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7.31.2006

Archived Posts - July 2006



07.31.06

Call for entries! The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival is inviting filmmakers to submit their works for the 25th anniversary festival in March 2007. This is easily my favorite Asian American film festival (no offense to all other quality film festivals in the nation). It's like home to me. Be a part of something amazing, and submit your film! The early deadline is September 8th. More information here.

07.31.06

Check out the trailer for Babel, the latest film by Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Amores perros, 21 Grams). Like his other movies, it looks like Babel weaves together several divergent narrative threads that are somehow linked. According to the synopsis, one of the stories involves "a Japanese teen rebel whose father is sought by the police in Tokyo." Looks confusing, but really interesting.

07.31.06

A Korean American third grade teacher in Rockville, Maryland who has been nominated for teacher of the year three times is now being considered to possibly get fired before the upcoming school year: Teacher Of The Year Nominee Fights For Her Job. There have apparently been complaints that her language skills aren't good enough to continue teaching. Funny, no one said anything during the first twenty years she taught at Lakewood Elementary School. Suddenly now she's an "underperformer"?

07.31.06

Justin Lin is currently in production with his latest film Finishing the Game, a comedy about the posthumous production Bruce Lee's last film Game of Death. And they need some help! This week, they apparently have two big days of shooting in Los Angeles, and they're in need of a hundred Bruce Lee look-alike extras on August 2nd and 3rd. Here are the details from an email I received:


Next week we have our two big days of shooting with 100 Bruce Lee look-a-like Extras. We shoot Wednesday Aug. 2 and Thursday Aug. 3 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

We shoot at the following location:

Visual Communications Center

120 Judge Aiso St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

We are looking for Asian males that would be willing to come out for those two days. We need them to be Non Union and they would receive credit and meals. Also, Justin will chose the top 10 look a likes and they will receive a speaking role in the film on Wed. Aug. 9.

We may need people to bring their own 70's attire, it doesn't have to be jumpsuits or anything that necessarily is the Bruce Lee standard look, but just something in their closet that looks 70's style. We can suggest thrift stores where they can pick up stuff really cheap.

If you can please send out an email ASAP and see if you can rally any support, we would really appreciate it.

Please reply to: extracast@gmail.com, 818-230-2648

Put Bruce Lee look-a-like in the Subject Line.

They should send us a recent JPEG photo or their headshot and also the following wardrobe info:

Wardrobe info for Males:

Height:

Weight:

Pant size:

Waist inseam:

Neck size:

Sleeve size:

Shoe size:

Suit size:

T-shirt size:

Thanks for your help.

Angela Sostre

FINISHING THE GAME

Extras


I can't believe how much I already want to see this movie, and it hasn't even finished shooting yet.

07.31.06

Maz Jobrani, Ahmed Ahmed and Aron Kader make up the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour. NPR did a cool story on them last week: 'Axis of Evil' Comedy, on Tour. Pretty darn funny, but they need a North Korean comedian (are there any?) to round out the whole "Axis of Evil" theme.

07.31.06

The current issue of Sports Illustrated (July 31st) has an article and gallery of "orange crate" styled-work by artist Ben Sakoguchi, featured in his book/exhibit The Unauthorized History of Baseball: Baseball Art. Some really nice work there.

07.31.06

Another example of casinos aggressively marketing and catering to Asians: Casinos Winning Big by Betting on Asians. The article profiles two East Coast casinos that send more than 100 buses to predominantly Asian neighborhoods in Boston and New York every day to gamble. Says Ernie Wu, director of Asian marketing at Foxwoods Resort Casino, "Our Asian blood loves to feel the luck. We call it entertainment, we don't say it's 'gambling.'" I find this kind of scary. And they wonder why gambling is such a problem in the Asian American community...

07.30.06

I was recently tuned on to the music of jazz singer Anjani. She recently released her second album Blue Alert, which was co-written and produced by the legendary Leonard Cohen. Listened to some clips on her MySpace page and kind of dug it. Pretty mellow stuff, but sometimes you're just in the mood for that, you know?

07.30.06



Here's a really nice tribute to the late great actor Mako by playwright David Henry Hwang in the Los Angeles Times: Like ripples in the water

07.30.06

Police are calling a shooting spree in Seattle a hate crime... Naveed Afzal Haq, a Pakistani American Muslim, killed one woman and wounded five others at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle: Police Describe Seattle Shooting as a Hate Crime. Colleagues of the victims said the gunman, Naveed Afzal Haq, had identified himself as "a Muslim-American" who was "angry at Israel." You know, I get angry too, but I'm not going to shoot anyone. It's too bad no one urged this guy to start blogging constructively.

07.30.06

Crime wave! According to this story, gangs of young Asian men have been attacking tourists in San Francisco's Chinatown and robbing them of camcorders, iPods, cell phones and even expensive clothes: Tourists Targeted In SF Chinatown Attacks. Now it looks like police are keeping tabs on any gathering of large groups of Asian kids. So don't let your groups get too big, kids. They'll think you're up to no good.

07.30.06

USA Today profiles whispery-voiced actress-turned-poker player Jennifer Tilly: One of a kind. Oscar-nominated actress, Bride of Chucky... World Series of Poker champ.

07.30.06

An update on Michelle Kwan, who is moving on and doing her thing after withdrawing out of the last Winter Olympics due to injury (thus squelching her hopes for the elusive gold medal once and for all): Ice skater Michelle Kwan a paragon of the sport

07.28.06

Just a quick reminder. The Motel. Opening in Los Angeles and Pasadena today. Theater info here. Watch a great film. Support quality Asian American cinema. Bring your friends. See you there.

07.28.06

The legal battle over the rights to the four remaining novels in the five-part series—known as the Crane-Iron Pentalogy—that inspired the blockbuster movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a bout between Sony Pictures, the Weinstein Company, and a reclusive research scientist in Saskatchewan named Dr. Hong Wang, who happens to be the son of late writer Wang Du Lu, the author of the popular martial arts series: Crouching tiger sparks lawsuit on epic scale. My guess, it's probably unlikely we'll be seeing these movies any time soon.

07.28.06

There's an interview over at CHUD.com with Jon Favreau, director of the announced Iron Man movie in the works, with some more information on the "Mandarin" character:


Q: And heís a tough character because in his original appearances he's a racist caricature.

Favreau: There are certain fears and certain strengths the character evokes that are applicable, but of course you have to completely remove any of that short sighted cultural ignorance that leads to any sort of bigotry in the storytelling. That isn't to say those fears and shortcomings of Iron Man as relating to that character aren't relevant.

Think about what made the Mandarin someone everybody gravitated to ñ if you look at the message boards, overwhelmingly that's someone everyone wants to see. He was intelligent, he was powerful, he was mysterious. He was always one step ahead. Despite his suit and technology, Iron Man was always the underdog. Mandarin always had this Machiavellian web he would fall into. He was based in China which was then mysterious because it was Red China. Today China is mysterious in other ways because it's Global China. China is the economic powerhouse that is quickly catching up and will eventually surpass us.


A comic book movie that capitalizes on fears of China's future economic domination. Fun. And so timely. The moment they announced the villain was going to be Mandarin, I knew this was bad news. I'm not planning on seeing this one. Not willingly at least.

07.27.06

Forgot to mention... the 29th Asian American International Film Festival in New York wrapped last week. Awards were given out to:

One to Watch:

Karen Lum for Slip of the Tongue (amazing film)

Best Music Video:

Plus/Minus' I've Been Lost by Rik Cordero

Excellence in Short Filmmaking:

Stationery by Monica Rho

Michelob Light Music Video Competition:

Zoetrope by Peilin Kuo

V-Clip National Competition:

3rd Runner Up: Kevin Lee for Stella's Debut

2nd Runner Up: Peter Phan for Second Chance at a Last Goodbye

Winner: Peilin Kuo and Jessie Spiro for Between

Emerging Director Award:

Julia Kwan for Eve and the Firehorse

If you missed a screening or two, you've still got a chance to check some of the good stuff. The festival actually continues with a run at Stony Brook University in Long Island, August 3-6. View the full schedule here.

07.27.06

My pal Marian Liu interviews Silicon Valley engineer-turned-singer/songwriter Vienna Teng, whose latest album Dreaming Through The Noise was released this week: Catching Up With Vienna Teng. And here's an NPR review of the new album: Director's Cuts: Third Album's A Charm

07.27.06

Here's a story about a group of Chinese American adoptees invited to by the Chinese government to return and visit their birthplace: Children adopted from China to visit as government guests

07.27.06

The interviewers become the interviewees! Jen Chau and Carmen Van Kerckhove, hosts of one of my favorite podcasts, Addicted To Race, got interviewed over at Podcast411. Listen to it here. Oh, and happy first birthday, ladies.

07.27.06

I've been hearing a lot about this reality show currently on MTV2 called Final Fu, hosted by none other than martial artist/actor Ernie Reyes Jr. (remember Sidekicks?). It's basically a TV martial arts competition, with various tasks and challenges. Personally, I think it would be more interesting to just throw everyone in a ring and have them beat the crap out of each other—last one standing wins. But I guess that would be a really short series. The show is apparently full of all sorts of Asian and faux-Asian imagery, if the ridiculous design of the website is any indication. There are also a number of Asian American contestants. Here's a clip over at YouTube. Also lots of stuff over at MTV Overdrive.

07.27.06

Another one of these advice letters, this time from an Indian woman who's unhappy in an arranged marriage: I'm in an arranged marriage but I think I want out. And you wrote to this Cary dude at Salon.com for advice on what to do?

07.27.06

Crime blotter... In Denver, police have arrested two suspects, Quang Than and Duong Chuong, in connection with the murder of a man outside a bar last weekend: Two arrested in beating outside of bar. The two apparently hit the guy in the face, and his hit the ground when he fell... no other details about the altercation.

This week, Mi Suk Yi and her husband Paul Amorello were sentenced to prison time and ordered to pay millions in restitution for a series of fraud schemes that victimized Koreans who were promised assistance in increasing their credit, extending payment schedules or avoiding bankruptcy: Bergen couple sentenced in credit fraud

07.27.06

My pal Gwen's early review of Gong Li in Miami Vice made me laugh out loud. I share it here with you:


Oh, my, gosh... if/when you see Miami Vice I think your webpage will
explode b/c you'll be so unbelievably upset that you'll want to put a
stick of dynamite in your computer.

I did not know that

1. Gong Li is in so much of the damn movie.

2. Gong Li has so many unbelievably bad lines.

3. Gong Li is Colin Farrell's fobby little plaything.

4. Gong Li makes Zhang Ziyi seem like one of the great English orators
of our time.

5. Gong Li speaks Spanish better than English.

Depressing, sad, disturbing, all of the above. I really feel bad telling
you to see it b/c it's like telling somebody to watch a car accident
even though they know little children will be bleeding, but you kind of
have to see it since you carry the flag for us and all.

And Grady Hendrix of the Variety blog is on crack. Just read his
assessment and it could not have been more off-base ... you decide for
yourself though. Eagerly awaiting your horrified reaction (which may not
be so bad now that I've totally built this up for you and you'll surely
be expecting the worst), Gwen


Thank you, Gwen, for completely throwing my expectations out of whack. I didn't really want to see it, but now I kind of want to, for all the wrong reasons. Dreading/looking forward to it.

07.27.06

Here's a press release on a new study, "Made in America: Asian American Teens and Echo-Boomers," on the cultural influence of Asian American youth, presented at IMPRINT: Urban Youth Unabridged, an all-day conference I attended yesterday: Asian American Youth: America's New Trendsetters. The whole event was presented by New American Dimensions and interTrend Communications. Pretty informative stuff—some of it eye-opening, some of it kind of obvious, but good to know someone is doing this kind of research... and hopefully putting it to good use.

07.26.06

By most accounts, last weekend's opening of M. Night Shyamalan's Lady In The Water was a big fast dud, making just $18.2 million—the filmmaker's worst opening ever—not to mention some amazingly bad reviews. The movie's poor performance and the filmmaker's attention-hungry posturing of late has got a lot of people talking. Here's yet another story on the stubborn narcissism of M. Night: Call It Shyamaladenfreude. One guy who saw Lady told me the movie had landed itself on his top 10 list of the worst movies ever. Damn, that's harsh.

07.26.06

According to this story, there's been a very public disbute in the city of Edison, New Jersey between Mayor Jun Choi and Indian American community leader Peter Kothari over how to handle an alleged police brutality incident involving an Indian American resident: High-profile spat dominates politics in Edison. The incident highlights the growing shades of Asian American politics in the region: "a new one that embraces the larger community and seeks a place in mainstream politics, the other that is ethnocentric and subtly plays to the new immigrant's fear of outsiders." Is this the new Asian America?

07.26.06

Here's a nice little message that landed in my mailbox today:


FROM: RSamue7

DATE: Tue, 25 Jul 2006 23:43:06 EDT

TO: angryminsoo@angryasianman.com

SUBJECT: Asians ......have alot of nerve.

Six Asian male juveniles have been arrested for allegedly beating a Latino youth in Chinatown and leaving him unconscious, San Francisco police said.

The attack Friday is being treated as a hate crime because the suspects yelled racial epithets during the attack, police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said.

....and yet

Asians want to be treated with respect

I guess this is a demonstration of "AZN pride".

This whole site is unintended comedy at its finest,

you act as if Asians are oppressed or something.

Try coming come to Virginia Beach Asians (Filipinos) are the oppressors over here man.

My sites got some true horror stories to tell.

This site is like a KKK guy trying to get sympathy votes for what a brother did to him.

Oh yeah "that's racist" is my line .. friend

----------Angry Blackman------------------


Oh come on, comparing me to the KKK? That's a little silly. And please, I would never dare call myself "AZN." Give me a little credit, Mr. Blackman. Next time I try coming come to Virginia Beach, I'll look you up. We'll try to smooth things over with those Filipino oppressors you're talking about.

07.26.06

Everybody keeps writing in to tell me about the Miss Universe pageant: New Miss Universe is crowned, then faints. Sorry, I missed it. But I'm told that the competition's first runner-up, Kurara Chibana of Japan, wore a freaking samurai outfit during the opening "parade of nations." Complete with a samurai sword. And she actually won the award for best national costume! That is funny. And ridiculous. Photos here and here.

07.26.06

I've written here a few times about the efforts to free imprisoned Chinese blogger and filmmaker Hao Wu... he was finally freed on July 11th after spending nearly five months in a Beijing jail, thanks in large part to the actions of the internet community: Bloggers Help Free Chinese Filmmaker. Go bloggers.

07.26.06

Genghis Khan is so hot right now: Genghis Khan, a 21st Century marketing phenomenon.

07.26.06

This is a cool, worthwhile effort: Full Equity for Filipino World War II Veterans. Like the top banner suggests, it's a youth and student coalition dedicated to getting full equity for Filipino World War II veterans who fought under the US flag to protect the Philippines from foreign occupation, but still do not have American Veteran status. This is actually a Week of Action in the Bay Area, with to events to bring more recognition and attention to the cause. All the details are available over at the group's MySpace page.

07.26.06

For folks in NYC, here's a little something for you to check out this week... Francis Hsueh and Steven Hahn, filmmakers behind the documentary Party, present a sneak preview (the first six minutes) of their latest feature Pretty To Think So in Chinatown at the Teabag Film Workshop. Thursday at 7:30pm. Oh, by they way, they're currently selling DVDs of Party (I think they need the money to finance this current film).

07.26.06

This is an interesting story on the changing, clashing state of Los Angeles' Chinatown: A Community's Ethnic Tradition in Transition. It paints a portrait of the old Chinatown of long-standing shops and family associations on the decline, while the new Chinatown of art galleries, boutiques and lofts is on the rise. It's created a very interesting situation within the community, and all the cool, new, hip stuff doesn't look like it'll be slowing down anytime soon.

07.26.06

Here's an interview with actor Rex Lee, who plays Lloyd on HBO's Entourage, called here "debatably the most prominent gay Asian ever on television": Rex Lee: More Than Just the "Gay" One On TV's Entourage. I've never seen the show, but I have actually met Rex, and he seems like a pretty cool guy.

07.26.06

News from the United Kingdom... a young man was stabbed to death when a mass brawl broke out between a group of white and Asian men over the weekend. Lancashire Police initally cautioned against automatically assuming that the brawl was racially motivated: Police play down death race fear. However, authorities said yesterday it was increasingly looking like that was indeed the case—this is now a "racial investigation": Separate killings of two Asians 'racially motivated'. The article also mentions a separate incident involving a taxi driver who died from severe head injuries—also being investigated as a racially-motivated attack. What's going on in the UK?

07.26.06

I was recently alerted to this movie, currently in post-production: Americanizing Shelley, directed by Lorraine Senna. The one-line synopsis, according to IMDb: "A wannabe Hollywood player sets out to Americanize an Indian girl from the Himalayas." Yay. They don't have a full trailer up yet, but the teaser footage on the website didn't impress me too much. But hey, Wil Wheaton's in it.

07.25.06

This is for folks in NYC... My man Mike Kang is at work on his second feature film, West 32nd, a Korean American gangster movie he'll be shooting in August and September in New York. The film is being produced by Teddy Zee and CJ Entertainment, and already has a cast at attached, including John Cho, Kim Jun Sung and Han Yeo-rum. And they're looking for some help from good people in all areas—crew, cast, everything. Interested? All the info you need is over at Mike's blog: CALLING ALL NYC KOREANS (AND NON-KOREANS) Looks like it's going to be pretty solid.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, The Motel opens this Friday, July 28th, in Los Angeles and Pasadena. Be there. Support Asian American cinema. Hell, just support independent cinema that is good, and that includes The Motel. Make a mark, and vote with your tickets... I can't say enough great things about this film. It'll be playing at Laemmle's FAIRFAX 3 in LA and the PLAYHOUSE 7 in Pasadena. More info here. I plan to attend the 7:15pm screening at The Laemmle Fairfax. Director Michael Kang plus cast and crew will be on hand for a post-screening Q & A. Southern California angry readers, let us all go together! I will see you there, my friends. It's gonna be fun.

07.25.06

You've got to be kidding me... According to Variety, actress Elisha Cuthbert (the ridiculously inept Kim Bauer on 24) is in final negotiations to play the title role in the Hollywood remake of the South Korean film My Sassy Girl: Cuthbert to be 'My Sassy Girl'. The film will be directed by Yann Samuel. Man, is this really going to happen? And can this be anything but a disaster? We're one step closer to this movie becoming a reality...

07.25.06

James J. Yee, the Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who was arrested and falsely accused of spying, was recently unfairly detained at questioned at the Canadian border: Former Army Chaplain Is Stopped at Border. He was trying to go see a Cirque du Soleil performance in Vancouver when customs officials stopped him. The guy can't seem to get out of the watchful eye of the government.

07.25.06

Hadn't heard about this story... A Japanese tourist, Tomomi Hanamure, was stabbed 29 times and left in shallow water near Navajo Falls in Arizona on May 9th: Havasupai perplexed by killing of tourist. The crime has apparently been the subject of intense media scrutiny in Japan, but I've barely heard anything about it at all here in the States. Meanwhile, American media goes crazy every time a pretty blonde white girl goes missing...

07.25.06

Over the weekend, Kenji Johjima of the Seattle Mariners hit a milestone catching more innings, 720, than any other catcher in the major leagues: Johjima's Play Bridges the Communication Gap

07.24.06



If you're in the Los Angeles area, and you're looking for something to do on Wednesday night, check out this nifty screening event presented by Visual Communications: VC FILMFEST: BEST OF THE FEST 2006, a special short film showcase of audience favorites from VC Filmfest 2006. So if you missed your chance last May, this is a good opportunity to check out what you may have missed. It's an eclectic mix of works from a variety of artists. Wednesday, July 26th, 7:30pm at the David Henry Hwang Theatre in Little Tokyo. Admission is $8.00 General; $5.00 Students, Seniors, Friends of Visual Communications members. Go here for all the details and the full program list.

I should mention that my short film, Return of the Dragon (Again) will be screening as part of the program. So if you're looking for something to do, come on out and show some support for Asian American cinema. It'll be a fun evening.

07.23.06

Sad news... Veteran Asian American actor Mako, whose career spanned more than four decades, died Friday of esophageal cancer. He was 72: Mako, 72; Actor Opened Door for Asian Americans. He earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1966 film The Sand Pebbles, and was one of the founding members of East West Players, the nation's first Asian American theater company. Through the good and the bad, he was a pioneer in his field, and he will be missed.

07.23.06

Just saw this over at Sepia Mutiny... Early last month, there was news about a South Asian family in New Jersey whose home was vandalized with spray-painted threats and profanity: Bigots target Hindu family. The belief was they were targeted because of their Hindu beliefs. Turns out, it was an inside job. According to police, the perpetrator of six months' worth of threatening letters and spray-painted messages was actually the family's own son, now 17: Son, 17, linked to hate crimes that targeted Hindu family. The motive remains unclear, but police are speculating that the kid was upset that the family had recently moved to Wayne from another New Jersey town. That's pretty damn sad.

07.23.06

So we've been following along with the case of the so-called "Quincy 4," a group of Asian Americans who were falsely charged with disorderly conduct and
resisting arrest after an incident involving Quincy, MA police officers on April 30th: Activist Claims Excessive Police Force in Quincy. Their next pre-trial hearing is on Wednesday, July 26th, and organizers are encourging citizens to gather at Quincy City Hall to show their support and rally against police misconduct. For more details and some background info on the case, go here. Hold the Quincy Police accountable!

07.23.06

Yet another article on the unique egotastic M. Night Shyamalan movie hype machine: Directing the Film, Then Its Hype. It seems more and more that the guy is making a push to raise his celebrity profile. I mean, come on, the guy was The View on Friday. Don't ask me why I was watching The View.

07.23.06

For folks in Southern California, Giant Robot and LA Weekly are inviting folks to a special screening of Ryuhei Kitamura's Azumi, Tuesday, July 25th at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. For RSVP and screening details, go here. The movie's already been out in Japan for several years—it's actually out on DVD—but it looks like it's being released theatrically in the U.S. this summer (it opened in New York on Friday). Go here for the full city-by-city release schedule.

07.23.06

Just saw the trailer for Crank, the latest action thriller starring Jason Statham. He plays a guy who has been poisoned and only has an hour to live. Chaos follows. Okay, so what? Well, the trailer reveals very quickly that the lethal substance flowing through him some sort of "Chinese sythnetic," aka "The Beijing Cocktail." Greaaaaat. There are also multiple shots of Asian gangs wielding guns, Japanese schoolgirls(?) and some scenes in what looks like Chinatown. And is it me, or does Jason Statham play the same character in every movie he's in? Ugh. The Transporter still makes me angry.

07.23.06

This New York Times is all about dirty and smelly New York's Chinatown is: In the Land of Wrinkled Noses. Coupled with the accompanying photo of weird, unidentifiable meats, you've got a halfway compelling reason for folks to buy into stereotypes about those dirty, yellow Chineee folks stinking up the city.

07.23.06

I thought this most recent edition of Secret Asian Man particularly humorous:



And while I'm at it, Tak's got some pretty cool new apparel designs available at the Blacklava store. I totally dig the yellow jumpsuit design.

07.23.06

From the No Big Surprise department... According to a student researcher at the University of British Columbia, there are way too many Asian stereotypes prevalent in video games: UBC Study Finds Top-selling Video Games Rife with Racist Asian Stereotypes

07.23.06

More news from Comic Con... You may or may not have known that there is an "Iron Man" movie in the works, based on the Marvel Comics character. Yesterday, director Jon Favreau announced that the villain in the movie will be Mandarin. Yes, there is a real character named Mandarin. This was pretty much my foremost fear when I heard they were making an Iron Man movie. For those unfamiliar with the character:


The Mandarin is one of the world's greatest scientific geniuses who is seeking world domination. Although The Mandarin has no superhuman powers, he is a superb athlete with tremendous skill in the various martial arts. For weapons, he uses ten rings he wears on his fingers that respond to his mental commands.


Think Fu Manchu. Think Ming the Merciless. Think all those crazy Yellow Peril villains from twentieth century popular literature, and you've got Mandarin. More info on him over at Wikipedia. Of course, it's likely they'll update the whole "yellow peril" angle for contemporary times. Hey! Maybe they'll get a white actor to play Mandarin! That would be so fitting...

07.23.06

Another story on First Lt. Ehren K. Watada, the U.S. Army officer who main headlines when he refused deployment to Iraq on grounds that the war is illegal: Officer Faces Court-Martial for Refusing to Deploy to Iraq

07.23.06

Here's the trailer for Thai martial arts star Tony Jaa's latest film, known elsewhere in the world as Tom Yum Goong, but finally making its way over to the States as The Protector (I can see why they'd want to make the title a little more palatable for U.S. audiences). I haven't seen it, but I'm told that while it's not as good as his previous film Ong-Bak, the action is still top-notch. And really, isn't that what truly matters for a movie like this? Be warned though, watching the trailer on this link might be kind of a pain in the ass. I had to install all this new crap on my computer. I shake my fist at you, Microsoft.

07.23.06

Can't remember if I've mentioned Chez before. Chez, aka Chester Tam, is the unofficial fourth member who often shows up in sketches for The Lonely Island, a group of filmmakers whose online comedic shorts landed them a gig on Saturday Night Live. You might remember their most notable effort, the SNL Digital Short "Lazy Sunday," which caused a bit of a stir on the internets back in December. Anyway, Chez's most recent piece is a weird, funny music video called "The Avon Lady," also starring Kal Penn and a dinosaur, with a guest appearance by Brandon Routh as "Officer Wong." It's goofy as hell, but worth a look.

07.21.06

People are still crazy about the Dragon. Thirty-three years after his death, the family of Bruce Lee has announced that they will be producing a movie based on the star's life to tell "the other side of Bruce, how he was growing up, his secrets and his philosophy." Heaven knows there have been plenty of Bruce Lee clones, unofficial biopics and pseudo-sequels over the last thirty years, weaving this crazy mythical web of fact and fiction. It's no wonder Lee's family would want to set the record straight (and get in on a little piece of the cash flow). The movie is being filmed by a company called JA Media in cooperation with Lee's brothers Robert and Peter and sisters Phoebe and Agnes, to be released in 2008 on the 35th annivesary of his death: Bruce Lee family plans movie to mark 35th anniversary of his death.

But who will play him? Producer Stephen Shin says he will "trawl the world" for the right actor to portray Bruce Lee, and will make an announcment in November. Keanu Reeves and Stephen Chow have both reportedly expressed interest in playing the role. In my mind, these are both terrible choices... Chow is a maybe, but I think he's too well-known for his comedy roles to really sink into the character. As for Keanu, hell no. I mean, they can't be serious. They should go the Superman route, and cast an unknown who's got the looks and acting chops... Of course, what the hell do I know? Nobody listens to me.

07.21.06

Straight from Comic-Con... Ain't It Cool posts the following photos of the poster for Balls of Fury, featuring Christopher Walken as a villainous Asian guy:

http://www.aintitcool.com/images2006/CCballsfury.jpg

http://www.aintitcool.com/images2006/CCwalkenballs.jpg

I think I heard that somewhere in the movie it's revealed that he's not actually an Asian guy, and just some wannabe in disguise. Yay. I believe that's Maggie Q and James Hong on there too. Jason Scott Lee and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa are also apparently in the film, as well as a whole mess of smaller roles for Asian actors... So why do I get the feeling I'm going to hate this movie? We've already had a couple of run-ins with this production. I suspect there are more to come. Stay tuned. The movie is set for release in January.

07.21.06

Yao Ming says there ain't nothing wrong with his foot, so you better step off: "Do I look like a guy with a foot injury?"

07.21.06

Check out this lengthy, interesting New York Times magazine article on the incredible influence of Asian horror films on Hollywood, with a focus on the Pang brothers, directors of Bangkok Dangerous and The Eye, who are now working on their first English-language horror film The Messengers: The Haunting

07.21.06

Lots of geeky stuff on Jeff Yang's "Asian Pop" column lately... and that's okay, because I love geeky stuff (by the way, I really wish I was at Comic Con this weekend). This latest column is about the recent launch of Virgin Comics, a collaboration between Virgin mogul Richard Branson, author/guru Deepak Chopra, film director Shekhar Kapur, Indian comics king Sharad Devarajan, and Gotham Chopra (son of Deepak): Karmic Books. They've enlisted the talents of artists like John Woo, Guy Ritchie, Garth Ennis and Alex Ross to tell some stories about superheroes with an Eastern twist.

07.21.06

Here's an interview with M. Night Shymalan over at CHUD.com. He talks a little bit about the Lady In The Water's Korean characters, as well as the character he plays in the film... and it doesn't sound all that great. The more I hear about this movie, the less I want to see it. But here's a Slate piece written in defense of Mr. Shyamalan: I See Good Movies. We shall see if the box office agrees with him this weekend.

07.21.06

It was a good night for Asians on America's Got Talent. Turns out, At Last got the most votes from their kickass performance in the semifinals on Wednesday night (view it over at YouTube), and advanced to the finals. I'd say they definitely have a fair shot at winning the entire competition. Also making the top two was 8-year-old pianist Natasha Le. I guess it ain't a talent competition without an Asian kid on the piano. Right now, Asian mothers everywhere are telling their kids to practice harder...

07.21.06

Vienna Teng's new album Dreaming Through The Noise comes out next week. It's currently available for pre-order at various online retailers, including Vienna's own website. The first single, "Whatever You Want," is already playing at radio stations across the country, so call in, request it, and show your support. I've been listening to samples of album on the website, and it sounds pretty darn good. I'm going to have to pick myself up a copy.

07.21.06

Just another reminder about that conference I mentioned last week, Imprint: Urban Youth Unabridged, happening Wednesday, July 26th at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. It's a one-day event aimed at marketers, entrepreneurs, advertisers, and pop culture professionals interested in trends in urban youth, Asian Americans and pop culture. Lots of very interesting speakers and panels happening. I'll actually be moderating a panel on "Urban Trendsetters and the Role of Asian Youth" during one of the morning sessions. If you can make it to the conference, please say hello.

07.20.06

Earlier today, LAUSD Superintendent Roy Romer defended his record and attacked Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's efforts to gain a role in the school district during his "State of the Schools" speech: Superintendent Attacks Mayor's Effort For LAUSD Role. During his speech, Romer specifically compared Villaraigosa's statements with propaganda spread by the United States government during World War II that resulted in the internment of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans. These comments upset local Japanese American community leaders, who quickly scheduled a news conference to demand an apology from the former Colorado governor: Japanese-American leaders demand apology from Romer. Where in the hell was this guy coming from? How in the world did this he think that was an apt comparison?

07.20.06

With Hideki Matsui going through rehabilitation, fewer Yankee games are being broadcast in Japan, and the ones that are televised have generated much lower ratings: Japan Goes Channel Surfing

07.20.06

Variety's Asian film blog Kaiju Shakedown has got all the details (with some funny observations) on Gong Li in Miami Vice. Overall, they give it the movie a bad review for three reasons, "1) no story, 2) no sense of humor, 3) no theme song." Come on, you gotta have the Miami Vice theme song. Fools.

07.20.06

For those of you in Los Angeles, something very cool for you to do this weekend... if you've got some money and an appetite, check out the Fourth Annual Food & Wine Tasting Benefit brought to you by Project by Project, benefitting Visual Communications. Saturday, July 22nd in the Wallis Annenberg Building at California Science Center. Word is, Bravo's Top Chef 2 will be filming at the event. Good food, good drink, good times... for a great cause.

07.20.06

This is so cool. Born Free and Equal, a selection of Ansel Adams's photographs of the Manzanar internment camp (originally published in 1944), is available for viewing online in its entirety, courtesy of the Library of Congress. View it all here. It's an incredible work.

07.20.06

Heard about this movie Baby, directed by Juwan Chung, back when they were doing casting calls... It's an independent crime/gang thriller from Affiliated Entertainment, the folks who brought you the direct-to-video Cake. It stars David Huynh, Ron Yuan, and Tzi Ma, among others. View the trailer here. Looks like lots of guns, lots of violence. I'm told it's being submitted to festivals, so maybe you'll see it out there soon...

Just an observation, but what's with the all the Asian American gangster movies? There's this one, Mike Kang's currently working on a Korean American gangster film set in Flushing, Ham Tran says his next project will be a story about Vietnamese American gangs, and I've heard of a few other crime-related Asian American films in the works. What's that all about? I suppose Asian American directors making movies about Asian American gangs is better than some white studio director making movies about Asian American gangs...

07.20.06

An article on Gong Li's latest role in Michael Mann's big screen version of Miami Vice: A one-woman cultural revolution. She plays Isabella, the Chinese-Cuban banker for a drugs-and-arms-trafficking cartel. Yay. It sort of has 'dragon lady' written all over it, doesn't it? We shall see.

07.20.06

Hey, all you Asian American musicians, bands and artists... ImaginAsian Radio and the producers of the film The Shanghai Hotel are holding a music contest for folks to get their music featured on the film's soundtrack. The Shanghai Hotel is an independent feature film currently in production, directed by Jerry Allen Davis with a cast that includes Pei-Pei Cheng, Eugenia Yuan, Hill Harper, Ron Yuan, Yaya DaCosta, and others. According to the website, the film is:


"The story of Yin Yin, who came to New York to live the American dream, but is instead forced into prostitution. It's a moving film that explores the tragedy of human trafficking... and the thousands of women who live it."


Sounds like a real downer, but hopefully it'll raise some compelling issues. For details about entering the contest, head over to www.imaginasianradio.com/shanghai/

07.19.06

Another review of Lady In The Water over at CHUD.com that has some not-so-great things to say about the portrayal of the Korean characters in the film:


"Things perk up when Heap realizes that the narf is there to give inspiration to one of his tenants. Now on a mission, he tries to figure out who she's there to see, and to find out more about narfs from his Korean tenants, who are portrayed in such a grotesquely stereotypical manner that I am surprised
they donít eat dogs.
"


Really doesn't look good. The movie itself doesn't look so hot either, currently rocking big fat 9% over at Rotten Tomatoes. Could this mean the end for M. Night?

07.20.06

Scary-looking Asian guy gets featured in New York magazine's "Look Book": Joshua Ku, Student and Model. What follows is a bunch of people in Gawker dedicating an entire blog entry to talk smack about the guy: Looking at the Look Book

07.19.06

If you're into movies, and spend any amount of time on the internet, you've probably some of the hype about Snakes on a Plane. I'll admit the concept, as dumb as it sounds, is just dumb enough to get me in the theater. There's a positive review of the movie over at Ain't It Cool News. However, it seems that the studio will not be screening the film for critics, which is never a good sign. Whatever. What I didn't know was, the movie has Asian people in it. In fact, the crazy main villain "Eddie Kim," is played by Byron Lawson. How crazy? Crazy enough to put muthaf@#$in' snakes on a muthaf@#$in' plane! The AICN review likens him to Han in Enter the Dragon. Funny. Other Asian names in the cast include Terry Chen, Agam Darshi, Candice Macalino, and Darryl Quon. The movie opens on August 18th.

07.19.06

Awwww yeah. Been waiting for this one for a long time... Universal Home Video has announced that it will release the 1961 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song on DVD on November 7th: Flower Drum Song Film to Receive First DVD Release in Nov. The film stars James Shigeta, Nancy Kwan, Miyoshi Umeki and Jack Soo. No word on what sort of special features will be included on the disc, but it'll be presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, along with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, and English, French and Spanish subtitles will be included. As an avid DVD collector, and as a longtime fan of this film, this news is pretty exciting.

07.19.06

While doing some random Googling, I came across this online casting call for Justin Lin's current production, Finishing the Game. The submission deadline has passed, but the character descriptions are kind of funny, and reveal a few minor story details. I am already looking forward to this movie.

07.19.06

I'm seriously shaking my head at this story about a dating service based in Torrance, CA that specializes in matching up "white men with Asian women who want to settle down with that special someone." No suprise, it's been pretty lucrative: Torrance business courts success by opening doors. I shudder at the thought of the kind of clientele this service attracts... And what about the dating service for Asian guys and white women? Where is the love? No love.

07.19.06

Another article on the dominance of Korean and Korean American golfers, a major force in the U.S. junior golf circuit the last several years: Cultural Movement

07.19.06

It's time to take some action! APIA Vote is urging everyone to call their Senators today and tell them that "S. 2703 must be moved quickly and without amendment through the Judiciary Committee and through the full Senate before the August recess." Read everything you need to know about the Voting Rights Act here.

07.19.06

Just heard about the brutal murder of a young man in LA's Koreatown over the weekend: Man, 27, Fatally Stabbed Outside Koreatown Cafe. Brian Chin, who recently became a father, was assaulted and stabbed to death by multiple attackers. He's actually a friend of a friend's brother, and I think I actually met him once (years ago). The family is asking for help with finding eyewitnesses or anyone who might have information about the murder. For more information, read this Xanga entry. It's heartbreaking.

07.19.06

This article is simply awesome primarily because of the photo... the recent heat wave has got me working up a crazy appetite for some naeng myun: Koreaís Taste of Summer Is a Long, Cool Slurp. Cold noodles. Mmmmm...

07.19.06

According to a reader, "tonight's ep of Hustle got some Asian thing going on." So I looked into it... Indeed, tonight's episode of the British con-man show Hustle, which airs here in the States on AMC, does have some Asian things going on:


Albert's old friend Harold summons the crew to target Kulvinda Samar, a greedy sweatshop owner who's caused pain and suffering to Harold's sisters (and the Asian community at large) for many years. Samar is an ardent fan of Bollywood films, making him a perfect target for a classic movie investor con.


Good to know. Keeping abreast of TV that has Asian things going on.

07.19.06

Check out this interesting profile on Dennis Hwang, logo artist for Google whose art is seen by millions every day: Google's unknown artist has huge following

07.19.06

Hollywood gobbles up another one... According to Variety, the upcoming Korean monster film, Bong Joon-Ho's The Host, is getting eyed by several American studios to get the remake treatment: Korea's "Host" Gets A US Remake. The original movie currently has a U.S. distribution deal with Magnolia Pictures.

07.19.06

With all the stuff going on the Middle East right now, it seems that very little attention has been focused on the tsunami that rocked Indonesia this week: Death toll jumps to 531 after tsunami. I had no idea until someone emailed me about it.

07.19.06

Haven't really had a chance to sample her music, but this press release about "pop star" Adrienne Lau has been flooding my news feeds these past few days: First Asian Chinese American Pop Star Adrienne Lau to Hit the U.S. Billboard Sales Chart With a Bullet!. Yay, you're a singer, rising star, and best of luck to you. But who the hell wrote that press release? It's pretty ridiculous. Next time, go easier on the thesaurus.

07.19.06

Good story here on Asian American comedian Amy Anderson: Korean adoptee breaks new ground in stand-up comedy. It says she's currently developing a television show based on her own life as a Korean adoptee raised in Minnesota who moves to Los Angeles.

07.19.06

MTV's got an article on the making of the Black Eyed Peas' new video for "Bebot," indie produced by Patricio Ginelsa and the Kid Heroes crew, and infused with a healthy dose of Filipino pride: Black Eyed Peas Break Out Filipino Pride For Very Low-Budget 'Bebot' Video. The video will premiere later this month here. Looks like a lot of fun.

07.19.06

Asian American singing group At Last performs tonight on the semi-finals of NBC's America's Got Talent. If you caught their first appearance a few weeks ago, you know they seriously kicked some ass. Here's a video clip of their peformance. It would be pretty cool to see them advance in the competition.

07.19.06

An update on the controversy over Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, and his comments that rattled the Korean American community... basically, he won't say he's sorry about linking Korean American immigrants with North Korean missile tests: Schaefer Refuses to Apologize for Remarks. He claims that he is a "friend to Korean immigrants." Funny. The guy is one of those old school politicians who just can't face up to the fact the world around him is changing.

07.18.06

It appears that previous reports stating Yao Ming would make a cameo appearance in the Taiwanese film Dunk! were false. According to Club Yao it's all untrue—perhaps a publicity stunt by the film's producers? I'm just hoping Brett Ratner doesn't get his way... because he's said he wants to put Yao in Rush Hour 3. Please, no.

07.18.06

We've been following along here with the efforts of a local Asian American group protesting a Toledo DJ, "Lucas," who made racially insensitive remarks during prank calls to Chinese and Japanese restaurants... Well, it seems now that Lucas, aka Josh Garber, has been suspended without pay from WTWR-FM for his comments: DJ issues apology for prank calls. He read his apology on the air:


"Those calls reflected poor judgment on my part and resulted in an outcry from the Asian community who interpreted my statements as derogatory and offensive. For that I apologize, as it was not my intention, in any way, to offend the Asian community, or to mock those of Asian ancestry."


In addition, the station's program director is no longer with the station. You know, I always find it difficult to believe when these people claim "it was not my intention, in any way, to offend the Asian community, or mock those of Asian ancestry." Don't give me that, because that's exactly what you were doing. Big props to ACU, for making their voices heard.

07.18.06



We've been hearing updates over the last year about DOA: Dead or Alive, directed by Corey Yuen. I believe it's based on a video game. The cast includes Devon Aoki, Natassia Malthe, Collin Chou, Kane Kosugi, and Robin Shou... but looking at the above picture, you'd pretty much think it's about four to five white girls beating the crap out of hordes of Asian men. Either way, it looks pretty bad.

07.18.06

I'm told that Gordon Chang, author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World was on The Daily Show last night. I'm sure a clip will show up on YouTube sooner or later...

07.18.06

Heard this today on NPR's Morning Edition, a "This I Believe" essay by thirteen year-old Ying Ying Yu, who immigrated to the United States from China in 2001: A Duty to Family, Heritage and Country. Okay, as Asians, I think we know a little something about feeling the pressures of family duty... but this essay, written at the tender age of 13, is just a little scary. She's got a long couple of years ahead of her—she's too young to sound this convinced (and defeated) about her future. I really do hope she reconsiders gardening. Someday.

07.17.06

Recently heard about Korean American author Jhay Kay's first novel, The Staggering Depths of Blissfulness, available through Lulu.com. I just read a press release about it, and it sounds pretty interesting.. and a little crazy. It's about life and happiness and stuff.

07.17.06

The contestants for the latest edition of CBS' Amazing Race were announced last week and the group includes two Asian American teams... Korean American brothers Erwin and Godwin Cho from San Francisco, and Indian American couple Vipul and Arti Patel from Windermere, Florida. China, Mongolia, Vietnam and Kuwait are apparently among the show's destinations this season. Could be pretty interesting... Amazing Race 10 premieres on August 27th.

07.17.06

Very interesting piece on the idea of "color blind casting" by Lisa de Moroes on this Washington Post blog... it was sparked by a press gathering for Friends producer David Crane's new show, which looks a lot like Friends again ("a bunch of people living in an urban East Coast setting"), especially with its all-white cast: Color-Blind Casting. The end of the entry notes that non-white characters will be introduced in future episodes of the series. Apparently, it will be revealed that two twin characters were adopted by Korean parents. What? It's like they thought, hey, Asian parents are funny. Margaret Cho jokes about hers all the time! We should write some of our white characters with Asian parents. And then of course, hilarity will ensue.

07.17.06

Leaders of Maryland's Korean community said yesterday that they will tell Comptroller William Donald Schaefer that he owes them an apology and should undergo sensitivity training. According to this article, their concern follows Schaefer's recent comments about North Korean missile tests and Koreans in America learning English as a second language: Koreans seek Schaefer apology. At a meeting of the state public works board this month, during which the panel took up a contract to provide English as a Second Language testing in state schools, Schaefer wanted to know whether the program would benefit Korean students:


"Korea's another one, all of a sudden they're our friends, too, shooting missiles at us," Schaefer said. He also warned that someday "we'll pay" for opening U.S. borders. "I get so irritated that we just open up the borders, let everybody in, educate them," he said.


Tell me, what exactly do North Korean missile tests have to do with ESL programs in the United States? Seems to me that Mr. Comptroller got a little jumpy when he heard the word "Korean." Ya think?

07.17.06

This sort of funny, sort of goofy short film just came across my desk: Girls Night Out. It was made in competition for the 3rd Annual 72Hr Film Shootout, and made the Top 15. Here's a full list of the Shootout Winners. Top prize went to the team Cat Rat Dog, with their film Goodnight Mr. Lee. It pleases me to find out that my good pal Jess Chung was in the 1st Runner Up team, Melt Papaya, with their film Pandamania. The short also won "Best Comedic Performance" and "Best Story/Writing." Awesome.

07.17.06

After apparently auditioning scores of young actresses for his latest film Lust, Caution, Ang Lee has cast newcomer Tang Wei of China opposite leading man Tony Leung. The espionage thriller set in World War II-era Shanghai begins filming later this year: Ang Lee casts Tang Wei for "Lust, Caution"

07.17.06

Princess Siu'ilikutapu of Tonga said Friday her family has forgiven the teenage girl charged with killing a Tongan prince and princess in a car crash, but they will not ask prosecutors to drop the charges: Tongan princess forgives Calif. teen. Edith Delgado, 18, faces three counts of vehicular manslaughter in the July 5 deaths of Prince Tu'ipelehake, his wife, Princess Kaimana, and the couple's driver, Vinisia Hefa.

07.17.06

The 2000 Taiwanese film Yi Yi finally gets the DVD treatment it deserves (the previously released version sucked ass), with a new restored release from Criterion: Getting the DVD Transfer Right the Second Time Around

07.17.06

Eleven MIT professors have accused a powerful colleague, professor Susumu Tonegawa, a Nobel laureate, of interfering with the university's efforts to hire a rising female star in neuroscience. They say he intimidated Alla Karpova, the prospective hire: MIT star accused by 11 colleagues. She has since declined the job offer.

07.17.06

By day, he's Howard Wong, IT consultant and software designer... by night, he's Masta Wong, strippin' it down and adored by countless viewers of Pants-Off Dance-Off: On Fuseís ëPants-Off Dance-Off,í Amateurs Dance and Disrobe. Strange. Very strange.

07.17.06

Here's a Honolulu Advertiser story on soccer star Natasha Kai, the first female from Hawai'i selected to the U.S. National Team: From North Shore to National Team

07.15.06

Here's an advance review of M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water. The reviewer notes some concerns about the portrayal of some of the Asian characters...


"Sarita Choudhury ("Mississippi Masala") offers a couple laughs as his nagging sister, but that humor often feels forced as she plays it up with an exaggerated voice. Likewise, Cindy Cheung, wearing outlandish outfits and speaking in a sillier broken English accent, plays Young-Soon as the type of Asian stereotype that is going to be more offensive than funny to some."


Shyamalan himself also apparently plays a larger part in this film than in past movies. Why? Why? Why?

07.15.06

Good news for those lazy butts who missed The Motel during its two-week run at The Film Forum... The film will be playing in New York for another weekend, July 21-25, at The ImaginAsian. For those elsewhere, it shall continue its theatrical run... next stop, Los Angeles and Pasadena on July 28th.

07.15.06

Don't call it a phone. I've been getting all sorts of email about this funny little Helio commercial, about a girl who brings home her Asian boyfriend Jin-Woo to meet her parents... Of course, it was inevitably posted to YouTube for our viewing pleasure: Helio: Meet the Parents. Her dad makes mock karate gestures, her mom erroneously says "Konichiwa," but she really gets upset when grandpa calls that thing a phone? Yeah, yeah, I get it.

07.15.06

Golfing teen Michelle Wie was taken to a hospital yesterday after withdrawing from the John Deere Classic with nine holes left, overcome by heat exhaustion (stomach pains, nausea, dizziness and breathing problems). She left the course in an ambulance, getting fluids through at IV: Wie bows out early, exits in ambulance. But apparently she's okay now.

07.14.06

This is a really interesting article on how John Pierson got his film producing class to collectively work on a distribution strategy for Neill Dela Llana and Ian Gamazon's low-budget indie thriller Cavite: Extra Credit. Their campaign included handing cigarette packs containing fake severed fingers (if you've seen the movie, you know that this sounds only half-crazy).

07.14.06

Daniel Dae Kim threw the first pitch last night at the Red Sox/A's game at Fenway Park. According to the Boston Herald:


Found at Fenway!: "Lost" hubba-hubba hubby Daniel Dae Kim landed at Fenway Park last night to throw out the first pitch before the Sox-A's game. Kim's peeps had called the Sox asking for a tour of the old ballyard but Kim's cult-celeb status wasn't Lost on the show's fans in the Sox front office. So they quickly hatched a plan to throw Jin Kwonís alter ego first-pitch honors. (Matt Stone)

Didn't know Jin was a Red Sox fan...

07.14.06

Just took a look at the website for Footy Legends, an Australian film directed by Khoa Do, and starring Anh Do. Looks like your typical story—a bunch of down-and-out, ragtag guys get one big chance to turn their life around. But the main character is Asian, and it looks like a lot of fun. View the trailer at the website. It opens in Australia in August, but I hope it eventually makes it over to United States theaters.

07.14.06

Heads up. The 5th Annual Asian Film Festival of Dallas has announced its full schedule, and it's packed with some really great stuff. They're screening Lane Nishikawa's Only The Brave for Opening Night, along with Il Mare (recently remade as The Lake House), Ham Tran's Journey From The Fall, Richard Wong and H.P. Mendoza's Colma: The Musical, Jeff Adachi's The Slanted Screen, and whole mess of other great films throughout the festival. The festival runs August 3-10.

07.14.06

Here's a short, funny little video clip about what to do when faced with a fight: Austen's Public Service Announcement. The more you know...

07.14.06

According to this article, newly formed Virgin Comics has struck a deal with John Woo and Terence Chang's Tiger Hill Entertainment and comic book writer Garth Ennis to create Seven Brothers: JOHN WOO AND GARTH ENNIS CREATE NEW PROPERTY FOR VIRGIN COMICS. The story is about "seven siblings who depart on Chinese explorer ships and settle on seven different continents. Five hundred years later, their descendants must unite to thwart an evil that is threatening the world. The descendants are an unlikely pairing after having mixed their Chinese bloodline many times over." Sounds sort of promising, I guess. So with all these projects he's got in the works, when exactly does John Woo actually have time to make movies?

07.14.06

Some more info on that previously announced Lucy Liu/Cillian Murphy romantic comedy, Watching The Detectives: Liu, Murphy booked as lead "Detectives". It's written and directed by one of the Broken Lizard guys, so it'll probably be pretty wacky. Not too excited about the description of Liu's character though—"a beautiful, unpredictable femme fatale"—which usually translates in some way or another into "Dragon Lady."

07.13.06

Hey New York! The 29th NY Asian American International Film Festival kicked off tonight with its Opening Night presentation of Ham Tran's Journey From The Fall. AAIFF holds the honor of being the very first festival dedicated to screening works by artists of Asian descent. The festivities run through the 21st in Manhattan, and August 3-6 in Long Island. For the full schedule of screenings and events, head over to the website. Can you dig it? Support Asian American film!

07.13.06

Here's an article on photographer Atta Kim's New York solo debut show, "Atta Kim: On-Air," currently at the International Center of Photography: In Atta Kimís Long-Exposure Photographs, Real Time Is the Most Surreal of All. Sounds like the exhibit is pretty damn cool.

07.13.06

Asian men can run (and jump) fast: Liu breaks 110m hurdles world record

07.13.06

Some news from last month with some specifics about Justin Lin's next project, currently in production: Bruce Lee Back On The Big Screen In 'Tokyo Drift' Director's Comedy. Finishing The Game is a comedy about the making of the 1978 film Game of Death starring "Bruce Lee." Most people know it wasn't actually Bruce—just recut footage from Lee's unfinished film, shots from previous movies, and a few poorly disguised body doubles, all slapped together around a ridiculous story. Basically, Finishing is Lin's fictional take on Hollywood's efforts to exploit and cash in on the Bruce Lee craze... five years after his death. I am both elated and saddened by this news. Elated because it's a great subject for a film, with a lot of interesting ideas to draw from. Saddened though, because I've actually had a couple of very similar ideas for a film rolling around in my head for years. Should've moved a little faster with that... Still, I'm already looking forward to seeing this.

07.13.06

Six Asian male juveniles have been arrested for allegedly beating a Latino youth in Chinatown and leaving him unconscious last Friday. According to police, it's being treated as a hate crime because the suspects yelled racial epithets during the attack: 6 Asian boys arrested in beating of Latino. Stupid, stupid kids.

07.13.06

Hyphen the magazine is turning three years old. It's celebrating the occasion by throwing a big ol' party, with DJs and giveaways and all that. Saturday, July 15th a the Poleng Lounge in San Francisco. Details over at Hyphen's website. Should be a good time.

07.13.06

For all you good folks in Seattle, get yerself some Asian American sketch comedy... The Pork Filled Players present their new show, "Let Them Eat Pork: LibertÈ, …galitÈ, Mocha LattÈ," opening this Friday, July 14th at the Richard Hugo House, and running through the 29th. Featuring my old pal Maggie Lee. The PFP will also be hosting Assaulted Fish, Vancouver's Asian Canadian sketch comedy troupe, in their first visit to the US on July 21 and 22. If you're in the area, go check it ooooout.

07.13.06

That Asian Thing is a documentary in the works "exploring the issue of low Asian American influence within 'mainstream America.'" It features interviews and profiles of a number of Asian American artists and performers in Chicago. Looks like the project is still scrouging around for funding, so any kind support will probably be appreciated.

07.13.06

I'm totally disgusted by this advice letter written in to Salon.com: A grad student in China has taken possession of my soul. What's worse, I can barely understand the advice this Cary guy responds with. To quote the kind reader who sent this article: "That sound you hear is either my head exploding or hitting the desk repeatedly."

07.12.06

Overheard in New York this week at 32nd & 6th, a conversation between an old white women and a young Asian guy:


Old white woman: Are you Japanese?

Young Asian Guy: I'm American.

Old white woman: But is your family Japanese?

Young Asian guy: I'm American.

Old white woman: But are you of Japanese descent?

Young Asian guy: I'm American.

Old white woman: Like from 1776?

Young Asian guy: Yes.


Probably not really from 1776, but you get the idea.

07.12.06

Just heard about a conference happening this month, Imprint: Urban Youth Unabridged, July 26th at the Japanese
American National Museum in Los Angeles. It's a one day event with speakers and sessions about the
"intersection between American pop culture, urban youth, and the role young Asian Americans are playing in re-molding the young generational 'mainstream.'" Invited speakers and presenters include George Takei, Eric Nakamura (Giant Robot), Gonzalo Perez (MTV), John Hiler (Xanga.com), Jim Farley (Toyota Motor Sales), Giancarlo Pacheco (Plan C Agency), and Carl Choi (Catch Music Group). It sounds pretty interesting, though the conference fee is a little steep ($360!) for the average joe. The event is aimed at marketers, entrepreneurs, advertisers, and pop culture professionals interested in these kinds of trends. For more info, go here.

07.12.06

I've had a lot of people sending me this weird little news item... apparently, an intoxicated Jackie disrupted a concert by Taiwanese singer-songwriter Jonathan Lee in Hong Kong and exchanged insults with the audience: Drunken Jackie Chan disrupts Hong Kong concert. Oh, Jackie. Is this the beginning of the end?

07.12.06

Here's another article on Ha Seung Jin, the Portland Trailblazers' 7-foot-3, 305-pound third-year center from Korea: Ha's work ethic draws praise, but future still up in air. The kid wants to stay in Portland.

07.12.06

For those of you Pirates of the Caribbean fans out there who contributed to the sequel's insane box office take last weekend, you might be interested to know that Chow Yun Fat will appear in the third film. As previously reported, he'll be playing Captain Sao Feng. Head over to CHUD.com to see a photo of him in his Chinese pirate costume.

07.12.06

Lost's Yunjin Kim appeared last night on the Late Show with David Letterman. Found a clip on YouTube here. Dave tries his best to speak a little Korean.

07.12.06

Comedian Henry Cho has a his own one-hour comedy special, What's That Clicking Noise? premiering on Comedy Central this Friday, July 14th. Born and raised in Tennessee, he's probably one of the few Asian guys you'll see on TV with a full-blown Southern accent.

07.12.06

Another article on Junichi Semitsu, currently in the middle of the greatest summer job ever, touring—and blogging—with the Dixie Chicks: Hangin' with the Chicks

07.12.06

Over the weekend, China launched a website, www.linese.com, offering free Chinese lessons and materials to promote the study and use of the language abroad: China launches Web site to teach Chinese. Yay.

07.12.06

Asian people popping up in commercials... There's this Mountain Dew commercial that takes place at some weird version of a Shaolin monastery, where they vigorously practice the "slap hands" game. I believe that's Dana Lee as the head monk. It's pretty silly.

Another Asian dude pops up among the many people in this Liberty Mutual ad (he's a courteous driver, no less!) being nice to each other.

Gilette's doing this weird viral marketing campaign revolving around a fake movement, NO SCRUF. Basically, it's trying to get men to shave a little more often. An Asian guy shows up in the short film In Your Dreams, Stubble Boy (about 2/3 in) as an example of a hairless guy women love. I guess that's a stereotype—Asian dudes who can't grow a beard? I mean, I actually know plenty of Asian guys who get pretty scruffy, myself included.

Strangely, I just realized that all these ads, which are seemingly unrelated, feature Asian guys with no hair. What's that all about?

07.12.06

Attention Korean American leaders! I just received some info about an interesting program designed to promote community-based leadership among Korean Americans in Southern California... The Center for Asian Pacific Leadership at the USC School of Social Work recently launched the Network of Korean-American Leaders (NetKAL) Fellowship Program. Learn a little more about it here. They're currently accepting applications for Fall 2006 fellows—the deadline is July 22nd. For more information, contact contact Angela Killoren at killoren@usc.edu.

07.11.06

Vienna Teng's new album, Dreaming Through The Noise will be released on July 25th. She'll be touring all over the country this summer in support of the new album. Since she's sort of an NPR favorite, the album got featured on All Songs Considered's Summer Music Preview. Sounds pretty good...

07.11.06

Tai Shan, everybody's favorite giant panda cub, turned one year old over the weekend. The National Zoo threw a big fat birthday bash in his honor: Panda cub Tai Shan given first birthday bash at US zoo

07.11.06

New York Magazine has an odd feature on the 30th annual Miss Korea New York competition: Body and Seoul. The profiles don't paint a very flattering portrait of these contestants. But man, I had a good laugh when I saw the look on that guy's face in the photo.

07.11.06

This past weekend, about a hundred Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II made a pilgrimmage from Seattle and Portland to the former site of their incarceration, an Idaho camp now designated the Minidoka Internment National Monument: WWII Internees Visit Camp Monument in Idaho

07.11.06

Well, it's really going to happen... New Line Cinema really is remaking Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale. I didn't think they'd go through with it, considering the movie's violent, controversial plot about kids killing each other, and America's post-Columbine jitters. It just seemed untouchable. But it is indeed going to be remade, Hollywood-style, courtesy of Roy Lee and Neal Moritz: Lesson Plan: Kill or Be Killed. I just hope they don't mess it up.

07.11.06

Here's a story on Los Angeles Dodgers Assistant General Manager Kim Ng, said to be the top prospect to become the first female General Manager in Major League Baseball history: Baseball's Female Pioneer

07.08.06

For those interested in some good-ass hip hop, Far East Movement's new album, Folk Music (with Limited Edition Cover by Bobby Hundreds) is currently available at DopeUsa.com. Apparently, they only pressed 1000 copies, so get it while you can.

07.08.06

This week, the Cleveland Indians signed 21-year-old Sung-Wei Tseng of Taiwan to a one year minor league contract: Indians sign Taiwanese pitcher

07.08.06

An update on the 3rd Annual 72 Hour Film Shootout, which took place on June 9-12. Judging is now underway and will be finalized within the week. Winners and awards will be announced at the Shootout Wrap Party on July 12th at MTV in New York. Also, the top 15 films will be showcased at the 29th Annual Asian American International Film Festival on Sunday, July 16th. Can't wait to see the winning film. Fun times.

07.08.06

Hey filmmakers... here's something kind of fun for you. APA Film is now accepting submissions for original video or film trailers, 60 seconds or less, to promote the 7th Annual DC APA Film Festival, which runs September 28th through October 7th. Winner gets a thousand bucks and screens their submission on Opening Night. Fame and glory, baby. For more information, go here. The deadline to submit is August 25th, so get to work.

07.08.06

This is extremely scary... According to a watchdog group, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed "large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists" to join the military: Hate Groups Are Infiltrating the Military, Group Asserts. What a wonderful way to extend global goodwill: racist hate groups in our ranks. When will the madness end?

07.07.06

Been getting a ton of email about this one today... Check out this U.S. Navy/Army educational comic strip from U.S. government's Pocket Guide To China, published in 1942: How To Spot A Jap. It's pretty ridiculous, and racist as hell. Did real, thinking people with guns actually refer to this in trying to distinguish "the enemy"? That is scary. According to page 74, it just comes down to three things: 1) Appearance 2) Feet 3) Pronunciation. And there you go. That's racist!

07.07.06

For those in the Los Angeles area, I just found out that Richad Wong and H.P. Mendoza's Colma: The Musical will be playing on Saturday, July 8th at Outfest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. It's been a consistent fan favorite on the festival circuit this year. Learn more about it here. Next stop: July 15th at the New York Asian American International Film Festival.

07.07.06

Today is Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta's last day on the job: S.J. native cites Bush's faith in him. Thank you, Norm, for your many years of service.

07.07.06

Have you been following the World Cup tournament? My interest sort of waned when the U.S. and the Asian teams got knocked out. However, there's one player worth noting that's still in the finals: Vikash Dhorasoo of France, the only player of Indian descent in the 2006 World Cup. There's more info on him here.

07.07.06

Dave Liang, the guy behind the The Shanghai Restoration Project, has just released a new remix EP called Reinterpretations. Listen to samples at the website. If you liked the original project, you'll probably dig this one. Get it at iTunes.

07.07.06

Here's an article on Senator Joseph Biden's off-color remarks about Indian Americans in Delaware: Biden comments against Indian Americans. According to the article, this isn't the first time a Senate Democrat has insulted Indian Americans. The Hotline, which posted the CSPAN video that caught Biden's comments, got this response from Biden's camp:


"The point Senator Biden was making is that there has been a vibrant Indian American community in Delaware for decades. It has primarily been made up of engineers, scientists and physicians, but more recently, middle class families are moving into Delaware and purchasing family-run small businesses. These families have greatly contributed to the vibrancy of the Indian American community in Delaware and are making a significant contribution to the national economy as well. Senator Biden has tremendous admiration for the Indian American community. They have enjoyed a long-standing relationship of mutual support and respect."


Pretty poor choice of words to make your point, Joe. It doesn't look like he's going to apologize: Biden Defends Remarks

07.07.06

Two royal family members from the island nation of Tonga, Prince Tu'ipelehake, 56, and his wife, Princess Kaimana, 46, were killed in Menlo Park, CA when a teenager racing her car crashed into their SUV: Two Tongan royal family members killed in California car crash. They had been in the United States to discuss political reforms for their country.

UPDATE: Teen pleads not guilty in Tongan crash

07.06.06

Oh, I almost forgot... For those of you in the Portland area, tomorrow morning (July 7th) be sure to tune into KBOO 90.7 FM and catch me on APA Compass, an APA public affairs radio program. I'll be participating in their special "Angry Asian Hour." Should be a good time.

07.06.06

If you're in San Francisco, you might want to take a long lunch tomorrow and check out The Invisible Cities playing downtown at 101 California St., part of the People in Plazas outdoor concert series. They make good music! Check out their MySpace page here.

07.06.06

This year's Emmy Award nominations, recognizing excellence in television, were announced today: Complete List of Prime-Time Emmy Nods. No love for Lost (which won last year's award for Best Drama), but Sandra Oh nabbed a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Heck, maybe she'll even win.

07.06.06

Another politician shoves his foot up his mouth! Way up. Read this over at Sepia Mutiny... C-SPAN cameras caught Delaware Senator Joe Biden happily telling an Indian-American activist that Indian-Americans are the fastest-growing immigrant group in Delaware. How fast? Said Biden, "You cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent..." Oh no he didn't! View the footage here.

07.06.06

The army has charged 1st Lt. Ehren Watada with conduct unbecoming an officer, missing movement and contempt toward officials. You'll recall that Watada made headlines earlier this month when he announced that he was refusing to deploy to Iraq because he believes the war there is illegal: Army charges officer who refused Iraq duty. He could face nearly eight years in prison and a dishonorable discharge if convicted.

07.06.06

Here's another good review of The Motel from the Hollywood Reporter: "Motel" offers finely observed tale of growing pains. It's in the middle of its theatrical run at The Film Forum in New York, so don't miss it, fools! Also be sure to check out the latest podcast edition of Addicted To Race (brought to you by the good people of Mixed Media Watch), where Jen and Carmen interview director Michael Kang and stars Jeffrey Chyau and Sung Kang. It's a pretty darn good conversation.

07.06.06

NPR aired an interesting story on students from abroad coming to the United States for cultural exchange programs... Unfortunately, many of them leave with some pretty terrible experiences: Few Rules Protect Young Foreign Students in U.S.

07.06.06

I have absolutely no desire to see a third Rush Hour movie, but I suppose there's no doubt it'll eventually get made. Latest bit of news, according to Ain't It Cool News, is that Jean Claude Van Damme has signed on to play the main villain. Yes, the Muscles From Brussels. This doesn't really make me want to watch it any more... but the thought of seeing Jackie Chan kicking Van Damme's ass is kind of appealing.

07.06.06

Just read about this interesting-looking POV documentary, Kokoyakyu:
The Greatest Glory
by Kenneth Eng, which aired on PBS this week. It's a look at the incredible popularity of baseball in Japan. I missed it the other night, but it looks like there will be repeat broadcasts. Check your local listings, I guess. Here's a review on it: In 'Kokoyakyu,' Youth Baseball, Japanese Style

07.06.06

The UCLA Hammer Museum is hosting a series of dialogues with noteworthy personalities... Model Jenny Shimizu and Giant Robot publisher Eric Nakmura on July 12th, and comic artists Yoshihiro Tatsumi and Adrian Tomine and July 19th: Hammer Conversations. Sounds pretty interesting. Seating is first-come, first-served, so get there early...

07.05.06

The New York Times ran a lengthy, in-depth profile on Shiva Brent Sharma, currently serving a two- to four-year sentence for identity theft—the first person charged under New York state's identity theft statute: Identity Thief Finds Easy Money Hard to Resist. It's a pretty intriguing story.

07.05.06

Another article on Michelle Wie... A lot of people talk about her like she's all hype with no wins. But dude, she's only sixteen years old. The girl tied for third place at the United States Women's Open last weekend, and is ranked second in the world. And she plays a hell of a lot better than I ever could: The Pressure to Win Is Not Rattling Wie

07.05.06

By now you've probably heard that North Korea test-fired a long-range missile the other day... definitely a provocation, and cause for international concern: North Korea launches missiles, US hold UN talks. This is definitely a situation to keep on (it has been for a while), sure to have direct and indirect repercussions for us Asians living in North America.

07.05.06

Hyphen and the Asian American Writers Workshop have announced a short story competition. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize, publication Hyphen magazine, a one-year subscription to Hyphen and a one-year membership to AAWW. The competition is open to all writers of Asian descent living in the United States and Canada. Think you've got a good story? View submissions guidelines here.

07.05.06

Just heard about this book, Suitcase Sefton And the American Dream by Jay Feldman, about New York Yankees scout in 1942, who comes across an amazing pitching talent in a Japanese American internment camp. I previewed a few pages on Amazon, and I wasn't too impressed with the writing, but the story itself sounds pretty interesting. I'm going to try and pick it up when I get the chance.

07.05.06

This is so cool... Flower Drum Song stars James Shigeta and Nancy Kwan are reuniting to perform in the play Love Letters, as two life-long pen pals: Reunited for 'Love Letters'. I got to see them both back in 2002, when the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival did a retrospective screening of Flower Drum Song. Man, that was fun.

07.05.06

"It has a very positive message." Dr. Miracles, written, directed and starring Randall Park, was recently voted the number one show over at New York's live monthly showcase and website Channel 102. Randall calls it a "riveting hospital drama." Then again, he also calls it "kinda dirty" and "very stupid." Yeah, I thought it was rather gross... and pretty damn funny. Check it out here.

07.05.06

Really interesting story in the New York Times on young basketball players in the multicultural community of Queens: World Court: Basketball in Queens. With cool photos.

07.04.06

This just in... Takeru Kobayashi, 27, set a new world record today by eating 53 3/4 hot dogs in 12 minutes—breaking his own record set two years ago—to win the annual Independence Day hot dog eating competition on Coney Island: Wiener-Eater Wins 6th Straight Contest. The article doesn't seem to indicate how well last year's runner-up Sonya Thomas did in the competition...

UPDATE: This is from the website of the International Federation of Competitive Eating: Koby (53.75) Fights Off Challenge From Chestnut (52). Kobayashi, of course, took first place—his sixth win in a row. Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas took third place, eating 37 hot dogs. You know, good for them. But any way you slice it, that's disgusting.

UPDATE: The runner-up has a few gripes: EATING CONTEST IS DOGGED BY CONTROVERSY

07.03.06

Just wanted to give another plug for Crossing East, the first public radio series on Asian American history, currently airing on public radio stations around the country. It's an eight-part series hosted by George Takei and Margaret Cho. For station airdates and times, check the website here.

07.03.06

Here's a good article on Jeff Adachi's documentary The Slanted Screen: Perpetuating the Yellow Peril. I still haven't been able to check out this film yet. View the official website here. Looks like it's screening next this month at the 29th New York Asian American International Film Festival.

07.03.06

Blade: The Series premiered last week on SpikeTV. Yes, Blade, as in vampire hunter. But not starring Wesley Snipes this time. Instead, they've got some other dude who used to rap with Onyx ("Slam!")... Anyway, Nelson Lee is in the starring cast as "Shen." According to the website:


Don't let the youthful looks fool you. Blade's most trusted partner is a mster weapons maker with the tools, tech, and back-up Blade counts on in his war. Shen's inventions exploit of the few weaknesses their enemies have. Thorwing stars made of pure silver. Ammunition filled with garlic. UV flashflights that can turn a vampire to ash. Working with Blade is a dangerous job for anyone, especially a mere mortal, but Shen's common sense and ingenious designs have saved both of them countless times--not that Blade would ever give him the satisfaction of admitting it.


Ah, of course. The Asian guy is the techie. Still, he looks pretty cool. There's a video interview with him on the website (under "cast").

07.03.06

Here's a crazy story about this Korean accordion player, once a defector from North Korea, now filing for political asylum in the United States, claiming repression by the South Korean government: She's Fled Both Koreas, and Controversy Has Followed

07.03.06

Some news out of Houston about about five suspects who are charged in connection with the deaths of Maria Chrisalee Aparece, 23, and Huy Ngo, 17, who were carjacked, shot and killed: 5 Suspects Face 15 Capital Murder Charges. Aparece's uncle apparently tried to attack one of the suspects in the courtroom during a hearing last week (click on the video link).

07.03.06

This column by Tom Huang was recently posted on poynter.org: Visions of Harold and Kumar:
A Plea for Better Coverage of the Asian Man
. Okay, I get your point... but Harold and Kumar came out like two years ago, dude. Meanwhile, here's a recent article on Kal Penn from Backstage.com: Going Places

07.03.06

Down in the Gulf Coast, the small city of D'Iberville, Mississippi is tired of waiting for Katrina cleanup. Thus, city leaders are hoping to jump-start construction with an unorthodox solution: importing Chinese laborers to build shopping malls, condominiums and casinos: Needing Builders, Gulf City Looks to China. I don't know, I have feeling we might be seeing some anti-Chinese backlash if this goes through...

07.03.06

Check it out... Politickin' Vol. 1, the new album from Chan dropped last week. The album release party's this week, July 5th at The Cutting Room in NYC. All the details are over at www.chanhiphop.com.

07.02.06

Lots of random movie news bites:

What Yao Ming is doing this summer... making a cameo appearance in Dunk, an upcoming basketball-themed movie starring Jay Chou: Yao to have cameo role in Chinese movie. The movie will also feature South Korean pop singer BoA.

I know there are some crazy Wong Kar-Wai fans out there... Twitch points us to a bunch of photos from the set the director's latest film, My Blueberry Nights, starring Norah Jones: A Stack of On Set Pictures From Wong Kar Wai's My Blueberry Nights

This can't be good... apparently, the next movie in the Mummy franchise will be set in China: Fraser and Weisz back for The Mummy 3. According to this article, the mummy in question this time around will be "the desiccated remains of China's first uber-Emperor Qin Shihuang, who wants revenge on those who turned his team into stone all those years ago." I sense this will not be good.

Sandra Oh is featured pretty prominently in this trailer for the thriller The Night Listener.

There's good news and there's bad news.. the good news is, Rob Schneider recently collapsed from heat exhaustion and food poisoning on the set of his directorial film debut: Actor Rob Schneider back after heat wave collapse. No, no, kidding. I wouldn't wish that him. The bad news though, is that Schneider is directing a movie. Not just any movie—it's about "a con artist who is jailed for fraud but takes martial arts lessons to ward off any advances from fellow inmates." I also sense this will not be good.

According to Cinematical, it is rumored that Joss Whedon has expressed "some serious interest" in Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra to play Wonder Woman in the planned movie adaptation. While there's been a ton of internet speculation on who will play the titular, this one's definitely out of left field. But it sounds pretty cool to me.

Here's a bit of news about the independent film Dark Matter, directed by Chen Shi-Zheng, starring Meryl Streep and Chinese star Liu Ye making his American film debut: Aidan Quinn Studies Dark Matter. They announced this a while back... According to the article:


Inspired by a true story, Dark Matter depicts the humor, frustration and heartbreak that results when different cultures collide and communication falters. The film follows the story of Liu Xing, a brilliant Chinese science student, who strives to impress his mentor Jacob Reiser (Quinn) with his theories on the origins of the universe. Helping Liu Xing adapt but unable to protect him from academic politics are Joanna (Streep), a patron of the university with a passion for all things Chinese, and Hildy (Brown), Reiser's secretary.


And here's an article from April 2004 on the true events that inspired Dark Matter: Film on UI shootings brings back pain. Doesn't sound like a feel-good film, does it?

And finally, the following poster was spotted at the New York Licensing Show, and reported over at Ain't It Cool News:



This makes me really sad.

07.02.06

Last week, about 200 Taiwanese American protestors gathered ouside the Irvine City Hall, waving American flags and demanding that the City Council unwind its sister city agreements with China, which the protesters said snubbed their homeland, Taiwan: In Irvine, Taiwanese Miffed Over Sister City Deal. In these agreements, the mayor pledged that the city would recognize the claim of the People's Republic of China as the legitimate government of the island. And another memo signed by a city staffer promised that Irvine would no longer send official delegations to the island, nor play the Taiwanese national anthem or display its flag! As you can imagine, this upset Taiwanese community members. Thus, it didn't take very long for the city to rescind the sister city agreement: Irvine Reverses Its China Policy

07.01.06

Ah yes... Almost forgot to mention that this little movie called Superman Returns opened in theaters week. I actually had the chance to see it a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of executive producer Chris Lee, who happens to be a reader of this website (very cool). Kal Penn is in the movie as Stanford, one of Lex Luthor's henchmen—a minor but significant role, if that makes any sense. He has approximately one line of dialogue (I think he grunted, "I got it," at one point). I should also note that co-screenwriter Michael Dougherty is Vietnamese American. He speaks a little bit about this in an interview here.

07.01.06

Every few weeks or so, we get local story on the "Changing face of ________," whether your talking about Cupertino, San Gabriel or Flushing... Here's the latest article in the New York Times, another one on the Changing Face of Queens: From Small Asian Shops to High-End Stores

07.01.06

Some follow-up on that controversy in New Milford, CT over the childrens' book Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki. The story revolves around a young Japanese American boy whose family was forced to live in an American internment camp during World War II. As you may recall, parents wanted to remove the book from classroom use because it contains an ethnic slur ("Jap"). Although the story obviously uses the word to make a point about prejudice, the school board sided with the couple to remove the book from the kindergarten through third-grade reading list: School board committee votes for book removal. The book will, however, remain in the school libary.

Okay, we all know that "Jap" is not an appropriate word to be teaching to kids... to use. But it's certainly appropriate to illustrate lessons about racism. Kids shouldn't read books like this in a vacuum. If these parents are so concerned about their kids learning racial slurs from a book, they should have the sense to do some parenting and teach them a few lessons about tolerance outside the book as well. Kind of a bummer, because I'd like to know how many other books about the Japanese American internment experience are taught to schoolchildren these days. My guess, probably not that many.

07.01.06

Good article on Lost's Yunjin Kim, about her casting on the show, and some insight on her character's storyline: Yunjin Kim: Across Continents