As different from Dim Sum as one could possibly imagine, Wang’s bizarre look at contemporary Hong Kong is one of the most foul-mouthed, scatological, gorily shocking and relentlessly energetic movies in years. Strung very loosely around an almost non-existent thriller plot, it continually provokes its audience into a reaction, whether it be horror, bewilderment, admiration, or simply hilarity. It is often very, very funny, and its vision of a city on the brink (of change, of an ocean, of complete social and moral breakdown) is wholly plausible. But be warned: this is not easy viewing, and whether it’s a seven-minute hand-held camera chase that virtually turns into a kinetic abstract painting, ducks being killed with no pretence at humaneness, or a guy taking a shit while talking to camera, there is no question but that you’ll be, shall we say, affected. —time Out Film Guide
Born in Hong Kong and based in America, director Wayne Wang studied photography, film, TV and painting in the US before landing several directorial assignments in his homeland (these included the Chinese episodes of Robert Clouse’s “The Golden Needles” in 1974 and a popular TV show based on “All in the Family”). He returned to the US and scraped together $22,000 to complete “Chan is Missing” (1982), a hip, Zen-inspired San Francisco detective story which also carefully dissected prevailing Oriental stereotypes. This landmark independent film became a critical and commercial success for its rare, authentic slice of Asian-American life in a sometimes wildly comic narrative that straddled genres. The film remains an inspirational touchstone for Asian-American filmmakers attempting to get their voices heard in the American cinema.
Wang’s second film, “Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart” (1984), again centered on San Francisco’s Chinese-American community. The film playfully yet poignantly… read more