Asian Images in American Film pt.3 1982-1998

1982 is a watershed year in Asian-American cinema as Wayne Wang’s low-budget film Chan is Missing becomes an art house success and launches his directing career, including The Joy Luck Club (1993).  Bernardo Bertolucci’s international production of The Last Emperor (1987) brings western attention to several performers including Lisa Lu, Joan Chen and John Lone.


Chan is Missing (1982) National Film Registry (1995)
Gandhi (1982)  Academy Awards for Best Picture,  Best Actor Ben Kingsly and 6 other awards
The Karate Kid (1984)  Nominated Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Pat Morita
The Killing Fields (1984)  Academy Award Best Supporting Actor Haing S. Ngor and 2 other awards
The Last Emperor (1987) Academy Award for Best Picture and 8 other awards
Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1988) Nominated for Academy Award Best Documentary

India-born Mira Nair scores a 1991 hit movie with Mississippi Masala becoming the first Asian woman to do so in the states.  See also: The Perez Family (1995) and Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996).  Ang Lee begins his successful directing career with the comedies  The Wedding Banquet (1993) and Eat Drink Man Woman (1994). Chinese-American documentary filmmaker Arthur Dong creates films that look at the experiences of his ethnic heritage and those of his fellow lesbian and gay men including Coming Out Under Fire (1994),  Licensed to Kill (1997) and Family Fundamentals (2002). Deepa Mehta challenges gender roles internationally with her “elements” trilogy set in India:  Fire (1996), 1947 Earth (1998), and Water (2005).


Mississippi Masala (1991)
Mr. Baseball (1992)
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
M. Butterfly (1993)
The Wedding Banquet (1993) Nominated Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film
Coming Out Under Fire (1994)
Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)  Nominated Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film
The Perez Family (1995)
Fire (1996)
Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)
Licensed to Kill (1997)  Sundance Film Festival 3 nominations, 2 wins
1947 Earth (1998)

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