Introduced by director Wayne Wang
“Chan Is Missing takes place in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and is narrated in voiceover by Jo (Wood Moy, an actor with a wonderfully impish, weather-beaten face), a middle-aged cab driver and an “ABC” (American-born Chinese). After telling us that he likes to bet on how long it’ll take a passenger to ask him the best place to eat in Chinatown (an unseen, presumably WASP fare does just this, in three seconds flat); Jo explains that he and his nephew Steve (Marc Hayashi) have decided to get their own cab license, but have had to sub-lease one. A friend of theirs, one Chan Hung, has agreed to act as go-between, but has disappeared with their $4,000. The rest of the film involves Jo and Marc’s attempts to track him down — not just literally, but also to try and pin down who or what Chan is, and what he represents in terms of the complexities of Chinese identity. In other words, like all film-noir gumshoes pursuing an intractable case, they’re partly in search of themselves.” (Jonathan Romney, Film Comment)
Print courtesy the Pacific Film Archive with permission of Wayne Wang.
Running time: 80min
Director: Wayne Wang
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