Grandview Films:

The Cinematic Crossings of Joseph Sunn Jue


Grandview Films: The Cinematic Crossings of Joseph Sunn Jue (working title) chronicles the remarkable life of transnational filmmaker, Joseph Sunn Jue, producer of ground-breaking American and Chinese films during the early days of cinema, from the 1910s to the 1950s.

Jue, who immigrated from China to America at the age of five in 1909, was among pioneer film practitioners who championed innovative cinematic developments, including claymation, live-action sound, color, 16mm, 3-D, stereophonic film tracks, and anamorphic lenses.

After a brief stint in Hollywood, Jue rejected its racist practices and worked independently to produce films by, for and about the Chinese and Chinese Americans. In 1933, he co-founded the Grandview Film Company in San Francisco Chinatown, which later branched out to Hong Kong and became one of the region’s leading studios.

Grandview Films: The Cinematic Crossings of Joseph Sunn Jue is currently a work-in-progress by American Book Award-winning author and Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Arthur Dong. With exclusive permission from the Jue family, Dong will illustrate Joseph Sunn Jue’s life and work through his vast archive of photographs, mostly unpublished. These personal, yet historic images will be enhanced with select passages from Jue’s own writings to unveil a singular creative journey.

Grandview Films: The Cinematic Crossings of Joseph Sunn Jue will be Dong’s third in a trilogy of coffee table books that showcase the visual history and little-known stories of Chinese Americans in the arts, beginning with the first in his series, Forbidden City, USA: Chinatown Nightclubs, 1936-1970. For a preview of Grandview Films, see an abridged profile of Joseph Sunn Jue in chapter eleven of the author’s most recent book Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films.

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Top photo: On the set of The Twelve Wives 金屋十二釵 (1937, Grandview Film Company 大觀聲片有限公司). From left: actress Nancy Chan Wan-Seung 陳雲裳, producer Joseph Sunn Jue 趙樹燊, and actress Lam Mui-Mui 林妹妹.

Middle photo: Flyer for Black Market Bride (1948), produced in San Francisco Chinatown by Grandview Film Company.

Bottom photo: Filmmaker Joseph Sunn Jue near the corner of Stockton and Clay streets in San Francisco Chinatown, ca. 1948. Work-in-progress cover design by Arthur Dong, © 2020 DeepFocus Productions, Inc.