Class of 1997, the voices and more.
Chris Chan Lee, Justin Lin, Rea Tajiri, myself, Quentin Lee, Michael Aki. We all wrote about our ideas about 1997, our trips, our films, what it was like, and what it became. This might be one of the most important posts regarding Asian American film, ever. It’s a long read, and each of us in many ways seemed to have similar views looking back. I’m glad I’m not the only one. This was to be 2 paragraphs from each of us. I thought I was doing a disservice by writing 4 or 5. It turns out, some of the others wrote nearly a book. I’m not sure if it’s great to be lumped into this nostalgia just yet, since this is the type of stuff I used to think should just die off, but oh well. One thing that might be fun to hear is from the film festival programmers etc. I know they played major favorites to who they thought were the bigger films. Yellow, by Chris Chan Lee was considered to big one for sure. We were always given the crappier time slots and smaller theaters (yes, admit it bitches). Our film sold out at it’s premiere, plenty early, and no further screenings afterwards. At the NY Asian American festival, we were given a midnight slot in the middle of nowhere and I think 8 people were there. Black and white film = midnight? That was fucked up. For that, I give the programmer the middle finger.
But overall, it’s very possible that of all of these films, ours may hold up the most because it was shot black and white and grainy, giving it a timeless feel – sort of like Strangers in Paradise by Jarmusch. It’s theme wasn’t about Asian America at all, or had a cast that existed in Asian American land. It was very prototypical, but then again, we never even considered our film to be part of any Asian American anything. Read more, at the link please.