mr. yunioshi: because internment camps weren’t enough of an insult to japanese-americans



Last week Jezebel featured a safe space to admit that you hate The Godfather. Ugh, I hate The Godfather! Yes, I know, it’s classic and iconic and flawlessly directed and blah blah blah filmschoolcakes. Why do people act personally insulted whenever anyone does less than mentally fellate this movie and everyone associated with it? The problem is that I want to throw every single character in these movies under a speeding train.

Also terrible: Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Not only does it lack the sweet, aching melancholia of the novella; it just had to tack on a sappy, heteronormative ending. In the book Fred and Holly never get together because Fred is gay. My brother David once pointed out that the idea of the nuclear family was pushed so heavily on post-WWII America that every movie became propaganda for it. Even Spartacus couldn’t just be about a slave revolt; Spartacus also had to hook up with a female slave and knock her up.

But of course the worst part of it Mickey Rooney* playing Mr. Yunioshi, a stereotype so noxiously terrible that it makes me retroactively embarassed for everyone who thought this was anything less than a crime against humanity. I know the fallacy of judging past eras by what’s acceptable in the present, but really? People as recently as the early 1960s thought this was okay?? My parents’ generation were young men and women, it’s not ancient history!

Honorable mention: Kids; Man Bites Dog — you know what, pretty much all that crappy, soulless cinema verité that I’m supposed to love because I’m a member of Generation X. I find Spike Jonze’s collaborations with Charlie Kauffman insufferably twee and smug (The Orchid Thief is a rad book, though). And if we include music, Sonic Youth. I KNOW. But it just sounds like noise and feedback to me, especially when they’re performing live.

*I did a quickie entry on my Tumblr last week about this, and I confused Mickey Rourke with Mickey Rooney. Admit it, you’d want to see that version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.


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