Film Kitchen, monthly local film and video screening | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Film Kitchen, monthly local film and video screening

A video essay on Chinese screen detective Charlie Chan is featured


A clever exploration of a problematic Hollywood icon highlights this installment of the series for local film and video. "Chan(geling)" is tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's 30-minute video essay on Chinese screen detective Charlie Chan, as played by Warner Oland in 16 hit films in the 1930s. While racism gave the Swedish-American Oland a role that might have gone to an Asian actor, what's perhaps surprising is how respectfully Chan is portrayed, even to the disadvantage of bigoted white foils onscreen. (Oland's other "Asian" roles are more fraught.) The clips from nine Chan films excerpted are mostly delightful — save for the portrayals of black characters, whom tENT reminds us were then unbearably caricatured. ("Chan(geling)"'s bizarre soundtrack, which includes a W.C. Fields impersonator singing "Mama Told Me Not to Come," is eventually explained.) The April 8 Film Kitchen also includes an excerpt of "Chapter 96: The Try-Works," Andrew Nelson's video juxtaposing skateboarders and BMX bikers honing their skills with audio and images from the film version of Moby-Dick. And Hayley Notter's "Heaven Can't Wait" is an early-2000s film, made by kids, that Film Kitchen curator Matthew Day says stood out at a screening of international and local avant-garde shorts.

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment
  • Pinocchio @ La Prima

    @ La Prima Espresso

    Mondays-Sundays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tue., Dec. 31, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 31