3 items from 2011
Anna May Wong (1905 – 1961) was the first Asian American movie star to become an international star. Her career spanned over four decades. She started in Technicolor’s first two-strip color movie, The Toll of the Sea (1922) and was chosen by Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. to be in The Thief of Bagdad (1924), and co-starred with Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express (1932). Both Hollywood and Europe proclaimed her exoticism and she became known for her fluid grace and languid sexuality on screen.
The port city of Bristol, England, »
It’s taken pretty much for granted in modern cinema that, for a Chinese film role, you cast a Chinese actor. Just as leading men no longer black up in boot polish to play Othello, actresses long ago stopped painting their eyes slanted to look Chinese. It’s daft, it’s unconvincing, and to the actors turned away for being ‘too Chinese for screen’, it’s racist.
In Anna May Wong’s day though, this was standard practice. In spite of this idotiic, pig-headed racism shown to her by studio bosses, Wong carved out an enviable career for herself, becoming the world’s first Asian-American star. She cut her acting teeth playing alongside the inimitable Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Bagdad (1924); Shanghai Express (1932) saw her upstage Marlene Dietrich in the slinky seductress stakes. After all that, Hollywood’s ridiculous Hays Code forbade her to share an on-screen kiss with »
June 20th sees the release of the Anna May Wong double-bill of 1934's Java Head and Tiger Bay on DVD, and to celebrate Flickering Myth have three copies to give away to our readers courtesy of Optimum Releasing.
The first Asian American movie star to become an international star, Anna May Wong's career spanned over four decades, starting in Technicolor’s first two-strip color movie, The Toll of the Sea (1922) and was chosen by Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. to be in The Thief of Bagdad (1924), and co-starred with Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express (1932).
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"Java Head: The port city of Bristol, England, in the 1800s is home to Java Head, a sailing ship line company. The owner has two sons. One, a handsome seafarer, is in love with a local girl, but cannot marry her due to a long-running feud between their fathers. »
3 items from 2011
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