This week in Phoenix, a man who tricked an 85-year-old doctor into letting him inside her home, then robbed, struck, and tied her to a chair, pleaded guilty to the crime: Man Pleads Guilty To Home Invasion. The victim in the case, Dr. Pearl Tang, is the widow of Ninth Circuit Judge Thomas Tang. She was also the first Asian American woman to practice medicine in Arizona. Robert Medeiros faces 14 years in prison when he is sentenced next month... and he deserves every minute of it.
Police have issues an arrest warrant for Youn Bum Lee, a Hyundai executive who left for (= ran away to) Korea after a motorcyclist hit his disabled SUV and was killed nearly a year and a half ago: O.C. freeway fatality an international case. Orange County prosecutors last month charged Lee in absentia with three felonies in the death of the motorcyclist: gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated; driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with injury; and hit-and-run with injury or death.
Last week in Los Angeles, two men were shot and killed last week at a popular Koreatown barbecue restaurant in what police describe as a murder suicide: Man kills Koreatown restaurateur in his eatery, then shoots himself. The victims were identified as Sae-Kyoon Na and Hyo-Jin Lim, the owner of Suhrabal Restaurant. I have eaten at this restaurant before and enjoyed the food there. According to police, the killings were the result of a "domestic triangle" involving the gunman, his victim and the gunman's wife: Domestic triangle suspected in Koreatown killings. I hope this does not affect the quality of this establishment's food.
And in Denver... 43-year-old Chih Hsien Wu was arrested in connection with the theft of more than 1,300 women's undergarments over an eight-month period: Man Accused Of Stealing 1,300 Women's Undergarments. Police say Wu stole women's underwear from apartment complex common laundry rooms. They must have found a gigantic pile of underwear at this guy's house. Moral of the story: do not leave your laundry unattendedunderwear thieves are lurking.
On a similar note, NPR's Tell Me More recently discussed the disturbingly high rate of suicide among Asian American women, featuring views from Aruna Jha of the Asian American Suicide Prevention Initiative and researcher Eliza Noh: Confronting Suicide: Asian-American Women
On a related note, this article poses an interesting question, presenting a round up of these issues in the last month since the shooting: Are Asian Males Unwilling Targets of Virginia Tech Fallout?
The Orange County register has a pretty good profile on director Justin Lin and the stuff he's been up to latelynamely, getting the word out about his latest film, the Bruce Lee-centric mockumentary Finishing the Game: Back to his roots. The movie is a true labor of lovehe's returning to his indie beginnings, hitting the road to spread the news and catch a little word-of-mouth support for the film. Not quite his humble BLT beginnings, but it's still generally pretty hard for an indie film to get a fair shake, without the massive marketing budget of a studio film. So it's really all about getting the community behind it. That means you! Be on the lookout, because Finishing the Game is coming. Check out the Finishing the Game MySpace page (including video clips) here.
This Asian dude's about to get killed...by John Rambo!
Footage from Sylvester Stallone's upcoming return to the Rambo franchise surfaced on the internet recently, and it's waaaay freaking ridiculous: Gruesome 'Rambo' Trailer Slays on Internet. If you recall, early reports said the story would find Rambo back in Asia, this time protecting the region's Karen people against the sadistic Burmese military. Judging from the new trailer, it looks like pretty much everything we were dreading. Take a look here: First official JOHN RAMBO (Rambo 4) teaser trailer. Basically, it's just Stallone (in bad hair extensions) killing a lot of Asians dudes, every which way. I'm no fan of the real Burmese junta or the bloody, insane stuff they've done... but this is just exploitation. In this three-and-a-half minute clip, we see Rambo chopping a guy's head off, machine gunning a dude at point-blank, ripping out a guy's throat (he was about to rape a white woman), stabbing, shooting, arrowing, burning, exploding and killing kiling killinglots and lots of faceless, disposable Asian men. It's like Rambo II all over again. Welcome back, John Rambo.
Anyway, just on the heels of this discovery, a second imposter at Stanford was uncovered last week. Elizabeth Okazaki has apparently been hanging around the physics department for years, attending seminars, using offices and locker space: Imposter II? Four years in Varian. Yes, she's Asian American. According to students, she claims to be a visiting scholar in the humanities, "looking to provide an interdisciplinary perspective on string theory," yet she is not a student, has no official connection with anyone in the physics department, and appears to have very little knowledge of physics itself. She's just... there. She has basically assumed a permanent presence in the physics lab building, and while they've been aware of her some time, the administration seems to have turned a blind eye to her. It's pretty weird. More here: Second impostor found at Stanford. You know, for all the hard work and creativity that goes into maintaining a fake Stanford student life, you might simply be better off channeling that energy into being an real college student elsewhere.
What's going on here? Do we have a new Asian stereotype in the works? Given recent events, it's not very good publicity for Asian American college students. I'm sure we've already got people suspiciously looking at Asian men like possible loner psycho mass killers. Now we've got Asian female students who just might not be students at all. Great. Be ready to whip out your student ID.
This week in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo, there's a special screening of Yukihiko Tsutsumi's critically-acclaimed Memories of Tomorrow, a special fundraising event for the Ahzheimer's Association of Southern California and the Little Tokyo Service Center, hosted by Academy Award-nominated star Ken Watanabe. Wednesday, May 30th at the Aratani/Japan America Theatre. The ticket price is pretty steep, but it's for a good cause. For more information about the screening and VIP reception, go here.
Well, the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie opens in theaters today (technically, last night) and it's sure to make a boatload of money (har har). Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End apparently takes the story into Asia, where Captain Jack Sparrow and his mates encounter Singapore pirate Captai Sao Feng, played by Chow Yun-Fat. Now, when I first heard they were taking the franchise into the "Orient," I was dreading the usual stereotypical imagery that would probably follow, but at the same time kind of excited that we might get to see Chow Yun-Fat sink his teeth into a really fun role. Based on what I've been reading here and there, it's pretty much everything I was dreading... From the Boston Globe:
Chow Yun-Fat shows up as the sneering Singapore pirate lord Sao Feng, but Verbinski is never sure what to do with the character and the movie drifts close to yellow-peril cliche when he lusts after Elizabeth.Scary, marauding Asian pirate lusting after pretty white girl. Did it really have to go there? And according to this snippet from Ain't-It-Cool News:
3. Chow Yun-Fat makes a great sleazy pirate. I wish he was in the movie more. And maybe a little less rape-y there at the end.I'm actually okay with sleazy, but "rape-y"? Great. Not what I wanted to hear. And I definitely don't want to see Chow Yun-Fat getting all Bride-of-Fu-Manchu with Keira Knightley. Yellow peril, indeed. Here's another good one from the Village Voice:
Ah, but I have forgotten Captain Sao Feng! Luxuriating in the hysterical chinoiserie of his exotic Singapore lair, this outrageous Oriental (played by Chow Yun-Fat) has been wedged into the Pirates panoply in order to exude colorful slant-eyed menace, enable the destiny of a white woman, then die. Impaled by one of the many large wood splinters incessantly flung about the narrative, Sao Feng bestows a totem of Super Piratehood to Miss Swann. Off she goes to join a reunion of the Super Pirates and fend off the snooty imperialists of the Dutch East India Company.This SPOILER HEAVY other review from Ain't-It-Cool pretty much gives away the whole movie, including what happens to Sao Feng (DO NOT READ IT IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS). Looks like I won't be rushing out to the movie theater this weekend.
Speaking of Chow Yun Fat, here he is telling the world what we already knewHollywood doesn't have good leading roles for Asian men: Chow Yun-Fat wants to take the lead in U.S. films. And speaking of leading roles for Asian menAsian American men, that ishere's a Washington Post article on Jeff Adachi's documentary The Slanted Screen, airing on PBS this month: 'Slanted Screen' Rues The Absence Of Asians
You have to wonder what drove her to such lengths. The Stanford article speculates that she felt pressure from overbearing parents to attend Stanfordregardless of whether she was admitted. Lying and deception aside, I gotta say I'm actually kind of impressed. This girl really wanted to go to Stanford. Hell of a con. Makes you think twice about campus safety, doesn't it?
I think I mentioned this a while back, when it was first announced... Former Lost star Ian Somerhalder stars in the upcoming Hallmark Channel movie Marco Polo, about the 13th century Venetian who traveled the Silk Road through Asia: 'Lost' star travels east in 'Marco Polo'. A world premiere Hallmark Original Movie Event! Yay, big deal. They'll probably show him "discovering" pasta, learning how awesome the Orient is, and falling in love with an Asian girl or two along the way. Yawn.
Oh yeah, B.D. Wong plays Polo's "faithful servant-cum-companion" Pedro(?), who accompanies him throughout his travels. Glad they managed to stick an Asian in this story somewhere, albeit as March Polo's sidekick... But wait! Here's the big kicker. Kublai Khan, Mongol conqueror of the East, is played by none other than Brian Dennehy. Yeah, the bad guy sheriff in the first Rambo. NICE. I was just thinking that it had been a while since I saw a really good example of a white dude playing an Asian guy. Hollywood, you never let us down. Bring on the yellowface!
Tingwei Lin, East Bay Asian Local Dev, Corp.
Luke Patterson, Great Leap
Anthem Salgado, Babae
Jeffrey Sichaleune, Midwest Asian American Student Union
Jason Woo, California Dragonboat Association
Billy Yeh, My Sister's House
That's an awesome list of dudes. The festivities will emceed by comedienne Ali Wong, with judging duties by Robert Bernardo of the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance, Chi-hui Yang of the Center for Asian American Media, and Krizia Mae Sapida, Miss San Francisco 2007. It all goes down Saturday, June 9th at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. Make your plans, get your tickets, and find more information here.
UPDATE: Oh yes, the Hyphen blog has been running profiles of these upstanding gentlemen all week ("Six Days of Mr. Hyphen").
'Hate' columnist Eng arrested in N.Y. for alleged harassmentA hammer, dude? Seriously? You've got to be kidding me. Is anyone one there surprised about this? Get this guy off the streets. Have fun in prison, you crazy idiot dragon freak.
(05-23) 12:44 PDT NEW YORK CITY -- Kenneth Eng, the author of a controversial AsianWeek column that described reasons to "hate" black people, is being held in a New York jail without bail on assault and harassment charges.
Eng, 23, was arrested on suspicion of threatening to kill his Queens neighbors and one of their pets. He was arraigned May 11 on charges of attempted assault, menacing, possession of a weapon and harassment.
Eng allegedly approached the mother and daughter as they stood in their driveway with their pet and said, "If your dog bites me, I will kill you and your family." He then called the mother fat and lazy and swung a hammer at her and the dog, according to the Queens district attorney's office.
Eng used to be a regular contributor to San Francisco-based AsianWeek, writing from New York. He was fired in February after public outcry over his racist and discriminating columns. In his writings, Eng called himself an "Asian supremacist" and listed reasons to hate black people as well as Asians and whites.
Eng's attorney has asked that he undergo a mental examination. He is scheduled to return to court in Queens on June 13.
UPDATE: Gawker has posted Kenneth's totally awesome resume and book proposal. Impressive. Now he can add "Threatened a dog with a hammer" under Notable Attributes.
Calling all Jin fans... Todd Angkasuwan's No Sleep 'Til Shanghai is out on DVD this week. It's a documentary that follows Jin's eight-city tour of Asia in the fall of 2004. It's an interesting look at hip hop and its fans from a global perspective, seen through the eyes of Jin visiting the so-called "motherland." You can get it at the usual online retailers like Amazon.com. For more information about the film go here. Check out Todd Angkasuwan's MySpace page here (there's apparently a DVD release party on Wednesday in Phoneix, AZ). And view the teaser trailer here.
Some other notable titles out on DVD this week... Letters From Iwo Jima, Clint Eastwood's World War II epic told from the Japanese perspective of the Iwo Jima conflict; Afro Samurai, the totally insane Spike TV animated series based on Takashi Okazaki's manga, directed by Fuminori Kizaki, featuring the voice of Samuel L. Jackson and music by The RZA; Kitchen Confidential, the short-lived Fox comedy that featured John Cho in the regular cast (but obviously not important enough to include on the cover art); You Only Live Twice, the James Bond flick where 007 is surgically altered (yellowface!) to go undercover as a Japanese guy; Epic Movie, starring Kal Penn in a godawful-looking spoof of big-budget blockbusters; and I've already mentioned several times how much I love Desmond Nakano's internment camp baseball drama American Pastime.
And finally, I just found that The Grace Lee Project DVD is now available for home video purchase through Women Make Movies. It's a clever, charming documentary about the filmmaker's personal search for Grace Leeone of the most common names in Asian Americaand the women who break the typical mold. I love this film, and I plan on buying a copy. Highly recommended viewing. And if you're name is also Grace Lee, well, it's like required viewing.
Last month, 34 business school graduate students were convicted of cheating on an exam and other assignments. Nine were expelled, and 15 were suspended for a year and given a failing grade in the class, while the others received failing grades. The nine expelled students were all from Asian countries. Many of them confessed instead of fighting the charges because of different cultural norms in their countries, where often "a confession or an admission of guilt can be a way to apologize." They now face losing their student visas and leaving the country if their appeals fail. More here: Cheating case hit Asians hardest
You probably recall the Queens hate crime last summer where Kevin Brown and Paul Heavey assaulted a group of Asian men, screaming racial slurs at them and telling them to "get out our neighborhood." This week, Heavey was sentenced to five years probation and community service: NO PRISON FOR QUEENS BIAS BEATER. What kind of weak-ass punishment is that? This was a hate crime. Brown and Heavey specifically targeted these men because they were Asian, going out of their way to chase them down. Calling someone a "stupid gook," rear-ending their car, and beating the crap out of them makes that pretty clear. But I guess that doesn't warrant jail time: Student Sentenced in Hate-Crime Attack. That's a load of crap.
Brown, the son of a retired detective, pleaded guilty to the bias crime and another assault back in March, and was sentenced to 3 1/2 years. He admitted beating Reynold Liang in the head and chest with a metal steering wheel lock. But I guess Heavey, who merely used his racial hatred to punch and kick his victims, will just have to think long and hard about his crime during those 75 hours of community service. And of course, adding insult is his lame-ass apologyrequired by his sentenceto his victims and the "entire Asian American community." The fact that the guy gave a mandatory apology doesn't change a damn thing. (Fallout Central has a interesting take on the "apology" and the coverage of the sentencing.) It's pretty apparent what was in Heavey's heart on the night of August 12th. That's racist!
I am calling on you to help get the word out. E! will air a one hour special on the AXAs on May 24. E! has national reach and is measured by Neilsen ratings. If E!'s ratings see a bump, it will provide a strong argument to Comcast to continue to not only support The Asian Excellence Awards, but also to more aggressively support AZN is providing a voice for Asian Americans.Now I'll admit, the Awards weren't perfect. But Teddy makes a good case for its potential impact, in terms of the future of Asian American television programming. Here's an article he recently wrote for TV Week regarding the growing diversity on television: Diverse Voices: Diversity on TV: That's What Audiences Want
I truly believe that we are at that make or break moment in time. Please help make a difference. Each of you has a strong credible voice with great reach. Please use that voice to get out the "vote."
People can watch the show, email E!, email Comcast or call their local cable operators and say how important it is to carry programs like the Asian Excellence Awards.
Now is the time before it is too late. The sky is falling...
Thanks for your continued support.
One detractor set up a website to protest the selection of a "Chinese guy" to sculpt King's image. And of course Jesse Jackson has gotten involved: Jackson Pushes for Black Inclusion in MLK Memorial, Project President Makes Big Promise As Another Million Rolls In
That's Chow Yun Fat looking extra mean and badass as Captain Sao Feng in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Probably the next movie in line to make a bajillion dollars.
Here we have Ken Jeong getting an eyeful as the doctor delivering Katherine Heigl's baby in the comedy Knocked Up.
Maggie Q, looking pretty and villanous in in the trailer for Live Free or Die Hard.
This one's a doozy. That's Rob Schneider playing some kind of weird Asian rabbi in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Now, as much as we don't want to admit it, Schneider is actually Asian American. His mother is Filipino, and he was a presenter last week at the Asian Excellence Awards. But here, he is clearly made to look more Asian. So, does it count as yellowface if Rob Schneider is doing the yellowfacing?
That's super-gigantic Chinese basketball player Sun Ming Ming kicking Chris Tucker's ass in the trailer for Rush Hour 3. This movie looks baaad. There's a short video clip of the scene here.
Veteran actor James Hong in the ping pong comedy Balls of Fury. This one looks like a disaster, a crazy diarrhea explosion of cinmeatic Asian kitsch. It also features a bunch of Asian folks like Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Jason Scott Lee, and Masi Oka. Maggie Q's in this one too. I am not looking forward to this movie.
Caught a brief glimpse of T.V. Carpio in the trailer for Across the Universe, a musical featuring songs by the Beatles.
Here we've got Francois Chau (Dr. Martin Candle on Lost) holding Christian Bale captive in a Vietnamese POW camp in the drama Rescue Dawn, directed by Werner Herzog.
Finally, we've got Apu in the The Simpsons Movie. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)
gone. So until then, you can see it right now at two locations:
Edwards Westminster 10
6721 Westminster Blvd.
Regal Garden Grove, CA
9741 Chapman Avenue
The OC has been kind to Journey From The Fall, doing impressive box office numbers despite an extremely limited release. Not bad for an ambitious little indie film. But I'm sure some of you out there still haven't check it out. Maybe you've been kind of busy with school, work, whatever. Maybe you passed up Journey to instead see Ninja Turtles or Wild Hogs or something. No matter. You've got only a few days now to see it on the big screen. For the rest of you out there, the film is playing city-by-city. It's a great movie that deserves some attention, so check it out. To learn more about the movie, go here and here.
Here's an article on actress Grace Park, star of Battlestar Galactica, co-host (and nominee) of the 2007 AZN Asian Excellence Awards, and soon to be seen in Michael Kang's West 32nd: Battlestar's Grace Park: From Warrior to Cylon to Asian Excellence Award Nominee. (Not to be confused with golfer Grace Park.) To be honest, the article isn't very insightful, but it's mainly my excuse to post a BSG photo of gorgeous Grace.
UPDATE: Turns out the Asian dude in the commercial is part of a series.
Slant: Bold Asian American ImagesSome of my favorite pieces playing this year are Tze Chun's Windowbreaker, Kimi Takesue's The Summer of the Serpent, Lead Role: Father by PJ Raval, Wes Kim's Profiles in Science, and Doan La's Dragon of Love. See them all this weekend, May 19-20 at the Aurora Picture Show. For more information, go here.
Program 1: Children, Young & Grown
Saturday, May 19, at 8pm
Aurora Picture Show, 800 Aurora Street, 713.868.2101, www.aurorapictureshow.org
General Admission: $6 and Free with All Access Pass
Slant: Bold Asian American Images
Program 2: Best of Slant & More!
Sunday, May 20, 3pm
Aurora Picture Show, 800 Aurora Street, 713.868.2101, www.aurorapictureshow.org
General Admission: $6 and Free with All Access Pass
In New York, ALTRA Magazine presents Fay Ann Lee's Falling for Grace, a film screening charity event benefiting Asian Programs at the American Cancer Society. TonightFriday, May 18th at NYU Cantor Film Center. For more information about the event, go here. To learn more about Falling for Grace, go here. Oh, I should add that ALTRA just launched its spring issue (with James Kyson Lee of Heroes on the cover) and I'm told there's an interview with me in there somewhere...
But if Falling for Grace doesn't sound like your kind of thing, Asian Cinevision presents a special screening of Julia Kwan's Eve and the Fire Horse. Tonight, May 18th at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It's a beautiful, fantastic, haunting film that I highly recommend checking out. For more information about the screening, go here.
Also in New York, there's a way cool art show happening right now, Joy Ride, part of the Seventh Annual Bicycle Film Festival, and presented by our friends at Theme Magazine. An art show inspired by the bicycle, featuring works by a truckload of really cool artists. Running now through May 21st at 33 West 17th Street. For more information, go here. Or view the pretty flyer here.
Remember Glaceau's racist company phone greeting from a few months back? Follow the link and listen to it here. Again, jokes at the expense of Asians. What's with the mockery? That's strike two, Glaceau. That's racist!
UPDATE: Here's a story on Howard Bach and Bob Malaythong, two real U.S. badminton stars: Bach and Malaythong up against the odds. The two are training for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
UPDATE 2: Whoa. Donald informs me that Howard Bach and Bob Malaythong are the two Asians guys in the commercial! The #1 U.S. pairs team. So why the hell did they have to call them "Yang" and "Lau"? Is it because those names sound more traditionally "Asian" to the average American TV watcher?
I'm still gathering and jotting down my thoughts on the 2007 AZN Asian Excellence Awards, which happened last night in Los Angelesa mix of fun, strange, cool and not-so-cool. For now, here's a list of the evening's winners:
Letters From Iwo Jima
Outstanding Actor - Film
Kal Penn / The Namesake
Outstanding Actress - Film
Rinko Kikuchi / Babel
Outstanding Actor - Television
Masi Oka / Heroes
Outstanding Actress - Television
Parminder Nagra / ER
Outstanding Supporting Actress - Film
Maggie Q / Mission: Impossible 3
Outstanding Supporting Actor - Film
Dustin Nguyen / Little Fish
Outstanding Supporting Actor - Television
Rex Lee / Entourage
Outstanding Supporting Actress - Television
Mindy Kaling - The Office
Outstanding Comedy Performance
Favorite Reality Star
Yul Kwon / Survivor: Cook Islands
Outstanding Independent Film
Journey from the Fall
Lifetime Achievement Award
Chow Yun-Fat, actor
Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa, restaurateur
Vivienne Tam, fashion designer
There you have it, a list of this year's most excellent Asians. More to come, as soon as I get around to it... but first I have to watch last night's Lost. You can catch the broadcast of this year's Asian Excellence Awards, May 28th on AZN TV, preceded by a one-hour behind-the-scenes, red carpet special on E! airing May 24th.
Oh hell no. According to the Hollywood Reporter, there's apparently another film in the works based on everybody's favorite Asian criminal mastermind Fu Manchu, to be shot in Hong Kong and China: The Return Of Dr. "Fu Manchu". Whaaat? Does this movie really need to be made? According to Anant Singh, the plan is to "reinvent Fu Manchu as an anti-hero who fits in with a more socially conscious world and that addresses the very complex multipolar world we all live in today." What the hell does that mean? I'm highly doubtful of this idea. Wasn't the whole point of Sax Rohmer's original character to exploit racist, xenophobic fears and the "yellow peril" stereotype? If you turn that original concept on its head, is it still really Fu Manchu? I'm not trying to defend the integrity of this characterit's racist to the core, and I definitely don't want to see another Fu Manchu flick made. I'm just saying there's only so much re-invention you can do until it's no longer Fu Manchu. If you're gonna do the Fu, you should just go for it and make it as racist as frickin' possible. Why pretend?
My other question: who will play the titular role? In the past, Fu Manchu has notoriously been played by actors like Warner Oland, Boris Karloff, Peter Sellers and Christopher Leeall white guys rocking the yellowface. So, will they get another white dude to play him? In a twisted way, it would seem appropriate. Brace yourselves.
The government accused Mak of taking thousands of pages of documents from his defense contractor employer and giving them to his brother, who passed them along to Chinese authorities over a number of years. While Mak acknowledged during the trial that he copied classified documents and kept copies in his office, he maintained he didn't realize at the time that making the copies was illegal. His defense team still believes he's innocent. Regardless of if he's guilty or innocent, a spy or just stupid, you know that this conviction is going to fuel the racist rhetoric of some kind of idiot out there. Sneaky Chinese spies among us, they'll say! Shut the hell up, I say.
A short trailer for Wong Kar Wai's first English-language feature My Blueberry Nights has popped up here. It features Norah Jones in her feature film debut, alongside all these hopelessly unattractive peopleJude Law, Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman. I'm not sure what to make of it, and the early reviews from Cannes seem to indicate it's good but nothing extraordinary... but hell, it's Wong Kar Wai. I'll watch it.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Asian American women ages 15-24 have the highest suicide rate of women in any race or ethnic group in that age group. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Asian American women in that age range. That is an astounding, sobering statistic. While there are no easy answers, the article suggests that it has a lot to do with the tremendous family pressure and cultural expectation to be the perfect daughter/student/citizen. I can believe it. And it's not just your family or Asian culture doing the pushingit's the society at large, reinforcing the ridculous "model minority" standard, amidst all the other crap we have to deal with.
I also wonder what kind of research has been done regarding depression and suicide among Asian American men... I'm thinking the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy has shone a spotlight in that direction as well.
The 2007 AZN Asian Excellence Awards are happening tonight at UCLA's Royce Hall. Co-hosted by Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, they're boasting that this is going to be a star-studded, red-carpet event celebrating "significant Asian and Asian American achievements in entertainment, the arts and other disciplines that have had a profound impact on American culture." I've already mentioned the nominees, who include Margaret Cho, Roger Fan, Sharon Leal, Rex Lee, Parminder Nagra, Dustin Nguyen, Masi Oka, Kal Penn, Russell Peters, Dat Phan, Maggie Q, Will Yun Lee, among many others. My only question about the awards: who actually determines who wins?
According to the press release I received the other day, the show's presenters include Apl.de.Ap of Black Eyed Peas, Megan Abrigo, Moon Bloodgood, Sarah Bronson, Adam Carolla(!), John Cho, Elisha Cuthbert, Antoine Fuqua, Kenny G, Carrie Ann Inaba, Michelle Krusiec, Yul Kwon, Jason Scott Lee, Bai Ling (ugh), Sanjaya Malakar, Leyla Milani, Lou Diamond Phillips, Rob Schneider, Elisabeth Rohm, Geoffrey Rush, Lauren Shiohama, George Takei, Quentin Tarantino and Tamlyn Tomita. I'm sorry, but what the hell is Adam Carolla going to be doing there? Has he come to make amends for mocking last year's awards on his radio show? I hope the audience boos that assclown.
And man, I guess they weren't kidding about Kenny G.
The show will also feature appearances by Jin, Sunkrish Bala, Karin Anna Cheung, Justice Ming Chin, Justin Chon, Alexandra Chun, Toby Dawson, FREQUNCY 5, Janina Gavankar, Josie Ho + Conroy Chan, Ryan Hoyle, Johnny Hsu, Mimosa Iwamatsu, Grace Junot, Archie Kao, Ravi Kapoor, Christel Khalil, Hans Kim, Paul Kim, Chil Kong, Denyce Lawton, Brooke Lee, Michelle Lee, Reggie Lee, Dana Leong, Emily Liu, Daniel Lue, Camille Mana, Minae Noji, Joy Osmanski, Harold Perrineau, Lindsay Price, Milan Q, Lela Rechon, DJ Shy, James Sun, AJ Tabaldo, Brian Tee, Rich Ting, Suzanne Whang, Louise Wu, Kaila Yu, Eugenia Yuan, Yungmac, and more apparently to be announced. I'm not even sure who a bunch of these people are, and in what capacity they'll be appearing, but it looks like they're trying to load it up with as many "names" as they can.
The show airs May 28th on AZN TV. I'm planning on braving Westwood traffic and attending the show tonight. I'll be taking a few notes, so hopefully I'll have some coverage of the event here tomorrow.
From: firstname.lastname@example.orgI mentioned this movie last month when they were looking for extras for a crowd scene. It stars Jimmy Tsai, Roger Fan and Smith Cho, among others. The movie's IMDb page has been updated here.
Subject: Extras Needed (again) for Filmmaker Jessica Yu
You are being contacted again since you expressed interest in participating as an extra in Jessica Yu's film last month.
If you are free next Saturday, May 19, 2007, here is your second chance!!!! Location: MONTEREY PARK (beginning at the intersection of Garvey/Alhambra Rd). Time: 10:00 a.m. Watch a real parade in Monterey Park! We need help for a few hours.
It should be a lot of fun! If you're interested, please reply to this e-mail, or email Joan Huang at email@example.com and cc: me. Hope you can get involved!
Get your friends, family members, and their friends involved too!!
Additional detailed information will follow next week. Thanks for your consideration.
Looking forward to your response, and I apologize for any duplicate notices.
So I just got called in to audition for this new indie movie with Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker and Chris Evans called Kings X (a.k.a. The Nightwatch).Indeed, it sounds awesome. Keep an eye on this one, folks. I can't what kind of racist Hollywood nonsense ends up on the screen. That's racist! (Thanks N.)
I'm actually going to call the casting director tomorrow and cancel my audition after reviewing the sides. So I can't give you the entire plot of the film but after reading my sides and a couple of other sides, I know that a part of it does take place in Koreatown, with lo and behold korean sex slaves and korean guys as the baddies.
There's also a part of dialogue where Reeves' character greets the korean guys with 'konichiwa.' The Korean guys in turn tell him that phrase is Japanese and insulting to Koreans but Reeves says that he can't tell the difference. Then Reeves' character responds "It means you got eyes like apostrophes, dress white, talk black and drive Jew. So how'm I supposed to know what kind of zipperhead-dog-munching dinks you are if you don't."
Sounds Oscar-worthy doesn't it? Well, you can check out the rest of the sides on Showfax. It's pretty discouraging to be an asian actress these days...
How cool is Yau-Man Chan? Check out this website: truckforyau.com
Tonight, we said goodbye to one of TV's most beloved shows, one of the few network shows to feature an Asian American cast member... For the last seven seasons, Keiko Agena played Lane Kim on Gilmore Girls. And tonight was the series finale. I can't say I ever actually watched an entire single episode, but when keeping count of all the Asians on TV these last few years, it was always good to know you could rely on "that Asian girl on Gilmore Girls." No more. But thanks, Keiko.
Well, last week VC Filmfest 2007 went out with a bang with its Closing Night screening of Charlie Nguyen's The Rebel, which was pretty badass awesome. An ambitious film with a shoestring budget, shot on location in Vietnam, it's a period action flick that kicks some serious ass. Good film, lots of fun. And Dustin Nguyen is the best I've seen him in pretty much anything, as the movie's villain.
The festival also announced the winners of this year's awards, presenting the Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Feature to The Rebel, and Special Jury Prize to Juwan Chung's Baby, a gritty indie gangster flick that delivers a solid story and great performances. The festival jury also presented for the first time acting prizes to noteworthy performances, giving Best Actor to Esai Morales in American Fusion, Best Actress to Meredith Scott Lynn in Finishing the Game (she's great in every scene she's in), and Outstanding Newcomer to David Huynh in Baby (the guy's got a bright future ahead of him).
In the documentary feature category, the Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Linda Hattendorf's The Cats of Mirikitani, and the Special Jury Prize to Lisette Marie Flannery Na Kamalei: Men of Hula. In the shorts category, the Golden Reel Jury Prize for Best Short went to Ruby Yang's amazing (but extremely depressing) documentary The Blood of Yingzhou District, and the Linda Mabalot New Directors/New Visions Award was presented to Tad Nakamura's Pilgrimage. The Audience Award for Narrative Feature went to Frank Lin's romantic comedy American Fusion, and the Audience Award for Nonfiction Feature went to Socheata Poeuv's New Year Babythough I'm not sure many people heard these two being announced over the hubbub of the party. That's a lot of awards. I recommend seeking out any and all of these films to watch in the future...
UPDATE: Super-extensive VC coverage in the latest edition of Asia Pacific Arts, including video content from the Finishing the Game red carpet, capsule reviews and more. Great stuff, as always.
Cannes to open with Wong Kar-wai's My Blueberry Nights: The 60th Cannes Film Festival will open this week with Wong Kar-wai's first English-language project, My Blueberry Nights, starring Norah Jones making her big screen debut. The film will play in competition.
Michael Kang, Director: Gothamist briefly interviewed Mike a few weeks back, just after the world premiere of his latest film West 32nd at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Kim Yun-jin Reveals How She Made It in Hollywood: Lost star Yunjin Kim has written a memoir provisionally titled Hollywood Story, about her struggle and triumph as an actress in Hollywood.
TV Squad interviews James Kyson Lee of Heroes: During the course of this first season, his character Ando has grown quite a bit, from sidekick to full-fledged protagonist (albeit without powers... yet). Hopefully they'll keep giving him interesting things to do.
TV Squad interviews Sulu, er ... George Takei of Heroes: The headline pretty much speaks for itself. This show is a sci-fi/comic book geek's delight. I'm really looking forward to seeing these last two episodes of the season...
Sandra Oh's doing just fine: A profile on the climbing career of Grey's Anatomy star Sandra Oh, a long way from her roots in Canada.
The Kumars at Number 42 ... Sunset Boulevard: Producers of the hit British sitcom The Kumars at Number 42 are in talks to remake the show for American audiences. The show, which ended its seven-series run last year, is about a British Indian family who invite and interview stars in their home. Not sure how the show will translate on U.S. television, but crazier things have happened.
Witherspoon developing 'Bridge': Reese Witherspoon's production company is developing Under the Bridge, a film based on the true story of a brutal high school murder, the 1997 killing of Reena Virk in British Columbia, and the ensuing investigation and prosecution. Virk, the daughter of Indian immigrants, was violently assaulted and killed by a gang of eight teenagers.
'Step Up 2' Will Begin Filming This Summer: I know you've all been eagerly awaiting this one. No, seriously. Did anyone actually see the first Step Up? The sequel reportedly will be directed by John Chu. According to IMDb, his sole previous directorial credit is The Secret of the Magic Gourd. I missed that one too.
ON the heels of Don Imus, GQ editor Jim Nelson is drawing fire over his letter to readers in the May issue, where he uses the phrase "Asian whores" twice. In discussing the hit DVD "The Secret," which preaches the power of positive thinking, Nelson's letter coaxes, "visualize what you want (an Alfa Romeo? Leather pants? An Asian whore?), think positively, and 'the universe will . . . make it happen for you.'" Janice Lee, deputy executive director of the Asian American Journalists Association, told Page Six, "It is appalling that an editor would find it acceptable to use such racist and sexist language. That GQ is considered a 'men's magazine' is not an excuse." A spokesperson for the Asian American Justice Association told Page Six, "The use of the term 'Asian whore' was unnecessary. To racialize the term 'whore' is completely irrelevant in this context. It's disturbing." Nelson ends his letter with a "thumbs up" to any reader whose wishes are met. "If it's an Asian whore, congrats. But please don't make a DVD about it." Nelson told Page Six, "I think if you read you'll see I'm skewering a Western attitude that one ought to find noxious. The notion that Westerners can have and exploit whatever they want."I don't buy this guy's excuse for a minute. The fact of the matter is, he used "Asian whore" because he thought it sounded funnier that just "whore" or some other racialized whore. That's racist!
Just wanted to make sure everyone knew about two great documentaries currently airing this month on PBS... Sentenced Home follows three young Cambodian Americans through the deportation process. Raised in inner city Seattle, they pay a harsh price for mistakes they made as teenagers. Under strict anti-terrorism legislation enacted in 1996, even minor convictions can result in automatic deportation. For these three young men, it means losing against an unblinking legal system, uprooting their lives in the United States, and struggling to start anew in Cambodia. For more information about the film, go here. It premieres on May 15th.
Fresh off the festival circuit, The Cats of Mirikitani is an intriguing portrait of eighty-year-old Jimmy Mirikitani, who survived the trauma of internment camps, Hiroshima and homelessness by creating art on the streets of New York City. The film follows director Linda Hattendorf's unlikely friendship with the prolific, eccentric artist when she invites Jimmy to live with her after the toxic collapse of the World Trade Center. It's a fascinating look at an amazing life. To learn more about the film, go here.
For broadcast dates and times for both films, check your local listings.
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