3.31.2022

They Call Us Bruce 153: They Call Us Turning Red

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

In this episode, we welcome Shirley Li (The Atlantic) and Anita Li (The Green Line) to talk about Meilin Lee and Disney/Pixar's animated feature Turning Red. They discuss the incredible specificity of this Chinese Canadian story, what makes a film "relatable" and why it's so meaningful to let your teen girl characters go "AWOOGA!"


3.30.2022

Silent River Speaks: Getting into the Present with Chris Chan Lee

Guest Post by Jacqueline (Jae) Kim



It's September 2021, year two of the Coronavirus pandemic -- and the world premiere of Silent River at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (otherwise known as 'VC'). Among many of my friends, I haven't seen the director, Chris Chan Lee, in quite a while. After the film, I avoid the crowd and slip out but send Chris an email asking if he'd like to talk about his latest work via Zoom? I feel pretty sure the conversation will be something to document. Five months later, the film has been gaining critical momentum, earning its recent award at the Paris International Film Festival. Here's an excerpt:

Jae: Okay, so -- when I started getting involved with making my own films and eventually my own art projects, I started to see the processes and the results as self-diagnosis.

Chris Chan Lee: Mm.

Jae: How does that sit with you with regards to Silent River?

CCL: Well, you know, when I sit down to write, I never first think about the thematic content. I just think about, like telling the story, right? But I definitely notice a pattern with everything that I do that's not necessarily intentional: it's always about dealing with past and like regret and stuff like that. So that's always inherent in my work.

3.27.2022

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What White Men Say in Our Absence
"I wonder if the men who attacked and killed us are the same men on the Internet who argue that we make better wives because we don't talk or fight back and that we make for easy sex because we are, after all, such easy prey."

* * *

Asian American Women Fight Back
At a self-defense class in New York after the latest anti-Asian attack, one student said, "I feel like I have an army of sisters."

* * *

Sisters Remember Growing Up In Their Parents' Hollywood Laundry Business
For StoryCorps, sisters Suzi and Donna Wong share stories of what it was like growing up just minutes from all the big movie studios in Hollywood, California... but a world away.

* * *

Ke Huy Quan on How 'Crazy Rich Asians' Gave Him FOMO
After a twenty-year hiatus due to limited roles for Asian actors, Ke Huy Quan returns to acting with a role in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

* * *

The Daniels see Everything Everywhere All at Once as a story about generational love
Directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert open up about crafting cinematic love letters.

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Critics be warned: Turning Red is defiantly Asian and female – and there's more to come
Some commentators belonging to the Prime Demographic find they're unable to appreciate Turning Red's non-male, non-white protagonists.

* * *

'Licorice Pizza' made Asians a 'punchline.' And the fallout is bigger than the Oscars
Licorice Pizza's '70s coming-of-age dramedy includes some pretty cringe-worthy depictions of Japanese people.


3.20.2022

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Asian Americans Have Always Lived With Fear
"For some, deep down, my ordinary Korean face — small, shallow-set eyes, round nose, high cheekbones, straight dark hair — reminds them of lost wars, prostitutes, spies, refugees, poverty, disease, cheap labor, academic competition, cheaters, sexual competition, oligarchs, toxic parenting, industrialization or a sex or pornography addiction."

* * *

How the Atlanta Spa Shootings—the Victims, the Survivors—Tell a Story of America
The rampage killed eight people, including six Asian women. But the ripple effects go far, to other countries, continents, and immigrant histories.

* * *

How 'hiya,' 'kapwa' and other cultural values play a role in Filipino American mental health
A deep understanding of cultural values could help Filipino Americans receive mental health support.

* * *

"We're just trying to protect you."
A 20-year-old died of a GHB overdose in an older man's home. For two years, his family has called on police to reopen their investigation.

* * *

Michelle Yeoh Finally Loses Her Cool: "What Have I Got to Lose?"
The ballerina who became a beauty queen who became a Hong Kong martial arts star lets loose onscreen and gets the Hollywood top billing she's long deserved in the madcap metaphysical romp 'Everything Everywhere All at Once.'

* * *

What Turning Red means to me as an AAPI parent
For Clarissa Cruz, eeing a proudly nerdy Chinese Canadian 13-year-old with traditional parents and and supporting friends at the center of a Pixar movie was moving and important.

* * *

"Turning Red" Made Me Feel Understood As a Chinese American Teen
In this review of Pixar's Turning Red, 14-year-old film critic Tabitha Yuen explores how the new animated film accurately represents young Asian girls.


3.18.2022

They Call Us Bruce 152: They Call Us Iris K. Shim

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

In this episode, we welcome Iris K. Shim, writer/director of the feature film Umma. She talks about working with the one and only Sandra Oh, incorporating traditional Korean cultural elements into a horror story, and whether or not her own umma will watch her movie.


3.17.2022

All The Asians On Star Trek 24: Jacqueline Kim

The Podcast In Which We Interview All The Asians On Star Trek.



All The Asians On Star Trek is the podcast in which we interview all the Asians on Star Trek. In Episode 22, we welcome actress Jacqueline Kim. She played the role of Ensign Demora Sulu -- daughter of Hikaru Sulu -- in the 1994 feature film Star Trek: Generations. Her other acting credits include Volcano, Disclosure, Xena: Warrior Princess, ER, The West Wing, Charlotte Sometimes and Advantageous, which she also co-wrote and produced. We discuss her brief stint at the helm of the Enterprise-B, her forays into domestic science fiction, and her evolution as a multi-disciplinary artist, including her recent work as a musician and composer.

3.13.2022

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I'm Done Being Your Model Minority
Author Patricia Park rejects the model minority myth, especially during a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.

* * *

She's Combating a Wave of Anti-Asian Hate
Cynthia Choi, an activist in San Francisco, anticipated the pandemic would lead to more attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She and others are documenting the surge.

* * *

How Did This Many Deaths Become Normal?
The U.S. is nearing 1 million recorded COVID-19 deaths without the social reckoning that such a tragedy should provoke. Why?

* * *

What therapist Christine Catipon tells her Filipino American clients
Clinical psychologist Christine Catipon knows it can be challenging for Filipino Americans to find therapists who come from the same cultural background.

* * *

In Another Life, Ke Huy Quan Was a Star
For his role in Everything Everywhere All at Once, '80s icon Ke Huy Quan called on his past selves.

* * *

With ‘Turning Red,' a Big Red Panda Helps Break a Glass Ceiling
Domee Shi is the first woman filmmaker with sole directing credit on a Pixar feature.

* * *

With Turning Red, Domee Shi Explores Uncharted Animated Waters
The director of Pixar's latest on the joys—and weight—of being a trailblazer.

* * *

The Difficulty of Being a Perfect Asian American
A book and a documentary examine how Asian Americans internalize the myth of the model minority.

* * *

Punk Rock's New Hope: The Ferocious, Joyful Linda Lindas
Fueled by punk conviction (and snacks), this all-girl, school-age band is ready to release its debut album, Growing Up, nearly a year after its song "Racist, Sexist Boy" went viral.

* * *

Shannon Dang "Lives Vicariously" Through Her Kung Fu Character's Wardrobe Shannon Dang, who stars as Althea on the hit CW show Kung Fu, is back for season two. And this time around, the acute attention to cultural details have been elevated even further.

* * *

Long Live the King
Writer Stephanie Foo proves all egg rolls are not created equally.

* * *

'I think I can take that spot'
Davidson's Hyunjung Lee wants to make history in the NBA.


3.11.2022

They Call Us Bruce 151: They Call Us Domee Shi

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

In this episode, we welcome Oscar-winning filmmaker Domee Shi, writer/director of the Pixar animated feature Turning Red. They discuss making an unapologetically Asian Canadian story, intergenerational drama, releasing the beast within, and accepting your whole self -- even your whole self is a giant red panda.


3.06.2022

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'No longer completely invisible': New book explores Asian American pop history from '90s till today
"A nearly 500-page collage of comics, essays and interviews, RISE is a homage to the seminal moments in sports, politics and entertainment that came to define contemporary Asian American culture."

* * *

From 'The Joy Luck Club' to 'Crazy Rich Asians,' a new book hopes to 'fill in the blanks'
"So much of the way that Asians are perceived is because someone else has been writing the rules of what it means to be Asian American and Asian in this country. We wanted to create our own narrative where we have some agency in the way that it's told."

* * *

Bay Area natives’ new book, a wide-ranging cultural tapestry, charts Asian Americans' long rise
For the record, while Philip and I hail from the Bay Area, Jeff is a born and bred New Yorker.

* * *

Can a Restaurant Become a Second Home?
Years after filmmaker Bao Nguyen left his suburban home for college in New York City, he's begun to search local restaurants for a taste of home.

* * *

Meet Emma Eun-joo Choi, NPR's newest (and youngest) host
Emma Eun-joo Choi is the host of Everyone & Their Mom, an off-shoot of her work on NPR's long standing Wait Wait Don't Tell Me news and comedy program.

* * *

Patti Harrison Means It (Except When She Doesn't)
The rising star of comedy discusses I Think You Should Leave, corporatized wokeness, A.D.H.D., and humor that swerves between sarcasm and sincerity.

* * *

After Yang Asks: "What Makes Someone Asian?"
In his stunning new film After Yang, Kogonada dissects identity through a thoughtful sci-fi story.


3.04.2022

They Call Us Bruce 150: They Call Us RISE

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

In this episode, recorded on the eve of our long-anticipated book release, we welcome co-author Philip Wang and project manager Jes Vu, our co-conspirators on RISE: A Pop History of Asian America From the Nineties to Now. We discuss some exclusive behind-the-scenes details on the making of the book, including The Good, The Bad and The WTF.


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