PIONEERS: FIRST WOMEN FILMMAKERS
November 06 only
THE CURSE OF QUON GWON: THE FAR EAST MEETS THE WEST
Featuring a Q&A with contemporary Asian American women in cinema including Felicia Lowe, Valerie Soe, and Jackie Dallas!
“As an American-born-Chinese, Wong’s long residence in Oakland and her Chinese heritage enables her to weave both Chinese folklore and her transnational life experiences into the script [THE CURSE OF QUON GWON: THE EAST MEETS THE WEST]. The title mixed Chinese and Western dressing styles in the film indicate Wong’s awareness of the cultural conflicts and the mixture of East and West that would give rise to the formation of a transnational identity. From the surviving materials available for viewing, one can see that THE CURSE OF QUON GWON is a melodrama filled with love, passion, jealousy, and family conflicts.
The existence of THE CURSE OF QUON GWON suggests that although some early independent filmmakers may have found the financial means to produce a film, they were yet unable to publicize or to promote their productions. Scholars continue to look for clues to the history of the film in the surviving material—the thirty minutes of the original 35mm camera negative, labeled as reel 4 and reel 7. Both the 35mm footage and a forty-two-minute 16mm version made at Violet’s initiative in 1969 after Marion’s death contain black leader spliced between scenes. The Kodak edge numbers on the film stock confirm that the 35mm negative was shot in 1917. Most importantly,THE CURSE OF QUON GWON brings the name Marion E. Wong, motion picture producer-director and president of the Mandarin Film Company in Oakland, California, out of obscurity”. -Jenny Kwok Wah Lau, Women Film Pioneers Project.
This film will be preceded by a program of short films (12 min) by Zora Neale Hurston, considered the first African American female filmmaker. Ethnographic in nature, these short takes on African American life reflect a focus of folklorists of that time period who believed that “…cultural performance and beliefs must be expeditiously collected and documented because they would soon be gone forever.”
Felicia Lowe is an award winning independent television producer, director, and writer with nearly 40 years of production experience. Her documentaries; Chinese Couplets, Carved in Silence, Chinatown and China: Land of My Father reveal the unique experiences of Chinese in America while underscoring our common humanity. All her films have been broadcast on PBS and are used in classrooms across the country. Most recently, she produced and directed Pacific Gateway, a 360 Virtual Reality video about the poems at Angel Island Immigration Station.
Valerie Soe is Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. Since 1986 her experimental videos, installations, and documentary films have won dozens of awards, grants, and commissions, and have exhibited worldwide at venues such as the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles the Museum of Modern Art, and the New Museum in New York City. She has published extensively in books and journals including Countervisions: Asian American Film Criticism; Afterimage and Amerasia Journal, among many others. Soe is the author of the blog beyondasiaphilia.com. Her latest film, LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN, is currently in production.
Jackie Dallas is a Bay Area actress best known for her role as Jen, Mr. Clarke’s girlfriend in the Netflix hit series Stranger Things! She has since also appeared on shows such as Criminal Minds, The Resident, The Bold and the Beautiful, NCIS: New Orleans and the international drama series on Amazon, Aarzu-e-Mann ͞What the Heart Desires. She is an advocate for female filmmakers and diversity in Hollywood. She is an active member of the Bay Area indie film community as not only an actress, but recently as a director and producer and has several indie features coming out soon, starring alongside actors such as Gregg Henry, Tom Sizemore, Jeri Ryan and William Shatner.
Co-presented with CAAM.
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