AnimeSuki Forums

Register Forum Rules FAQ Members List Social Groups Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   AnimeSuki Forum > General > General Chat

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 2009-02-06, 23:31   Link #1
AyumiDesu
Kiss-sui.com Princess
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Chicago
Hollywood's view of Japanese

Is it so hard for American people to accept Japanese actors and actress in movie? My boss (at the sushi restaurant I work at) told me that American people are not good at reading so many subtitles. That's why they remake a lot of Japanese movies into American Hollywood epics.

Also, a lot of movies or TV shows depict Japanese people, but they are not Japanese. Sometimes, they are really Korean or Chinese actors. For me, it seems like American people don't really care about Japan.

I am thinking about the Dragonball Evolution movie recently. I am so curious why L.A. is using a white boy to play Goku. And a Chinese actor as Kamesennin.

If I am allowed to express myself extremely, it seems they (Hollywood) looks down on Japan.
AyumiDesu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-06, 23:46   Link #2
james0246
Senior Member
*Moderator
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: East Cupcake
It's not so much "looks down" as just honestly does not care...at least in regards to big budget features. The Big Dumb movies for Big Dumb people never have any subtlety to their production or story, and consequently the presence of an "unknown" (i.e. not understood) mentality/morality is often never considered let alone mentioned within these types of films. The remakes of many Japanese horror films in the past was resulted from the idea that an American audience would not be patient enough to sit through the subtle build-up of tension often found in Japanese horror film. Rather immediate action was required in the American versions of the film. Part of it is also cultural, specifically, in the original "Ringu" novels, Sadako was a hermaphrodite, and while I do not remember if that fact was covered in the Japanese movies, it sure as hell would not have been able to be covered in the American adaptation.

Added to that, it is not really Hollywood (as a collective industry) that doesn't care; rather it is a specific type of film and film-making/makers that simply do not care. For instance, Clint Eastwood made an honest effort to provide a (some might say simplistic) depiction of Japanese soldiers in the film "Letters From Iwo Jima", and there are scores of other films that provide similar levels (often times better) of depiction concerning Japan or the Japanese people.

That being said, I have seen many Japanese films/anime over the years that often cast Americans in a fairly negative light, either seeing them as intentionally violent people, or even at times uncivilized. So, the defamation, even if it is small, goes both ways.

Last edited by james0246; 2009-02-06 at 23:58.
james0246 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-06, 23:58   Link #3
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
*Author
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
And its not so much "American" people (who are just mostly unaware) as it is the casting directors and movie executives themselves. Hollywood executives are *not* in large part, people who are really terribly knowledgeable or culturally aware. Too many anecdotes and biographies inform us that many of them are dumb as mud.

I guess we could ask why Negima was played by a small japanese woman instead of a British male actor in the low-budget live-action series -- but we already know the answer: availability, budget, time.

The series MASH did a pretty good job of portraying asians humanly... but relied on the same small handful of chinese, japanese, and korean actors to play South and North Koreans --- budget and availability.

I'd STILL like to see George Takei get a chance to lead in a Star Trek movie as a captain -- but that time has probably passed.

I do empathize though.... it annoyed me when "Memories of a Geisha" was cast the way it was. I applauded Eastwood for doing as well as he did. Older folks might all like to forget John Wayne being cast as "Genghis Khan"....
__________________
Vexx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 00:11   Link #4
Samari
World's Greatest
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Francisco
Age: 27
What's the big deal of someone of the same ethnicity plays someone of a different nationality? It happens all the time here with non-Asian ethnicity and we don't complain. Asian actress Sandra Oh and even spoken about how it's not a big deal.

If we can accept a Welsh-born British actor to play Bruce Wayne then I think we can accept someone of Korean nationality playing someone of Chinese or Japanese nationality, for instance.
__________________

"Every light must fade, every heart return to darkness!"
永遠不要失去信心,你的命運。
Samari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 00:38   Link #5
ezara
Junior Member
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by [I
[/I]Samari;2203032]If we can accept a Welsh-born British actor to play Bruce Wayne then I think we can accept someone of Korean nationality playing someone of Chinese or Japanese nationality, for instance.
I see your point. Bruce Wayne is white. Christian Bale is white. But there also isn't alot of British vs. U.S. controversy.

There is, however, a problem in the U.S. where the idea that all Asians are the same is becoming more popular.

Also, I don't care what Sandra Oh says. She obviously doesn't understand the sensitivities of world cultures. I guess if one Asian Canadian is okay with it, who cares how outside cultures feel?
ezara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 00:38   Link #6
Urzu 7
Juanita/Kiteless
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New England
Age: 31
Yeah, in the matter of casting and nationality...not an issue. They need to find some one that can do the role that has the talent and is of a certain ethnicity, even if it isn't exact. Like someone said; availability.

For example, Ben Kinsley (who is British) played the role of Gandhi in the movie Gandhi.
__________________
http://forums.animesuki.com/images/as.icon/signaturepics/sigpic38963_5.gif
Urzu 7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 00:43   Link #7
ezara
Junior Member
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
For example, Ben Kinsley (who is British) played the role of Gandhi in the movie Gandhi.
Great example! Kingsley fasted and wore tons of makeup to look Indian.

lol, looking at Dragonball Evolutions, however. . .Goku still looks like a white frat-boy.
ezara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 00:43   Link #8
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
*Author
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezara View Post
There is, however, a problem in the U.S. where the idea that all Asians are the same is becoming more popular.
You see, that's exactly backwards....(bolded item).
Its actually getting better in that more people notice when it isn't right. It *USED* to be worse.

Quote:
Also, I don't care what Sandra Oh says. She obviously doesn't understand the sensitivities of world cultures. I guess if one Asian Canadian is okay with it, who cares how outside cultures feel?
That wasn't exactly sensitive either.... what she says is important as someone of asian heritage and you're out of line with that remark with all its assumptions.
__________________
Vexx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 00:48   Link #9
james0246
Senior Member
*Moderator
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: East Cupcake
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezara View Post
I see your point. Bruce Wayne is white. Christian Bale is white. But there also isn't alot of British vs. U.S. controversy.

There is, however, a problem in the U.S. where the idea that all Asians are the same is becoming more popular.

Also, I don't care what Sandra Oh says. She obviously doesn't understand the sensitivities of world cultures. I guess if one Asian Canadian is okay with it, who cares how outside cultures feel?
The in bold text is still somewhat true, and not just for Asians (Even Vexx's example of Commander/Captain Sulu is a bit problematic, considering that Sulu was supposed to represent all Asian ethnicities. Hispanic/Latin people, no matter their nationality, are all equally considered for the same typecast rolls. Additionally, all Eastern Europeans (except Russians) are generally grouped together, as well as all Middle Eastern ethnicities.

But, the problem is not that bad (or at least it is not as bad as it has been in the past), rather it is a problem amongst some portions of the American media. Sadly enough, there is no clear solution to the problem.
james0246 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 00:52   Link #10
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
*Author
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
I'd qualify that as it being "true" but that people are becoming more aware that what they're being fed isn't exactly accurate.

I will say its a problem that virtually every mass media system in any country is prone to.
__________________
Vexx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 00:53   Link #11
Terrestrial Dream
勇者
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tesla Leicht Institute
Age: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AyumiDesu View Post
Is it so hard for American people to accept Japanese actors and actress in movie? My boss (at the sushi restaurant I work at) told me that American people are not good at reading so many subtitles. That's why they remake a lot of Japanese movies into American Hollywood epics.

Also, a lot of movies or TV shows depict Japanese people, but they are not Japanese. Sometimes, they are really Korean or Chinese actors. For me, it seems like American people don't really care about Japan.

I am thinking about the Dragonball Evolution movie recently. I am so curious why L.A. is using a white boy to play Goku. And a Chinese actor as Kamesennin.

If I am allowed to express myself extremely, it seems they (Hollywood) looks down on Japan.
Hollywood casting other Asians to play Japanese isn't really a big deal. Its like American playing an European character, I really don't see that as big deal. And for them to change from original version to American is probably for them to draw more audience as most people would not watch movie starting some unknown Asian actors.
Its not much different in Asia as well there are some western role that is played by actor that aren't the same ethnicity as the character (though this is cause by lack of western actor available).
__________________
Terrestrial Dream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 00:54   Link #12
ezara
Junior Member
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
That wasn't exactly sensitive either.... what she says is important as someone of asian heritage and you're out of line with that remark with all its assumptions.
I'm offended when non-Asian people can't see how much of a sensitive issue it is. Having a Chinese actress play a Geisha is really a black eye for Hollywood (and then by extension, the USA) in the international community. At least that's how it was when Memoirs of a Geisha came out. The Japanese reaction was "mixed," let me tell you. I wonder if it'll take an Asian guy to paint his face black and portray Martin Luther King for people to be able to empathize with this sort of topic?

Hmm. Okay, I went too far.

I apologize for the Sandra Oh comment. If I ever get to know her, I'll be sure to introduce her to my Japanese friends so she can impress them. And maybe they can let her play Murasaki Shikibu. ~_^
ezara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 01:04   Link #13
Terrestrial Dream
勇者
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tesla Leicht Institute
Age: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezara View Post
I see your point. Bruce Wayne is white. Christian Bale is white. But there also isn't alot of British vs. U.S. controversy.

There is, however, a problem in the U.S. where the idea that all Asians are the same is becoming more popular.

Also, I don't care what Sandra Oh says. She obviously doesn't understand the sensitivities of world cultures. I guess if one Asian Canadian is okay with it, who cares how outside cultures feel?
I really don't see this happening, this idea that all Asians looked similar existed long ago and it did not get popular recently, in my view more people are realizing that Asians are different. The obvious reason for thinking that Asians are same is lack of interaction with different Asians. From what I seen in place like New York because of their diversity they don't have that kind of idea compare to area with less diversity,
__________________
Terrestrial Dream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 01:16   Link #14
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
*Author
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezara View Post
I'm offended when non-Asian people can't see how much of a sensitive issue it is. Having a Chinese actress play a Geisha is really a black eye for Hollywood (and then by extension, the USA) in the international community. At least that's how it was when Memoirs of a Geisha came out. The Japanese reaction was "mixed," let me tell you.
I agree -- I was kind of appalled since there were a number of available japanese heritage actresses and it was such a particularly japanese film. Eastwood tried very hard not to make that mistake in his recent films.

Quote:
Hmm. Okay, I went too far.

I apologize for the Sandra Oh comment. If I ever get to know her, I'll be sure to introduce her to my Japanese friends so she can impress them. And maybe they can let her play Murasaki Shikibu. ~_^
The point was we simply don't know if she has a clue or not -- so its best not to assume anything. She may *be* clueless on this topic .... but until she demonstrates it I'll leave it an open question. Most actors/actresses just want to work and aren't that picky about heritage issues.

Like Terrestrial says, the awareness is improving in the public... but the media moves much slower (often too slow)

I'll also note that asian heritage is not purely determinable by looks. Studies show that asians guess asian heritage wrong fairly frequently as well.
__________________

Last edited by Vexx; 2009-02-07 at 01:27.
Vexx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 01:43   Link #15
Samari
World's Greatest
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Francisco
Age: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezara View Post
Also, I don't care what Sandra Oh says. She obviously doesn't understand the sensitivities of world cultures. I guess if one Asian Canadian is okay with it, who cares how outside cultures feel?
Sandra Oh is an Asian actress who has had to deal with the criticism herself. She would have more insight than someone like you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezara View Post
I'm offended when non-Asian people can't see how much of a sensitive issue it is. Having a Chinese actress play a Geisha is really a black eye for Hollywood (and then by extension, the USA) in the international community. At least that's how it was when Memoirs of a Geisha came out. The Japanese reaction was "mixed," let me tell you. I wonder if it'll take an Asian guy to paint his face black and portray Martin Luther King for people to be able to empathize with this sort of topic?

Hmm. Okay, I went too far.
Yes you did. You're talking about someone of a different ethnicity playing someone of a different ethnicity. Not someone of the same ethnicity portraying someone of a different nationality. Those are two different things. And let's be real here, we're talking about movies. If a Chinese actress can play the role of a Japanese actress spot on and does a marvelous job, then what is the big deal? We're talking about movies, not political statements.
__________________

"Every light must fade, every heart return to darkness!"
永遠不要失去信心,你的命運。
Samari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 03:04   Link #16
Shadow Kira01
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: PMB Headquarters
I am quite disappointed at the Dragonball Evolution movie, but the exclusive psp game looked much worse.

Spoiler:


The reason why American films tend to choose Chinese and Korean actors/actresses to depict Japanese people is that the Americans can't distinguish the differences between the people of East Asia or perhaps, they don't care.

Last edited by Shadow Kira01; 2009-02-07 at 03:05. Reason: syntax fixed
Shadow Kira01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 03:15   Link #17
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
*Author
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Wow, I don't even like Dragonball and that poster reeks hideous. I kind of grieve for Dragonball fans.

There's also a matter of available tier-rated japanese actors who fit the part. But that's a circular problem since in order to have a good supply one has to give more of them a chance.

As I said earlier, recognition studies show asians are often incorrect when guessing asian heritage of strangers as well.... there are archetypes but there's a lot more variation than some assert.

My wife is pure 100% japanese in heritage but has been mistaken as korean, chinese, vietnamese, hawaiian, polynesian, filipina, mexican, and even *italian* once --- mostly by people of those ethnics and those nationalities (though, in deference, the "italian" guess was a little old white lady).
__________________
Vexx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 03:27   Link #18
cyth
ふひひ
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Age: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezara View Post
I'm offended when non-Asian people can't see how much of a sensitive issue it is. Having a Chinese actress play a Geisha is really a black eye for Hollywood (and then by extension, the USA) in the international community.
Hollywood is one of those places where anything goes. Maybe it's unconsciously promoting this idea that using different nationalities for fictional characters really shouldn't be a big deal. So what if Japan was a big bully towards neighboring Asian countries? The world has moved on.
__________________
cyth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 03:35   Link #19
M!ss JaPaN
!~.. LiFe Is Sweet ..~!
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Tokyo ..~!
Age: 20
Send a message via MSN to M!ss JaPaN
Cool

Quote:
AyumiDesu


I like ur Thread

Well, I am Japanese, and I am not sure if your correct or not, is still the point of view for you, but my point of view, I think that is true about you because I know the Chinese and Japanese in general of Asian .. And not see them most of the films are japanese.. but they can be either Chinese or Korean ..

M!ss JaPaN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-02-07, 03:47   Link #20
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
*Author
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
And I think that about wraps it up

(edit: that was meant as humor, just in case)
__________________

Last edited by Vexx; 2009-02-07 at 17:54.
Vexx is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:52.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
We use Silk.