This James Shigeta film festival features the actor who gave hope for Asian males to cross into lead actor roles in the Hollywood studio. Two of the three films presented in these 2 evenings of programs discussed taboo issues of interracial relationships at a time when Asian leads were few to non-existent on the silver screen. Shigeta’s role in tonight’s screening of Samuel Fuller’s 1959 noir “The Crimson Kimono” featured the actor as detective Joe Kojaku in a rare mixed-race on-screen kiss between an Asian male actor (Shigeta) and lead Caucasian actress (Christine Downs). The film that follows, “Bridge to the Sun,” tells of the struggles of a Caucasian Gwen Terasaki (Carroll Baker), married to Japanese diplomat Hidenari Terasaki (Shigeta) during WWII. Released in 1961, “Bridge to the Sun” is also the actor’s favorite film. The final film in the festival is the 1960’s Western “Walk Like A Dragon,” starring Shigeta as Cheng Lu opposite actress Nobu McCarthy, and is not to be missed. Among Shigeta’s other well-known films includes the musical “Flower Drum Song.”
A Q&A with James Shigeta follows the screening of “The Crimson Kimono” moderated by Sukhdev Sandhu, Assistant Professor of English and Asian/Pacific/American Studies at NYU and the chief film critic for the London Daily Telegraph.
Please RSVP by Tuesday, December 4th
Co-sponsored by: Co-sponsored by the Japanese American National Museum; Tisch School of the Arts, The Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & Television, the Directors Series; the Japanese American Citizen’s League, Asian Cinevision and series co-sponsor NYU Center for Media, Culture and History/Center for Religion and Media.