|(small sampling of printed press, for more please contact us.)|
Top right article:
Title: Real Persons, True stories. A story of Chinatown will be in movie theaters next year.
Sub-title: Steven dunning self-written, self produced, self-directed, self-starring. It will
be entering the golden horse movie awards.
Actual article: American director Steven Dunning who lead twenty some Asian actors
and actress, to complete the movie "Now Chinatown". He hopes that this independent
film about real person true story of Los Angeles Chinatown will change the stereotypical
negative image of Chinese’s in Hollywood filmmaking in recent years. The film is now
in the steps of post-production and will be airing in American theaters sometimes next
year. This film will also be entering the "Golden Horse" film award and will be
distributed in Taiwan and Chinese markets.
Steve Dunning self wrote, self produced, and self directed this film named "Now
Chinatown''. The story's background is set inside a Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles'
Chinatown. (Steve):"I want to make sure the film is not perceived through a Hollywood
point of view, but from a Chinese's perspective of real Chinatown life."
Steve is from the State of (...I don't know which state this is through the Chinese
translation) and graduated from it's State college film school. Relocated in Los Angeles
for the last ten years, he developed a special bond with Chinatown. He has also made
many Chinese friends, and has a deep understanding of the environment and struggles of
the Chinese and their immigration conditions. The story of Now Chinatown comes from
some of his Chinese friends in Chinatown, because of this, he was able to see pass the
fresh attractive signs of Chinatown, and into the deeper and darker side of its' alleys.
He observes:" The Chinese that live within Chinatown is totally different from
those that live in Monterey Park and Alhambra. When you see them on the street, they
are equipped with pagers and cellular phones, but if you follow them home, you will be
surprised to see that they live in cramp conditions, and that they have to work harder and
longer than normal people to obtain these simple things."
As a person who has traveled all over the world, Steve talks about his experience
in Africa. He became the only white person around all the natives. This experience of
racial minority moved him, so in the script, he uses the mouth of the manager of the
restaurant Mr. Fong to say:" This kind of things happen all over the world." Steven
says:" The story I wrote could happen anywhere in the world. This story that happened in
an American Chinatown could have happened to another immigrant of a different origin
in Germany. They tend to stay in the same place and marry within their society."
In the story of "Now Chinatown'"the main character, an illegal immigrant from
China, Lee, meets an American boy (played by Steve). This event causes her to being an
interest toward the world outside Chinatown. But Steve
highlights the fact that this is not a typical love story, and the character he portrays is not
the typical 'prince' who comes to the rescue of the old style Eastern Chinese girl.
"What I want to say with this film is that, no matter what race you are, as long
that you have courage to try out new things, life is filled with unlimited possibilities,
waiting to be explored."
Second article on the left side of the same newspaper:
Title: Chinese actors performing in "Now Chinatown"
Sub-Title: Provides them a better understanding of the Chinese immigration experience.
"There are only about five to six hundred actor opportunities in Hollywood each
year, for us, the chance to be in Steve's film is very fortunate." Was the general
reflection within the discussion between the group of Asian actors in the movie "Now
Chinatown", as they talked in front of the editing room. They all expressed that acting in
this movie has allowed them a better understanding of the Chinese immigration process.
The lead actress in the movie, Lianne, Hu, came to America from Shanghai
during her junior high school years. This experience allows her to better understand the
main character's struggle and conflicts. "I remember when I was still in Shanghai, My
mother asked me what I would want to do in the future, I answered that I want to learn
English. When I finally came here, I saw the many struggles of the Chinese immigrants
here, even though they are here, but their hearts are still at their homeland. So these
experiences help me with a good grasp of the character that I am portraying in the
Director Steve Dunning mentions an amusing anecdote about when Lianne Hu
was auditioning for the part. Before audition, because of fax errors, Lianne only received
one page instead of the two pages of the script that she was supposed to get. On the
missing page, when the main character was asked what she missed most about China, her
response was supposed to be "good people". Steve says:" On the day of the audition, I
have already saw around a hundred actresses trying out for the part. When it was time for
Lianne to answer this question, she remained silenced for almost a minute while everyone
was patiently waiting. When she finally realized that she was missing a page of the
script, her nervous expression of wanting to do well, was exactly what I was looking for."
Comparing to Lianne, the other two actors in the movie are not as fortunate: A
third generation Chinese, Benjamin Lum, who's playing the part of the restaurant's
owner, and a second generation Japanese, Michael Yama, who's playing the part of the
official. The backgrounds of them both are rather the same;
both are from Hawaii, and they both have lived through the pressure of the traditional
Chinese parents. Their parents are not very happy with their career decisions, to fulfil
their parent"s hopes; they have also been working as teachers. Through the last twenty
years, because of their hard work, they have appeared many times on TV and on the
Also starring in the movie is Jack Huang, who is playing a completely different
character than what he's used to. In the past he has only portrayed antagonists and
gangster leaders. With a kung-fu background, this time he is playing a supporting role,
the stuntman and also the stunt choreographer. So used to beating up people in movies,
he jokes that he's happy this time he is the one who get beaten up. He's playing the part
of the busboy, who has a secret crush on the lead character; he's also glad that he is
playing a demanding role based on internal feelings.
Another film with the topic of Chinatown will be showing soon. "Now
Chinatown" is produced, directed by and starring Steve Dunning. This film
also consists of Chinese actress Lianne Hu and actor Jack Huang. Their
together effort is the force behind this film set in Los Angeles's Chinatown.
Because of his love in film, Steve Dunning overcame much hardship,
starting out as a production assistant, he was finally able to achieve his
dream. He emphasis that his movie pursues equality and harmony between
different racial groups.
Being a person who is interested in different nations, their cultures and
traditions, Steven realizes that he must achieve a first person experience
to truly learn about another nation and it's culture. He gave up living in
a nice house and driving fast cars, but instead he chooses to save his
earnings for a trip to other countries. Because of these interests, Steven
developed a special capability that allows him to easily accept foreign
Steven expresses that the story of his first movie in 1995 "Long Time
Coming" is also about racial prejudice, toward black people in the south.
He starts from an angle of caring for other, successfully expressing the
need for human equality in this film.
When Steve was talking about "Now Chinatown", he expresses that ever
since he was a kid, he has been admiring the deep and historical cultures of
China. When he moved to LA ten years ago, he made many Chinese friends
from Chinatown, Monterey Park, and the San Gabriel Valley area. They gave
him the chance to increase his knowledge and gain a better understanding of
Chinese culture. Three years ago, he finally took a trip to China, other
than just experiencing Chinese living first hand, he even learned some
Chinese Kung Fu from Shao Lin. He started shooting "Now Chinatown", a year
and a half ago, and the film has been through many changes since then.
The supporting Chinese actor, Jack Huang is also the stunt choreographer
and stunt man of the film. Jack expresses that he has played bad guys and
also a doctor before. In this film he plays the restaurant bus boy who is
in love with the same woman Lee (played by Lianne Hu) as the main
character, the bank manager, and the restaurant owner. He also expresses
that even though that this is not a Kung Fu film, the director wants every
detail to be as true to real life as possible. This is why most of the
scenes uses real props and characters with natural movements. Michael Minh
even said he was afraid of Steve during the fight scenes because Steve wanted
Micheal to hit him as hard as he could. So Steve punched him once for real to
"get Michael angry and his adrenaline going" so he would hit back for real.
"Now Chinatown" will be entering the worldwide market with many
eager buyers, especially in the foreign markets.
Steve Dunning expresses that he has just recently finished helping Tom
Hanks with the production of "From the Earth to the Moon". He hopes that
this film does not present to the audience the traditional Chinese culture,
but a story about a girl's struggles in Chinatown. He hopes that people
who care about diverse cultures and human struggles from all walks of life
will support and benefit from the film.
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