This is terrible and tragic, and the products definitely need to be recalled for the safety of children everywhere. So why exactly does this article go out of its way to mention that the play yards were manufactured in China? It's just a sentence conveniently stuck in there, for your information. Funny, because the CPSC specifically points out that strangulation hazard is posed by a serious design flaw. What does that have to do with where the product is manufactured? Look, Chinese manufacturers make their fair share of crappy stuff, but this time the fault lies clearly in the design. I guess these days, everybody is trying to trace all defective and dangerous products to China in some way. Because I'm willing to bet if those play yards were manufactured in Iowa or something, they wouldn't have bothered to mention it at all.
The police are somehow finding it difficult to believe that Asians are specifically being targeted. Are you kidding me? I have to agree with Avvy Go, a lawyer with the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, who said, "I don't know how much clearer it can be when people are describing this as 'nippertipping.'" There's a pretty obvious race connection. That's racist!
Hey, police. It's time for you to do your freaking job: 'Hate crimes' label sought for assaults. These are hate crimes, plain and simple.
And the situation is getting worse. On Friday night, another fisherman was reportedly threatened with an axe at a Kingston-area bridge: Fishing trip to Westport turns violent. Jixin Wang were fishing with some buddies when a white pickup truck slowed on the bridge and a woman told the group to "go away."
Less than 10 minutes later, they said they heard someone swearing loudly.Being protective of your local fishing spots, that's one thing. But there's a hell of a lot more to it when almost all the reported incidents seem to involve Asian fishermen. These people in the pickup truck were carrying axes and bats, in an area where there is a reported negative sentiment against "foreigners" (that means non-white, bud). While no one got hurt here, who knows what could've happened? And if the police don't intervene, something much worse will eventually happen. How long will they continue to deny that Asians are being targeted? That's racist!
Wang phonetically describes it: "F---er, go home. No fishing, go home."
There were four men and two dogs, he recalls. They carried axes and baseball bats. Wang said one stepped up to him and swung the axe within an inch of his face.
"That person is so ...," says Wang at a loss of words. "You don't want to look at him. To me, if we didn't go, I knew we would be attacked."
So, without a word, they said they walked to the car while the men made loud chopping noises on the bridge while "swearing, shouting and yelling" at them.
Be sure to check out all the other FTG-related clips in the playlist too. Finishing the Game opens October 5th exclusively at the IFC Center in New York, and expands to other cities in the weeks after that, on a city-by-city basis. And in a really cool distribution move, aside from the traditional theatrical release, on October 5th the film will also be simultaneously available ON DEMAND in 42 million homes in the United States through every cable and satellite carrier. That means if Finishing the Game never makes it to your town (or you just can't wait), you can just order it to your television. How cool is that? It brings the film to your home, but also counts you as a viewer, like a ticketholder. To learn more about Finishing the Game, go here.
Just hours after Jew was served with a seven-page outline of the charges as he worked in his Chinatown flower shop, his name had been scraped off his City Hall office door, the locks had been changed, his photo had been removed from the city's Web site, and his legislative aide had been escorted out of City Hall by sheriff's deputies.Talk about thorough. Good riddance, I guess. The Mayor replaced him with Carmen Chu, a 29-year-old deputy director in his office of policy and finance, who is largely considered a political novice. This is just the latest of legal woes in the saga of Ed Jew, who is under investigation for trying to extort up to $80,000 in cash from Chinese immigrant business owners in his district. He has also been charged with federal mail fraud for allegedly shaking down tapioca-drink business owners who needed new city permits. And he also faces criminal charges for allegedly lying about his residence when he ran for supervisor. Your shady dealings are now catching up with you, Ed.
For those of you in New York, here's an opportunity to check out a special screening of Kern Konwiser and David Ren's Shanghai Kiss, presented by the Museum of Chinese in the Americas, and co-sponsored by Fallout Central, ImaginAsian Entertainment, Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU and Asian CineVision. Monday, October 1st, 7:30pm at the Imaginasian Theater. Here's the story:
Liam Liu ( Ken Leung, HBO's THE SOPRANOS) is a likeable, struggling L.A. actor who inadvertently finds himself as the object of affection for a pretty Beverly Hills teen (Hayden Panettiere, NBC's HEROES). When Liam inherits his grandmother’s home in Shanghai, his visit to China and introduction to Micky (Kelly Hu, THE SCORPION KING, XMEN 2)--a woman who captures his imagination like no other—force him to reconsider his Chinese roots. Caught between two worlds (and two women), Liam must now sort out the complicated desires of his heart, and find out who he really is.View the trailer here. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with writer/co-director David Ren. All tickets are $10. To purchase tickets go here, or call the ImaginAsian Theater box office at 212-371-6682. For all of you who can't make the screening, don't fret. The movie will soon be available on DVD (with pretty blonde Hayden P. prominently featured on the cover, of course). Look for it starting October 9.
Okay, I don't know anything about this Makowski guy. It's just that the thought of a Kung Fu movie gives me bad vibes. Never forget! White man David Carradine starred in the role that originally created by and meant for Bruce Lee. Yes, we still haven't let that one go. Meanwhile, a new casting call has gone out looking for the lead role:
Forgot to mention that earlier this month, Ochi "Dainoji" Yousuke of Japan destroyed all competitors, receiving the highest score from a panel of judges to win the Air Guitar World Championships for the second straight year: Japanese Man Remains Air Guitar Champion. The competition, held every year in Oulu, Finland, is an epic international showdown of air guitarists vying for supreme greatnessairness. Check out video of his victorious performance here. Ridiculous, I know. Here's the funny thing. Asians have inexplicably dominated this competition for several years. The last two years it's been Dainoji. Miri "Sonyk-Rok" Park of USA took it in 2004. There's my favorite, David "C-Diddy" Jung of USA, who was the champ in 2003. And Fatima "The Rockness Monster" Hoang, who was US Champ in 2005. Forget the piano lessons. These folks are living proof that Asians can excel at doing absolutely nothing.
Speaking of air guitar, be sure to watch the excellent and highly entertaining documentary Air Guitar Nation, which was recently released on DVD. The film chronicles the journey of 2004 US Champ David "C-Diddy" Jung, air-rocking his way to greatness at the World Championships. C-Diddy is a fun, engaging personality, and a just a cool guy to hang with. You root for him all the way to the top. It's a crowd-pleaser, so check it out.
The most recent incident has left a 23-year-old fisherman in a coma, with damage to his ribs, lungs, limbs and brain, when he was thrown from a car during a pursuit.
The local youth apparently call it "nippertipping," when they drive around in the middle of the night looking for cars parked near the water, then creep up behind fishermen and shove them into the lake. Here's an account of what's been happening in the area lately:
That was until two Sundays ago. Late that night, a few local 20-somethings approached a group of Toronto friends fishing near Mossington Bridge.Believe it or not, the police are saying that the assaults are not racially motivated. You've got to be kidding me. They insist that the attacks are random, and could happen to anybody. Give me a break. It's called "nippertipping." You think that's a freaking coincidence? The word indeed is derived from the derogatory word for Japanese, used in this context for anyone of Asian descent (because, you know, we all look alike).
There are two versions of what happened next. One is that the 20-somethings pushed one of the fishermen--of Asian descent--into the water. A white fisherman was shoved in as well.
The other is that the fishermen started the fight, leaving one of the town kids bloodied and bruised.
Whichever happened, police say a bigger confrontation then broke out between the two groups.
Four of the fishermen sped from the scene in their Honda Civic. One of the town kids got in his truck and pursued the Civic, police say. The pursuit continued for two kilometres along narrow, winding lakefront roads, until the truck driver drove the car off the road, according to police. Two of the fishermen, including Berwick, were thrown from the car and taken to hospital.
The truck driver was jailed. Trevor Middleton of Sutton was released on $20,000 bail last Thursday, charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
Since then, talk of the assaults is running through the town of 5,000. Three incidents reported this year involved people of Asian descent:
On April 27, a 13-year-old white boy was thrown in the lake late at night. He had been near a 72-year-old Asian-Canadian, whose fishing gear was damaged. It's not known whether they knew each other.
On July 22, a middle-aged couple of Asian descent suffered a minor assault; their car windshield was smashed and a baseball cap stolen.
On Aug. 6, an adult male was pushed in the water. No one was hurt. Scott MacEachern, 19, of Sutton, was charged after the Asian-Canadian held him at the scene.
And it's apparently been happening for a long time. In the story, one 20-year-old local man admits that there is an anti-foreigner sentiment amongst people in the area. "Everybody talks about doing it --'Oh, I went down to the docks the other night and roughed up some Asians.' I guess they think it sounds cool. But it doesn't happen often at all." But it does happen, is happening more frequently and is a fueled by real sentiment. That's racist! Fishermen, watch your backs, stay alert, and be prepared. They're out there.
As the incident progressed, a crowd gathered and the officers called for backup. One of the officers apparently said to crowdof mostly Asian students"Have you had too much sake tonight?" And when a student asked an officer why Sohn was being detained, the cop responded, "Do you understand English?" Yes, these are officers of the law who are allegedly sworn to protect us. That's racist! Here's a public statement released last week by Columbia's Asian American Alliance::
We, the Columbia University Asian American Alliance (AAA), acknowledge that on Friday, September 14th an incident occurred on 114th street and Broadway between officers of the New York Police Department (NYPD) and an Asian American student. Many accounts – including Monday's Columbia Spectator article – point to evidence of excessive force and racial bias among the officers of the NYPD against the student.Not sure what further action has been taken, if any, by anyone involved. The Asian American Alliance posted a few updates on its blog last week, though information on the incident has sort of been overshadowed by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent visit to Columbia (understandably). Hopefully we'll see some follow-up...
If the details concerning the police's racial overtones and the excessive use of force are true, we condemn this abuse of authority by the NYPD officers present.
Furthermore, if racial discrimination was indeed committed by those officers, AAA will take the necessary steps to move towards dialogue and action that will make these issues clear to the student body and general public.
Finally, we acknowledge that this incident may represent a larger problem within the NYPD and its treatment of people of color in New York City. In response to this, AAA would like to mobilize with other groups in the NYC area and student organizations on campus to take measures to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
AAA recognizes that the student involved in this incident clearly violated New York State's zero-tolerance policy of drinking in public. However, AAA believes that regardless of the crime, the NYPD should not under any circumstances practice racial bias or excessive use of force.
All right, friends. Finishing the Game is coming, and it's coming soon in a big, big way. Justin Lin's indie mockumentary about the search for a replacement Bruce Lee makes its world theatrical premiere next week, October 5th, exclusively at the IFC Center in New York. Watch the awesome trailer here. The people that brought you Better Luck Tomorrow are back and at it again, trying to get the word out about this film and send a message to Hollywood that there is indeed a genuine audience for Asian American films. The "BLT/Finishing the Game Family" has embarked on a grassroots campaign to spread the word, and they need your help. Consider yourself informed. This is the first of many announcements to come. Yes, I'm joining the hype train. For now, get yourself up to speed with all the news, video, photos and info on Finishing the Game over at the official site, You Offend Me You Offend My Family. Also check out the movie's MySpace page and Facebook group. Start spreading the word!
Xue became the subject of an international manhunt when the body of his wife, Anan Liu, 27, was found in his car's trunk, according to the Herald Sun newspaper. The case has been attracting a lot of interest from the New Zealand news media because Xue's wife tried to leave him, and he lured her back. During the period in which he lured her back, he discovered she had an affair with another man.The last reported sighting of Xue was when he landed in Los Angeles on Saturday and caught a shuttle van to LA's Chinatown. More here: Pumpkin's dad sighted in US. It gets crazier. A mystery Los Angeles woman has been named as one of the keys to tracking him down: Mystery LA woman 'key to tracking Xue'.
The media has also been reporting that Xue is apparently a self-proclaimed "martial arts expert." A kung fu guy violently kills his wife then abandons his daughter, and is now hiding out in "California's vast Chinese community," shacking up with a mystery lady. Told you this story was crazy.
I have returned from my vacation. While far from relaxing, my travels were fun, interesting and eye-opening. During my stop in Hong Kong, I paid my respects at the big statue of Bruce Lee, above. Thank you to all who wished me good and safe travels. I drank the water, ate the food, and have returned more or less in the same shape. And now... jet lag. It's kicking my ass, hitting me like of a ton of bricks. Please excuse me as I take a moment to recover before getting back into action.
View the exclusive Secret Identities SNEAK PREVIEW.
Greetings. I know I said I'd be taking a short hiatus, and I am. But I wanted to leave you with one last post announcing a very special project... Being a big comic book geek, I post a lot of stuff about comic books and graphic novels around here, because there are a significant number of talented Asian Americans working in the industry. But you ever wonder what an Asian American superhero story would look like? Or an entire anthology of such stories? Well, wonder no more.
For the past six months, bestselling author Jeff Yang, comics education specialist Keith Chow, actor Parry Shen, and independent comic creator Jerry Ma have been developing an anthology project called Secret Identities, "the first-ever graphic novel collection of original stories exploring the universe of masked marvels and caped crusaders from the perspective of the nation's fastest-growing and most dynamic emerging community." That means us. The anthology has been officially picked up by by the leading independent publishing house The New Press for release in fall 2008.
Here's the cool part. I've partnered up with the creators of Secret Identities to give you the exclusive first look at the anthology's special SNEAK PREVIEW issue. It's sort of the project's requisite "origin" issue. View it here. It's really great stuff.
Although top talents from the mainstream comic industry have already agreed to contribute stories to Secret Identities--including writers Greg Pak (World War Hulk) and J. Torres (Batman Strikes) and artists Sean Chen (Iron Man, Nova) and Cliff Chiang (Human Target), among others, the collection is actively seeking Asian American creators both within and outside the comics industry who are interested in contributing one- to six-page stories. For more information on getting involved, visit www.secretidentities.org. Also visit Secret Identities' MySpace page.
Here's a good event going on next weekend in New York for all you comic book geeks (like me)... Continuing its kickass speaker series, the Museum of Chinese in the Americas presents Thinking Inside the Box: Asian Americans in the Comic Book and Graphic Novel World, a roundtable discussion featuring several influential Asian Americans from the industry. Saturday, September 15th, 7:00pm at the Museum. Panelists include:
Man, I think I'd go just to sit in the same room as Larry Hama. The guy is downright legendary in my book, responsible for writing Marvel's epic G.I. Joe comic book back in the day. The image above is from "Silent Interlude"one of my favorite issues (#21). Remember the top secret personnel cards that were included on the back of all the old action figures? Larry Hama wrote the majority of them. I've always thought it was so cool that someone's job was to make up biographies for all the G.I. Joe characters. How cool is that? Yeah, I'm a nerd. And this is pretty damn sweet way to spend a Saturday night. For more information go to the MoCA website.
Jann Jones is Senior Coordinating Editor for DC Comics who has worked on adding three new titles: Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam, Tiny Titans, and Super Friends to the DC Comics line.
Jae Lee rose to prominence for his work on Marvel's Namor the Sub-Mariner and Inhumans (for which he won an Eisner Award), as well as his character Hellshock. He is currently working with Stephen King on the Dark Tower series for Marvel Comics.
Gene Yang's graphic novel American Born Chinese was named a 2006 finalist for the National Book Award in the young people's literature category. This was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award.
Christine Norrie has worked extensively as an artist and comic illustrator since 2000. Her most noted works include her original graphic novel Cheat, the Oni Press series Hopeless Savages, and the newly released graphic novel Breaking Up.
Larry Hama is a writer/cartoonist/illustrator who works in comics, television, and film. He is best known as the writer of Marvel's G.I. Joe and Wolverine comic book series. He is currently working on Storm Shadow for Devils Due.
Moderated by DC Comics editor Pornsak Pichetshote.
I'm not much of a gamer, but one video game I've been looking forward to for a long time has been Stranglehold. We've been hearing about it for years, and it's finally out this week from Midway Games for Xbox 360. The game is pseudo-sequel to John Woo's Hong Kong action classic Hard Boiled, continuing the story of maverick cop Inspector Tequila, played by Chow Yun-Fat. Like I said, I'm not even much of a video game guy, but this looks pretty damn awesome. It'll be also be available later this month for PC and PlayStation 3. The PS3 collector's edition will feature the game and a full-length version of Hard Boiled. So you can actually watch the movie, then get into the action yourself, I guess.
In honor of the Stranglehold's release, Midway recently ran the True to John Woo short film contest, where filmmakers produced their own short film tribute to John Woo's trademark action. The winner, chosen by John Woo himself, was Return by Charles Yi. Very nicely done. Recognized a few faces in there as well. View it here.
Agent Kristin Nelson just concluded an auction for a debut novel by Jamie Ford titled Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet; Jane von Mehren at Ballantine won North American rights in this six-figure deal. The story is set in Seattle and told in alternating time periods--when a Chinese boy falls in love with a Japanese girl during the Japanese internment in 1942, and later in 1986 when the belongings of Japanese families are discovered in the basement of a condemned hotel and he must confront the choices he made years ago.Sounds like a pretty interesting story. Heck, it sounds like it would even make a great movie. But one thing at a time. I'm looking forward to checking this out, whenever it eventually gets published. Congratulations, Jamie.
Here's a book review of Adrian Tomine's latest graphic novel Shortcomings, a full-length work that collects his latest run on Optic Nerve: 'Shortcomings' by Adrian Tomine. It sounds really cool, dealing with some very interesting issues familiar to the Asian American community:
After a career of composing the comics equivalent of short stories, Tomine has produced, in "Shortcomings," his first full-length graphic novel. It was serialized in issues of "Optic Nerve." Ben Tanaka, the novel's 29-year-old Japanese American protagonist, is, like many Tomine characters, cynical and petulant -- a pill. In the opening scene, he grumps his way through an Asian American film festival screening that his girlfriend, Miko, has helped to organize. (Tomine is a gentle but unerring satirist; each chapter opens with the skewering of some fashionable art form, including performance art and the American Apparel chain's advertising photography.) Sometime later, at home in Berkeley, Miko finds DVDs of white "all-girl action" porn in Ben's desk. "It's like you're obsessed with the typical Western media beauty ideal, but you're settling for me," she tells him accusingly. Their relationship frays further when Miko leaves California for a four-month internship in New York and Ben becomes distracted by Autumn, a cute young blond he's hired at the movie theater he manages.While there he's had Asian American characters before, Shortcomings is actually the first of Adrian Tomine's comics to address race. I often wonder what kind personal issues of his own he's expressing through his comics. Having been a fan of Optic Nerve for quite some time now, and I can't wait to pick this book up. It'll be out on October 2nd from Drawn and Quarterly.
This is for all you horror fans out there... my man Parry Shen is in the indie horror movie Hatchet, which opens in select theaters nationwide today. (That's him on the right in the photo above, looking scared.) It's an old school-styled slasher flick, and I've been hearing good things about it for quite a while now. Hell, I'm not even much of a horror fan, and I'm kind of pumped to see it. Sure, Asian horror is cool, but after a while you get tired of the creepy kids with long black hair, and you wanna see the old fashioned American stuff. It's about a group of tourists who go on a haunted swamp tour and find out that one of the horrific local legends happens to be true. Lots of running and killing ensues.
From what I hear Parry plays a really funny stereotype-bending character... though my guess is, being a horror movie, he probably meets a grisly end. He's got a good entry about his role in the movie over at his Xanga. There's some pretty good behind-the-scenes info. And if you're interested in checking out the movie, he's got a big list of all the theaters it's playing at across the country here. This weekend, go see Parry Shen running for his life.
By now, Survivor fans have probably heard that the latest season of the reality/adventure series will take place in China. That's right! Every season, a group of contestants are stranded in a remote region of the world, and this time around, they've dropped them in the most exotic, foreign place they could think of: Survivor: China. The commercials boast that it's the first time ever a major American television program has gone to "the most mysterious place on Earth." Oh yes, expect lots of gongs and wind flutes. And maybe a panda or two. Greeaaat.
They recently announced this season's cast, and after two really diverse, interesting seasons, it looks like they've reverted to a mostly-white cast with a handful minorities. Among the sixteen contestants, we've got Frosti, a 20-year-old parkour athlete (and the show's youngest contestant ever), and Peih-Gee, a 29-year-old jeweler (and former music video dancer). She's also the only actual Chinese person this season. Will it give her an edge? Probably not. I highly doubt being Chinese will help her climb a bamboo stalk faster, or whatever other crazy-ass challenge they're going to make them do. Once again, I've got a bad feeling about this season... and yet I'll probably find myself watching. I shake my fist at you, CBS. The new season premieres on September 20.
I've also been hearing about this new CBS reality show Kid Nation, in which 40 kids from different walks of life create a working pioneer town all by themselves (with no parents or teachers). It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it's got people talking. Among the contestants, we've got Anjay, age 12, from Pearland, Texas; and Kelsey, age 11, from Furlong, Pennsylvania. The chaos begins on September 19.
Check it out. My man Daniel Park and his artist/musician associates recently launched a new lifestyle brand/webzine, Future Rockstars of America. It's a nice-looking site with lots of great articles and features on music, art, clothing, and beyond. Not necessarily Asian American-specific, but it's Daniel, so they are certainly sympathetic. Among other things, they've currently got an interview with the guys of the Far East Movement. It's good stuff, so bookmark the site and show FR*A some love. Oh, and check out their sweet limited edition t-shirt.
Miyoshi Umeki, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in the 1957 film Sayonara, has died of cancer. She was 78: Oscar Winner Miyoshi Umeki Dies at 78.
She also starred as Mei Li in Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1961 all-Asian American musical Flower Drum Song, and later as Mrs. Livingston in the 1969 television sitcom The Courtship of Eddie's Father.
I've often wondered what happened to her, but she retired from show business in the early 1970s, moved out of the public eye and settled in a small town in Missouri.
She was a talented, charming actress. I've never been a fan of Sayonara, but I'll always remember her wonderful performance in Flower Drum Song. In fact, I think I rewatch it tonight in her honor. Rest in peace, Miyoshi Umeki.
Yesterday, it was thought that Doan Du's death might have been the result of a hate crime. Police are now saying the assault was not a hate crime, but simply a random violent outburst. And the other guy this group picked a fight with that same morning just happened to also be Asian? I'm supposed to believe this was a random attack? Something about this is just plain foul.
It gets really weird when we start learning a little bit about Haley's background. He apparently identifies himself as part of a movement known as SHARP, or Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice, which sounds ridiculous. I guess we can assume that SHARP is not necessarily against violence towards old Asian men who are minding their own damn business.
Haley claims he simply "bumped" Du, but didn't push him. More here: Suspect In Drowning Speaks Out After Release. I'm not buying any of this. Hell, I'll say it anyway: That's racist! Yeah, that's right.
It seems we're one step closer to a Chinese player in the NFL... last month, Chinese kicker Li Chaoran spent nine days at a training camp with the Oakland Raiders: Chinese Returns from NFL Training Camp. He didn't play, but attended practice, observed meetings, took part in a fan day and watched the Raiders' preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals. Man, if the NFL can get a foothold in China... big money.
Meanwhile, in other football news... On Labor Day, Hawaii's Timmy Chang, who is now playing for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL, became the first person of Asian heritage to begin a game at quarterback at the pro level: Historic start for Chang. Chang signed with Hamilton this year after attending NFL training camps with the Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles over the past two years, but being released by all three. While it would've been pretty awesome to see an Asian American quarterback in the NFl, this is still pretty historic. (EDIT: Roman Gabriel, who played in the NFL in the 1960s and 70s, was the first Asian American to start as a professional quarterback.)
Yao Ming and Steve Nash have partnered up and coordinated an effort to help Chinese orphans: Steve Nash and Yao Ming, Making Something Happen. On September 14 in Beijing, Nash and fellow NBA players Carmelo Anthony, Greg Oden, Bonzi Wells, Derek Fisher, Baron Davis, Chuck Hayes, and Leandro Barbosa will play in a charity game against Yao Ming and the Chinese National team, with the hope of raising a million dollars to be distributed to several charities: Chi Heng, a privately funded non-profit that works with children with AIDS; the Special Olympics (with World Summer Games next month in Shanghai); and the China Youth Development Foundation.
And finally, this is an interesting story in the Los Angeles Times on the significant number of Chinese men currently coaching world-class gymnasts in the United States: When East meets Midwest. Two of the seven U.S. gymnasts at the world championships were coached by Chinese-born men, and a third by a Chinese American man. Here's a profile on one of the gymnasts, 14-year-old Ivana Hong: Balance of Power. She may be young, but she's tough.
Check out this important service announcement by Patricio Ginelsa (the guy behind the "Bebot" video), created on behalf of the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity to draw attention to the Filipino Veterans Equity Act, not awaiting crucial floor votes in Congress: FULL EQUITY NOW. This is important legislation that will benefit the brave Filipino soldiers who fought on behalf of the United States during World War II, but have been waiting sixty years for their rightful claim to U.S. veterans status and recognition for the bravery, service and sacrifice. View the PSA here. Learn more about the Filipino Veterans Equity Act and what you can do to help it get passed at the NAFVE website.
62-year-old Du Doan was finishing alone when five individuals dressed in "black gothic clothing" walked passed him, and one of them shoved him into the water.
Shortly before this incident, another fisherman of Asian descent was confronted by the same group, but he stood his ground, and the group left him alone after spitting at his feet. And about a month before, another man who had what police described as "Asian features" was thrown into the water by a group matching the description. Note, you can get assaulted now for just looking Asian.
The suspects are described as a white male, about 5-foot-6, brown hair in a "buzz cut," wearing a dark jacket; a white male, about 6-foot-1, slim, large ears, wearing a white T-shirt and a jacket; white male, 18 to 19 years old; black male, bald, wearing a red shirt; white female, 18 to 19 years old.
What the hell is going on here? Are Asians (and "Asian-looking" people) being targeted? Hell, sure sounds like it. I guess we're not allowed to just stand there, fishing like normal people, without fear of getting harassed by racist punks. That's racist! And now one guy is dead. Somebody, please catch these assholes and make them pay.
Man, what Asian guy in America can't relate to being called Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan or some other kind of martial arts nonsense (and not in a good way) during some point in their lives? And not just on the job, or at school, but while just walking down the street minding your own damn business. You know, some dude yelling "Bruce Leeeeeeee!" out of a passing car? Or some idiot making kung fu noises while you're waiting in line at Burger King? That's right, it happens. And it happens waaaay too often. That's racist!
Forgot to mention that Death Sentence opened in theaters on Friday. It's directed by James Wan, one of the guys responsible for the ridiculously successful Saw horror franchise. The movie stars Kevin Bacon, and to me, looks like a remake of Death Wish... It's been getting pretty abysmal reviews, though dammit, I'll admit I'm a sucker for revenge movies. I can see myself catching it on cable someday on a Saturday afternoon.
Thank you to everyone who entered last week's Exiled giveaway, courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Everyone who answered the question correctly was entered into a drawing to win an Exiled poster and DVD copy of the South Korean monster movie The Host. The question was: "Exiled is the pseudo-sequel to what 1999 Johnnie To film?" For your information, the correct answer is The Mission. And our winners are (along with their professed favorite gangster movie):
Brad S. of San Mateo, CA (Hard Boiled)
Van D. of Royersford, PA (Goodfellas)
Clara I. of Bellevue, WA (Infernal Affairs 2)
Allen C. of Edison, NJ (Infernal Affairs)
Eddy C. of Chicago, IL (Hard Boiled)
The rest of you, don't feel sad. It was a good effort. You can go buy/rent The Host on DVD, available in stores everywhere. And then go catch Johnnie To's Exiled, playing right now in select theaters nationwide.
I've been perusing the schedule for the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, which starts this week, September 6th and runs through the 15th. One of the films I'm particularly interested in is Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Jessica Yu's first foray into narrative feature, Ping Pong Playa, starring Jimmy Tsai, Smith Cho and Roger Fan. It's actually a sports comedynot the kind of film I expected from her, which makes it that much more intriguing. A ping pong movie? I'd rather see this than Balls of Fury any day, all day. Here's the movie's official site. Looking forward to eventually checking this one out. I'm also interested in seeing veteran director Wayne Wang's latest, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, which looks like a return to the kind of films he does best.
Some of the other noteworthy Asian/Asian American films include Arthur Dong's documentary Hollywood Chinese, Im Kwon-taek's Beyond the Years, Wang Bing's Fengming, A Chinese Memoir, Takeshi Kitano's Glory to the Filmmaker!, Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Ploy, Naomi Kawase's The Mourning Forest, Lee Chang-Dong's Secret Sunshine, Ang Lee's highly anticipated Lust, Caution (fresh from its premiere at the Venice Film Festival), Hur Jin-ho's Happiness, Shinji Aoyama's Sad Vacation, Adoor Gopalakrishnan's Four Women, Lee Myung-se's M, Buddhadeb Dasgupta's The Voyeurs, Rituparno Ghosh's The Last Lear, Sori's animated Vexille, Lav Diaz's Death in the Land of Encantos, Santosh Sivan's Before the Rains, Pantham Thongsan and Somkiat Vithuranich's Mid Road Gang, Lee Kang-sheng's Help Me Eros, Jiang Wen's The Sun Also Rises, Takashi Miike's SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO, Pang Ho-cheung's The Exodus, Jia Zhang-ke's Useless, Johnnie To's Mad Detective, Lee Isaac Chung's Munyurangabo, Alexi Tan's Blood Brothers, Shivajee Chandrabhushan's Frozen, Richie Mehta's Amal, Gregg Araki's Smiley Face, Wilson Yip's Flash Point, Auraeus Solito's Philippine Science, and Hou Hsia-hsien's Le Voyage du ballon rouge. There's also Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Dude, that's a long, amazing list of films. So if you're in Toronto, this is your chance to treat yourself to some quality cinema.
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