So Nancy Kwan will be showing up in San Jose for tonight’s world premiere of the documentary on her life: To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey; and she’ll be there for the subsequent screening on Sunday at 7. There are some elders who still refer to the dress that Cantonese call a cheong-sam, and the Shanghai people call a qi pao as a “Suzy Wong”. That’s because of the way Kwan wore one in The World of Suzy Wong, a 1960 Hong Kong romance film by Richard Quine (Bell, Book and Candle).
This story of a Hong Kong call girl involved with an architect turned artist (William Holden) was considered the In the Mood for Love in its day; Kwan followed up this hit with the San Francisco-set Rogers and Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song and thence to a lot of TV (Kung Fu, Hawaii 5-0) and a second career in Hong Kong cinema.
She’s bound to have some stories to tell; Matt Helm fans will be happy to note that she was in The Wrecking Crew with Dino, and Sharon Tate. Though one winces to recall that her character was named “Yu-Rang”. It was a different era, and Kwan survived the stereotypes well.
Also today: the 3-D Forum at 1:30 at Camera 12; the slacker comedy The Bone Man; Jarod Whaley’s Hell is Other People at the Rep, 4:15; a repeat of The Real Revolutionaries, and an 11:45 pm screening of the talky caper film Little Fish, Strange Pond by Gregory Dark (ex of The Dark Brothers, of New Wave Hookers, et all) an ex-Stanford MFA now renowned as a video director.