This week’s mystery movie has been the 1993 picture “The Joy Luck Club.” This is much more recent than the usual mystery movie, but I decided to do it after reading an essay by Los Angeles Times movie critic Justin Chang on the film’s 25th anniversary. I thought that the film was probably too recent and too well-known for a mystery movie but that the powerful images would make an unusual week. I probably won’t do this again, but I hope it was entertaining.
Note: This week coincided with a massive computer failure. The great majority of my data is backed up and safe. The main problem is getting my essential legacy software and hardware (a scanner that handles transparencies and negatives) to run, even though they were just fine on Windows 10 on the old computer. The dust is still settling, but so far the major loss is the legacy blogging software (by Microsoft, I might add) that I have used for years. I think I have found an alternative, but there is a learning curve to it.
Update: This is Mai Vu as young Waverly, the chess prodigy.
I thought I would try something different this week. Instead of showing mystery guests, I’m going to post a series of mystery props that are key elements in the mystery movie’s plot.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery watermelon.
Update: This is Russell Wong as Lin Xiao in the watermelon scene.
For Wednesday, we have a mystery plate of food….
Update: These are rolls filled with opium that An Mei’s mother (Vivian Wu) uses to commit suicide.
…. also a mystery wheelbarrow.
Update: This is the wheelbarrow that Suyuan (Kieu Chinh) is using to carry her babies. When it breaks, she leaves them by the side of the road with all her jewelry and a letter asking someone to take them to a relative.
Note: I’m having massive computer problems so I am posting early.
For Thursday, we have a painting of a mystery gent …
Update: This is the painting of the ancestor in the sequence with teenage Lindo (Irene Ng).
Update: This the mahjong game near the beginning of the film when June (Ming-Na Wen) takes her mother’s place with her aunties Lindo (Tsai Chin), Ying-Ying (France Nuyen) and An-Mei (Lisa Lu).
Brain Trust roll call: L.C. (mystery movie) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie).
For Friday, we have a mystery feather.
Update: This is June (Ming-Na Wen) and her father (Chao Li Chi) with the swan feather referred to in the beginning of the film.
Brain Trust roll call: Anne Papineau (mystery movie), Mary Mallory (mystery movie), Jenny M. (mystery movie), Mike Hawks (mystery movie), Tucson Barbara (mystery movie) and Sue Slutzky (mystery movie).
Here is the chess board in “Rocky IV,” courtesy of Chess in the Movies.
And Michael Caine with the chess board in “Sleuth,” from Chess in the Movies.
The chess game in “From Russia With Love,” from Chess.com.