The San Diego Asian Film Foundation Presents A Full Week of Korean Cinema
The Korean Cinema Showcase showing at Hazard Center Madstone Theaters in Mission Valley, CA, Nov. 7-13th. Courtesy of Sdaff.org
Just weeks after its most successful annual film festival, the San Diego Asian Film Foundation launches its Korean Cinema Showcase, a week of films from South Korea, on Nov. 7-13th at the Hazard Center Madstone Theaters in Mission Valley, California. The showcase is co-presented by Los Angeles' Korean Cultural Center and will feature six feature-length films:
- "Musa" - The showcase's headliner, is Korea's highest budgeted film to date, starring Zhang Zi-Yi ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"). This film is an action-adventure about Korean envoys who rescue a Ming princess in 14th century China, hoping her return will restore their honor and relations between their countries.
Showtime: 12 noon (except Friday, the 7th) and 6pm
Friday - Sunday, Nov. 7-9.
- "Libera Me" - An action-thriller with firefighters racing against time, battling a serial arsonist to save their city.
Showtime: 3:15pm (except Friday, the 7th) and 9:30pm
Friday - Sunday, Nov. 7-9.
- "Art Museum by the Zoo" - A contemporary romantic comedy about a soldier on leave who visits his fiance, only to find she's marrying someone else and that another woman has moved in.
Monday - Friday, Nov. 10-13
- "A Day" - A romantic drama about a couple trying to survive the hardships of life. The love of Jin-won and her husband Suk-yun is tested when their long-awaited pregnancy threatens to become a heart-breaking crisis.
Showtime: 2:45pm and 7:30pm
Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 10-11
- "Butterfly" - A futuristic film about an "Oblivion Virus" that erases the memory of its victims, who return to a Korea beset by environmental waste and civil unrest, searching to renew their lives.
Showtime: 2:45pm and 7:30pm
Thursday and Friday, Nov. 12-13
- "The Isle" - A shocking art-house drama about sexual manipulation set in the countryside.
Monday - Friday, Nov. 10-13
OPM Hits the Stage with "I Can't Believe They're Not Oriental!"
"I Can't Believe They're Not Oriental!" the latest production by L.A.'s Asian American sketch comedy group OPM, will be playing from Oct. 30th to Nov. 16th at the McCadden Place Theatre (1157 N. McCadden Pl., Los Angeles). The show is part of this year's Los Angeles Fest of Sketch (LAFS) and runs for 7 dates. "I Can't Believe They're Not Oriental!" directed by Eddie Mui is a comedy extravaganza that features superheroes, dirty dancers and absurd Asian American situations with guest appearances by Kim Jong Il and George Bush. The show stars actors Ewan Chung, Beau Danner, William Fuentes, Charles Kim, Heeli Kim-Jeng, Mai Lee, Russ Riggins, Diana Toshiko and DC Wolfe.
For more info on OPM and the show, visit opmcomedy.com.
Unity and Empowerment at the Asian American Music Conference 2003
The first Asian American Music Conference (AAMC) will be held Saturday, Nov. 15th from 8am-4pm at the Crowne Plaza San Francisco International Airport. The one-day conference, produced by Prime Image Media Group (www.prime-image.com), is designed to meet the needs of the phenomenol rise in Asian American talent and to provide expert insight to those who aspire to become an Asian face in the mainstream music scene. The day will feature Asian American music professionals who will share their experience in the industry and ideas on how to continue the success of Asian American musicians/artists. Networking opportunities and informational/commercial booths by music business services will also be provided. The conference panelists and guest speakers will touch upon topics such as music production, touring, building the unsigned artist, artist management, marketing with advanced technology, communicating as a voice for the community, distribution and media.
Christina Luna, Director of Entertainment for Prime Image Media Group, stated: "I wanted to create AAMC as a way for the Asian community to come together, and to get one step closer to being the next wave of ethnic artists to hit mainstream. The conference seeks to unify and empower the Asian American music professionals."
For more info, please visit: asianamericanmusicconference.com
Asian New Classics at AFI Fest 2003
A still from Mang Jing's "Blind Shaft" (banned by China) premiering at the AFI Fest 2003 in Los Angeles. Courtesy of Afi.com
The 17th AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival returns to the ArcLight in Hollywood (6360 Sunset Boulevard at Ivar. For more info: arclightcinemas.com) on Nov. 6-16th with over 140 new films from around the world.
The longest running festival in Los Angeles (and one of the most anticipated film festivals in the states) presents an international competition of features, documentaries and shorts as well as global cinema showcases including Asian New Classics, celebrating the best of recent Asian cinema with the premieres of:
- "Blind Shaft" (China/Germany/100 min.)
- "The Blessing Bell" (Japan/87 min.)
- "Blue Gate Crossing" (Taiwan/France/82 min.)
- "Chinese Odyssey 2002" (Hong Kong/105 min.)
- "The Coast Guard" (Korea/95 min,)
- "Dolls" (Japan/113 min.)
- "Double Agent" (Korea/120 min.)
- "Drifters" (China/Taiwan/120 min.)
See: www.international.ucla.edu/asia for showtimes and film synopses.
The 24th Annual Japan Expo 2003
The 24th Annual Japan Expo. Courtesy of Japanexpo.org
Japan Expo 2003 will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from Nov.15-16 at the South Hall G, 1201 S. Figueroa St., with show hours 10am-7pm on Saturday and 10am-6pm on Sunday.
This will be the event's 24th year as the largest indoor US-Japan event that was originally started in an effort to strengthen relations between the United States and Japan. This year's expo salutes the 150th anniversary of Commodore Matthew Perry's arrival in Japan, and will feature an exhibition of three aspects of Commodore Perry's mission to Japan in 1853-1854: "The Black Ships," "Encounters," and "Portraits." (Contact the UCLA Asia Institute at (310) 825-0007 or stop by their offices at 11288 Bunche Hall for $2 off discount coupons).
A wide-range of exhibits, including special sections donated by a professor from MIT and sponsored by the Japanese consul general of Japan, will be featured this year. The two-day event will focus on "The Best of Japan" presenting Japanese traditional culture through a multitude of exhibits including fine art, automobiles and custom cars, anime-manga, games, arts and crafts, health products, a lavish food court and more.
Japan Expo 2003 is sponsored by Albertsons, Citibank, SBC, American Airlines, Yamaha, Nissan, Nippon Express Travel and media sponsors KSCI-TV, Rafu Shimpo, Suishi & Tofu. The Japan Expo 2003 is produced by Japan Expo Foundation.
Tickets are $8.00 in advance and are available on-line. At the door, tickets for adults are $10.00, with children 11 years and under admitted free. For public information, call Japan Expo Foundation at (213) 617-0868 and visit: japanexpo.org.
Screening of Johnnie To's "PTU" at UCLA
The UCLA Film and Television Archive presents a sneak preview of the Los Angeles premiere of "PTU," with an appearance by director Johnnie To on Nov. 15th at UCLA's James Bridges Theater, Melnitz Hall at 7:30pm.
To's Milky Way production company, which he formed with frequent collaborator Wai Ka-fai, has become Hong Kong's greatest outlet of quality filmmaking. Otherwise known as the 'Jerry Bruckheimer of Hong Kong,' To boasts an eclectic and expansive filmography, ranging from almost every genre and featuring almost every major Hong Kong movie star.
"PTU" is a minimalist crime drama in which To combines the existential cruelty of American film noir with the masterful pacing of his own "The Mission." When detective Lam Suet loses his gun, two elite Police Tactical Units step in to retrieve it and soon find themselves entangled between a gang war and an Internal Affairs investigation. Hong Kong star Simon Yam is suave as a PTU cop with a knack for suspect interrogation, and Lam Suet's character performance gives the film its substance.
The film is stylishly clever and brilliantly choreographed as an extended set-piece unraveling in one night. "PTU" has been released as an all-region DVD and VCD, and has garnered much attention at international film festivals (such as the Seattle International Film Festival, where To received the Asian Trade Winds Award).
$8 online/$7 at the door. Students, seniors, and UCLA alumni with ID - $5, at the door only; 310-206-FILM.
The Soundtrack of "The Last Samurai" to be Released on Elektra
On Nov. 25th, Elektra Records will release Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer's score from the highly-anticipated epic action-drama "The Last Samurai," starring Tom Cruise, Timothy Spall, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, Tony Goldwyn, Hiroyuki Sanada and Koyuki.
This will be the 100th film score for Hanz Zimmer, who began his film music career in the mid 1980s. Zimmer is widely considered to be the pioneer of integrating electronic sound with traditional orchestral arrangements. His celebrated works include "The Lion King," for which Zimmer won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Grammy and a Tony, in addition to six other Oscar-nominated scores, including those for Best Picture winners "Rain Man" and "Driving Miss Daisy," along with "The Thin Red Line," "As Good As it Gets," "The Preachers Wife" and "The Prince of Egypt."
His other credits include "Mission Impossible 2," "Black Hawk Down," "A League of Their Own," "True Romance, the Grammy-winning Crimson Tide," and five films with director Ridley Scott, including "Thelma & Louise," "Hannibal," the multi-award winning "Gladiator" and, most recently, "Matchstick Men."
"The Last Samurai" is set in Japan in the 1870s and tells the story of Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), an American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the Japanese army the art of modern warfare, breaking away from the long-held tradition of samurai fighting. As the government tries to eradicate the army to wipe out the remaining samurai warriors, Algren is captured by the samurai and learns about their honor code from their leader, Katzumoto, instilling heavy contemplation in the hired officer as to which side he actually wants to fight for.
In Elektra's official press release notes, Zimmer states: "The first obstacle I faced with this score was that Japanese music can be truly inaccessible to most Western audiences. So I needed to immerse Cruise's Algren character into this foreign world to such a degree that it ultimately becomes his home. The key to this was a concept I formed right at the beginning of the project: writing Western melodies informed by a Japanese aesthetic, to find a way of contrasting the romanticism of America with the formality and stillness of Japan. So I wrote a typically overblown, restless, and, ultimately, very Western theme for Algren; but one that also develops alongside the character as he's drawn towards Katzumoto's peaceful themes concerning power and nature."
Zimmer made great use of the large, wooden Japanese Taiko drum and electronic engineering in order to capture the formality of Japanese culture. "Everybody uses Taikos in their scores these days, but I felt that nobody had ever really captured their awesome and emotional power... I spent three weeks recording and manipulating around 10,000 Taiko hits electronically until they started to sound natural, and then selected the best ones by their emotional resonance."
"The Last Samurai" will be released nationwide by Warner Bros. Pictures this winter on Dec. 5th. The Elektra Records soundtrack will be in stores on Nov. 25th.
Giant Robot is Expanding to Northern Cali
The original Giant Robot retail store opened in October 2001, located at 2062 Sawtelle Blvd. in Los Angeles and is expanding upward. A new Giant Robot retail store is set to open in San Francisco at 622 Shrader St. on Nov. 28th. Giant Robot magazine began in 1994 as a simple staple-and-fold publication and has grown into a glossy color magazine that is sold internationally, covering the best of Asian pop culture.. For more info on the new store, go to: GR-SF.com
Margaret Cho Revolutionizes Fashion
Ground-breaking comedian, equal rights activist and now fashion entrepreneur, Margaret Cho, has released her very own clothing line called 'High Class Cho' with the assistance of revolutionary designer, Ava Stander. Together, they have created a web-based clothing line for women that defies media standards for "thin."
In the official press release, Cho states: "I love clothes and I hate shopping for them. Nothing fits me. It all feels constricting, uncomfortable, fragile, unfathomably small, prohibitively expensive. Underneath, a deeper meaning: I don't belong here. These costly items of conspicuous consumption are not for me." She also refers to retail clothing as "a size hierarchy. The greater the number, the worse the indictment. All that changed when I saw Ava's clothing designs."
Stander says that "High Class Cho is reminiscent of the glamorous fashions of the '40s, where screen sirens of every shape filled each frame with infinite possibility, mystery and desire." The clothes come in three sizes of "Audrey" (Hepburn), "Marilyn" (Monroe) and "Anita" (Ekberg). Says Cho: "You can get your clothes in 'Calista' but you'll have to special order them and it could take up to six weeks."
Shop directly at: highclasscho.com
Joseph Hahn Takes on King Rat and More Linkin Park Videos
Linkin Park's DJ Joseph Hahn has purchased the option rights to shoot a movie based on China Mieville's 1998 novel, "King Rat," a book about a young London drifter who is wrongly jailed for the murder of his father. The character is rescued from authorities by the King Rat, who claims to be his real parent and the leader of a rodent army driven out of Haemlin 700 years ago. King Rat trains the young boy to fight the man who framed him for murder, the Rat Catcher who is a flautist that works his melodies into drum 'n' bass to turn London's dance scene into his own army.
Hahn stated at the premiere of Jack Black's "School of Rock": "I'm still developing it, but it's a horror thriller and it's a modern-day tale of the Pied Piper... My agent gave me the book and I loved it. It had a lot of elements I like. A lot of fantasy, a lot of modern-day culture, some background of drum 'n' bass music - so a little bit of everything I'm into."
Hahn is uncertain when he will begin pre-production on the movie, as he is currently tied up with his band's tour schedule which lasts through the end of this year.
He has recently finished the band's music video for "From the Inside," which he shot in Prague, Czech Republic along with "Numb." "From the Inside" is scheduled to be the next international single, although Hahn hopes to release it in the states as well.
"It's actually one of the best videos we've done," the DJ said. "It's about a riot that happens. We basically took over a historic square in Prague and let 400 people loose and we performed in the middle of the riot. It's basically a display of someone's power."
The video may be included on Linkin Park's upcoming live DVD, which Hahn said was shot primarily at a Summer Sanitarium Tour stop in Texas and will be released before the holidays.
Asian Model Expo 2003
The two biggest major pin-up/glamour model shows in the U.S., Glamourcon and the Asian Model Expo, will be held in conjunction this year at the Los Angeles Airport Radisson Hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 15 & 16th. Glamourcon, an event which has hit the country more than thirty times, will celebrate its 33rd anniversary this year and will feature dozens of Playboy Playmates including current Playmate of The Year, Christina Santiago, as well as plenty of vintage and contemporary pin up model favorites.
The Asian Model Expo offers the opportunity for fans to mingle with top Asian car show and internet models, create an opportunity for aspiring models to network, and offer exposure to models to get signed or cast by agents, photographers or fashion industry representatives. A competition will be held each day of the expo where attendees will get the opportunity to vote for their favorite model. This "People's Choice Award" allows models to quality for 1st Prize ($500), 2nd Prize ($250), 3rd Prize ($125), 4th Prize ($75) and 5th Prize ($50).
This year's Expo models include: Diana Sang , Candace Kita, Jessica Wong, Kaleina Kruz, Sara (Asian Dime), Gina, Kay Lim, Lorabel Rey, Rowena Galam, Mia Crowe, Anna Valenzuela, Kate Wang, Natalia Jeanpierre, Amber White, Arlene Flores, Vanessa Graw, Tai LaVay, Shantelle, Lena Yada, Shawny, Lisa, Missy, Flo Jalin, Josie Rivera, Tia Kai and Gauge (only the majority of the models at the Asian Model Expo are Asian, not all).
- $20.00 Regular entrance price at the door
- $15.00 Pre-sale ticket price, on-line, phone, walk-in (Creations Office), and attended events, up to the day before the event.
- $10.00 Models and Vendors Guest Pass per additional person
(Separate Admission required for Glamourcon)
*This event is for persons 18 and over only.
Date & Times: Nov. 15 & 16th, 2003
Saturday from 11am to 6pm
Sunday from 12pm to 5pm
Celebrating "Women In Music, Movement and The Moment"
Highways Performance Space and Katalyst Productions presents a Treasure In The House Series of "Women In Music, Movement and The Moment" curated by writer, performing artist and poet, Traci Kato Kiriama. The event will take place Friday - Sunday, Nov. 21-23rd at 8:30pm at the 18th Street Arts Complex in Santa Monica, CA (1651 18th St.).
Come join this charitable and eclectic evening of hip hop, dance, poetry and performance art with solid L.A.-based artists contributing live, onstage collaboration including DJ Charmaine Jane, actress Keiko Agena, phloe, dancer/choreographer Tammy Yamada, Faith Santilla, Alison Delacruz, The Women of Balagtasan Collective and spoken word trio, zero3 (featuring Kennedy Kabasares, Traci Kato-Kiriyama, and Edren T. Sumagaysay).
Each night is a fundraiser for the following organizations:
- Fri: Great Leap
- Sat: Visual Communications
- Sun: FPAC/FilAm Arts
$15 admission fee: Reserve seats by calling (310) 315-1459.