Giant Robot and Chinese American Culture in Hollywood

December 10, 2010

The Active Cultures crowd was shockingly large for the holidays and unusually receptive! Our third Active Cultures of the season featured Arthur Dong – Academy Award nominated documentarian for the film ‘Hollywood Chinese’ and Martin Wong – founder and co-editor of ‘Giant Robot’ Magazine.

Arthur had a multimedia extravaganza putting the spotlight on his most recent documentaries, which explore Chinese American culture in Hollywood throughout the 20th century.  Martin shared a slew of anecdotes regarding some of the more unusual articles he’s written for Giant Robot magazine. He didn’t name-drop celebrity filmmakers, famous artists, or rock stars. Instead, he spoke on topics such as rounding up influential Chinese-Jamaican reggae producers, skateboarding at Manzanar, going on Tyra and Dr. Phil as an expert on eye jobs, and collecting stories, lunchboxes, and leftovers for a piece on Asian-American school lunches. Every story seemed to resonate with the crowd, but his “I Want My MSG!” editorial received the largest, most emotional, and sometimes even uncomfortable response. But in the end, the evening was impossible to derail, as it transitioned into a fast-moving Q&A and natural conversation with Arthur Dong.