MC Hammer shows his love for Asian America and Hyphen magazine at the opening gala for the 2007 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Hammer played talent agent Roy Thunders in Justin Lin's Finishing the Game which opened the festival. Photo by Bernice Yee
I’ll have to say, there’s nothing like a giant theater full of Asian Americans and a party with free Lychee Martinis to make you feel good about your community.
I'm super excited to go to Saturday's panel discussion, Down and Dirty Pictures. It'll be at the Opera Plaza and starts at 1pm.
SFIAAFF is calling the featured directing trio Gregg Araki, Roddy Bogawa and Jon Moritsugu the 'original "bad boys" of Asian American cinema.' How can you resist that? I certainly couldn't.
They're to talk about their bodies of work, the role of the 'truly independent' filmmaker, and, of course, its future prospects. (What panel would be complete without a little prophesying?)
For other panel discussions, see the SFIAAFF website
Another Hyphen staffer will be going to the Ellen Kuras Master Class, which is on Sunday at 3pm, also at the Opera Plaza.
Cinematographer Ellen Kuras' laureled career has included work with Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Rebecca Miller and Spike Lee (Summer of Sam and Bamboozled), and on films such as I Shot Andy Warhol and Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes. She'll talk about her cinematographic and decision-making processes, and colloborating with directors.
Interesting art review in this week's edition of the Houston Press (a weekly paper where I used to work): One Way Or Another: Asian American Art Now. The critic talks about a visual art show of works by Asian American artists put together by the Asia Society in 1996 and compares it to a current show (same title as the article) in the same gallery. The difference? The show from 11 years ago concentrated on themes of identity and the immigrant experience. Today, the themes don't really have anything to do with identity.
I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats...
Buy a ticket to see this one!
Year of the Fish is a sweet, sweet contemporary fairy tale adaptation set smack dab in New York City's Chinatown.
I'll update this post with a full detailing of my thoughts soon.
Indonesia, where the increasingly conservative Islamist government recently passed a broadly interpreted anti-pornography bill banning acts like kissing or baring the legs or shoulders in public, is curiously experiencing a resurgence in polygamy, a practice which had gone underground during President Suharto's long tenure. Some polygamists have taken additional wives in secret, made official by clerics instead of in court, without the knowledge of their first wife. For critics, polygamists are using religion to justify out-and-out sluttery.
Sprawlingly ambitious, Joy Dietrich's feature film directorial debut Tie a Yellow Ribbon touches upon just about every young Asian American women's identity issue there is, the sum of it being that it pretty much sucks to be one.
By William Wong
For nine years (1989-1998), I wrote a regular column for AsianWeek, the San Francisco-based weekly newspaper that bills itself as “The Voice of Asian America” but that now has egg foo yung on its face for its incredibly stupid decision to publish a racist rant (“Why I Hate Blacks”) by a young writer named Kenneth Che-Tew Eng, or as AsianWeek labels his (now former) column, “God of the Universe.”
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