Re: [Videolib] NAATA=?ISO-8859-1?B?oCAmoA==?= Fox + Wong +

Jessica Rosner (jrosner@kino.com)
Thu, 03 Jul 2003 15:30:19 -0400

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Dennis
I have NO problem if NAATA wanted to pressure Fox to show the Chan's showe=
d
IN CONTEXT but they wanted them banned. I think the Wong & Hayakawa
comparison is more than fair. They allege that the Chan's should not even b=
e
SEEN because they perpetuate bad stereotypes of Asians yet they UNDERSTAND
and SUPPORT studying and screening Wong & Hayakawa films many of which
perpetuate the same or worse stereotypes. To me this is clear double
standard in that is it is OK for Asian actors to play offensive characters
because "they had no choice" but if I white actor plays a character who is
by ANY standard for less offensive that SOME characters played by the above
of the above, it is so horrific that it can't be shown to the general
public.=20

I also think it is going to get VERY messy if ever offended ethnic or
political group insists that
any old movie with offensive content must be shown in "context". Since this
would simply make it too expensive for the already wary studios to show
those old movies they don't care that much about in the first place.

Don't worry you will be rid of me in an hour and you can post anything you
want about
Chan, Wong OR the Cubs
--=20
Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

From: MileFilms@aol.com
Reply-To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2003 13:09:43 EDT
To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Subject: [Videolib] NAATA=A0 &=A0 Fox + Wong + Hayakawa

In a message dated 7/3/03 9:49:27 AM, jrosner@kino.com writes:

I believe NAATA is hypocritical in condemning the Fox Chan series
as perpetuating racist stereotypes WHILE at the same time often supporting
and encouraging research & presentations of films starring Anna May Wong &
Sessue Hayakawa, the two seminal figures in Asian American film history
In many of their films both portrayed the worst kind of Asian stereotype
lustful, greedy, evil figures out to destroy white Christian society. NAATA
feels THESE films should be studied but the Fox Chan's in which the Asian
character is smart ,sympathetic and heroic should be banned largely because
a white actor plays the lead.

Jessica,
Okay, this is where I have to step in and strongly disagree. A blanket
statement about Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa's contribution to cinema
just to attack NAATA is just as wrong-headed as any statement NAATA has
made. (And coincidently, our mutual friend making the documentary on Anna
just called me as I'm writing this...)

Working on two of their films and studying the rest of their work, it's tru=
e
that there are works in their career I'm sure they'd would look back on
today (if they weren't already dead) and regret, but Hayakawa's own
productions and several of Wong's films are quite remarkably advanced for
the time. The fact that they were big stars in Hollywood and around the
world during an era where options for non-white actors were limited, is
enough reason to study and make documentaries about them.

As for NAATA, they have every right (or wrong) to excercize free speech and
protest -- I'm surprised people are attacking them for doing so. It's
certainly something I would do if a distributor or broadcaster showed films
from the Third Reich or Stalinist era without any context. Not to confuse
Charlie Chan with Jew Struss, but NAATA can protest, and Fox can stand up
for what they believe in and what is right -- if they believed in anything,
of course. They certainly were willing to take a brave stance with Jar Jar
Blinks when they were grossing millions of dollars with Star Wars Phantom
Menace. ;-)

So the disturbing fact -- though long obvious at most of the studios -- is
that Fox caved in because they have no moral or intellectual imperative to
what they show or why. The days of Bill Paley at CBS are definitely over.
Turner Classic Movies, when they showed Birth of a Nation, had a wrap-aroun=
d
featuring a film scholar as well as director Charles Burnett discussing the
pros and cons of the film -- they even left in Charles suggesting that
Turner shouldn't even be showing it in the first place! This is good
broadcasting (and the people at TCM are indeed remarkable).

Fox bent to pressure because they have no real ethical backbone. That's why
I sent a letter of protest.

(And by the way, I have seen the Charlie Chan films as well.)

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (800) 603-1104 or (201) 767-3117
Fax: (201) 767-3035
Email: milefilms@aol.com
www.milestonefilms.com

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Re: [Videolib]  NAATA=A0 &=A0 Fox + Wong + Hayakawa Dennis
I have NO problem if NAATA wanted to pressure  Fox to show the Chan's = showed IN CONTEXT but they wanted them banned. I think the Wong & Hayaka= wa comparison is more than fair. They allege that the Chan's should not even= be SEEN because they perpetuate bad stereotypes of Asians yet they UNDERSTA= ND and SUPPORT studying and screening Wong & Hayakawa films many of whic= h perpetuate the same or worse stereotypes. To me this is clear double stand= ard in that is it is OK for Asian actors to play offensive characters becaus= e "they had no choice" but if I white actor plays a character who = is by ANY standard for less offensive that SOME characters played by the abo= ve of the above, it is so horrific that it can't be shown to the general pub= lic.

I also think it is going to get VERY messy if ever offended ethnic or polit= ical group insists that
any old movie with offensive content must be shown in "context". = Since this would simply make it too expensive for the already wary studios t= o show those old movies they don't care that much about in the first place.<= BR>
Don't worry you will be  rid of me in an hour and you can post anythin= g you want about
Chan, Wong OR the Cubs
--
Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018


From: MileFilms@aol.com
Reply-To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2003 13:09:43 EDT
To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Subject: [Videolib]  NAATA=A0 &=A0 Fox + Wong + Hayakawa


In a message dated 7/3/03 9:= 49:27 AM, jrosner@kino.com writes:

I believe NAATA is hypocritical in condemning the Fox Chan series
as perpetuating racist stereotypes WHILE at the same time often supporting<= BR> and encouraging research & presentations of films starring Anna May Won= g &
Sessue Hayakawa, the two seminal figures in Asian American film history
In many of their films both portrayed the worst kind of Asian stereotype lustful, greedy, evil figures out to destroy white Christian society. NAATA=
feels THESE films should be studied but the Fox Chan's in which the Asian character is smart ,sympathetic and heroic should be banned largely because=
a white actor plays the lead.


Jessica,
Okay, this is where I have to step in and strongly disagree. A blanket stat= ement about Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa's contribution to cinema just = to attack NAATA is just as wrong-headed as any statement NAATA has made. (An= d coincidently, our mutual friend making the documentary on Anna just called= me as I'm writing this...)

Working on two of their films and studying the rest of their work, it's tru= e that there are works in their career I'm sure they'd would look back on to= day (if they weren't already dead) and regret, but Hayakawa's own production= s and several of Wong's films are quite remarkably advanced for the time. Th= e fact that they were big stars in Hollywood and around the world during an = era where options for non-white actors were limited, is enough reason to stu= dy and make documentaries about them.

As for NAATA, they have every right (or wrong) to excercize free speech and= protest -- I'm surprised people are attacking them for doing so. It's certa= inly something I would do if a distributor or broadcaster showed films from = the Third Reich or Stalinist era without any context. Not to confuse Charlie= Chan with Jew Struss, but NAATA can protest, and Fox can stand up for what = they believe in and what is right -- if they believed in anything, of course= . They certainly were willing to take a brave stance with Jar Jar Blinks whe= n they were grossing millions of dollars with Star Wars Phantom Menace. ;-)<= BR>
So the disturbing fact -- though long obvious at most of the studios -- is = that Fox caved in because they have no moral or intellectual imperative to w= hat they show or why. The days of Bill Paley at CBS are definitely over. Tur= ner Classic Movies, when they showed Birth of a Nation, had a wrap-around fe= aturing a film scholar as well as director Charles Burnett discussing the pr= os and cons of the film -- they even left in Charles suggesting that Turner = shouldn't even be showing it in the first place! This is good broadcasting (= and the people at TCM are indeed remarkable).

Fox bent to pressure because they have no real ethical backbone. That's why= I sent a letter of protest.

(And by the way, I have seen the Charlie Chan films as well.)

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (800) 603-1104 or (201) 767-3117
Fax: (201) 767-3035
Email: milefilms@aol.com
www.milestonefilms.com


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