Theories In Film Spectatorship Regarding Stereotypes Of Asian Americans Portrayed In Films Specifically In Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle.

1977 words - 8 pages

Waiting for the MomentPeople in cultures across the world congregate to local film theaters and purchase their tickets for the new popular film that everyone has been raving about. For two hours, strangers sit amongst each other in their seats with their eyes fixed upon the big screen all sharing the same feature. While the audience is equally presented with the same motion picture, each leaves with his or her own unique experience of the feature film. Spectatorship and the concept of how individuals alter, decontextualize and remobilize text within films has been an evolving and heavily concentrated area of study within film theory. One category of film that has attracted much attention within this theory is the text suggesting dominant racist ideology throughout the film. Using films with stereotypical texts allows the theory of spectatorship to be a much more objective and tangible issue to discuss. The concept of how a spectator of the race being stereotyped perceives and interprets the film suggesting a dominant racist ideology differs from a spectator not being of the race stereotyped is widely discussed in Peter Feng's article Recuperating Suzie Wong: A Fan's Nancy Kwan-dary. Feng examines how the film The World of Suzie Wong, which suggests many Asian American stereotypes, is a film that the Asian American loves to hate and loves to love. While this film conveys many Asian American stereotypes, a film such as Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle is a film that has a much broader range of stereotypes suggested within the text. Since no one is safe from being stereotyped within the text of Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, this is an exceptional film in an attempt to understand how it is a film that the spectator loves to2love and loves to hate and how this attitude is constructed within different types of spectators.Throughout Feng's article, he questions how a stereotypical film such as The World of Suzie Wong is found pleasurable within the very spectator of the dominant stereotypical ideology advocated within the film. He proceeds to propose that films that have a stereotypical dominant ideology are found pleasurable within the spectator because they take pleasure in either loving or hating the film. It's obvious on how the viewer can take pleasure in hating a film that stereotypes his or her own race or religion due to the fact that they are able to recontextualize the film and critique it, but how is it that someone can take pleasure in loving a film that stereotypes his or her own race or religion such as an Asian American spectator of The World of Suzie Wong? In order for someone such as an Asian American to find pleasure in this film, they must first acknowledge and be fully aware of the dominant racist ideology within the film in order to open up the closed text and enjoy it. Throughout the entire film, the spectator will love to hate it by critiquing and breaking down the stereotypes within it while simultaneously yearning for...

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