Sundance 2015 Dispatch: Daily Buzz Podcast Episodes 1, Strong Horror Fare & Coming-of-Age Stories

INDEPENDENT

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Although today is Day 3 of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, it feels like I’ve been here a week already. Sundance is always a major scene and I’ve seen almost a dozen films already. If there were emerging themes from this year’s film program, then it would definitely be coming-of-age titles and a strong horror and midnight section.

THE WITCH broke out of the gates with rave reviews and a verisimilitude and authenticity, and also well crafted scares and slow burn horror that fits perfectly with this Salem era period piece that doesn’t do any smarmy metaphors and immediately sets in stone that yes, the witch is a witch, she’s evil and she’s there to tear some shit up.

Sundance 2015 Preview: A Banner Year for Asian American filmmakers?

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INDEPENDENTYOMYOMF will be reporting from the Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off tomorrow night through February 1st in Park City, Ogden, and Salt Lake City. Known as the mecca of American independent film, the Festival has jumpstarted many careers in the film industry and has become a discovery festival of artists and works that frame the American lexicon of filmed entertainment and pop culture.

Of course, YOMYOMF founder Justin Lin’s BETTER LUCK TOMORROW premiered there in 2002, where years later, Justin has returned to Sundance in various capacities, as an advisor, a juror, panelist, and sponsor. The 2015 edition of the festival is a landmark year for Asian Americans (much like the BLT year of 2002), with an unprecedented 30 Asian American artists, ranging from directors, to producers, cinematographers, and actors who will preside in Park City in the next 10 days via Sundance and also the Slamdance Film Festival.

A Return to ’0506HK’

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My ex-boss Director Peter Chan ruminated with me about my own future in 0506HK

My ex-boss Director Peter Chan ruminated with me about my own future in 0506HK

After almost 10 years since I started making my first documentary feature 0506HK, I was brought back to my little known and seen film by a festival in Kochi, India, which is showcasing it in their “Make Belong” program as part of Kochi-Muzuris Biennale. Right after Ethan Mao between 2005 and 2006, I picked up a prosumer HD camcorder and decided to make a film about my own search for identity. I had just turned 35 and I was wondering if I should return to my birthplace—Hong Kong—to live and make films.

So Building a Snowman Just Became Unacceptable if You’re a Muslim?

ORIGINAL

At least according to Saudi cleric Mohamed Saleh Al Minijed who just issued a fatwa (religious edict) banning the building of snowmen and apparently snow camels.

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Why? Because when you build a snowman, you are trying to “replicate human beings with eyes, a nose and a head” and that is clearly a no-no. Ok, that’s certainly an original reason, but he does make one exception if you must build a snowman: make it headless.

“Hey kids, come out and see this cool snowman I built. Without a head!” Not traumatic at all.

Why the Adult Diaper Industry is About to Make Bank in the Philippines

ORIGINALIf you’re currently living in the Philippines (a heavily Catholic country), then you are most likely not only aware of the Pope’s visit next week, but have already made plans to see his Holiness. However, if this is the case, you should plan on wearing adult diapers.

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Why?

Because apparently, with the close to 6 million expected to attend his final mass on Jan. 18 in Manila, authorities are saying there will not be enough toilets to handle such a big crowd. So what better option than to wear the diapers which, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, can absorb up to “four rounds of urination.”

Oh-kay…uh, that’s certainly an original solution to the problem.

Our Friend Randall Park is Being Demolished! We Can’t Let This Outrage Happen!

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I woke up this morning with such optimism for the new year, only to be greeted by this disturbing headline:

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Our good friend Randall Park, the star of the current The Interview and upcoming ABC series Fresh off the Boat, a talented actor who has been a longtime part of the YOMYOMF family in projects like this and this and this, an all-around good guy and family man, a lover of puppies and kittens even if they’re not housebroken and poop all over your new Persian rug, is being demolished. We’re talking about this man who exudes nothing but innocence, boyishness and good will:

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Actually, let’s go with this pic instead:

It’s Never Too Late to Say I Love You

WONDERLANDEarlier this year, I came across an essay written by Candice Chung titled “Why Chinese Parents Don’t Say I Love You” from a friend’s Facebook page. As a first generation Chinese immigrant from Hong Kong, even though I know there’s much truth in the essay, it’s never too late to say “I love you” to your Chinese parents and vice versa.

Joan Chen and BD Wong hug Booboo Stewart in White Frog

Joan Chen and BD Wong hug Booboo Stewart in White Frog

About a decade earlier, my mom started saying “I love you” to me after every phone conversation. I was already in my mid-thirties and I thought in the beginning that it definitely felt new and different. Perhaps because I was Asian and a guy, I was slightly awkward at PDA for most of my life. Not long after she started, she got me to say “I love you” back to her. In the back of my mind, I would wonder why I had to say it because it was obvious. Is saying “I love you” overstating a fact? Can’t you tell from my actions and behavior that I do love you?

Do the Crayon Pop Christmas Jelly Leg Dance!

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WONDERLANDYes, Christmas is over, but I am so late in the game, catching up on my K-Pop for the year. KoreAm just listed 12 K-Pop Christmas songs and Crayon Pop’s “Lonely Christmas” was on the list.

I love Crayon Pop ever since their hit single “Bar Bar Bar” came out a couple of years ago. They’re the 21st century version of Pink Lady, a Japanese girl duo group that had minor success in the US, and an all female Power Rangers team. And they do simple, wonky dance moves that even I can do. And with “Lonely Christmas,” they’ve done it again with their “jelly leg” dance, which I think I am going to bust out on the dance floor next time. Watch out, ladies!

Happy Holidays (and don’t forget your shoes)!

WONDERLAND

A Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Holidays of your choice to all our readers! And if you have no holiday plans, may I suggest a viewing of quite possibly one of the best Christmas movies ever produced—Die Hard. Or as this Asian bootleg cover reminds us, someone please get Bruce Willis some shoes for Christmas:

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Or if dying hard isn’t enough to get you into the holiday spirit, let The Guardian Peanuts of the Galaxy give it a shot:

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Flash Fact: It would still take you 22 years to confess to the woman you love

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DOMINIC

Dominic Mah is a writer, director, erratic blogger at dommah.com, and rock musical enthusiast. He recently co-wrote a feature film about superheroes and sidekicks. He is working on a startup comic book. He is often found in karaoke bars being @dommah and@thorhulkcritic.

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In this week’s THE FLASH, Barry finally kokuhakus Iris. Kokuhaku is a wonderful Japanese term I learned from the DVD extras of the Japanese film LINDA LINDA LINDA (an excellent Japanese-schoolgirl-rock-band film, if you’re into that sort of thing). Means roughly, “sudden confession,” with the implication that it is a confession of long-held unrequited love.

This Week in Internet Cuteness: Korean Golfer Boy Throws Tantrum

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After all the sad and depressing news these past couple of weeks, we’re overdue for a shot of internet cuteness to get us through the day. So meet this 2-year-old Korean golfer who definitely knows how to throw the most adorable tantrum when his second putt fails to make it into the hole.