THE VAULT, APRIL 2021:
The Trained Chinese Tongue, dir. Laurie Wen (1994)
with Laurie Wen
Thursday, April 15
MY SIGHT IS LINED WITH VISIONS
The Trained Chinese Tongue (1994)
"In a film that seems to center around cooking and eating — where the viewer is prompted to engage in a direct, sensorial relationship with a cultural experience — food is verbally invoked in only two instances: at the beginning, when the filmmaker recalled her piano practice in Ohio as a young pre-teen from Hong Kong, and in the middle of the film, when Mr. Bau, an 'American-born Chinese' hosting a dinner for his Japanese business associates, made an off-putting assumption about Wen’s ability to spit out chicken and fish bones. In sharp contrast to the warm, empathetic, and arguably gendered images of food-making, these blunt articulations foreground the intrinsic difficulty in anchoring intercultural identities, where individuals are at once tied to and disassociated with a so-called authentic culture."
Screening copy courtesy of the Harvard Film Archive.
Join us every month for a new featured short film or video in the Vault, our rotating spotlight on rare, underground, and transgressive work.