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11.17.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Bao Tran

"Andy Lau's forgotten half-brother."



Hello, internet! You know what time it is. It's time to meet the 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 Bao Tran.


Who are you?

A filmmaker desperately trying to hold it together for his close-up.

What are you?

Andy Lau's forgotten half-brother.

Where are you?

Sitting next to the window of a West Seattle coffee shop, wistfully soaking up the rays before the sun sets at 4:30pm.

Where are you from?

Hà Tĩnh, Olympia, Shoreline.

What do you do?

I'm making a Kung Fu indie film called The Paper Tigers that's gonna be the bee's knees. We've been working to get this film made for years, there's been so much interest for the film but financing is by far the hardest part. It's a Three Musketeers-type ensemble story where the lead characters need to be played by actors of color. Of course we've had the annoying Hollywood conversations about whether we could cast white guys instead, and of course we’ve turned that nonsense down. But the market reality is that we can never have more diverse stories until we fight to make it ourselves. It starts at the independent film level on up. So we've turned to Kickstarter and need everyone’s help to get it made: http://kck.st/2zcdHU5

What are you all about?

I try to be as honest, passionate, and transparent as I can in my work so that I can be honest, passionate, and transparent in my life.

What makes you angry?

This industry term "consuming content" is just gross and demeaning. You know that one movie that made you feel that all was right with the world? Or a favorite song that lifted your sad blues away? That's not really an emotional connection you had with art. No, my friend, you are a mere "content consumer" or "binge-watcher" in the eyes of media companies.

It makes me think of that scene in Spirited Away where the girl's parents transform into pigs and devour everything in sight. The powers that be develop movies and shows based on maximizing the number of people who will clock the most viewing hours in the shortest amount of time. We get white-washing and race-bending not out of overt racism per se, but because they need to tone it down and add filler to "optimize the content" so that everything goes down nice and smooth for the most people. Without fail, what we get is ultimately flavorless, forgettable, and a waste of time. At its best, popular art and entertainment is not force-feed, it has the power to sustain and nourish when we can fully savor it. The audience deserves better.