Film Independent Presents Hollywood Chinese: Why Stop At The Doc? With Arthur Dong

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Film Independent Presents Hollywood Chinese: Why Stop At The Doc? With Arthur Dong

Film Independent is presenting Hollywood Chinese: Why Stop at the Doc? on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 7:30pm at Film Independent HQ, 5670 Wilshire Blvd., 9th Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90036.Tickets are free and the event is open to the general public. Click here to register for the event. Validated parking in the building garage after 5:30 pm.

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Arthur Dong (Hollywood Chinese, Coming Out Under Fire) has been a pioneer of self-distribution for over twenty years. From theatrical releases to home video, television and the educational market, to complex collaborations with museums and social outreach organizations, he has mastered the art of exploiting the rights of his films and creative work far beyond a festival premiere.

Hollywood Chinese started life as an acclaimed documentary about a little-known chapter of cinema: the Chinese in American feature films. Next came an exhibit at the Chinese American Museum, which is currently on display at the legendary Formosa Café in West Hollywood.

Now, Dong has just released the latest iteration of the Hollywood Chinese story: a lavish coffee table book, published by Angel City Press.

To mark the launch of Dong's book, Film Independent presents a show-and-tell-all seminar where the filmmaker/author will share the secrets of his ongoing success in sustaining a living through expanding the life of his films.

Following the conversation, which will be moderated by Lisa Leeman, copies of Hollywood Chinese (the book!) will be available for purchase and signing by Dong.

Dong's second book, Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films provides a spectacular view of the Chinese American impact on the movies, from some of the earliest films set in America's renowned Chinatowns to contemporary hits and artists that are remaking the face of Hollywood.

Filled with page-after-page of stunning vintage images, this lavish coffee-table book is not only an opulent and entertaining look at some of the movie world's most fascinating characters, it also illustrates the myths, misconceptions, and memorable moments of the Chinese and Chinese Americans in films made in the United States. Hollywood Chinese brings to life the history of these films as only Arthur Dong, an award-winning filmmaker, can-vividly, with an eye for detail that captures the drama inherent in how Asian cultures have been portrayed by Hollywood studios.

Exploring the ways the American film industry has celebrated Chinese and Chinese American culture, Dong also examines how that industry subtly-and not so subtly-projected stereotypes into its movies. His book Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films explores the power of these images and their lasting impact.

Hollywood Chinese spotlights archival material selected from more than 2,000 pieces of movie memorabilia the author has collected since his youth, when he was growing up in San Francisco Chinatown and during his ten years of research for his documentary of the same name-the genesis of his new book. Featuring Dong's trove of cinematic artifacts-photographs, posters, lobby cards, stills, press kits, and other ephemera-Hollywood Chinese visually explains many of the social and cultural attitudes on race over the past century, to show how those attitudes have played out in Hollywood films. Although Hollywood Chinese centers on the Chinese, its analysis will resonate with other ethnic and marginalized groups as well, challenging racist assumptions about minorities in America, biases that were especially pervasive in early Hollywood films.

As a counterpoint to Hollywood's yellowface and whitewashed caricatures, Arthur Dong includes his personal interviews with Chinese and Chinese American artists who have produced, directed, written, and starred in Hollywood films. These chronicles of resistance will empower readers with inspiring alternative narratives. Ang Lee, Nancy Kwan, Justin Lin, James Hong, Joan Chen, Wayne Wang, David Henry Hwang, and Amy Tan provide insights, while Dong's impeccable research traces the uphill battle fought by pioneers such as Marion Wong who was the first Asian American to direct and produce a feature in California. Hollywood Chinese features a Foreword by Randy Haberkamp, Managing Director of Preservation and Foundation Programs at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and an Afterword by award-winning producer Janet Yang (The Joy Luck Club).

Click here to purchase the book.

Film Independent Presents Hollywood Chinese: Why Stop At The Doc? With Arthur Dong
Arthur Dong. Photo by Max Shapovalov 


About the speaker
A San Francisco Chinatown native, Arthur Dong is an Oscar nominee, a Peabody and Sundance award-winning filmmaker, author, and curator whose work centers on Asian American and LGBTQ stories. Dong’s films about Asian American history and culture include The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor (2015); Hollywood Chinese (2007); Forbidden City, U.S.A. (1989); and Sewing Woman (1987). Among his films on LGBTQ issues are Coming Out Under Fire (1994) and Licensed to Kill (1997). Dong has curated exhibitions showcasing his extensive archive of cultural ephemera, including Chop Suey on Wax: The Flower Drum Song Album; Forbidden City, USA; and his most recent, Hollywood Chinese, on display at the iconic Formosa Café in West Hollywood. Dong’s first book Forbidden City, USA: Chinatown Nightclubs 1936-1970 received an American Book Award in 2015 and and the Art Deco Historic Preservation Award. Dong recently received The 2019 California LGBT Arts Alliance Trail Blazer Award.

About the moderator
Lisa Leeman is a longtime documentary filmmaker, whose films illuminate contemporary social issues through intimate character-driven stories that follow people at critical turning points (One Lucky ElephantOut of FaithAwake). She is currently directing and producing Trans*Formed, a follow-up to her award-winning film Metamorphosis (Sundance Filmmakers Trophy, POV/PBS).



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