Chan Is Missing
One of the U.S. independent films of the ’80s that most seems as fresh and as audacious as it did when it was made.Jonathan Romney, Film Comment
Wood Moy, Marc Hayashi, Laureen Chew, Peter Wang,
Following its local premiere at BAMPFA in December 1981 and critical acclaim at New Directors/New Films in 1982, this groundbreaking independent hit inspired generations of filmmakers and was named to the National Film Registry. Today it still seems fresh, intelligent, and inventive. Playing with the pleasures and conceits of film noir, Wang imbued his irreverent puzzler with humor and a Chinese philosophical perspective: what isn’t there is as important as what is. Wood Moy is a natural as Jo, a San Francisco taxi driver, who with ABC (American Born Chinese) nephew Steve (Marc Hayashi) turns detective in pursuit of FOB (Fresh off the Boat) Chan. Their search illuminates complex identities and allegiances as mystery blends with social documentary. Wang’s love for cinema shines throughout.