Film Festival Dispatch: Strong Asian American representation at SXSW 2015

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South By Southwest (SXSW) is the new Comic-con. A convergence of music, film, interactive, food, comedy, and everything else underneath the Sun, this massive series of conferences in one of the coolest cities in the US really showed its excess this year. Throw in TV in the mix, and SXSW has become the Howard Stern equivalent of “King of all media.” For many newbies, this did not disappoint, but for old timers like me, I long for the days when SX was a little smaller, weirder (this would be pre-Foursquare).

5 Asian Characters ‘Downton Abbey’ Can Work Into Its Final Season

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As you can tell from the photo above, the popular British TV series Downton Abbey isn’t the most diverse show around. But considering it’s set in the early 20th Century world of the British aristocracy and their servants, it’s hard to fault the program for being so white (aside from that one already-forgotten black recurring character from two seasons ago). However, with the recent announcement that next season will be Downton Abbey’s last, there’s still time to add a little bit of diversity with the inclusion of an Asian face or two. So to help creator/writer Julian Fellowes with this task, here are my suggestion for five Asian characters that could find their way to the Abbey:

1) CHINESE OPIUM ADDICT

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Frankly, I’m surprised the show hasn’t already used this trope—the Limehouse Chinatown district was known at that time for all sorts of illicit and immoral shenanigans and would be the perfect setting for Downton Abbey’s version of its “Chinatown episode”. Since Lady Edith continues to be the character that everyone shits on, she could run away from home because her illegitimate baby was taken away from her or Lady Mary got a pony and she didn’t or whatever slight she’s suffered that week. She finds her way to the Limehouse district where she is easily seduced by a nefarious Chinese opium addict/dealer who gets her hooked on the drug and plans to sell her as a sex slave.

CAAMFest 2015: An Interview with Wong Fu’s Philip Wang on directing AFTER US playing in FALLING shorts program

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YOMYOMF is a community co-presenter for CAAMFest, the annual San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, presented by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The Festival kicks off today, March 12 and ends on March 22 in the East Bay. For the full film and events listing, and to buy tickets visit the official website.

We continue our CAAMFest Filmmaker Spotlight by interviewing Philip Wang, the director of the short film AFTER US, which is playing with other love themed shorts in a program called FALLING. Wang is also part of the Internet filmmaking powerhouse known as Wong Fu Productions.

Agents of SHIELD — Season 2, Episode 12 — “Who You Really Are” Review & Recap

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(Spoilers ahead)

“Who You Really Are,” the 12th episode of this amazing season, delivered the goods. This was, perhaps, my favorite episode so far, because it struck a nice balance between the current SHIELD mythology, Skye’s struggle to hide her new powers, and a major MCU thread with Lady Sif’s second appearance on the show.

The episode starts on a beach in Portugal, where a bunch of teens are hanging out around a bonfire, singing songs, until a mysterious figure, holding a sword, walks out from the ocean. It’s Lady Sif, but she seems to have lost her memory and is asking “where kava is.” When one of the young lotharios tries to pick her up, she throws him across the beach.

CAAMFest 2015: An interview with HOLLOW director Ham Tran + Win a Pair of Free Tickets to the Screening!

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YOMYOMF is a community co-presenter for CAAMFest, the annual San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, presented by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The Festival kicks off this Thursday, March 12 and ends on March 22 in the East Bay. For the full film and events listing, and to buy tickets visit the official website.

We continue our CAAMFest Filmmaker Spotlight by interviewing Ham Tran, the director of the Vietnamese horror film, HOLLOW. A relatively new genre in the burgeoning market of Vietnamese cinema, the film was a box office hit when it was released last summer in Vietnam.

CAAMFest 2015: An interview with SEOUL SEARCHING director Benson Lee

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This year we are a community co-presenter for CAAMFest, the annual San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, presented by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The festival kicks off this Thursday, March 12, with ’80s set Korean American teen comedy SEOUL SEARCHING directed by Benson Lee (PLANET B-BOY, MISS MONDAY).

We saw the film at Sundance, where it had its world premiere, and really liked it! It was definitely one of many highlights in Park City and we’re stoked to be co-promoting this film for its Bay Area premiere!

So, we did a quick interview with Benson Lee, the writer-director of SEOUL SEARCHING and here’s what he has to say:

Win More CAAMFest Tickets for Opening Night Film SEOUL SEARCHING, Vietnamese horror HOLLOW, and FALLING Shorts Program w/ Wong Fu!

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You may have already read about our current promotional ticket giveaway for SEOUL SEARCHING, the Opening Night film of the 2015 CAAMFest (formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival), which kicks off this Thursday, March 12. The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it earned great reviews. Remember that our SEOUL SEARCHING Opening Night ticket giveaway ends tomorrow, March 8 at NOON PST (don’t forget it’s daylight savings), so make sure to send those tweets of your favorite thing from the ’80s to win free tickets to this Korean American ode to John Hughes movies.

Do you live in the San Francisco area? We’re also giving away a couple pairs of tickets to two other CAAMFest film programs — A horror film set in Vietnam and a love themed shorts program featuring the latest short from Wong Fu Productions!

Quadrophenia And The Exaggerated Melancholy Of Youth

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Recently I’ve been rearranging and down sizing a lot my stuff, which meant getting rid of at least two of the six crates of vinyl records I own.  These days, I rarely take the trouble to pull them out of the sleeve, put them on the turntable, and lower the needle, as CDs and iPhone playlists have taken their place, but I came across a copy of The Who’s “Quadrophenia” I bought in high school, and it hit me like a freight train.

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They don’t make um like Leonard Nimoy anymore

2014 LA Asian Pacific Film Festival Opening Night Premiere Of "To Be Takei"

I had the great pleasure and honor of meeting Mr. Leonard Nimoy last year when I presented the film TO BE TAKEI at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. He was already ailing, with the possibility that we would have to make special arrangements at the venue to have his vehicle take him around back and he was going to enter via wheelchair and we would escort him to his seat.

But, he showed up, standing tall and walking, alongside his wife and assistant, and greeted staff and volunteers with grace. He still wanted to sneak through the back and not go on the red carpet. I assume, partly because the man was in pain but also, because it was George Takei’s night to shine, as the Festival presented the LA premiere of his documentary.

Ten Reasons Why LA Zine Fest Rocks

James Chong and Jesse Fillingham of Never Press

James Chong and Jesse Fillingham of Never Press

1 Zines. LA Zine Fest is not a craft show disguised as a zine fest like A.P.E. It actually celebrates zines. In fact the organizers demand you show zines and not crafts, t-shirts, etc.

2 Power of Zines. LA Zine Fest has raised the bar for zines in LA. Where was the zine scene a few years ago before the LA Zine Fest? They lived in everyone’s bedrooms.

3 Low Priced Tables. Anyone can afford a table at the zine fest. You can also choose between a full table or a half table. We’re talking sub $100 and sub $50 to have perhaps a few thousand or more see your work.

Berlinale Festival Dispatch: Iranian and British films shined in a lackluster year

The cast of MR. HOLMES starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Laura Linney, and Sir Ian McKellan

The cast of MR. HOLMES starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Laura Linney, and Sir Ian McKellan

After a great Sundance Film Festival, it was a little disheartening that this year’s Berlinale aka Berlin International Film Festival did not keep up with the upward trend of quality films. Instead, it was a hodge podge of films that didn’t really crackle with me or the audiences, which felt like apathy was becoming the norm as each day went by. For a lineup that boasted such new works from internationally known maestros like Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Peter Greenaway, Terence Malick, Isabel Coixet and Jiang Wen, it was even more depressing that their latest films were limp on arrival. Even more depressing was the fact that the world premiere of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, based on a trash novel, was a trashy movie with a pulse and the over capacity audience went absolutely bananas for the film.

All I Need are Some Tasty Waves and Cookies

Just ‘cause it’s cool:

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Reddit user photosonny transformed Japanese artist Hokusai’s “Mount Fuji Seen Below a Wave at Kanagawa”—one of the world’s best known works of art—into something that the residents of Sesame Street would all be proud of.