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The Slanted Screen (2006)

7.3
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Reviews: 6 user | 3 critic

From silent film star Sessue Hayakawa to Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle, the Slanted Screen examines the portrayal Asian men in film and television, and how new filmmakers are now ... See full summary »

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From silent film star Sessue Hayakawa to Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle, the Slanted Screen examines the portrayal Asian men in film and television, and how new filmmakers are now re-defining age-old stereotypes. Includes interviews with actors Mako, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, James Shigeta, Dustin Nguyen, Will Yun Lee, Phillip Rhee, Tzi Ma, comedian Bobby Lee, producer Terence Chang, casting director Heidi Levitt and directors Gene Cajayon and Eric Byler. The film contains over 50 film clips of depictions of Asian American male characters from Hollywood films spanning almost a century. It asks why and how stereotypic portrayals continue to persist, and why the roles for Asian American men are diminishing while the Asian American population is increasing. Written by Jeff Adachi

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12 March 2006 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
Anyone fascinated by media criticism, politics, civil rights, or film and television history will be attracted to this film.
19 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Identity politics have repeatedly demonstrated that marginalized minorities hunger for accurate and appropriate cinematic representation. Adachi has successfully satisfied this hunger and accomplished for Asian American males what "The Celluloid Closet" did for its queer constituency and "The Bronze Screen" for Chicanos. The premise of "The Slanted Screen" is articulated in its project summary: "Movies and the mass media help form our world view, shape our identities, and define our roles—on screen and off. Unfortunately, these effects frequently work to the detriment of some groups—including Asian American men. Too often, film and television misrepresent the world they claim to reflect. Their stories revise history, and rationalize inequities. Rather than portraying three-dimensional individuals, their characters manifest prejudice, and reinforce bigotry. Moreover, their ubiquitous and persistent messages encourage viewers to internalize confining definitions of identity and self-worth. Ironically, film and television images extol our fundamental ideals of democracy and equality, and at the same time, betray them." Darrell Hamamoto, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at U.C. Davis, writes in _Monitored Peril_: "Images of control are used as an iconic shorthand to explain, justify and naturalize the subordination of Asian Americans within a society that espouses formal equality for all." In order to understand history, to situate ourselves within history, we must be engaged by it first and foremost and Adachi has provided an informative, engrossing well-structured vehicle to review how Hollywood's Dream Factory has portrayed Asian Americans from the turn of the century through the turn of the millennium. Utilizing a wealth of clips and interviews Adachi has balanced a recapitulation of representations past with divided concerns over future representation. By its thorough methodology, the documentary achieves solidarity with other minorities in film endeavoring a mutual historical task. It is one of those cases of "enantiodromia", where by diving headlong into the particular concerns of a specific minority, by unveiling "the symbiotic relationship between stereotypes and prejudice", we come out addressing the issues that affect us all, aiming for a society more just for all. That is, at any rate, the hope. "The Slanted Screen" inspires hope that stereotypes might eventually be no longer necessary.


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interesting but missing a few names.... noizeiiz
When will this be out on DVD? gruffbear
Great documentary and awesome dvd!! brucelee73
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