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USA: Zeitgeist Films
UK: Metrodome Distribution (2008)
UK: NFT (2002)
Cast: Jan-Michael Vincent, Peter Johnson, Robert Mitchum, Frances Faye, Ernest Thesiger
Director: Bruce Weber
UK: 94 mins (2008)
USA & UK: 98 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language and hard drugs use
USA Release Date: 5 October 2001 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 4 July 2008 (Limited Re-release - London)
UK Release Date: 5 July 2002 (Limited Release - London)
An autobiographical work, the movie examines Weber's own career as photographer and filmmaker by bringing together - in a similar way to the mix of ingredients of the dish used as the film title - a complex collection of images, ideas, reflections, personages and film materials. Weber's own narration guides the viewer as he introduces a diverse collection of characters, including singer Frances Faye, Robert Mitchum, fashion guru Diana Vreeland and desert explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger. He also discovered Peter Johnson, a young trainee wrestler who he turned into a highly-paid photographic model that worked for the top fashion houses including Ralph Lauren, Versace, and Karl Lagerfeld, and Johnson sometimes also interacts with them as interviewer.
For over four years Bruce Weber photographed one subject: Peter Johnson. What began as a photographic journey to document Peter's transition from boyhood into manhood led to the making of the film CHOP SUEY. A deeply personal film, feeling very much like a film journal or a scrapbook, Chop Suey is an homage to all things the filmmaker loves most. Mixing film, archival footage, still photography and a rich and expansive soundtrack boasting over 65 songs, CHOP SUEY is the third film in the trilogy, which begins with BACKYARD MOVIE.