Archive for October, 2019

Chan is Missing : Emma Li, Bry Hong, Alissa Elk, Xiao Jiang

Chan is Missing is a comedy-drama film that was released in 1982. This film was produced and directed by a 33- year-old Wayne Wang. Born in Hong Kong, Wayne Wang grew up in America. Wang, who attended college in San Francisco, had experience working in the Hong Kong and San Francisco theatre and film scenes. At the time of Chan is Missing, Wang was an independent filmmaker who collaborated with Visual Communications in Los Angeles to direct, produce, and edit the film. He had the support of Issac Cronin and Terrel Seltzer in the screenwriting process. Winning a $20,000 National Endowment of the Arts grant, Wang filmed on a 16mm in grainy black and white, shot mostly in San Francisco’s Chinatown. 

The film utilizes various complex and conflicting accounts of the missing Detective Chan to piece together a fractured picture of the Asian American identity. The film also employs metaphors to tie together these accounts and guide viewers towards the deeper, abstract meanings behind them. It puts a twist on the classic mystery films because the missing person is never found. In fact, he barely existed, to begin with, as the audiences never see Chan Hung.

Jo’s monologue is a recapitulation of his and Steve’s discovery of the different sides of Chan Hung through accounts of Chan Hung’s family and acquaintances. After all the time he spent with Chan Hung, Jo finds out that the Chan Hung he thought he knew may not be the complete picture. This scene is significant because it summarizes Jo and Steve’s interactions with Chan Hung’s acquaintances.

October 21, 2019 at 12:02 am Leave a comment

Fall of the I-Hotel: Jackie Jones, Patrick Nan, Kristine Chow

The documentary Fall of the I-Hotel by Curtis Choy was released in 1983, and it follows the story of the Manongs that lived in the International Hotel in San Francisco until their evictions. These elderly Filipino men lived in this repurposed hotel as low-rent housing in the heart of Manilatown, which gradually dwindled due to urban construction and gentrification. During the late 1960’s, the owners of the hotel began sending evictions to the residents, and in response, the community mobilized to protect these elders and prevent the destruction of the hotel. Eventually, after a long struggle, the Manongs were forcibly evicted by the police in 1977. They were not given aid or alternative housing after their evictions. The filmmaker Curtis Choy, who is notable for participating in the production of other Asian American films, spent six years producing Fall of the I-Hotel. 

In terms of filmic language, the use of black and white and color film dates the film, as color film became more accessible as time went on. The film uses a lot of medium shots, so the viewer is able to see the subject’s posture and clothing, while using a shallow depth of field to help guide the viewer’s attention on the subject. 

The first clip we are going to show depicts the disappearance of Manilatown as San Francisco gentrifies. The scene explains the issues that Manilatown faces as the nearby Financial District begins to encroach on the community. The gentrification shown in this documentary is still occuring today in places like the bay area, with other minority races as well. 

The film starts out with an audio history of Manongs, and the scene we show demonstrates the humanization of the Manongs by seeing how the residents of the I hotel live in their rooms. This makes the viewer more invested in the well-being of the residents of the I Hotel because there is a more personal attachment to them.  

October 14, 2019 at 5:56 am Leave a comment


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