The multiple Academy Award winning sci-fi absurdist multiverse film Everything Everywhere All At Once (Daniels, 2021) uses transpacific film genre conventions to represent the possible life variations of its Asian American immigrant family protagonists. An exception to the seeming incommensurability of commercial feature filmmaking and the anti-capitalist and anti-racist traditions of Asian American cinema, the film highlights how the conventions of transpacific genre films condition the intimate public of Asian American audiences. To be legible as an Asian American, the film shows, is to be attuned to the conventions of its dominant, often hegemonic and repressive, representations. By illustrating how genre conventions condition the sense of belonging amongst its Asian American protagonists, the film offers new ways of imagining and relating with Asian America Cinema.
Everything Everywhere All at Once and the Intimate Public of Asian American Cinema
Jason Coe is an assistant professor in the Academy of Film at Hong Kong Baptist University. He researches transpacific Sinophone and Asian American film and media, focusing on genre and memory. He has published in Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Verge: Studies in Global Asia, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, and Journal of Asian American Studies among others. He is co-editor of Asian Cinema. He is currently writing a monograph on the films of Ang Lee.
Jason Coe; Everything Everywhere All at Once and the Intimate Public of Asian American Cinema. Film Quarterly 1 June 2023; 76 (4): 35–45. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2023.76.4.35
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