Back from a trip to South Africa, performing with the Surialanga dance company, Smitha Radhakrishnan finds that sometimes the greatest custodians of traditional Indian culture might not be who you'd expect.
Eclipse's new Fallen Women DVD box set chronicles a lesser-known, but certainly not lesser, Mizoguchi.
Subscribe to the APA Newsletter
Hollywood takes on a Hindu epic, Sandra Oh goes from surgeon to shrink, and ABC gets sued for copying all those Japanese game shows. All this and more in the latest edition of News Bites.
From Grey's Anatomy to Indie Film
Taking a break from playing Dr. Cristina Yang on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Sandra Oh will spend her offtime working on the upcoming Canadian indie flick, Defendor. Currently in pre-production, Defendor will also star Woody Harrelson, and the filmmakers are in talks with Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) to round out the trio. Directed and written by Peter Stebbings, the film is a comedy about a regular guy (Harrelson) who is convinced he's a superhero, his psychiatrist (Oh), and the homeless teen he befriends (Dennings). Defendor is set to release in 2009. --LiAnn Ishizuka
Ancient Hindu epic becomes the next Hollywood epic
Mandalay Pictures, 300 producer Mark Canton, and Liquid Comics are working together to adapt the graphic novel Ramayan 3392 AD for the silver screen. A re-imagining of an ancient Hindu epic, the action adventure story follows Prince Rama, a blue-skinned warrior reincarnation of the mythological Hindu god Vishu, in his fight to save his love from demons. Canton will work alongside executives from Mandalay and Liquid Comics. If it's anything like 300, I'm hoping Prince Rama will have amazing abs and snarl awesome one-liners like "Tonight, we dine in Naraka!" On second thought, that sounds terrible. Sony Online Entertainment is also developing a multi-player online game based on the comic, because you can't have an Hollywood blockbuster without a video game cash-in. --William Hong
Surf's Down for ABC: TBS sues over Wipeout
Japanese television station TBS has filed a lawsuit against ABC for copyright infringement of numerous Japanese game shows. ABC premiered the game show Wipeout this past June, and due to a positive ratings, the show was also renewed for a second season. However, TBS has claimed that the show is identical to such game shows as Takeshi's Castle and Sasuke, stating that the same dialogue, sets, and obstacles have all been used in the ABC show. Along with seeking monetary compensation for damages, TBS also followed up this lawsuit with another forthcoming lawsuit on Endemol USA, the production company behind the show Wipeout. - Kanara Ty
Documentaries that Made the Oscar Shortlist
Nominees for the Oscars are not announced until January, but Steven Okazaki's The Conscience of Nhem and Ruby Yang's Tongzhi in Love are on the shortlist of potential documentary nominees. Okazaki's documentary is an exploration of Cambodia 30 years after Khmer Rouge. The Academy Award winning director personally narrates the film and says that he was able to access a great number of interviews with Khmer Rouge survivors. Ruby Yang's Tongzhi in Love is a documentary about gay men in China. It follows the a 28-year-old gay man's struggle with traditional Chinese values in contemporary, urban Beijing. --Christie Liu
Ne-Yo Collaboration with Marilyn Manson?
What does the shock rocker, heavy-makeup-wearing artist Marilyn Manson have in common with popular R&B favorite Ne-Yo, whose hits can be heard in clubs everywhere? Well, definitely not the same lyrics... until now. At a recent screening of The Secret Life Of Bee's, Ne-Yo announced to reporters that he's serious about the collaboration with Mason. Ne-Yo said that Mason's people approached him, after he had boasted that he could write some songs for the rocker. Ne-Yo, an Afro-Asian (three-fourths African American and one-fourth Chinese American) is a Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, who released his third album, Year of the Gentlemen in mid-September of this year. Ne-Yo is also working on his semi-biopic film entitled Venice Beach. --LiAnn Ishizuka
Princess of Nebraska on YouTube
We can watch films on YouTube legally now. Four new films, every two weeks. This week, on Friday, October 17th, 9pm, Wayne Wang's film Princess of Nebraska made its world premiere on YouTube's® New Screening Room: "Connecting films and audiences in the world's largest theater." Princess of Nebraska is based off of a short story by Yiyun Li, one of two Li stories that Wang has recently adapted into film, the other being A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. Princess of Nebraska follows a young pregnant foreign exchange student from China who travels from Nebraska to San Francisco to get an abortion. While Thousand Years of Good Prayers focused on a father-daughter story about Chinese and Chinese Americans from an older generation, Princess of Nebraska aims to capture the experimentation and impulsiveness of new generation of young Chinese immigrants. --Ada Tseng
R.I.P. Kim Chan
From his debut as a radio announcer in the 1957 film, A Face in the Crowd, to his roles such as the Chinese gangster patriarch in films like Lethal Weapon 4 and Shanghai Knights, Asian American actor Kim Chan's filmography reads like a list of recognizable and often underappreciated bit part roles in Hollywood. In early October of this year, the 94-year-old actor passed away in Brooklyn. Despite playing stereotypical roles, such as the houseboy or the Japanese soldier, Kim Chan helped paved the way for other Asian American actors to gain recognition and visibility onscreen. In his most recent works before his death, Chan made appearances on Law and Order and shared the stage alongside with actors including De Niro, Jerry Lewis and Jackie Chan. --LiAnn Ishizuka
Winners at San Diego Asian Film Festival include...
Best Animation: Meat Days, Joe Hsieh
Special Jury Honor: Damn the Past!, Julie Kang
Best Dramatic Narrative Short: Moon Lady, Wendy Cheng
Best Feature Documentary: Shame, Mohammed Naqvi
Best Narrative Feature: Santa Mesa, Ron Morales
Grand Jury Award: Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe, Harry Kim
Lifetime Achievement Award to actor Soon-Tek Oh
"Reel in the Vote" Public Service Announcement contest: Henry Ahn
TOKYO NONSENSE on display till Oct 25
TOKYO NONSENSE is a group art exhibition that has been showing at Scion Installation L.A. since October 4th. Presenting 11 young Japanese artists who are living and working in Tokyo, the exhibit features work from Ichiro Endo, Taro Izumi, Ai Kato (ai*madonna), Sachiko Kazama, Iichiro Tanaka, and the six-member artist group, Chim↑Pom. The exhibit is curated by Gabriel Ritter. For more information, visit the official website here. To check out some installation photos, click here. The Scion Space is in Culver City, CA, and it is open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 11am-6pm. --Ada Tseng
Date Posted: 10/17/2008