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Author Topic: Charlie Chan Festival quashed
Wide Eyes
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1414

posted 01 July 2003 10:29 PM      Profile for Wide Eyes        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The past dictates the present..or is it the other way 'round?
From: a lofty perch in my basement | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3807

posted 01 July 2003 10:35 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Geez, they'll be banning "The Jolson Story" next.
From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Smith
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3192

posted 01 July 2003 10:45 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's too bad they couldn't find a way to show the movies without implying support for their racial views.

I mean, presumably these films have some historical value, and some value as entertainment. I would hate to see the Canterbury Tales pulled from reading lists for its (admittedly horrible) treatment of Jews, for example, or the Arabian Nights for its racism - there must be a way to avoid throwing out the baby with the bathwater...


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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Babbler # 518

posted 01 July 2003 10:57 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There is no reason to mass market racist stereotypes of Asians on tv. Much racist claptrap lies in the vaults of the networks, and it should stay there.

One can study the historical meaning of Charlie Chan without a ten or fifteen film extravaganza.

I think they should offer to make the films available to anyone studying them, but not show them publicly.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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Babbler # 3807

posted 01 July 2003 11:18 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I disagree, for more than just reasons of freedom of speech.

If you listen to much popular music from pre-1960, you'll hear a lot worse than what goes on in a Charlie Chan movie. Asians in particular take a beating (anything from Spike Jones' Chinese Mule Train to Hoagy Carmichael's Hong Kong Blues...never mind wartime propaganda like We're Gonna Have To Slap The Dirty Little Jap by Carson Robison, sound pretty harsh to today's ears) for reasons that I can't explain. Maybe if more of us were exposed to such works we would better understand them, and why they occurred then and there.

To say that the general public isn't allowed to watch these films or listen to this music, would be wrong, I believe. I disagree with sweeping unpleasant ideas or speech under the rug and pretending either that it doesn't exist or that it didn't happen.

We can't put today into context without knowing yesterday.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Smith
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3192

posted 01 July 2003 11:24 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That said, showing these films without providing some context for them would be inappropriate.
From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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Babbler # 2230

posted 02 July 2003 12:08 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Saturday Night at the Movies (TVO) used to air Charlie Chan films. The ones I saw were pretty much B movie material so I don't think it's a great loss not to have them aired (though it might be interesting to have Hollywood make modern Charlie Chan films with Asian actors and without the stereotypical situations. Asians are pretty much invisible in tv and movies today - the only film where you'll see a Chinese lead is a martial arts film).

Anyway, while it might be worthwhile resurrecting and updating the character I don't think the "classic" films are any more worth resurrecting than Stepin Fetchit films or the Amos 'n Andy tv show.


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged

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