The film details the lives of Jodi Long's parents' through photographs, pictures, their special appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1950 and snippets from her own monologue performances. She talks with her mother about the experience of being sent to a Japanese internment camp during WW2. Her father's experience as a Scottish-Chinese-American is shown through the film and his early role on Broadway, in Flower Drum Song, which (the later version) Jodi herself was cast in.
Jodi shared practical advice to Hilo's aspiring and current film makers of various levels. She shared a lot of information about how she and Christine Choy made the yet to be released "Long Story Short". The Longs were a husband and wife nightclub act in the 1940's and 50's and one of the few such Asian acts in America. Jodi shared a great deal of her heart in the film and the group in the workshop was sincerely appreciative of having her there. She answered questions for a very long time and was extremely generous with her knowledge and experiences.
The film, :Hollywood Chinese: "The Chinese in American Cinema" was a great retrospective on both the influence of and the contributions of Chinese-American and Chinese film makers and actors over several generations. It also brought to light subjects such as racial representation with many caucasian actors playing Chinese people in the early years. During the silent era, there were a pair of Chinese sisters who made a film in Oakland, CA. The film documented the many films which have been an important part of the American cinematic experience from those first early silent films, to Charlie Chan and many of the "Kung Fu" influenced movies made in the last 20 years. Some of the people interviewed were Ang Lee, Wayne Wang, B.D. Wong, Lisa Lu, Amy Tan and Joan Chen.
Although I was ready for bed, there was a final film; "The Forbidden Kingdom" staring Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Michael Angarano and Crystal Liu. They faced off in the fists a flying, family friendly film while I nodded off to the sounds of the surf back home in my bed.
Coming up next... the Free Hilo Chinese New Year Festival in downtown Hilo, starting at 9 am with another Lion Dance and blessings of local businesses and then marching along to Kalakaua Park...