Directed by Jeff Adachi
Hollywood has slighted Asian American men over the years, whether it be the stereotypical dorky Asian guy or roles in yellow face. Slanted Screen, a documentary by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, sheds light on the history of Asian American men on the silver screen. Interesting facts include the popularity of silent film actor Sessue Hayakawa, who played lead roles and was seen as a sex symbol. The film feels like the counterpart to Slaying the Dragon (dir. Deborah Gee, 1988), which focuses on Asian American female images in Hollywood. Using clips from films you may have heard of but never seen-The Cheat, Flower Drum Song-it's a lesson in Asian American film. Insiders interviewed include a casting director, actors James Shigeta and Jason Scott Lee, and author Frank Chin, among others. The DVD includes a panel discussion as well as a tribute to the late Oscarnominated actor Mako, who was interviewed in the film. The only complaint: no need to beat us over the head to prove that Asian American men are sexy. We get it, and hopefully Hollywood will, too.