Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Asians in Hollywood

Apparently there's some sort of Asian film festival airing on the Turner Classic Movies channel in June. I'm still waiting to get the new HD widescreen TV before signing my life away to cable, so I may have to invite myself over to a friend's house to catch this. Actually, there's several chances to catch it, as they're airing 37 films throughout June, every Tuesday and Thursday at 8pm, starting on June 3rd.

With that out of the way, I did check out a promo for this series and, well, why don't you watch it first? (I tried embedding this but the code doesn't seem to be live yet.)

First off, I didn't know Ming-Na Wen, who once changed her name to just "Ming Na," is now "Ming Wen." Geez, where's the fun in that? It's hardly even pretty any more. Actually, I used to call her "Ming" back when I occasionally played poker at the house. (If you saw her on that Celebrity Poker show, she really is good at cards.) I swear, she always looked a little irritated every time I abbreviated her name, probably because Ming is more of a guy's name.

Secondly, in this next promo, Nancy Kwan still looks damn good! She's gotta be, what, 65 or 70 now? I met her many years ago back when I was working at Yolk and she looked me up and down, and then back down again. It was so blatant I almost felt like I had to go home and take a shower afterward.

The series is commercial-free and, according to the website, "uncut." So I guess that would mean they're going to air Enter the Dragon in its full, uncut R-rated version. We'll see, I suppose.

Now thirdly, that voiceover in the promo. Doesn't it sound distinctly chinky to you? I mean, it's not completely stereotypical, but it definitely borders on chinkiness. I don't know who is doing the VO as I can't recognize her voice. But I think it would be wise for TCM to hire a better Asian voiceover artist than her, possibly someone recognizable such as Joy Luck Club's Tsai Chin, or, if they can only pay AFTRA rates, then possibly one of the radio DJs in San Francisco (KBLX perhaps) or some local TV news anchor. Surely, they can find someone who doesn't propagate all those Orien'al stereotypes, right?

Anyway, you gotta give TCM some credit for airing this film festival. I'm sure a lot of thought went in to choosing the movies they selected. It'd probably behoove me to watch them, too, since my repertoire is fairly limited when it comes to old Hollywood films with Asians in them. Personally, I prefer to watch old Asian films with Asians in them, but that's just me.

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