USA | 14 minutes | 2019
Comedy short film by Lukas Chin
Starring Geoff Lee, Lily Buchanan
Set in Columbus Park, Chinatown, NYC, a girl, who is an avid Chinese chess player, has to save the park from being gentrified into a doggie yoga studio by battling in games of Chinese chess and proving her own self worth to her grandfather.
Dragon Style is a fun, comedic short film from Lukas Chin that teaches us about self-worth. Set in Columbus Park in Chinatown, New York City, Yuyu (Lily Buchanan) is an avid Chinese chess player who has always lived in her grandfather’s shadow. Her grandfather, Wang Jialang (Geoff Lee), is a legendary chess player who is unbeatable. Getting bored with the lack of challenge, Wang retires from playing Chinese chess and goes off to ski.
Yuyu, meanwhile, struggles to be as good as her grandfather until she finds a mysterious chess piece that seems to improve her game – she suddenly starts playing in dragon style. However, her joys are short-lived when she discovers that the park could soon be gentrified and turned into a doggie yoga studio. And the only way she can save the park is by battling her own grandfather.
The cast gives great performances all around, and the editing makes for a well-paced comedy film. The cinematography and editing choices were excellent in evoking a feeling of watching an action film. The only difference is the punches and kicks were switched out for some very serious Chinese chess moves. The film subtly brings attention to a very pressing issue in NYC’s Chinatown: gentrification. And it reminds us that we can fight back. Because sometimes, the secret weapon is ourselves.
Dragon Style is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your film.
Director, Writer: Lukas Chin
Cinematographer: Aidan Macaluso
Also featuring: Fenton Li