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2 items from 2012

Watching TV with the Red Chinese

19 January 2012 1:12 PM, PST | | See recent PasteMagazine news »

On the surface, the story of Watching TV with the Red Chinese is a simple one, documenting several months in the lives of literature teacher Dexter Mitchell (Ryan O’Nan), his on-again-off-again girlfriend Suzanne (Community’s Gillian Jacobs), and the three Chinese students (Leonardo Nam, James Chen, and Keong Sim) recently arrived to America who move into his building. But the film, based on the novel by Luke Whisnant, is a lot meatier at the core, serving as an examination of how we perceive ourselves and others through the veil of culture, both geographical and pop (with a side order of destiny »

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Film: Movie Review: Watching TV With The Red Chinese

18 January 2012 10:00 PM, PST | | See recent The AV Club news »

Watching TV With The Red Chinese is based on a Luke Whisnant young-adult novel that co-writer/director Shimon Dotan (Diamond Dogs) seems to have fed into a blender. The film begins in garbled flickers of animation giving way to live-action footage, a portentous voiceover (“Everywhere there’s meaning, order, shared knowledge”), a doctor’s interview, and home-video clips. The timeline jitters out of order, dropping viewers into a scenario it takes far longer than necessary to discover is straightforward and self-seriously soap operatic. Ryan O’Nan stars as a New York-dwelling English teacher who befriends three Chinese exchange students who »

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