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Arts & Culture

Cinema Junkie Episode 182: Ford, Ferrari And An Asian American Film Canon

Director James Mangold (center) on the set of "Ford v Ferrari" with actors Matt Damon and Christian Bale.
Twentieth Century Fox
Director James Mangold (center) on the set of "Ford v Ferrari" with actors Matt Damon and Christian Bale.

Crazy gearheads to crazy rich Asians

It's crazy gearheads to crazy rich Asians as Cinema Junkie goes from the Le Mans track to debating the best in Asian American films from the past two decades. First up, director James Mangold discusses his new film "Ford v Ferrari," about the showdown between the two car icons in 1966 at the 24-hour Le Mans race. It may be called "Ford v Ferrari" but the story is really more about American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles who collaborated on designing and racing the car. Then San Diego Asian Film Festival artistic director Brian Hu talks about the L.A. Times list he helped curate of the 20 best Asian American films of the past 20 years. "Better Luck Tomorrow" topped the list but you might be surprised by some of the other films in the canon.

Director James Mangold discusses making history as he looks to the story of "Ford v Ferrari;" while San Diego Asian Film Festival artistic director and programmer Brian Hu talks about the list he helped create for the Los Angeles Times of the "20 Best Asian American Films of the Past 20 Years."

The film is called "Ford v Ferrari" but that’s a bit of a misdirection because it’s less about those famous brands and more about the two men — car designer Caroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles — who designed and raced the Ford that would challenge Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans in France.

For this episode I hit the track at Le Mans to find out what it takes to push a car and a driver to the limit during that celebrated 24-hour race as director James Mangold talks about his new film "Ford v Ferrari," and then I discuss the recent Los Angeles Times list of the "20 Best Asian American Films of the Past 20 Years" with San Diego Asian Film Festival artistic director Brian Hu, who initiated the list with film critic Justin Chang as the festival prepared to celebrate two decades of showcasing Asian and Asian American films.

San Diego Asian Film Festival's artistic director Brian Hu demonstrating how to enjoy a VR short playing on opening night of the festival's 20th anniversary. Nov. 7, 2019
Roland Lizarondo
San Diego Asian Film Festival's artistic director Brian Hu demonstrating how to enjoy a VR short playing on opening night of the festival's 20th anniversary. Nov. 7, 2019

I recommend checking out Cinema Junkie Episode 155 in which my friend and stunt driver Steve Lepper picks his favorite car movies and discusses the best car chases ever put on film.

Plus, you can hear me on Frank Woodward’s latest episode of his podcast Film Sense debating what is cinema and what’s the best way to watch a movie to truly enjoy a cinematic experience.