The Golden Screen: The Movies That Made Asian America

Black Dog & Leventhal. Oct. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780762482221. $40. FILM
A comprehensive, incisive, and gorgeous celebration of a century’s worth of Asian actors, characters, and contributors who have helped shaped American perspectives and Asian American representation. Yang’s (I Am Jackie Chan) book more than ably addresses the rich, complex topic of cinema’s influence on how Americans view Asians and how Asian Americans see themselves. This book contains a vibrant collection of more than 130 films, featuring Asian casts or key characters, from the last 100 years. The book presents one- to two-page profiles of each selected film, which are organized nonchronologically into eight thematic categories. Credits, plot points, and contextual commentary draw attention to each film’s significance to the Asian American experience. Breathtaking visuals, including both color photographs and thought-provoking illustrations by nine Asian artists, fully engage readers’ senses. Incisive, genre-spanning entries include Flower Drum Song, Mississippi Masala, Ghost in the Shell, The Goonies, Parasite, and RRR, all of which cover both the awkward and the award-winning moments in Asian representation on screen. Heartfelt quotes and interviews with Asian culture makers add additional depth and industry insight.
VERDICT Highly recommended for libraries, general cinephiles, and readers interested in Asian American viewpoints.
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