ICE-Vision: Big Trouble in Little China

ICE-Vision: Big Trouble in Little China (John Carpenter, 1986)
Thursday, October 27 at 8 PM
Lamar Dodd School of Art Room S150

Film Studies major Will Stephenson continues ICE’s informal weekly series, selecting a variety of world cinema classics and subcultural curiosities.

“Big Trouble in Little China is a 1986 American martial arts comedy film directed by John Carpenter. It stars Kurt Russell as truck driver Jack Burton, who helps his friend Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) rescue Wang’s green-eyed fiancee (Suzee Pai) from bandits in San Francisco’s Chinatown. They go into the mysterious underworld beneath Chinatown, where they face an ancient sorcerer named Lo Pan (James Hong).” -Wikipedia

“Big Trouble in Little China is the all-American rabbit hole, full of intrepid female journalists, flashy restaurant managers in Chevy sedans the size of big-rigs, and tour bus drivers (“bus for tourists!”) as the transcendental sages of the hour. A fringe mob battles the forces of evil with all the merrymaking slack of a sub-culture indifferent to its own achievements; only the inevitable destruction of a city block clues in the outside world. Even then, no one believes the story about magicians and gods and underworld spirits. The spectacle is there for us alone, faithful to the myth of romance in the guise of an impossibly big Freight liner creeping through the narrow alleys and produce stands of backstreet Chinatown…The movie is a craftsman’s holiday, sending our eyes languidly to the corners of the screen while our hero wrestles for his life with street gangs and demons. More importantly, the film has not dated; its homages are reinventions, its script a rejoinder to cynics and pretenders, and its heavy heart the soft landing for the excess in its fun.” -Reverse Shot