Monday, March 3, 2008

i agree with most people's posts on the reclaiming of asian masculinity portrayed in this film in particular, enter the dragon. i think prashad portrayed a fairly positive portrayal of bruce lee in his chapter, which i ambivalently but overall tend to support (lol talk about indecisiveness).

Though Prashad does not dive into the specific close readings that are possible in the film regarding sexism, traditional asian representation, etc, and instead backs his claims up with a lot of history, i do agree with his overarching argument that bruce lee's films were an inspiration as a cross-racial breakthrough in resisting "the man." this is because even though bruce lee doesnt exemplify "traditional manliness" he does represent the sense of an ongoing development of a new masculinity and identity with which asian american men should be characterized--asian american 'manliness' should be something that we should continously be searching for.

This brings me back to the Feng reading during our Chan is Missing unit. The essay spoke about how Asian American idenity is a fluid process, a "journey" and not a solid "answer" as to what asian america is. With his ideas on race and martial arts, Bruce Lee is insightful in his philosophy to break borders and boundaries, especially racial ones. he seems to get to the core of things, martial arts and otherwise, streamlining and cutting out outdated concepts and being famous for being the first to train non-asians. it is important to note the historical background of the movie periods too, because we know now that return of the dragon was a big f you to us imperialism when he beats up the "us soldier" and "south korean soldier" and then finally chuch norris. ^^

Though the sexism in his works as well as perhaps a shortcoming of depth within his own roles (anyone of color actually) is surely disappointing, there is no doubt that bruce lee was pivotal in portraying a new and emboldened image of Asian American men on the big screen. i know it's been annoying growing up with all those people asking "do you know bruce lee?" and even the occasional "hey are you related to bruce lee?" (my last name being lee) but man am i proud to see an asian guy really gracefully kicking some ass in these movies. it almost makes me not really mind a little bit almost. ^^

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