Christian Ting is an Asian-American writer currently based in Los Angeles. After several years as a cast member of UC Berkeley's Theatre Rice and working as a story editor for hardboiled APA magazine, Christian took his passion to the Center for Asian American Media, where he helped market CAAMFest 2014. Since then, he's hopped between working at Twitter and Facebook, keeping his passion for Asian-American representation at the forefront. He also enjoys the occasional quality meme.
2017 is coming to a close, and hopefully, that sentence alone elicits a sense of relief from a year that’s felt combative, controversial, and hopeful—sometimes all at once. In such times, we often turn to art and entertainment as a necessary distraction, retreating to the safety of home to watch a movie, binge-watch a show (or seven), or go out and see an artist live. This past year, we’ve been fortunate enough to have been given a litany of actors and artists marching to the beat of their own drum.
From Weekday Lawyer to War Lord: "The Shannara Chronicles'" Desmond Chiam Makes a Case for the Magic of Asian Elves
The dark, enchanted world of "The Shannara Chronicles," a mix of post-apocalyptic and fantasy elements, has been gaining momentum as its second season moves ahead on Spike TV. With elves, demons, and plenty of magic scattered throughout the Four Lands, another entity hopes to seize control — the indomitable General Riga. The actor bringing this ruthless character to life, Demsond Chiam, offered to step out of the Four Lands to share the magic behind the madness.
Jackie Chan, perennial action star and cultural ambassador for both Asia and martial arts, submitted his resume into the genre of grieving-older-man-seeking-vengeance with the opening of The Foreigner, a Martin Cambell-directed, Pierce Brosnan co-starred film this past month. Chan, who since the 2000s has slowly drifted away from the action-comedy films that have all but defined his career, will likely take American audiences by surprise with his latest role.
In August, Korean American actor Justin Chon released Gook, a drama based around the infamous L.A. riots of 1992. The film showcased a fresh and unflinching portrayal of the riots, chronicling the lives of Korean American brothers Eli and Daniel (played by Chon and David So, respectively) as well as their unlikely friendship with a young African American girl, Kamilla (played by Simone Baker) immediately after the verdict of the Rodney King trial was publicly announced.
Summer is coming to a close and with it the box office run of the biggest Hollywood tentpole films. Yet there’s something different in the air this year. A quick glance at Pirates of the Caribbean 5, The Fast and the Furious 8, and (here we go again) Michael Bay’s Transformers 5 reveals respectable box office receipts but hides a troubling trend. All of these films, despite coming off record-breaking hauls from the previous entries, are making less money in the United States. Hundreds of millions of dollars less.