John Cho Interview

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Updated 3-8-2008

There's an interesting interview with John Cho on the new Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay movie from the San Francisco Bay Guardian:

And the focus is always on being funny first. The characters' races are almost secondary. I find that so refreshing because a lot of Asian American cinema is just about being Asian American, how hard it is. Not to denigrate anyone's work, but those movies get really repetitive, and fewer people want to see them.

I'm definitely a fan of Cho's movies and respect what he's accomplished - and like everyone else I'm waiting for the next installment of Harold and Kumar - but I do think the need for movies like the Slanted Screen or Finishing The Game still exist - that they're still relevant within today's landscape of looking at Asian Americans in cinema.

I personally don't think Asian American films are strictly about being Asian American and how hard it is - I think it's a generalization - a perception we sometimes have in the Asian American community. Sure, certain films might talk about the Asian American experience - and we should talk about the Asian American experience in all of its forms - but more and more films and characters are being shown where race and ethnicity is secondary, they just may not be getting seen as much as they should.

Read the full interview at the San Francisco Bay Guardian.