Friday, May 2, 2008

Terminal USA

I did not react well to Terminal USA. I thought it managed the impressive feat of being preposterous yet somehow still pretentious. And I wonder if my initial reaction to the film is due to the fact that this campy-John-Waterseqsue movie has an Asian cast. What does it mean to take this genre and give it an Asian/Asian American twist?

As a viewer (an Asian American in an Asian American media class), I felt forced into asking the question, "What is Jon Moritsugu saying about Asian-America?" I wasn't enjoying the movie because I felt like I had to read into every moment. I think that is the pitfall of any highly stylized (down to the lighting) highly exaggerated film--every decision is called into question. Without realism to fall back on, the filmmaker seems more responsible for the choices he/she makes.

I wonder if this is horribly unfair of me--I believe it is. Should I view this as I had viewed "Better Luck Tomorrow" or "The Wedding Banquet?" Just as a story that happens to involve Asian/Asian-Americans? Or am I justified in feeling like this movie puts too much emphasis on being "Asian?"

No comments: