The Department of Communication's Chair, Professor Kent A. Ono, was invited to speak at University of Pennsylvania's Cinema Studies program last month. On September 24, Ono presented a colloquium address titled "Judo Silence": Narrating Asian American Masculinity Visually in Eric Byler's Charlotte Sometimes." Ono focused his address to students and faculty on what he sees as an emerging Asian American film aesthetic. Filmmaker Eric Byler refers to the effective use of silence by Asian American men as "judo silence." In his 2002 film, Charlotte Sometimes, Ono demonstrated how the pacing of the narrative, the use of props, and other strategies of demonstration and visualization, together, could be considered elements of this new Asian American film aesthetic. A narrative element, the "true" relationship between two sisters, Darcy and Lori--remains unresolved by the end of the film. The judo silence of characters and of the film itself--that is, seeing and showing versus telling through dialogue--hints at the crucial relationship of the sisters and the knowledge about care, sexuality, romance, and identity only they can know.
Congratulations to our department chair for representing the U of U in such a stellar way at UPENN.