Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Crimson faced

The Crimson Kimono: Not-very-good late-fifties noir-lite B-pic; a stripper who had been planning a Japanese-themed act is killed, an artist who did a painting of her is threatened, the team of police detectives assigned to the case (one European-American, one Japanese-American) both fall for the artist, and it all ends with the world's slowest high-speed chase and the world's most laboured apology. Interesting mainly for its portrayal of Japanese-American (and to a lesser extent Korean-American) culture: at a time when Asians tend to get stereotyped as evil inscrutables or accented comedy-figures, the Japanese characters here are portrayed matter-of-factly as sportsmen, parents, teachers and war heroes (the Korean War naturally-- WWII remains the elephant in the room), and likewise their culture is not something impenetrable by Caucasians (e.g. the Caucasian detective is a kendo enthusiast). The religious diversity of such communities is also unproblematically portrayed (the minor characters include a Japanese Buddhist priest and a Korean Catholic nun). At the end, too, the Japanese detective gets the (Caucasian) girl. It's just a shame this couldn't have happened in a better movie.

Movie count for 2010: 16