Turner Classic Movies to air series on Asian images

Turner Classic Movies is going to show a month-long series of movies examining images of Asians in June. It’s a extension of the network’s look at African American images and gay images it has aired during the past two years

With “Harold & Kumar” opening Friday, it seems appropriate that the subject of Asian American imagery be brought up.

Race and Hollywood: Asians in Film will air on Tuesday and Thursday nights in June. Each night will have theme, according to a TCM press release, including:

  • A look at the career of Anna May Wong, the legendary actress whose roles during the 1930s and 1940s ranged from victims to temptresses
  • A collection of detective films, including the long-running Charlie Chan series
  • An exploration of how movies have depicted interracial and intercultural relationships
  • An examination of Asian depictions in films made during and after World War II
  • A look at contemporary Asians stars, such as Ming Wen and Jackie Chan
  • Discussions about the Hollywood practice of casting non-Asian actors and actresses in Asian roles

Peter X. Feng, editor of “Screening Asian Americans and author of Identities in Motion: Asian American Film and Video” is a co-host of the series. Guests scheduled to appear during the series are filmmaker Wayne Wang, actress Ming Wen, writer Amy Tan, actress Rosalind Chao, actor George Takei, actress France Nuyen, actress Nancy Kwan, actor James Shigeta, actress Miiko Taka, film scholar Elaine Mae Woo, film producer Janet Yang and actress Lauren Tom.

Here’s a list of movies to be shown below. For contemporary movies, it seems it would have been appropriate to include works from Justin Lin ( such as “Better Luck Tomorrow”) or any of Eric Byler’s films (“Charlotte Sometimes,” “Tre”) to have a more Asian American focus rather than movies about Asia or actors from Asia. “BLT” and Byler’s works weren’t big studio productions, so TCM may have qualms about that.

June 3, Silent Films

The Cheat (1915)
Retreat From Trenches (1899)
Broken Blossoms (1919)
The Dragon Painter (1919)
Mr. Wu (1927)
The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932)

June 5, Anna May Wong

The Toll of the Sea (1922)
Old San Francisco (1927)
Piccadilly (1929)
Daughter of the Dragon (1931)
Shanghai Express (1932)

June 10, Asian Crime Fighters & Detectives

Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936)
Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938)
The Scarlet Clue (1945)
Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937)
Daughter of Shanghai (1937)

June 12, Pearl S. Buck

The Good Earth (1937)
Dragon Seed (1944)
China Sky (1945)
First Yank Into Tokyo (1945)

June 17, The Legacy of World War II

Go for Broke! (1951)
Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956)
Walk Like a Dragon (1960)

June 19, Interracial & Intercultural Romance

Bridge to the Sun (1961)
China Doll (1958)
Sayonara (1957)
The World of Suzie Wong (1960)

June 24, Race Consciousness and the Civil Rights Era

The Crimson Kimono (1959)
The Mountain Road (1960)
Flower Drum Song (1961)
Enter the Dragon (1973)

June 26, Contemporary Asian Images

Rush Hour 2 (2001)
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
The Killing Fields (1984)
Mr. Baseball (1992)

This post can also be found on Hyphen magazine’s blog.