Friday, October 14, 2022 - 6:00pm
Proof of vaccination and masks are required at onsite events.
Co-sponsored by Chinese Historical Society of America
NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
El proyecto NEA Big Read es una iniciativa del National Endowment for the Arts (el Fondo Nacional para las Artes de Estados Unidos) en cooperación con Arts Midwest.
Friday, October 14 - Shanghai Express, 1932, 80 minutes, directed by Joseph von Sternberg, starring Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, and Anna May Wong.
Shanghai Express is a startling work of multicultural contributors. Jewish Austrian director Josef von Sternberg and German actress Marlene Dietrich teamed at Paramount Pictures for this tale of intrigue abroad a train during civil war in China. Other passengers include legendary Chinese American actress Anna May Wong, and Swedish actor Warren Oland, who played Fu Manchu and Charlie Chan in multiple films. Chinese-born James Wong Howe, routinely acclaimed as one of the greatest cinematographers in film history, filmed some of Shanghai Express' background footage without credit. (Image used with permission of Universal Pictures)
CinemaLit / October 2022 – Exposing Chinese Stereotypes in Film \
The Mechanics' Institute Library has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts "Big Read" grant. The grant showcases a single book through a range of tours, discussions, seminars, and screenings. The honored book is Charles Yu's Interior Chinatown (2020), a remarkable novel exploring immigration and the limitations of Chinese identity in modern America. It's funny and sad, and creatively written to read like a screenplay.
In the spirit of Interior Chinatown, October at CinemaLit will feature "Exposing Chinese Stereotypes in Film." Our opening film is Hollywood Chinese (2007), Arthur Dong's compelling documentary exploring the history of Chinese representation in American films. We follow that with three films featured prominently in Hollywood Chinese, each offering their own point of view on representation, identity, and stereotyping: Shanghai Express (1932), The Good Earth (1937), and Enter the Dragon (1973).
Matthew Kennedy, CinemaLit’s curator, has written biographies of Marie Dressler, Joan Blondell, and Edmund Goulding. His book Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, was the basis of a film series on Turner Classic Movies.
“I don't have a favorite film,” Matthew says. "I find that my relationships to films, actors, genres, and directors change as I change over the years. Some don't hold up. Some look more profound, as though I've caught up with their artistry. I feel that way about Garbo, Cary Grant, director John Cassavetes, and others."
“Classic films have historical context, something only time can provide,” Matt observes. “They become these great cultural artifacts, so revealing of tastes, attitudes, and assumptions.”
MI & Friends of Chinese Historical Society of America Free
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Future CinemaLit Films
Sep 30 - 6:00pm
Oct 7 - 6:00pm
Oct 21 - 6:00pm