A Film Night showcasing the multiple award-winning 2015 documentary “Tyrus” will be presented in the Library Community Room on Thursday, May 31 at 7 p.m. Set against a backdrop of immigration and poverty, “Tyrus” is the true story of the 105 year-old pioneering artist Tyrus Wong, revealed through the lens of skilled documentary filmmaker Pamela Tom.
Reaching back to 1919, nine year-old Tyrus and his father left their village and family in China. Tyrus’s incredible journey took him from Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco where he was detained and interrogated prior to his later to earning a scholarship to Otis Art Institute.
During his 85 year career as a fine and commercial artist, Tyrus crossed paths with the likes of Picasso and Matisse, as well as Walt Disney and Warner Bothers along the way. Although his design work was crucial to the animated classic “Bambi” and over 100 live action movies including “The Music Man,” “Rebel Without a Cause,” and “The Wild Bunch,” the name Tyrus Wong has remained largely unknown until recently. Tyrus’s life, as captured in Pamela Tom’s brilliant tour-de-force feature, weaves an extraordinary thread in the tapestry of American artistic experience.
The event will also exhibit a small but representative exhibit of Tyrus’s artworks chosen by his family. The evening will open with a brief set of musical stylings by South Pasadena musical maven Calvin Joe on vocals and acoustic guitar. Then the “Tyrus” film will be introduced by its expert filmmaker Pamela Tom, who will also share a Q & A with the audience.
The free event is presented by the South Pasadena Public Library, the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, and the South Pasadena Chinese American Club. Tyrus Wong DVDs, notecards, and mugs will be available for purchase.
The Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro Street. No tickets or reservations are necessary and refreshments will be served. For the screening, the film will be presented in Blu-Ray on a giant, film festival type screen. Special thanks to Kim Wong, 210eastsound, and Good Docs.