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The Dalai Lama goes Hollywood, Survivor plays the race card, Asha Puthli gets crowned, Red Doors sees green, and Kim Yun-jin gets mad. All this and more in the latest edition of News Bites.
Passion of the Buddha?
Last Friday, upon the end of his five-day visit to California, the Dalai Lama suggested to Hollywood film producers that they should make a movie about Buddha. After attending the screening of Milarepa, a movie directed by Buddhist Lama Neten Chkling Rinpoche, at Universal Studios, the Dalai Lama told its crowd of 6,000, "From Buddha's life story, maybe you'll get inspiration." During his visit, the Dalai Lama gave a series of speeches titled, "Compassion: the Source of Happiness." The US House of Representatives recently awarded him with the Congressional Gold Medal (the highest US civilian honor that has been bestowed upon such figures as Sir Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela). As a spiritual humanitarian, the Dalai Lama believes that Hollywood should utilize its power to affect the world and spread compassion through cinema. And a movie about the life of Buddha would do just that.
Media frenzy surrounding the new Survivor has been escalating since the approach of its new season. Shot earlier this summer on Cook Islands in the South Pacific, controversy grew as word leaked that, unlike previous seasons, tribes will be divided according to race in the new season. This new arrangement caused quite a stir among critics. Many accused CBS of selling "Race for Ratings." The four tribes are currently separated as such: white/Caucasian vs. African-American vs. Hispanic vs. Asian American. Team Asian is represented by two Filipino Americans (Brad Virata and Jenny Guzon-Bae), two South Koreans, and one Vietnamese. To see which team makes it to the end, tune in to CBS Thursdays at 8 pm.
US Cinema To Honor Asha Puthli
Asha Puthli, India¡¦s legendary diva of jazz, funk, and soul, will be honored in Atlantic City for her "outstanding contribution to global music." She will be the recipient of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award at the 7th Bollywood Music Awards. Asha claimed in an earlier statement, "It's exciting to be finally getting all this recognition in the United States." In fact, the singer is no stranger in the US. Just earlier this month, she performed to a sold-out crowd at Joe's Pub in New York's Public Theater. Even artists like P. Diddy, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, and the Neptunes have sampled her songs. This year's Bollywood Music Award will honor Asha as one of the greats of Indian Music. The show will be hosted by VJ Sophie Choudhury and is set to take place on Nov. 4th.
For more info on Asha Puthli and her music visit:
Red Doors Opens to Big Bucks
Georgia Lee's independent film Red Doors premiered last weekend in New York. The film, which played on only two screens, grossed a stellar $35,050. Its amazing per-screen average of $17,5252 actually made it the number one film in the country on a per-screen basis! Red Doors tells the story of Ed Wong and his three rebellious daughters. A bizarre and dysfunctional Chinese-American family living in the New York suburbs, the Wongs learn to communicate and understand each other through stories of a happier past. Red Doors will be opening in Los Angeles (at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills, the Laemmle Playhouse in Pasadena, and the Laemmle Town Center in Encino) and San Francsico (at the Landmark Clay Theatre) on September 22. An after-party for the film premiere in LA will be held at the Garden of Eden.
For more information on the film, visit: http://www.reddoorsthemovie.com/
Lost Creator Promises Less Submissive Character
Actresss Kim Yun-jin, better known as Sun Kwon of the hit TV series Lost, claims that the show's creator has eased her concerns about the submissive nature of her character. Kim recently expressed to Prestige Hong Kong magazine feelings that her role does not accurately portray modern Korean women, and that it stereotypes them as meek submissive beings. The actress stated, "I cannot play a role like this. It does not does not represent Asian women in the right way." After a long two hour meeting with Kim, Lost creator J. J. Abrams reassured the actress (and no doubt all Asian women viewers) with a promise that her role will be further developed as the show progresses.
Bodhi Art Opens In New York
Bodhi Art, India's leading gallery for contemporary art finally opens in New York. The Bodhi Art Galleries are known for their progressive representation of contemporary Indian art. This world renowned enterprise began in 2004 with a gallery in Singapore and later expanded to Delhi and Mumbai. Bodhi Art embodies a broad variety work from established as well as aspiring artists. Among the 30 artists represented are Akbar Padamsee, F.N. Souza and Ram Kumar. The 6000-square-feet gallery in New York is debuting with an exhibition by Atul Dodiya, titled "The Wet Sleeves of My Paper Robe (Sabari in Her Youth: After Nandalal Bose)." It will run from September 19th to October 28th, 2006.
For more information, visit: http://www.bodhiart.in/ny_exib_forth.html
China's Peony Pavilion To Take Over UCLA's Royce Hall
Legendary Chinese Kun opera, The Peony Pavilion, will make its LA debut at UCLA's own Royce Hall this September. Originally written by Tang Xianzu, this epic tale of love (often compared to Romeo and Juliet) has enticed audiences for over 400 years. It will now be introduced to a whole new generation with an abridged version
interpreted by esteemed Taiwanese literary scholar and producer Kenneth Pai. The classic story will be presented in three parts over three nights. Its specially handpicked cast from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China will be performing in exquisite handmade costumes and accompanied by English and Mandarin subtitles. The Peony Pavilion opens with "Book I: The Dream of Love" on Sep. 29, continues with "Book II: Romance and Resurrection" on Sep 30, and closes with "Book III: Reunion and Triump" on Oct. 1.
For more information, visit: http://www.uclalive.org/Event
DC APA Film Festival Returns
The 7th Annual DC Asian Pacific American Festival is set to commence Sept. 28th. It will kick off with Americanese, a narrative feature by Eric Byler, on its opening night. With its mission to bring awareness to the creative talent of APA communities through art and education, APA Film has compiled a roster of many diverse genres and talents for this year's festival. Among the titles included are The Queen of Virginia: The Jackie Wright Story, I For India, The Slanted Screen, Mighty Warriors of Comedy, The Widow Colony, Sita, A Girl From Jambu, and American Fusion. The festival will also dedicate one night to a program titled "Queer Short Films," and one to a program called "Women Short Films."
The 7th Annual DC Asian Pacific American Festival will run from Sept. 28t to Oct. 7, 2006. For more information and tickets, visit:
The Yellow Fever Express Experience
The Yellow Fever Express is an hour-long multimedia play by Steven Low which chronicles his six-month journey through the backroads of America. The emotional play deals with many personal and social issues that Low dealt with as a Chinese American living in America. Its storyline, based on journals Low wrote during his life-changing trip, includes numerous tongue-in-cheek commentaries about the collective mind of society. The Yellow Fever Express was part of the 12-day San Francisco Fringe Festival which ran from Sept. 6 - 17, opening to pretty impressive reviews from audiences. Though the express might have left the SF station by now, stay tuned to catch its next stop.
For more information on Yellow Fever, visit:
Date Posted: 9/19/2006