Misrepresentation in Media, Love, and Life | Chicago Reader

Misrepresentation in Media, Love, and Life

These four videos have little in common except for some Asian-American characters, yet Susan Shin Hee Park's The Demilitarized Zone is a superb send-up of the way Koreans and other east Asians are misrepresented in the American media. Through dense editing of appropriated images she constructs mininarratives of Koreans viewing films in theater and on TV that also invite the viewers to consider their own degree of responsibility for accepted stereotypes. Her playful and sometimes humorous montages also make a serious point about the complex and elusive nature of “group identity,” using absurdly bad movie puns (“Two Wongs don't make a right”) to mock media cliches. The other videos are conventional narratives: Rich Kim's One Last Run, about a Korean and Puerto Rican who want to escape LA, effectively conveys its characters' sense of dislocation. Karen Huie's awkward but quirky Columbus Park depicts weird chance encounters in a Manhattan park (one stranger tries to sell life insurance to another, who in turn recruits him to work as a waiter). But Mark Arbitrario's How 'Bout Cebu? renders its trite plot (complications ensue when a boy dates a girl and her roommate on the same night) in the wooden and mistimed manner of a mediocre student film.

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