Sunday, April 27, 2008

Response: Terminal USA and JJ Chinois

I have to agree with what many of the other students have already said: I'm just not sure what we're meant to take from Terminal USA. While I appreciate the way it both attacks the model minority myth and other stereotypes about Asian Americans, as well as the way it lampooons suburban American life and the nuclear American family as a whole, it was so strange and over-the-top that I found it hard to take seriously as a social commentary and easy to cast aside as just some weird indie movie.

As for JJ Chinois, I found the whole concept very interesting. The video (along with the accompanying website) gave a queer perspective on Asian American masculinity (and also femininity) that you don't often see. The idea of embodying Bruce Lee, and very literally reforming his image and what it meant struck me as quite clever. Yet, I would have liked to have seen more. Is the character of JJ Chinois a one-hit wonder. Has he been in any other videos or media? How was this video distributed, anyway? Was it an online phenomenon or did it go to film festivals or something? Are there future plans for JJ Chinois? All of this remained unclear to me, even after having read the accompanying article and website. I'd be curious to learn more in class and to see what others thought.

No comments: