You Be The Judge: Is Justin Lin "Retarded" For Making Asian American Films?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Forgetting the fact that they're a part of the beautiful people (who we all love to hate - and by we I mean me), the crew from YOMYOMF really does have some great looks into Asian Americans and media simply because of where they sit.

Here's a snippet from Justin Lin's recent post "Am I “retarded” for making Asian American films?":

“For a group of people that are supposed to be good at math, you guys must be retarded to keep making Asian American films.” That is a direct quote from a conversation I had with a veteran film producer last week about one of my upcoming projects. But before you make any judgment, you need to know that he is Asian American.

Such remarks are not uncommon from a lot of Asian Americans working in the industry. In fact they tend to be some of the loudest naysayers and, at times, biggest obstacles on anything ‘Asian American’ (I will get to that on another day). That being said, I do understand his point. He was referring to Asian American cinema as a business. “Screw business!” you might say, but the reality is that filmmaking is a collision between art and commerce (even the cheapest of films will cost more than your average Mercedes). And within the context of Asian American films, the big elephant in the room has always been its business viability. “It’s a young man’s game,” a filmmaker once told me about Asian American films, “it’s fun to talk about representin’ and stuff until you get a mortgage.” And as a business it definitely makes no sense.
Read it in full here.