirty years. This anthology focuses in particular on the growing presence of Asian Americans as makers of independent films and cross-over successes. Essays of film criticism and interviews with film makers emphasize matters of cultural agency--that is, the practices through which Asian American actors, directors, and audience members have shaped their own cinematic images. One of the anthology's key contributions is to trace the evolution of Asian American independent film practice over thirty years. Essays on the Japanese American internment and historical memory, essays on films by women and queer artists, and the reflections of individual film makers discuss independent productions as subverting or opposing the conventions of commercial cinema. But Countervisions also resists simplistic readings of "mainstream" film representations of Asian Americans and enumerations of negative images. Writing about Hollywood stars Anna May Wong and Nancy Kwan, director Wayne Wang, and erotic films, several contributors probe into the complex and ambivalent responses of Asian American audiences to stereotypical roles and commerical success. Taken together, the spirited, illuminating essays in this collection offer an unprecedented examination of a flourishing cultural production. Author note: Darrell Y. Hamamoto is Associate Professor in the Asian American Studies Program at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of Nervous Laughter: Television Situation Comedy and Liberal Democratic Ideology, Monitored Peril: Asian Americans and the Poltics of Television Representation, and New American Destinies: a Reader in Contemporary Asian and Latino Immigration. Sandra Liu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
 

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Contents

III
1
IV
21
V
23
VI
40
VII
57
VIII
59
IX
90
X
112
XVI
177
XVII
186
XVIII
203
XIX
221
XX
243
XXI
245
XXII
263
XXIII
275

XI
127
XII
129
XIII
150
XIV
163
XV
175
XXIV
298
XXV
313
XXVI
315
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About the author (2000)

DARRELL Y. HAMAMOTO is a Professor of Sociology at National University and serves as program coordinator for the School of Arts and Sciences. His critical pieces and photographs have appeared in "Rock and Roll Confidential", "Pulse!", "Film Quarterly", "Guitar Player", "L.A. Weekly", "The Orange Country Register", and "The Journal of Popular Film and Television".

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