POP ART: Episode 66, The Wedding Banquet/Late Spring

Howard Casner • December 21, 2021

MATCHES, MATCHES, WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ MATCHES. Join me and my guest filmmaker David Au (Eat With Me) as we discuss The Wedding Banquet and Late Spring, what we’re calling matchmaking Asian style.

“She’ll make lots of babies”. Nag, nag, nag. That’s all parents do. Clean your room. Get married. Get good grades. Get married. Don’t stay out late. Get married. …Sounds like it’s time for Episode 66 of Pop Art, the podcast where my guest chooses a movie from popular culture, and I’ll select a film from the more art/classic/indie side of cinema with a connection to it. For this episode, I am happy to welcome as my guest, filmmaker David Au, who has chosen as his selection Ang Lee’s breakthrough film, the farcical The Wedding Banquet, while I have chosen Yasujir? Ozu’s classic sh?shimin-eiga drama, Late Spring, both films about parents trying to get their children married. 

And in this episode, we answer such questions as: What is a post-gay film? What is a sh?shimin-eiga film? What did Emma Thompson say about Ang Lee? What censorship problems did Late Spring face? Where was the lead for The Wedding Banquet discovered (hint: it wasn’t Schwabbs)? What happened in 1947 and 1948 in regard to marriages in Japan? In what way was The Wedding Banquet a more successful film financially than Jurassic Park? Where does Late Spring land on the Sight and Sound poll? What was unusual about Ang Lee winning an Academy Award for best director?