Archived Posts - February 2005


Just a reminder: Friends and Family of Angry Asian Man receive $10 off general admission for Asian American Theater Company's world premiere of Philip Kan Gotanda's Under the Rainbow. Follow the link and get yer discount tickets! (You must buy your ticket online 48 hours prior to your selected date.)


Some golf news... Jennifer Rosales won the LPGA season-opening SBS Open on Saturday, with hometown favorite Michelle Wie finishing in a strong second: Rosales Wins SBS Open; Wie Ties for Second

Meanwhile, here's an article on the youngest player on the PGA Tour, 21-year-old Kevin Na: Youngster Na having impact on PGA Tour. He did okay this weekend too.


The official street release date for Sanawon's Tiny Airplane is March 22!


Here's the offical website for Yao Ming's restaurant, which I mentioned a few days ago: Yao Restaurant & Bar. Looks like they're hiring.


Not that this is surprising, but for you American Idol fans out there keeping score, this year's champ will NOT be Asian American. This week, the only finalist of Asian descent, Melinda Lira (Filipina), was among the first voted off. But as we already know, it doesn't appear that the rest of America is ready for a talented Asian American pop performer... But man, do they love the crappy ones.


After many delays, it seems that Bertha Bay-Sa Pan's Face is finally getting a multi-city theatrical release. (I could've sworn it already had.) Here's a letter from the filmmaker that's been going around, outlining the finer points of Face and imploring you to go support this movie:

Dear Friend-of-Face:

After a longer-than-expected rollercoaster ride, our award-winning feature film "FACE," starring Bai Ling ("SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW" "ANNA AND THE KING" and the upcoming "STAR WARS III"), Kieu Chinh ("JOY LUCK CLUB" "WHAT'S COOKIN'"), Kristy Wu ("BUFFY THE VAMPIRE" "WHAT'S COOKIN'"), Will Yun Lee ("ELEKTRA" "TORQUE" "DIE ANOTHER DAY"), Ken Leung ("RUSH HOUR" "SAW" "SUCKA FREE CITY"), and Treach (of NAUGHTY BY NATURE, "EMPIRE" "OZ"), featuring original score by Leonard Nelson Hubbard of Grammy Award winning hip hop group THE ROOTS, is happy to announce its upcoming theatrical release to U.S. theaters by Indican Pictures - hopefully near you or somebody you know!

The film opens in L.A. on MARCH 4, then NYC on MARCH 18, to be followed by more cities for which all current confirmed dates and theaters are as listed below.

Those of you who have not seen the film yet - I hope you will check it out and find yourself moved and entertained. Those of you who have seen it and liked it - please pass the info along, help spread the word and, as tacky as it is to ask --- even if you don't want to sit through the whole thing again, if you could so generously buy a ticket anyway, we need all the box office support we can get in order to keep the movie in theaters and in more cities. And finally, those of you who have seen it and disliked it - please tell others to go see it anyway so you can enjoy more company to trash the movie with afterwards!

FACE the movie:

3/04 LA Beverley Center Loews, Magic Johnson Theaters

3/18 NYC Village East Cinema

4/02 PHOENIX Harkins Theaters

4/15 HOUSTON Magic Johnson Theaters

4/15 DALLAS Angelika Theater

4/15 PORTLAND Cinema 21 or Hollywood Theater

4/22 CHICAGO Calumet City, Three Penny Theater

5/06 BOSTON Copley Theaters

5/06 HARTFORD Reel Art Ways


Please look out for us in your city! For more information: www.indicanpictures.com.

FACE the music:

The original motion picture soundtrack for "Face" will be released by Hi-Rise Records/Studio Distribution on March 29, featuring tracks from NAUGHTY BY NATURE, TRE HARDSON, KIM HILL, BAHAMADIA, ADRIANA EVANS, DELINQUENT HABITS, and many many more.

For more information: www.hi-riserecords.com

FACE the music video:

The first single off the soundtrack is "Just Can't Hold On" by Tre Hardson (formerly Slim Kid Tre of pioneering rap group Pharcyde). The music video will begin rotation on VH1-SOUL beginning FEBRUARY 28. The video features Kristy Wu and Treach from "Face," as well as a cameo appearance by Hassan Johnson of HBO's "The Wire."

Please watch the video, talk about it on VH1 message boards - our music video's braodcast life beyond the first four weeks will depend on your messages on their boards!

FACE the e-mail:

THANK YOU for tolerating this long letter; THANK YOU for any support, prayers, good vibes, and kind thoughts you have extended to this movie throughout its long and winding path as well as to its road ahead.



Much to my disappointment, this movie has nothing to do with that guy on The A-Team. Also, this film should not be confused with Alice Wu's Saving Face, which should also be getting a theatrcial release later this year. Anyway, I'm not much of a fan of Bai Ling, and I have a few problems with this story, but dang dude, it's good to finally see some Asian faces on the big screen. I'm talkin' 'bout Asian American cinema as a whole. This could be a big year.


Did you watch Lost this week? I thought they did a decent job of giving Jin some more depth, but the job is far from over. At least we got to see some of the motivations behind his actions, and why he's been so hard to get along with... I know some people weren't so keen on seeing the Korean guy getting beat up by both Sawyer and Michael (the racial implications are problematic), but the whole "... in Translation" (the episode's title) situation semed to justify it for story's sake. But yeah, it sort of drove me crazy that they didn't subtitle Jin's lines while he was getting the crap kicked out of him. This is a good starting point. I really hope they don't drop the ball on this.

I also spotted Daniel Dae Kim super briefly in the trailer for Crash. The film sounds pretty interesting:

A Brentwood housewife and her DA husband. A Persian store owner. Two police detectives who are also lovers. An African-American television director and his wife. A Mexican locksmith. Two car-jackers. A rookie cop. A middle-aged Korean couple... They all live in Los Angeles. And during the next 36 hours, they will all collide...

Challenging and thought-provoking, Lions Gate Films' CRASH takes a provocative, unflinching look at the complexities of racial tolerance in contemporary America. Diving headlong into the diverse melting pot of post-9/11 Los Angeles, this compelling urban drama tracks the volatile intersections of a multi-ethnic cast of characters' struggles to overcome their fears as they careen in and out of one another's lives. In the gray area between black and white, victim and aggressor, there are no easy answers...

Funny, powerful, and always unpredictable, CRASH boldly reminds us of the importance of tolerance as it ventures beyond color lines...and uncovers the truth of our shared humanity.

Sounds like it could end up being really good or really bad. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters on May 13.


Easy, fellas. Actress Grace Park—"Boomer" in the new Battlestar Galactica series—is featured in the March 2005 of Maxim, and she ain't fully clothed. Yeah, but I read it for the articles.


A few weeks late, but here's some more information on director Mira Nair's upcoming adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake: 'Namesake is very uncannily my story!'


Mike Kang's The Motel got a nice write-up in Variety. And check it out, The Motel will be the Closing Night presentation at the 2005 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Very cool.


Are we Asians 'It'? San Francisco Chronicle's Tim Goodman points out that the infant ImaginAsian TV still has that cable-access, do-it-yourself charm to it, but also recognizes that it may be on the cusp of being the next-big-thing: Asian channel a scrappy new TV contender. ImaginAsian premieres its first-ever sitcom, Uncle Morty's Dub Shack tonight. Something about four losers who dub really bad Asian films into English. Sounds a lot like MST3K...


Here's the U.S. trailer for Park Chan-Wook's Oldboy. It opens in select cities on March 25. Oh man, this is an asskicker.


Dude, that's just gross: Alaska woman charged in genital amputation


There are a lot of people out there who love the musical Miss Saigon. I mean, LOVE it. I'm not of them, for a variety of reaons—not least being the show's problematic Asian stereotypes. That's racist! Well, in Boston, a group of artists are responding to the show in their very own special way: Miss Saigon, the anti-show


Here's more on director Grace Lee's feature film debut, Smells Like Butter, I mentioned a few weeks ago: Hollywood's Sandra Oh to Star in Korean Production

Speaking of Sandra Oh, I've been seeing promos for Grey's Anatomy, ABC's new midseason medical drama. Yes, another Asian person on television. She plays first-year surgical intern Cristina Yang...


Asian Pacific Americans for Progress are throwing their 2nd annual Lunar New Year Nationawide Celebration: Coming Together as a Progressive APA Community. Featuring DNC Chairman Gov. Howard Dean, Vice Chair Rep. Mike Honda, and State Rep. Hubert Vo. This Saturday, in homes and meeting spots all over America. What? Details here.


Can't remember if I've mentioned this one before... iStyle magazine, yet another one of these Asian fashion/culture publications that have been sprouting up lately—the premier fashion magazine for South Asian women," to be precise. I believe they're throwing a launch party this Saturday in NYC. Details here.

But wait, the fun don't stop. There's something for everybody. How about Woman International? "Where Culture Meets Mind, Body & Soul." I can dig it.


It's about time for another "Tsunami Song" update, don't ya think? This news is a few days late... but Miss Info has spoken out about her situation with Hot 97 in the aftermath of the whole fiasco... Emmis has apparently given her an ultimatum, and threatened to fire her if she doesn't return to work. Hell no, says Miss Info, not with Miss Jones. Here's an article: H0T 97 set to ax AWOL Miss Info. You can also listen to the complete audio from her interview with UPN 9 News. And here's a transcript of the segment:

BRENDA: She calls herself Miss Info and she's a big name on Hot 97 but she tells us that her bosses are threatening to fire her in the morning. Megan Vega with the story for you. Good evening Megan.

MEGAN: Well Good evening Brenda. Ms Info is hearing some info tonight about her absence from HOT 97's Morning Show and in an exclusive
interview she says that she's kind of in her own celebrity drama.

MISS INFO: "I'm really confused and kinda hurt because yknow the station, um, has made a policy, um and stated that they feel that the
tsunami song was wrong but yeah I'm the one person who kinda represented those ideals from the start but I feel like I'm being punished."

MEGAN: "For the first time Ms. Info from Hot 97 is speaking publicly about the now infamous tsunami song.

MISS INFO: I objected to the tsunami song, um not just because I'm Asian American but because I'm a human being.

MEGAN: After the song was played, the station caught some serious flak, DJs were fired and others including Ms Jones were suspended and
a 1 million dollar donation was made to a relief effort. Now the Morning Show is back but Miss Info is missing and her attorney,
Kenneth Thompson, says the station is threatening to fire her.

MISS INFO'S ATTORNEY: "Ms Info has been more than willing to go back to work immediately if her requests are met."

MEGAN: Miss Info wants the workplace hostility to be addressed and she doesn't want to work with Ms Jones. She wants to talk to her audience
and explain her absence and she would like to see a diversity program started in the community.

Hot 97's reply, quote: "We have previously stated that Miss Info was not suspended and we would absolutely like her back on the air at Hot
97. We have not been able to get an answer from her or her attorney on whether or not she is coming back but we are hopeful she'll return."

MEGAN: Miss Info's attorney says that the station is lying, he insists that he and his client have been in contact with the station and if
Miss Info loses her job tomorrow - well, he and his client are prepared to sue. We're live outside the Hot 97 studio, Megan Vega UPN News.

This is jacked up. Miss Info does the right thing, and she's at risk of being fired? And Miss Jones just goes back to work, business as usual? Incredible. That's racist!

Big thanks, of course, to hiphopmusic.com.

Oh, and musician Kevin So responded to all this craziness by writing and recording a song, "HipHopyCrite." It's pretty cool. Don't know if it's available for download anywhere, but if you email me and ask nicely, perhaps I can send you an mp3.


Got my hands on a copy of the premiere issue of Theme, a new Asian culture magazine. Haven't read it all the way through, but it looks pretty good, and nicely put together. Sort of like an Asian Fader or Anthem. It should be available on newsstands in March, with a cover price of $5.95. Check it ouuuuut.


This week, Rep. Michael M. Honda (D-San Jose) introduced legislation in Congress to provide relief for victims of an immigration fraud case: Victims of Green Card Scam in 1990s Being Deported. If eligible, they "would regain the immigration status they had as if the fraud had not taken place," according to the bill. Given a lot of the government's ironfist policies on immigration in recent years, this could be an uphill fight. If the bill doesn't pass, it would mean deportation for 275 Korean immigrants—some who have been in the U.S. for twenty years. So contact your representative in Congress, make some noise!


Okay, I don't eat dogs. And I certainly don't think anybody should be catching and eating other people's pets. But I don't think this is a good idea: Bill to bar eating cats, dogs stirs debate. Come on, the passage of this bill just helps perpetuate the stereotype that indeed, all Asians eat dogs and cats—and we're gonna eat yours! That's racist!


I guess it was inevitable. Yao Ming has opened up a restaurant: Yao's restaurant taking Chinese food to new heights. Yao Restaurant and Bar, a $1.5 million Chinese eatery and sports bar at 9755 Westheimer in Houston. Owned and operated by his parents.


This week, Asian American Theater Company in San Francisco presents the world premiere of Philip Kan Gotanda's Under the Rainbow, a play of two one acts. It runs February 24 through March 12 at the Off-Market Theatre. Thought some of you might find these stories particularly interesting...

Play 1

natalie wood is dead

A feisty mother and rebellious daughter come to grips with life in and out of the Hollywood fast lane. 50 minutes.

Play 2

White Manifesto and Other Perfumed Tales of Self-Entitlement or Got Rice?

A w.m.w.a. (white male with attitude) shares his opinion on dating, racism and hooking up with Asian women. 50 minutes.

The cool thing is, the gracious folks at AATC have created special guest list for Friends and Family of Angry Asian Man. (That means all out of you out there.) Here's the deal: sign up for the Angry Asian Man Guest List and receive $10 off general admission*! Guest list tickets must be purchased online at least 48 hours before the show. No guest list tickets will be sold at the door. AATC reserves the right to limit its guest list. So sign up now while your preferred date is still available. Remember: You must buy your ticket online 48 hours prior to your selected date. * There are no guest list tickets for Saturday, February 26, 7 PM and 9 PM showings.

That's a pretty sweet deal. So sign up here, and go check out the show.


So I'm all scared Daniel Dae Kim's getting the boot from Lost, because someone's definitely going to die. However, according to this article, the word from series creator J.J. Abrams is that the character who dies at the end of the season is a "well-loved and admired" main character. If this is true, then perhaps Jin will indeed make it to next season. The way the character has developed so far, I would hardly call Jin "well-loved and admired" on the island... at least, not yet. We shall see.

Speaking of Daniel Dae Kim, you can see him for about 0.6 seconds in this trailer for The Cave. It appears to be one of those thrillers where everybody on the expedition gets eaten, one by one. Call me crazy, but I get the feeling poor Daniel will NOT be the last one standing at movie's end.


I don't understand why people go out of their way to hate. This little news item forwarded to me:

On February 9, 2005, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC)
received a large manila envelope addressed to "Chinese Murderers" and APALC'
s downtown building that contained four Xerox-copied pages of anti-Chinese,
anti-Korean and anti-Muslim statements and pictures. The statements and
pictures, pieced together in collage format, depicted Koreans, Chinese and
Muslims as murderers, spies, an axis of evil, and proliferators of weapons
of mass destruction. Handwritten statements on the envelope also threatened
BODY N-O-W!" A week prior, similar envelopes were sent to downtown Los
Angeles and Monterey Park offices of the Chinatown Service Center, another
non-profit organization serving the Asian Pacific Islander and other diverse
communities of Los Angeles. Both APALC and the Chinatown Service Center
have contacted local law enforcement regarding these packages.

If you have any information regarding these packages or have previously
received a similar package, please contact Daniel Huang, APALC Hate Crime
Project Coordinator at 213-977-7500 ext. 237 or dhuang@apalc.org.

Waste of postage, man. "Chinese Poison + Cancer in your body N-O-W!" Dude, what does that even mean? Idiotic. You see, if I worked at APALC, and got some crap like this in mail, it wouldn't discourage me doing my work—it would drive me to work harder. Believe me, I know. I've seen my share of hate mail. We ain't going nowhere, suckas. That's racist!


Everybody wants to know: Who in the world is David Chu?


Here's a fascinating article on the Implicit Association Test—a test that measures one's prejudice: See No Bias. You can actually take the text here: Implicit Association Test


This week, search engine Ask Jeeves launched a new TV ad campaign, and one of the spots features the American Idol Reject Who Won't Go Away, Mr. William Hung: Ask Jeeves Launches TV Campaign. You can view a clip of the ad here. Oh William. Give it a rest.


A lot of people have asked me about an update with the Anna Mae He case. For those who unfamiliar with the situation... Back in 1999, Jack and Casey He—a Chinese immgrant couple (this is important)—put their daughter Anna Mae into the care of foster parents when she was 3 weeks old, because they were unable to support her. They believed this would be a temporary arrangement. The foster parents, the Bakers—a white couple from suburban Memphis—had sought to adopt Anna Mae, after the Hes went to court to get her back. Last May, Circuit Judge Robert Childers' ruling sided with the Bakers; he found that the Hes had legally abandoned Anna Mae by not visiting her or paying child support for four months. And so the case over this little girl, who is now 6 years old, hit national news.

So what's happening with the case now? This week, lawyers for the Hes appealed the ruling: Chinese Immigrants Appeal to Get Daughter Back. Was the ruling affected by racial/cultural bias? You bet your ass it was. That's racist!


In high school, I took French. And I seriously sucked at it. Don't know how I made it through four years of it. Years later, the only thing I remember from those classes is watching Jean de Florette, Au revoir les enfants, and La Cage aux folles. I still regret plunking down seventy bucks to take the Advanced Placement test, because it was a fat waste of cash. I totally bombed that sucker. Anyway, nowadays, kids have a few more foreign language options: Chinese latest trend in language education


Former Washington Governor Gary Locke, only a month out of office, has landed a lucrative, high-profile job with the Seattle law firm Davis Wright Tremaine: Locke to join Seattle law firm


Today is known as the Day of Remembrance. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, setting into motion the unconstitutional exclusion, eviction and incarceration of over 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry in the United States. War hysteria, you fools. Know your history, lest it repeats itself. That's racist!


Because of Winn-Dixie, the latest movie from director Wayne Wang, opens in theaters today. It's about a dog.


Last weekend, Representative Mike Honda of California was elected Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee—the highest office ever held by an Asian American in a major political party: Historic First: Rep. Honda Elected DNC Vice Chair


Here's a good article on Daniel Dae Kim and his character on Lost: Kim Talks About the 'Lost' Art of Being Jin. I've already expressed my frustrations about his character—the guy has had a pretty limited role on the island this entire season. Sometimes he's missing for entire episodes. Finally, next week we'll get a glimpse of Jin's story... I've already got this insane fan fic all made up in my head.

The producers of Lost have confirmed that someone will indeed die at the end of this season. And it'll definitely be one of the main characters. Who do you think it's going to be? The way things are going, I'm pretty worried about Jin. Give the guy a chance!


Smallville in China! Are they finding a way for Kristin Kreuk to embrace her Asian heritage? Ha. On next week's fresh new episode of Smallville, Clark and Lana go to China in search of some artifact. And really, what's a China episode without some freakin' martial arts? The episode preview also includes some nasty-looking Chinese military dudes. View it here.


As I mentioned a few weeks ago, UPN announced that Star Trek: Enterprise was being cancelled. After four seasons, the show will end this May. I'm pretty bummed about this. Yeah, I'm a Star Trek fan. I ain't afraid to admit it. Game recognize game, fool. Say what you want, but the Star Trek franchise has always made steps towards diversity in their characters and stories, and Enterpise has Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi Sato. Another one bites the dust. Shut this show down, and you eliminate one of just a handful of Asian Americans on network television.

As expected, a fan movement has sprouted up to Save Enterprise, and they don't play. They already put out a full-page ad earlier this week in the LA Times, and are planning a rally outside Paramont Studios later this month. All in the name of Star Trek. All the details are here.


Some more information on Kal Penn's role in the new Superman movie, straight from the man himself: themoviereporter.com


Some articles from the past week...

Sui Feifei, the undisputed queen of Chinese women's basketball, has signed a free-agent contract with the Sacramento Monarchs to make her WNBA debut this summer: Chinese forward Sui signs with Monarchs

The little-known tale of one of World War II's unlikely rescues: A Filipino-American Effort to Harbor Jews Is Honored

Rachel Factor, a Japanese-American who converted to Orthodox Judaism, lampoons her own culture(s) in "J.A.P.," a one-woman performance show: True to Her Orthodox Beliefs, if Not to Her Roots

Yet another article on Hollywood's current obsession with remaking Asian movies: Go East


For all of you in Southern California, Ken Oak's CD Release Party for Half Step Down is tonight at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood. It's all ages, doors open at 7:00pm, so bring your friends. All the details are here. Just another talented brother trying to make it—I am a fan of this man's music, so check it out.


I'll be taking a few days off, for health reasons.

I leave you with a little-known fact: yesterday, in addition to being Valentine's Day, marked the 4-year anniversary of this site. Yes, four freakin' years ago, Angry Asian Man went live on the world wide web with a bunch of juvenile, angry rants—not much different from how things are today, I suppose. In fact, except for a few format tweaks over the years, I believe the site, at its heart, has stayed the same—it's just me talking about stuff. I guess it's the audience that's changed. Honestly, when I started the site, I never intended to reach any sort of substantial audience. But somehow it has grown and reached people, and that's cool. If you're still with me, I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

So thank you, first to all the haters—you've kept me angry, and you've kept me busy. You'll get what's coming to you.

And a big thank you, to all the people who've helped out, kept up, spread the word, or just threw a few encouraging words my way over the years. You've made this a pretty damn cool experience. Stay Angry.


Something for everyone...

Hey sports fans... Starbucks will be introducing a new limited-edition Ichiro Suzuki Starbucks Card: The Ichiro Card

Hey comic book fans... Here's a good interview with Greg Pak, mostly on his recent work as a comic book writer: Pak For a Long Strange Trip

Hey animation fans... Here's a sneak peek at Nickelodeon's new animated series: Avatar: The Last Airbender. Set in an Asian fantasy setting. I don't know, which one looks better: this one or the skateboarding dragon kid?

Hey Pepsi fans... Here is a blog entirely dedicated to one guy's love for the hot Hapa girl from the Superbowl iTunes Pepsi commercial: That Pepsi Girl. Her name is Mandy Amano.


So, despite fervent protests, Miss Jones returned to Hot 97's morning show on Friday, starting off her broadcast with a carefully-worded apology (listen to it here). This will not do, say concerned people of the newly-formed Coalition Against Hate Media (CAHM). They are organizing a protest outside the station on Monday, February 14, at noon sharp. If you're in the area, they welcome your support:

Who: Everyone

What: CAHM Protest Rally Against Hot 97/Emmis Communications

When: Monday, February 14, 12 Noon to 1 p.m.

Where: Hot 97, 395 Hudson St. (at W. Houston St.), NYC

Join the Coalition Against Hate Media's protest against Hot 97's Tsunami Song! On Valentine's Day, celebrate love by speaking out against hate, at the Hot 97 studios.

Travel directions: Take #1 train and get off Houston Street. Walk one block west to Hudson Street.

In unity, the coalition demands that Emmis Communications take corporate responsibility by doing ALL of the following:

  • terminate Miss Jones and management executives involved in the production and broadcast of the Tsunami song
  • Donate one week's worth of corporate revenue to a dvierse group of tsunami relief organizations and local community organizations
  • implement independent sensitivity training conducted by a third party and approved by CAHM and establish clear written corporate policies against discrimination, prejudice and hate
  • begin and maintain a dialogue with NYC Councilmember Liu's office and CAHM members and other community organizations to implement the above and oher long-term solutions to prevent the recurrence of hate-based programming.

Bring signs against hate, against racism, and against the tsunami song! Signs with wooden sticks are not allowed, but cardboard tubes and hand-held signs are allowed.

The Coalition Against Hate Media (CAHM) is a broad coalition of community groups that opposes programs and broadcasters who deliver
messages of hate against people of any race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or religious background.

Happy Valentine's Day, Hot 97.

Hip hop journalist Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation has some interesting comments on the whole situation: Hot 97: Why Asian Americans Are Pissed And What We Should Do About It


Bunch of Asian movies this weekend, in various states of theatrical release, depending on your city...

There's Gurinder Chadha's Bride & Prejudice, which has been getting a lot of press. Here's another article: New Film Tries to Bring Bollywood Aesthetic to American Audiences. It's important to note that this is the first South Asian film Miramax has released in five years, so it's likely that they'll be looking at their box office numbers carefully...

From Thailand, you've got Ong Bak, which is pretty much nonstop asskicking courtesy of Tony Jaa. Read an interview with the film's star here and here.

Also from Thailand, Beautiful Boxer tells the true story of the Thai national kickboxing champion Nong Toom—who started his career as a young man and ended his career as a beautiful woman. What? Learn all about the film here.

Travellers & Magicians is an interesting, emotional film from the rarely-seen country of Bhutan.

Kore-Eda Hirokazu's acclaimed film Nobody Knows played at a whopping two theaters last weekend, but made an average of over $16,000 per screen, grabbing the box office honors for highest per screen earnings.

In other movie news...

I've mentioned this project before... B.D. Wong's feature directorial debut, Social Grace, is being funded by Bigfoot Pictures, a fund created to promote the Asian American voice in motion pictures: Wong Finds Saving Grace

More info on Kal Penn's role in the new Superman movie: Penn Flies to SUPERMAN. Also look for him in six episodes of Six Feet Under.

Scorsese and DiCaprio are in early talks to remake yet another Asian film, Akira Kurosawa's Drunken Angel. The two, of course, are about to begin filming on The Departed, the American remake of Hong Kong's Infernal Affairs. Now, the original movie is frickin' awesome, and deserves to be seen by audiences everywhere. But I'm having fewer and fewer reservations about this new remake. Given the right set of talent, it looks kind of promising. We could have two very good movies our hands... This column at CHUD has some interesting comments on Scorsese's recent attraction to Asian films:

Some people will complain that this is the second remake for Scorsese in a row. I don't mind that so much, but I am interested in the fact that this would be the second Asian film Scorsese has gone to in a row. This is almost like a tacit admission from Marty, surely one of the most knowledgeable guys when it comes to the movies, that all the action is happening in the Far East these days. Yeah, I know that Drunken Angel is a post World War II film, but the principal remains. What I would love to see Scorsese do, once he's gotten these bigger and more mainstream pictures out of his system, would be to go to Asia and work with some of the talent out there, instead of taking Asian films and adapting them to an American milieu.

Jet Li stars in Danny the Dog. It's about a guy who wears a collar, and when you take the collar off, he kicks ass. Something like that. It gets released here in the U.S. as Unleashed on April 8.

Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle has a new American release date—April 8 in New York and Los Angeles. I'm sooooo there.

And finally, here's what appears to be the North American poster for Park Chan-Wook's Old Boy.


Aishwarya Rai is among the planet's biggest box-office draws. So why doesn't Hollywood know what to do with her? From Salon.com: The biggest star you've never seen


A complete transcript of Yao Ming's recent interview with Chinese media: Yao's Year


So what the hell is this Shaolin Temple thing anyway? The mysteries revealed! So Many Paths. Which Shaolin Is Real? The Reply: Yes.


It's official: Titans believe Chow is ready for NFL challenge


In this article, Jeff Yang suggests a few updates in Lunar New Year celebration traditions: Lunar New Year 2.0


Speak. Asian Americans is a blog dedicated to listing all the relevant APA events and happenings for active-minded folks in Southern California. It's a pretty good idea, to get some coordination going on between all the Asian American organizations out there. Because it sucks when events are scheduled on the same night, and this way, groups and organizations can cross-promote. Everybody wins!


Oh, where does the time go? If you haven't been keeping track, Hot 97's weak-ass suspension Miss Jones, DJ Envy and Tasha Hightower was supposed to end tomorrow. But according to Jay Smooth at hiphopmusic.com, the Morning Show's return has been postponed, until Friday at the earliest.

Apparently, Howard Stern of all people has expressed his disapproval of the "Tsunami Song." That's bad.


Meet Anita & Sid, Hyphen's speed dating success story: Matchmaker Matchmaker


Sucker Free City, an urban crime drama created by Alex Tse, was supposed to be a TV series. But Showtime scrapped the project, so now it's just a one-shot movie, directed by Spike Lee. It premieres this Saturday, February 12 on Showtime.


Aishwarya Rai—the most beautiful woman in the world—will appear on The Late Show with David Letterman tonight. Her Hollywood debut, Gurinder Chadha's Bride and Prejudice, opens in NY and LA on Friday.


Check out this PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL on the aftermath of the tsunami disaster. By New York Times staff photographer Chang W. Lee in Sri Lanka.


Grace Lee is currently working on her first feature film, Smells Like Butter, and is looking for people to cast in a few key roles. Here's a message she sent that explains the deal, and also just illuminates some interesting issues in casting:

I am starting to cast for my first feature film SMELLS LIKE BUTTER, a cross cultural comedy set primarily in Seoul (with a few scenes in LA)
that will star Sandra Oh. The film is primarily in English, but there will also be some parts in Korean.

The biggest difficulty I foresee is casting the Korean American parents of the main character. I am reaching out to you in hopes that you might know of people who could play them. The tricky part is, most people of this generation didn't become professional actors. We all know them -- they are our parents, or our parents' friends or relatives, or what have you. They probably came here in the 1960s, are in their late 50s or 60s, speak English well, and haven't been back to Korea in ages. They are educated professionals, liberal, and can spar with their kids in English or whatever it takes. In my script, the father is a professor and the mother is a doctor.

I'm not so worried about using non-professional actors if they are open-minded and not self-conscious and willing to take a stab at playing a loose version of themselves. They are not huge parts, but they are important and memorable.

Here is the breakdown of the Korean American characters that have yet to be cast.







SHOOT DATE: May through July 2005

LOCATION: Los Angeles and Seoul, Korea

KYUNG JA MOON-(60s) Adrienneís mother, MUST SPEAK KOREAN AND ENGLISH FLUENTLY, immigrated to America in the 1960s. She is a smart, funny,
highly educated professional. THIS ROLE WORKS BOTH IN LA AND SEOUL.

STEVEN MOON-(60s) Adrienneís father, MUST SPEAK KOREAN AND ENGLISH FLUENTLY, immigrated to America in the 1960s for graduate school. A
professional educator, he has an open mind with a great sense of humor. THIS ROLE WORKS BOTH IN LA AND SEOUL.

JESSICA YOONJUNG SHIN (late 20s-early 30s). Adrienne's college friend. Born and raised in the US; she now lives in Seoul and is married to a

CASSANDRA MOON-(late 20sñearly 30s) Adrienneís sister, born and raised in the U.S.; it is her wedding that partly acts as the catalyst
for Adrienneís decision to travel to Korea to find a husband.

YOON HEE-(20s) Korean female fresh off the plane from Seoul, this is Rob Kim's new wife, MUST SPEAK KOREAN.

Please deliver photos and resumes to:

John Jackson, C.S.A.

LeeLee Films

1680 North Vine Street

Suite 726

Los Angeles, CA 90028

I'm looking forward to seeing this. You can contact Grace at grace@leeleefilms.com if you need more info or have any suggestions.


Mixed Media Watch announces its honoress for the 1st annual Mixed Media Watch Image Awards, recognizing "efforts by film, television, radio and print media to promote more realistic, three-dimensional portrayals of mixed race people, interracial couples and interracial families." Honorees include the books The Love Wife by Gish Jen and Country of Origin by Don Lee.


Just so you know, Mulan II came out on DVD last week. One of those direct-to-video productions... I know some folks have mixed feelings about Disney's take on the Mulan story. Still, the release is worth noting. And I know parents out there are always looking for new videos to distract/sedate their kids. Well, here you go.


Here's an interview with Japanese film director Kore-Eda Hirokazu, whose film Nobody Knows is now opening in U.S. theaters: Talking About "Nobody Knows" with A Magician of the Cinema, Hirokazu Kore-Eda


I hadn't heard anything about this movie and its story till now: Philippine war movie set to hit US theaters this year. Based on the book Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides and The Great Raid by Bill Breuer, the movie tells the story of how Filipino guerrillas led by Captain Juan Pajota backed the US troops in rescuing 500 American POWs on January 8, 1945. It was apparently the most successful rescue mission in American history. From Miramax, The Great Raid, stars Benjamin Bratt alongside Filipino movie icon Cesar Montano, and is set to hit theaters in August.


Zhang Ziyi will be a presenter at the Academy Awards: Hollywood imports Penelope Cruz, Zhang Ziyi to present Oscars. "She's so hot right now." Most likely one of the only Asian faces you'll see at the ceremony...

Speaking of actors and their awards... Over the weekend Sideways won the best ensemble prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards: SAG Falls SIDEWAYS. An ecstatic Sandra Oh accepted the award on behalf of her co-stars.


This article laments the lack of attention to racial issues in modern political discussions... and yet nowhere does the article make any implications beyond black/white: The Persistent Taint. What's up with that?


Here's indieWIRE's February 2004 interview with Greg Pak, in honor of today's DVD release of Robot Stories: Greg Pak's Festival Hit "Robot Stories" Blends Technology and Heart. Buy it here.


Check out Songs of Love and Death, the latest album from Emm Gryner.


It appears that Kal Penn has been cast in the next Superman movie: Kal Penn Confirmed for Superman. However, this item claims his role is "Superman's best friend." As far as I know, Superman's best friend is Jimmy Olsen, and that role has already been cast by some other dude. So I guess Kal Penn is going to be Superman's Best Indian Friend. Everybody needs one—even Superman.

EDIT: Turns out Superman doesn't need a Best Indian Friend. Kal Penn has actually been cast as a character called "Riley," Lex Luthor's lead henchman. Of course. Everybody needs a Lead Indian Henchman. Even Lex Luthor.


USC offensive coordinator (genius) Norm Chow has been offered the same position with NFL's Titans and could accept as soon as today: Chow May Be About to Say Ciao


Last week, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California released a new demographic report, The Diverse Face of Asians and Pacific Islanders in California: NEW REPORT DISPELS MYTH OFASIANS AND PACIFIC ISLANDERS AS MODEL MINORITIES. It's an important resource providing detailed information on the characteristics of over 20 API ethnic groups statewide and regionally. You can download a PDF copy of the report here. Or you can order yourself a copy of the report (in color!) by filling out and faxing in this handy order form. Spread the word, pass it along.


AP follows up on the repercussions of the "Tsunami Song.": NYC Station Reeling From Tsunami Parody. According to the article, Miss Info (aka Minya Oh) is still considering a lawsuit against the station for creating a "hostile work environment," which has grounds that apparently predate the "Tsunami Song" (which, for the record, was actually officially titled "USA for Indonesia").


With a crapload of votes, Yao Ming will be starting in the NBA All-Star Game: Yao Ming receives most votes in NBA history


TIME has a two-part tribute to Chinese American pioneer actress Anna May Wong.

Part 1: Anna May Wong Did It Right

Part 2: That Old Feeling: Anna May Win


There's a new face in the world of Grand Prix, and he's Indian: Narain Karthikeyan becomes first Indian to drive Formula One


Keto has written up a great review of Arar Han and John Hsu's Asian American X, over at The Colorblind Society.


Uh oh. Troubles for Assemblyman Jimmy Meng, the first Asian-American to be elected to statewide office in New York: Meng at center of voter fraud probe


Yao Ming and Michelle Kwan show up tonight on Fox's post-Superbowl episode of The Simpsons.


Here's a good, angry perspective on the recent Boston bomb scare (that ended up being a hoax) allegedly involving four Chinese nationals: Yellow Journalism in 2005: Chinese "Terrorists"


Release party for Kite Operations' new album Dandelion Day! This Friday, February 11 at 169 Bar in NYC. You can get your hands on the CD here.


This is pretty cool story of a community stepping up... Three years ago, the Center for Korean Studies at the University of Washington was losing a professor to retirement. He was a third of the department's three-person faculty. It would have spelled the end for Korean Studies, once the largest program in the country. But Koreans don't go out like that: Korean Americans unite to keep UW program alive


An interesting article on Eyes on the Prize, the acclaimed 1987 documentary series on the civil rights movement: Nonprofit Showing 'Eyes on the Prize'. It's been tied up in legal entanglements for years now.


Seattle's Pork Filled Players, the Northwest's longest running Asian American sketch comedy group, gets sensual on yo' bacon ass with their latest show, In The Mood For Lard. That picture is kind of gross.

Also on the theater tip, Los Angeles' East West Players is doing David Auburn's Tony Award-winning Proof. Should be interesting to see the implications of translating it to an Asian American cast, with the math stuff and all.


So Memoirs of a Geisha finished filming in Japan last week: 'Memoirs of a Geisha' wraps up filming in Japan. They're definitely touting the film as one of the high-profile releases of 2005. You all know how I feel about this movie—ain't nothing changed. Forgive me if I'm still wary of this whole deal, from its inception to its release... It's just all wrong. You've got a script, in English, based on an American novel about geishas in Japan, and an international cast—including several primary players who are Chinese—with varying degrees of English language proficiency: Memoirs of a Chinese-American Geisha. I don't care if Rob Marshall is directing and Spielberg is producing. There's something messed up about this movie, and it's not necessarily going to a be a positive for future representations of Asians in Hollywood. Of course, American audiences don't care, and Geisha will probably end up being a critical, box office smash. I'm just wary, okay?


Another development in the "Tsunami Song" debacle... According to Miss Info's lawyer, she is considering taking legal action against Hot 97 for creating a "hostile work environment": Miss Info may sue Hot-97. You know, I have much respect for Miss Info... but if I were her, I'd just leave Hot 97. I know it's a high-profile gig, but why would you want to be associated with the station anymore? Especially if they've opted NOT to fire Miss Jones—who absolutely deserves to get canned. At this point, Miss Info could certainly leave with dignity and respect intact. But hey, if the lawsuit is warranted, go for it.


The Dodgers have agreed to a contract with Japanese third baseman Norihiro Nakamura: Nakamura once agreed with Mets


Aw man. One less Asian face on television... Star Trek: Enterprise Cancelled. Linda Park has played Ensign Hoshi Sato for four seasons, and alas, her character never really got a chance to develop. That's how it usually is on most of the Star Trek shows. In the future, there are Asians in space... and they are boring.


Medical researchers report that a significant number of pediatric physicians fail to diagnose Kawasaki disease in Asian and other children younger than six months and older than eight years: Rare Disease Affecting Children of Asian Descent Goes Undetected


TIME has an article on Ong-Bak's Tony Jaa: The Next Action Hero. The guy is an incredible talent. Check out the movie's official U.S. site: www.ongbakmovie.com/


Here's a good article on the recent boom in Asian American television ventures in the last year: Channeling Asian America. It does seem like they've been popping up all over the place... I guess I haven't been good at keeping track, because according to the article, there are now six 24-hour television channels aimed at English-speaking Asians in the U.S. that have launched or are in the works. It's like a race. Somebody finally realized there was money in this, and now everyone wants a piece. But is there room in the market for all of them? I'm doubtful. We'll have to see what happens when the smoke clears, whether some of these networks fold or change... Still, it's an interesting time, and I wish all these networks the best.


Zhang Ziyi will be featured in Vanity Fair's 11th annual Hollywood issue: 'Fair' of face, and Oscar-worthy


Dan Lee, the animator who designed the character of Nemo for the blockbuster Pixar film Finding Nemo, has died of cancer. He was 35: Canadian creator of Pixar's Nemo dies


Here's a lengthy interview with Gwen Stefani, where she briefly discusses the role the Harajuku Girls play on her album and tour: 'I'll cry just talking about it'. Having them hover around her, they pretty much boil down to being a gaudy fashion accessory.


Sandra Oh plays a "nosy neighbor" in Hard Candy, which apparently became the word-of-mouth don't-see buzz movie at Sundance: 'Hard Candy' leaves Sundance bitterly divided


Details for the upcoming DVD release of Alfie. Among the bonus features, they've got something called "Gedde Watanabe Dance Footage, with optional commentary by Shyer and Pop." It just doesn't sound good, does it? I haven't seen this movie, but I haven't heard good things... Gedde, why you wanna go and do that?


Greg Pak's Robot Stories is now available on DVD from Kino International. The official release date is February 8, but you can preorder the DVD online right now—and for a limited time, save 30% off the list price. The DVD includes a ton of extras, including deleted scenes, alternative endings, and commentary tracks by producers Kim Ima and Karin Chien, director Greg Pak, animator Dan Kanemoto, and actors Tamlyn Tomita, Wai Ching Ho, Cindy Cheung, Bill Coelius, and Sab Shimono. I am going to buy mine now.


Check out The Leak for an inside look at Ken Oak's long-awaited LP, Half Step Down. The Release Party's on February 17 in Hollywood. Here's his official site, and here's his xanga. Hope you dig it.


The official word is out. Hot 97 and Emmis Communications have announced that Todd Lynn and producer Rick Delgado have indeed been fired, effective immediately. Emmis will also make a lump-sum donation of $1 million to Give2Asia for Tsunami relief and recovery effort. Other members of the morning show crew—Miss Jones, DJ Envy and Tasha Hightower—have each been given two-week suspensions (until Feb. 9) with their salaries being redirected to Give2Asia. Miss Info was not suspended. Read all about it here: Axe Falls Over Hot 97 Tsunami Song

Obviously, they feel they've satisfactorily taken care of the matter, in punishing who they feel are the necessary scapegoats. But not Miss Jones? Ridiculous.


Things I would attend, if I wasn't so frickin' busy (or halfway across the country)...

Thursday night at Locus Arts in San Francisco: APA Artists 4 Tsunami Relief. Pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

Asian Night at the World Famous Laugh Factory is moving to Thursdays at 10pm. This includes karaoke. (Good thing or bad thing?)

This Friday, February 4 in NYC, "Burn It Up : Breakout Asian American Designers in Fashion" at Asia Society. I'm not sure I am cool enough to attend this.

ComedyZEN 2, an Asian American stand-up comedy showcase, featuring a lineup starring Bobby Lee, and a special musical performance by the Notorious M.S.G. This Saturday, February 5, at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, CA.

Nifty-looking exhibit at the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco: Mostly Mississippi: Chinese Restaurants of the South, running February 1 through March 27. It's part of Indigo Som's Chinese Restaurant Project.


According to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, U.S. Men Have More Distorted Body Image Than Asians. Men in the U.S. and Europe are more likely to overestimate female desire for muscular mates than men in East Asian countries.

On sort of a related note, I got an email passed to me about an interesting photo exhibit in New York:

Asian & Masculine: A Body of Work

A photographic exploration of under-represented Asian Male Beauty

by Troy Phillips

Having spent five years of my life living in and traveling extensively
through Asia, I have always been struck by the under-representation of
Asian masculinity, particularly in Western culture, save for a few
clumsy cliches. Further, in a sea of media imagery, the few spare
islands of representation of the Asian male are, I find, unsexualized.
The businessman, the effete, the martial artist, all wearing the
proverbial fig leaf, or more specifically, devoid of a sexuality, not
merely hidden but absent altogether.

In Asian & Masculine, I set out to explore another side of Asian men
seldom portrayed. One goal is to open some eyes to better appreciate
and recognize Asian male beauty, wiping out typical stereotypes. This
project features an eclectic mix of "everyday" models from various
Asian backgrounds and different walks of life. 22 men from ages 19-42
representing 11 countries are featured. The collection of work is a
gift to all - male, female, Asian, non-Asian, straight, gay - to
highlight new figurations of both the universality and the
individuality of Masculine Beauty.

Troy Phillips

Jan. 31 - Feb. 11, 2005

The National Arts Club

15 Gramercy Park South

New York, NY 10003



M-F: 10-5 S-S: 11-5

Sexy! Asian! Men!


Jeff Chang's new book Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation is available in stores and online today. He'll embarking on a book tour and all that good stuff too. Get all the details at www.cantstopwontstop.com. Be cool, and check it out.


Word on the street is, Hot 97 has given Todd Lynn the boot. He got fired without severance pay. You did it to yourself, man. Still don't know about the others who took part in the "Tsunami Song" —Miss Jones and DJ Envy. I suppose we'll find out soon. It's crazy. I never thought all the protests would actually result in terminations. Usually with this sort of thing, we get a pat on the head, and MAYBE an apology. But get a tsunami involved, and you can get someone's ass fired.

Now, what can we do about Star and Buc Wild at Power 99? I'm pretty sure that never got resolved... and it predates this Hot 97 crap by a whole two weeks. New to the site? Don't know what the hell I'm talking about? Get updated at Turbanhead.

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