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9.19.2008

take out opening in southern california



After a successful theatrical run in New York earlier this summer, Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou's indie feature Take Out opens today in Southern California. Here's an article on the movie from the OC Register: Film shows plight of Chinese illegal immigrant.

The movie is a day in the life of Ming Ding, an illegal Chinese immigrant working as a deliveryman for a Chinese take out restaurant in New York City. Ming is behind with payments on his huge debt to the smugglers who brought him to the U.S., and the collectors have given him until the end of the day to deliver what he owes. After borrowing most of the money from friends and relatives, Ming realizes that the remainder must come from the day's delivery tips—more than double his average daily income.

I really enjoyed this film. It's not perfect, but I loved its fearless, do-it-yourself verite aesthetic. In a gritty, social-realist style, the camera follows Ming on his deliveries throughout the city. It could almost be mistaken for documentary, and I love that quality.

The film is scheduled to screen at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood, Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, Edwards Westpark 8 in Irvine, Laemmle's Fallbrook 7 in West Hills, and at the Edwards Atlantic Palace 10 in Alhambra, CA. Filmmakers Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou will be in attendance at select Southern California screenings this weekend for Q&As:

FRIDAY, 9/19
Sean Baker- Laemmle SUNSET: 5:10pm, 7:35pm
Shih-Ching Tsou - Laemmle PLAYHOUSE: 5:10pm, 7:30pm

SATURDAY, 9/20
Sean Baker- Laemmle SUNSET: 5:10pm, 7:35pm
Shih-Ching Tsou- Edwards WESTPARK 8: 2:45pm, 5:15pm, 7:30pm

SUNDAY, 9/21
Sean Baker- Edwards WESTPARK 8: 2:45pm, 5:15pm
Shih-Ching Tsou- Regal Edwards ATLANTIC PALACE 10: 12:50pm, 3:05pm
Shih-Ching Tsou- Laemmle PLAYHOUSE: 5:10pm, 7:30pm

You can read my review of the film from a few months ago here. At long last, the spotlight is on the forgotten delivery guy! For too long, he's been on the sidelines just delivering the Chinese food. But he's got a story too, and here, it comes into full view. To view the trailer, go here. For more information about the movie, visit the Take Out website here.