Studio:IFC First Take
Starring:Chris Tashima, Allison Sie, Joan Chen, Kelly Hu, Ben Shenkman, Sab Shimono, Michael Paul Chan
Raymond Ding (Chris Tashima) is not young. He's been married before. He is the only Asian man Aurora Crane (Allison Sie) has ever kissed... and the only man she has ever loved. Three months ago, she told him she was moving out of the apartment they shared for two years. He quietly left instead. Although Aurora is Hapa (half Asian), she moves most comfortably in the white world. So it's back to the familiar as she quickly tumbles into a new romantic involvement with Steve (Ben Shenkman) -- this time with someone her own age, someone white, someone she could bring home to meet the folks. If only she could do something about her dreams.... Raymond and Aurora still dream about each other -- sensually haunting dreams that inspire longing in their waking hours, and the fear of mishandled fate. Each night Aurora alters or removes something in the apartment in an attempt to purge Raymond from her psyche. The furniture is re-arranged on a weekly basis. And then there are the photographs and keepsakes, emotional heavyweights, finding their slow way into a box in the bedroom closet. Raymond is the only witness to this process. He visits the apartment when he knows Aurora is not home. He reads the newspaper, eats his lunch, then checks for any subtle changes. He is careful not to leave a trace, but Aurora sometimes senses his unseen presence. She knows he still has the key. Raymond begins a new romance with a beautiful colleague, Betty Nguyen (Joan Chen). As their relationship progresses, Raymond's efforts to uncover Betty's secret past lead him to a present day secret that could change his life forever. Raymond's widowed father (Sab Shimono) plans a trip to China to find a picture bride because he doesn't want to grow old alone. Aurora's friend Brenda (Kelly Hu) rejects Asian men as lovers, seeking refuge in a series of unfulfilling sexual liaisons with non-Asian men. And Raymond and Aurora meet 'for the last time' several times. Americanese is a penetrating anti-romance, filled with lush, dreamlike imagery and sharply realized emotions. It tells this story of two lovers perhaps meant to be together, bewildered as they hopelessly drift apart. The film invites the audience to unravel, in flashbacks, in private ruminations, and in infrequent encounters, the mystery of an Asian American love story. The meaning of Raymond and Aurora's love,and the truth behind their breakup, are revealed in its aftermath - just as scientists learn about the birth of the universe by studying the reverberation of its echo.