If you're in Los Angeles, here's a cool cultural event coming up that you might want to check out... USC CASA invites you to its 12th annual culture show Legacy, a large-scale student-produced event boasting over fifty cast and crew members, promoting Chinese history and heritage. It's happening Sunday, February 20 at Bovard Auditorium at the University of Southern California. Here are some more details:
I recently heard from some of the people working on the upcoming documentary Every Day Is a Holiday. Directed by Theresa Loong, the film tells the extraordinary story of her own father's journey from his native Malaysia to a World War II Japanese War Camp, and finally into the United States.
The project is currently in need of completion funds and is raising money through a Kickstarter campaign. Here's some more information about the film:
I recently got my hands on Poor Peoples Planet, the third album from Bay Area Sikh hip hop artist Mandeep Sethi. Produced by X9 of Xitanos Matematikos, it's a gypsy-influenced concept album sampling heavily on quotes and concepts of the spiritual speaker Jiddu Krishnamurthi. Don't understand what that means? Just take a listen:
It all started when a Steven Inman resolved to find out what had happened to his older sister, who he believed had been abducted in South Korea decades ago, before he was born. So started with a Facebook profile:
Check out Far East Movement's cool new music video for "Rocketeer" (LA Dreamer Short Film), featuring a stripped-down, more intimate live remix to their hit single. Filmed on the street of Los Angeles, it's described as a cinematic portrait of "the different dreamers that make up L.A." -- the artists, the lovers, the rebels... and even Snoop Dogg. Love it. Take a look for yourself:
Last week, she received this ridiculously racist bit of hate mail from a B&B fan named Rumar who appears to be really unhappy with what Stephanie's character ("people of your type and other foreigners") is up to on the show:
Asians! In commercials! Just saw this Nissan Quest "Errands" commercial prominently featuring one of those do-it-all supermoms balancing it all, including her taekwondo-kicking daughter, soccer-playing son... and the stinky-breath dog. Oh, and she just happens to be Asian. Check it out:
Last year, state lawmakers voted unanimously to designate January 30 (Korematu's birthday) as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution, a measure that encourages Californians to recognize the importance of preserving civil liberties.
- forever 21: a fashion empire... by any means necessary
- battle hymn of the tiger mother... the movie?!
- not gonna let this die: "tiger mom rap" by jen kwok
- angry reader of the week: lynn chen
- state senator leland yee receives racist death threats over limbaugh remarks
- aaja response to rush limbaugh's on-air ching chongs
- asian nerd alert: casting call for fun size
- voltron boxer shorts: form blazing sword!
- steven chu's state of the union snooze
- take it slowly. this book is dangerous.
Prutehi Hao! Protect Yourself, an HIV prevention campaign sponsored by Guam Public Health, recently launched an innovate new media campaign targeting Asian Pacific Islander youth, combining spoken word, rap, and dance. The spoken word poets range from ages 16-25 and the campaign includes a spoken word segment in Chamorro, the native language of the Mariana islands. Check out the spots:
First, she held up a Subway. Then that same weekend, Ms. Thief tried to a rob a Safeway supermarket, but reportedly ran into a bit of a snag in her brilliant heist when the clerk couldn't understand the wording on her holdup note:
Check out this great NPR piece on online stars Ryan Higa -- the most subscribe personality on YouTube -- and Wong Fu Productions, and the runaway success of their action comedy mini-feature Agents of Secret Stuff, which has received over eight million views in the past two months: In A Small Corner Of YouTube, A Web Star Is Born.
Nguyen shot at motorists in Richardson, Garland, Plano and Mesquite over three days in 2008. Fortunately, he wasn't a very good shot, and missed most of the time, but two men were shot, and two children narrowly escaped injury. The guy apparently had a pretty big chip on his shoulder:
Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro was recently featured on NPR's Song of the Day, for his amazing rendition of Queen's quasi-operatic, hard-rocking power ballad "Bohemian Rhapsody": Jake Shimabukuro: 'Bohemian Rhapsody' On The Ukulele.
Previous performers have included Far East Movement, Lyrics Born, Jin the Emcee, Apl.de.Ap of the Black Eyed Peas, Jasmine Trias, Jose "Sway" Penala, Native Elements, San Francisco Taiko Dojo and more. You could be the next big star to take the AHSC stage. Here's some more information:
Who do the ladies love? Or at least, whose football jeresey do they want to wear? Troy Polamalu, apparently. According to sales figures from NFLShop.com, the best-selling women's jersey is that of the mighty-maned Pittsburgh Steelers safety: The ladies love Troy Polamalu's jersey.
One of those characters was played by Bee Vang. Here's a really interesting article the actor, who recently visited the Multicultural Center at UC Santa Barbara and discussed the truth of what happened behind the scenes of Gran Torino. And it doesn't sound like it was all that great: Gran Torino Actor Reveals Behind-the-Scenes Racism.
The rumble is brewing in the wake of Rush Limbaugh's dumbass on-air mocking of the Chinese language. California state Senator Leland Yee is leading the charge in demand an apology from the controversial radio talk show host for his derogatory remarks: Asian-American lawmakers demand Limbaugh apology.
Yee is rallying a number of civil rights groups, including Chinese for Affirmative Action, Japanese American Citizens League and the California National Organization for Women, in a boycott of companies like Pro Flowers, Sleep Train and Domino's Pizza that advertise on Limbaugh's national talk show:
Hey! It's time to meet another Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is our pal Lynn Chen.
If you're in the Bay Area -- specifically, the South Bay -- then First Thursdays invites you to its first monthly dinner/forum event of 2011. February's event will be a discussion on how HIV is still making an impact on our communities locally and abroad. It's happening Thursday, February 3 at AACI in San Jose. Here are some more details:
What's even cooler is that is that each year, for the last six years, the HBS Asian American Alumni Association provides an annual scholarship to enable folks to attend this excellent opportunity. Last year, they sent Lee Ann Kim, Executive Director of the San Diego Asian Film Foundation:
This week in Paris, Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci introduced his Japanese-influenced Spring/Summer 2011 Haute Couture collection -- using exclusively Asian models: Givenchy Uses Only Asian Models At Haute Couture Show.
According to Givenchy's press release, the collection draws its primary inspiration from Japan, including Butoh dancers, cranes, and even Gundam fighters. Lots more photos from collection over at Huffington Post.
Maybe it's just me, but those hats kind of remind me of Galactus, the planet devourer. Comic book geeks, are you with me? (Thanks, Tamlyn.)
A little while back, I mentioned the upcoming Mandarin-language remake of What Women Want, directed by Chen Daming, and starring Andy Lau and Gong Li. According to film distributor China Lion, the romantic comedy will open at select North American theaters on the same day of its China premiere on February 3, the first day of the Lunar Near Year: China's 'What Women Want' Remake to Get Day-and-Date U.S. Release.
Comedy fans, make sure you tune in or set your DVRs for Comedy Central's Friday Night Stand Up tomorrow night, January 28 for comedian Sheng Wang in his very own half-hour stand-up special. Straight out of Texas! Complete with that Taiwanese American Texan drawl, he's a very funny guy. Here's a clip of his act:
Been seeing this amazing video clip passed around left and right... A little while back, I posted the trailer for the Tamil sci-fi action flick Endhiran, which has been touted as the most expensive Indian film ever made. If you thought that was wild, take a look at this insane-ass 9-minute clip:
According to his staffers, Yee received threatening faxes at both his Capitol and San Francisco offices. The messages contained racial slurs, violent threats against black and Asian people, and even an illustration depicting a pickup truck dragging a noose:
Oh hell no. It looks like they've found a way to make Joy Luck Club 2. Well, not exactly, but they're definitely tapping the same vein. Fresh off her appearance on The Colbert Report, we get the groan-worthy news that Amy Chua's controversial book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, could possibly get adapted into a movie: 'Joy Luck Club' Producers See Movie Promise in Tiger Mom Controversy.
Are you ready for the Hollywood take on Tiger Mother? Eager to go back to the well-worn themes of Chinese American mother-daughter relationships, two of the producers of The Joy Luck Club have reportedly expressed a strong interest in adapting Chua's book for the big screen:
Kind of last minute, but if you're in New York, just wanted to make sure you're aware of the Holiday Hangover Happy Hour 2, hosted by the Coalition for Asian American Children & Families' Action Council. It's happening Thursday, January 27 at Professor Thorn's Loft. Here are some more details:
Found this here the other day... Ever wonder why so many donut shops in Southern California are owned by Cambodians? This video was uploaded several years ago, but I don't think I've ever seen it before: Donuts Anyone?
It's a 10-minute documentary looking the fascinating story behind one Cambodian family's donut shop, tracing back from their escape from the killing fields of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge to their struggles as new immigrants in the United States. Definitely worth taking a look.
Hollywood stuntman Steven Ho was back kicking Conan O'Brien's ass the other night. While he made several appearances doing crazy fight/stunt demonstrations during Conan's criminally short-lived stint on The Tonight Show, this was his first guest stint since the redheaded host's move to TBS. Highly entertaining segment involving a watermelon, a sword and a blindfold:
Trilochan Oberoi, a former commander in the Indian navy, is suing the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for failing to let him become a prison guard unless he shaved his beard. Rights groups say the CDCR is violating Mr. Oberoi's civil rights, while the Attorney General is asking that the lawsuit be dismissed:
A live-action remake of Pixar's Up? Not quite. But check out this clever "premake" trailer for Up, assembled with footage from a handful of different films and re-imagined as a 1960s-era Walt Disney live-action adventure starring Spencer Tracy as Carl Frederickson, Kirk Douglas as Charles Muntz and some random Asian kid as Russell. Take a look:
For those of you keeping score, there were 37 APA actors cast in regular prime time roles for the 2009-2010 season, an increase of four from the previous season. That's more than I realized (and I watch a lot of television). Here's an overall breakdown of how the major broadcast networks are doing, ranked by letter grade:
Hmmm. Was Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy, sleeping last night during President Obama's State of the Union address? If he was indeed having a little snooze time, cut him some slack! Hey, it ain't easy being the Secretary of Saving the Planet. Guy's gotta catch a few Zs wherever/whenever can.
By the way, today at 12:45pm EST, Secretary Chu will host the Department of Energy's inaugural Energy Matters online town hall to discuss President Obama's clean energy and innovation agenda as a follow-up to the State of the Union. Log on and get your energy questions answered.
You can view the chat here. And for more on the Secretary of Energy, you can go to Steven Chu's Facebook page here. And if you really like Steven Chu, you can purchase Martin Hsu's kickass "Think Alternative" shirt here.
To enter for your chance to win, go here and submit your name and contact information. Two winners will be drawn at random. The entry deadline is January 27 (extended). The passes are just for the conference admission and do not include travel or lodging.
For more information about the conference, including registration, participant details and the full schedule of events, go to the BANANA 2 website here.
I recently heard from Julia Rhee, one of the co-founders of Retrofit Republic, an online "sustainable vintage store with a social impact." It's just starting out, but a portion of the store's sales will be donated to organizations that serve a social/environmental mission for underrepresented communities. Very cool stuff. Their new 2011 spring look book just launched here.
The Associate Artistic Director is responsible for overseeing the planning, selection, and presentation of high quality programming of the annual San Diego Asian Film Festival, Spring Showcase, and other year-round programs. Qualifications and responsibilities include:
The Toronto-based web series Millions, which I've mentioned here before, recently put out a casting call for actors in the Toronto area to fill a number of non-union roles. I'm told that they've actually had a hard time finding interested Asian males... but maybe you're the guy they're looking for. Here's the series synopsis:
For instance, take Winnie, a senior at Guanzhou University who couldn't afford paying two semesters' tuition due to an unfortunate turn in her family circumstances. Raising money on her own wasn't enough, but she was able to receive education loans from Qifang:
Enjoying this nice little cover of Coldplay's "The Scientist" by Jennifer Chung. For my fellow Wildcats at Northwestern University, Jennifer will be performing at Celebrasia 2011 (alongside acts like Poreotics and Shanghai Restoration Project) happening this Saturday, January 29 at Ryan Auditorium. Represent.
BusinessWeek has a really interesting, lengthy profile on the insanely successful cheap-chic clothing chain Forever 21, and the Changs, the Korean American family behind the $3 billion, 477-store (and counting) apparel empire: Forever 21's Fast (and Loose) Fashion Empire. If it seems like their stores are popping up everywhere, it's because they are:
Nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning. No huge surprises or outrageous snubs. The King's Speech -- great film, but quite possibly the Caucasianest movie of the year -- leads the pack with twelve nods. The rest of the major categories are equally quite white. Business as usual, I guess. But daaaaamn! Barely even a token speck of color.
But if we're counting (and you know I am) it's worth noting that 14-year-old newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, nominated for Best Supporting Actress in her breakout role as Mattie Ross in True Grit, is actually of Filipino descent, somewhere in there on her mother's side, apparently: Rising Fil-Am Hollywood Star Hailee Steinfeld.
Wow, that's subtle. Is that what the kids are calling it these days? These "Form Blazing Sword!" boxer shorts are available at the official Voltron online store. I don't really know what to say. But I will never quite look at those old Voltron adventures the same way.
I mention it here because it's worth nothing that First Lady Michelle Obama will be hosting several special guests in her box during the address: Guest List for the First Lady's Box at the State of the Union Address.
The guests include 16-year-old Amy Chyao, a high school junior from Richardson, Texas, and Dr. Peter Rhee, the trauma surgeon who oversaw the medical care associated with the shooting tragedy in Tuscon. Here's more on info them, according to the White House press release:
This Friday, Holly Fujie will be honored with the Boalt Alumni of the Year Award at the Four Annual Dale Minami Boalt Alumni Fellowship Dinner, celebrating milestones in the journey toward full inclusion of the Asian Pacific American community in the justice system. It's happening January 28 at Far East Cafe in San Francisco.
The Dale Minami Public Interest Fellowship is a non-profit organization started by Berkeley Law APALSA members, providing annual fellowship awards to outstanding Boalt alumni who commit to serving the public interest and working with the Asian American Islander community. Here are some more details about the dinner:
Since there's no use in trying to "out-Nike" Nike, the Chinese shoemaker is trying something a little different in low-budget viral marketing with an irreverent YouTube video (featuring comedian Gerry Bednob) poking fun at the brand's Chinese origins. Check it out:
Spotted this odd Bayer commercial the other day, featuring a guy in need of some pain relief while traveling on an airplane, and gets a little help from a Korean flight attendant who -- surprise! -- also speaks perfect English.
I'm not quite sure what was the point of setting the commercial aboard a Korean airline, outside the opportunity to throw a little splash of foreign dialogue, or to feature a pretty Asian flight attendant. Is there something about flying on a Korean airline that is inherently headache-inducing?
Who's more badass than Bruce Lee? Perhaps... the guy who taught Bruce Lee? The New York Times has a cool article on "the most popular kung fu screen hero of the moment," Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man -- mentor to none other than Bruce Lee, and the subject of several recent martial arts dramas: Enter the Teacher to the Dragon of Martial Arts Films.
There's Wilson Yip's kickass kung fu flick Ip Man, starring Donnie Yen in the title role, and its sequel Ip Man 2, which opens Friday in New York and Los Angeles. But there's also Herman Yau's younger Ip Man biopic The Legend is Born - Ip Man, and auteur Wong Kar-wai's long-awaited The Grandmasters:
Atsushi Yamagami and Norihide Ushirozako were charged in a two-count criminal complaint alleging that they illegally imported wildlife into the United States, and one count of violating the Endangered Species Act:
Well, we all have our special hidden talents. Check out this highly amusing video of a young woman named Xin Yan demonstrating her impressive ability to read aloud Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss -- really, really fast. Those who are familiar with the book know just how tongue-twisty it is, but you really have to watch the video to fully grasp Xin Yan's super-crazy speed-reading skillz:
OH snap! It's the Tiger Mom Rap! I'm waaaay tired of this whole Amy Chua situation, and have purposely refrained from posting any more Tiger Mother-related stuff... but comedian/musician Jen Kwok's hip hop ode to extreme Asian parenting (according to Chua) is pretty damn funny, and I have to share. Here are the lyrics:
- rush limbaugh mocks chinese president with the ching chong
- the green hornet starring jay chou... or, uh, john cho?
- tiger mom, the meme
- the tiger cub speaks! in defense of her strict chinese mom
- cure for cancer on stolen laptop?
- black eyed peas' apl.de.ap is legally blind
- sorry I missed your party
- I want to know this feeling
- sriracha is awesome, part four
- artist ju duoqi's sexy vegetable art
All right, film fans. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I'm a huge fan of Tze Chun's independent drama Children of Invention. I saw the film at its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and I've been a fan ever since. Now, you can be too, because it's streaming free on Hulu right now. Heck, I've embedded the video so you can watch it right here:
In an operation that involved more than a hundred law enforcement officers, eight people were arrested and ten women were taken into protective custody. The women are believed to have been trafficked from Taiwan and China and forced into prostitution:
job announcement: community capacity program manager, asian & pacific islander american health forum
Some people do some dirty-ass things in the name of science... or something. Josh Le, a student at the University of Alberta, wore the same pair of skin-tight jeans for 15 month without washing them. GROSS. But apparently not as unsanitary as you might think: No harmful bacteria found in Alberta student's jeans not washed for 15 months.
The idea was to break in the raw, untreated, unwashed denim so the fabric would hug the contours of his body, leaving district wear lines and creases. But just how dirty did the jeans get during the fifteen months? Le got the jeans tested for bacteria before he washed them for the first time. Turns out, the bacteria count remained relatively safe:
Check out the official music video for "How the Wicked Live" by Portland-based "Chinatown Dance-Rock" band The Slants. If you're wondering what's up with the crazy Japanese video girl intro and all the people killing each other, be aware that the video is an homage to the controversial Japanese manga/film Battle Royale. Take a look:
They're putting the call out for the coolest, most creative design to be the official festival shirt. The winning design will be printed up and sold at the 29th SFIAAFF, happening March 10-20. Here's how to win:
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