Houston Matters

The Bigger Picture: ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ and Asian representation in American cinema

The new film by director duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert brings an Asian-American icon back to the screen who originally left acting because of a lack of appropriate opportunities.

The fittingly kaleidoscopic poster for Everything Everywhere All at Once

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If you want to know what Everything Everywhere All at Once is about… it’s all there in the title!

For all the lofty things promised by its title, the movie is really a family drama. That family is portrayed by a number of notable Asian figures in cinema: Michelle Yeoh, James Hong, and Ke Huy Quan returning after stepping away from acting, along with relative newcomer Stephanie Hsu.

Quan’s return is particularly notable, given that he originally took his hiatus because of a lack of opportunities for Asian actors in Hollywood during the late 1980s. He had come out strong with roles in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Goonies, but lamented being unable to find roles that weren’t stereotypes as he got older.

Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh, and Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All at Once

The evolution of Asian stories and characters in American films is the subject of this month’s The Bigger Picture, and in the audio above, Houston Matters producer Joshua Zinn with Houston film writer Nguyen Le about it through the lens of the wacky earnestness of this new film.

Joshua Zinn

Joshua Zinn

Producer, Houston Matters

Joshua is a producer for Houston Matters on News 88.7 as well as the host of Encore Houston on Houston Public Media Classical. He joined Houston Public Media as a radio intern in 2014 and became a full-time announcer the following year. Now he prepares segments and occasionally records interviews...

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