CAAMFest37: Joy Luck Club Anniversary Screening – Q&A

https://caamfest.com/2019/movies/joy-luck-club/

It was my great honor and pleasure to attend this year’s CAAMFest37’s
25th anniversary year screening (the film actually came out in September 1993) of The Joy Luck Club, with many of the actors present:

“Come join us as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of THE JOY LUCK CLUB, one of the most decorated Asian American films in cinematic history. Written by Amy Tan and directed by Wayne Wang, THE JOY LUCK CLUB paved the way for decades of Asian American films including last year’s summer hit, CRAZY RICH ASIANS. This free, indoor screening in the heart of Chinatown will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience with many special guests and talent in attendance. “


There was a Q&A session prior to the screening of the film, given that the film screening started after 8PM. In attendance were:
Executive Producer Janet Yang, actresses Lisa Lu (most recently know for her role in Crazy Rich Asians as Shang Su Yi, Nick’s grandmother and the matriarch of the family)

actress Tamlyn Tomita:

actress Rosalind Chao:

as well as actress Kieu Chinh:

Actor Michael Paul Chan and casting director Heidi Levitt are included in the group picture above.

I think one of the more interesting questions was why The Joy Luck Club didn’t spark an explosion of Asian American media – it looked more like an anomaly rather than a movement.

The rise of China, the explosion of technology – especially the Internet, and the growing Asian American population in the United States, has contributed to larger interest around Asian and Asian American stories and help lead to the recent success of blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians.

If you were too young to have seen the film or don’t quite remember the film, here is the trailer:

Joy Luck Club Ranked Greatest Asian American Film Of All Time

On March 31st after a conference on ranking the top 15 Asian American films, entertainment industry folks have declared that Wayne Wang’s Joy Luck Club, based on Amy Tan’s masterpiece novel, is the greatest Asian American film of all time (Breakfast at Tiffany’s came in second place). Surprisingly, most of the positive votes came from Asian American industry folks themselves, unbeknownst to the enraged APA community as a whole.

When asked why this controversial film deserved such high merit, one Asian American executive producer (whose name wish to remain anonymous) remarked:

Joy Luck Club is an extremely accurate portrayal of Asian America. All of Asian America, including the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and maybe the Filipinos. Because after all, we are one homogenous group sharing one homogenous experience and thus it is well portrayed in Joy Luck Club. Plus, we know that all Asian men are terrible to their women and thus it is a God-given truth that white men are just better companions. As an Asian man, I can speak for all Asian men. Finally, most Asian American films are poorly shot, edited, written, and directed so Joy Luck Club automatically gets a bonus point for accomplishing these simple criteria measures.

More after the jump!

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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Opens in U.S. on Friday

I had a chance to see a VIP screening of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, directed by Wayne Wang and based on Lisa See’s bestselling novel and while an official review by Edward will be up later this week– in Edward’s words– “this is not Joy Luck Club 2, as some people have feared.”

The movie is based on a novel by New York Times bestselling author Lisa See and directed by Wayne Wang (Dino’s got an interview with the director coming soon!), who has directed over 20 movies including The Joy Luck Club and Last Holiday, and is billed as “a timeless portrait of female friendship.” Lisa See spent most of her formative years in L.A.’s Chinatown. Her family’s history was the basis for her book On Gold Mountain (1995), which is a “must read” for any Asian American Studies major. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and another novel, Shanghai Girls, were both honorable mentions for the Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature. She has also written a guidebook for L.A.’s Chinatown and was awarded National Woman of the Year in 2001 by the Organization of Chinese Americans and the History Makers Award by the Chinese American Museum in 2003. In an article published in Time magazine, See wrote of being multi-racial and the strong influence her Chinese heritage has had on her life.
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