Entertainment Spotlight

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres - on Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’
By Ben Fong-Torres It’s short shrift time. I have a life that’s ripe (and slightly wrinkled) for blogs and tweeting; for facebooking and updating. I’m just no good at it. My last column here on AsianConnections was about the memorial in late July for my sister Shirley. My last posting on the authors’ site, Redroom, was about a radio promo tour I did (20 stops, all on the phone in my home office) for my Eagles book. On my own home page, the last thing was about hanging with...

Arts & Entertainment

Nov. 9 Wexner Center Event: A Conversation between Renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz and Rolling Stone founder, publisher and editor Jann S. Wenner

Posted by AC Team on Thursday, 01 November 2012

Nov. 9 Wexner Center Event: A Conversation between Renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz and Rolling Stone founder, publisher and editor Jann S. Wenner

Columbus, Ohio

Friday November 9, 2012 renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz will have a conversation with Rolling Stone's co-founder, publisher, and editor Jann S. Wenner at the Wexner Center for the Arts Mershon Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio.

Their collaboration at Rolling Stone in the 1970s is legendary. Their subsequent—and independent—roles are also legendary as interpreters and shapers of the social, cultural, and political history of America. This event is part of a public celebration of the prestigious Wexner Prize which will be presented in a ceremony to Ms. Leibovitz on Saturday November 10. 

Annie Leibovitz Photo by Nick Rogers courtesy of Leibovitz Studio © 2012 

Annie Leibovitz is the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Wexner Prize which recognizes an artist whose work reflects exceptional innovation and the highest standards of artistic quality and integrity.  

A major presentation of work of more than 200 photographs by Annie Leibovitz is on view now through December 30, 2012 at the Wexner Center for the Arts on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio.

The Wexner Center is the first institution to be able to exhibit the complete "Master Set" which is a collection of 156 photographs personally selected by Annie Leibovitz. The exhibition will include photographs from her recent book "Pilgrimage," a project featuring interiors, landscapes and talismanic objects attached to historical figures including Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Georgia O'Keefe, Elvis Presley, and Emily Dickinson, among others. 

Annie Leibovitz began her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone magazine in 1970, while she was still a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. By 1983, when she joined the staff of the revived Vanity Fair, she was established as the foremost rock music photographer and an...

FAME HIGH & FIGHT LIFE documentaries screen at SF DOCFEST Nov 9-21 and in Berkeley Nov 9-15

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Wednesday, 24 October 2012

FAME HIGH & FIGHT LIFE documentaries screen at SF DOCFEST Nov 9-21 and in Berkeley Nov 9-15

October 24 2012

The 11th San Francisco Documentary Festival, known as SF DOC FEST opens in San Francisco (November 8-21), and in Berkeley (November 9-15). 

This year more than 50 films are featured from around the world. 

Bay Area filmmaker James Z. Feng screens his documentary FIGHT LIFE on the mixed-martial arts world. FIGHT LIFE chronicles the struggle in the lives of three local fights from the moment of victory every fighter chases to the devastating knockout in defeat. Click here to FIGHT LIFE's trailer.

Feng told NBC's Sunday Night Sport Show that he's maxed out his credit card to make this film happen. Feng says he wants to show mixed martial arts as a sport, "I think alot of people don't understand that MMA is a sport, they kind of look at it like its a gimmick..." "My goal is to get it to the world, and I'm going to do whatever it takes to make that happen if it means that I don't make a dime from this film so be it. Its not about the money, I've put my own life on the line for this film."

FAME HIGH documents the lives of four talented high school students (an actress, a dancer, a pianist and a songwriter) struggling to gain fame, credibility and a diploma from Los Angeles’ premiere performing arts high school. Directed by Berkeley native, Academy-award nominated documentary filmmaker Scott Hamilton Kennedy, FAME HIGH captures the drama, competition, heartbreak and triumph at the Los Angeles County HIgh School for the Arts, also known as "Fame High" where teenagers reach for their dreams of becoming actors, singers, dancers and musicians. Click here to FAME HIGH's trailer.

Check screening dates and locations at SF Doc Fest.

 

Derek Ting's movie $upercapitalist directed by Simon Yin debuts in Theaters, Online and Video on Demand

Posted by Lia Chang on Monday, 20 August 2012

L ro R: Lia Chang, Derek TIng, Joyce Yung Photo by Francois Bonneau

L ro R: Lia Chang, Derek TIng, Joyce Yung Photo by Francois Bonneau

 
August 19, 2012 (Updated August 29, 2012 with screening dates and video of SAG Foundation's conversation with cast members Linus Roache and Michael Park, and producer/writer/actor Derek Ting.)

by Lia Chang

Don't miss these screenings!: (more listings below)
SAN FRANCISCO - August 24 - 30 at the Landmark Opera Plaza Cinema, 601 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102
LOS ANGELES - August 31 - September 6 at the Laemmle's Noho 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd., Los Angeles, CA (North Hollywood, CA 91601)

Kudos to Derek Ting, for taking control of his destiny, pursuing his dream and realizing his vision with his eleven year journey from inception to the big screen. Derek is the writer, producer and star of $upercapitalist, a financial thriller set in Hong Kong directed by award-winning filmmaker Simon Yin. Ting's film debuts in theaters this month, and is available now through your local cable TV station's video-on-demand, and online at many outlets including iTunes and Amazon Video. (Top image L to R: Lia Chang, $upercapitalist writer, producer and lead actor Derek Ting, producer and Derek's wife Joyce Yung Photo by Francois Bonneau). 

I met Derek and his wife, Joyce Yung, a producer on the film, when the Screen Actors Guild Foundation hosted a special 'Conversations' advance screening of $upercapitalist, at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway in New York. 

$upercapitalist is screening now in Los Angeles (August 24-30) and San Francisco (August 31 - September 6). (see listings for more updates)

Derek, and fellow actors Linus Roache and Michael Park were in the house for a Q & A, moderated by actor Nick Sakai, SAG-AFTRA National Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee Member.

 

Click on the link below to see excerpts of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s Conversations...

The Olympics, Ryan Seacrest and Me by Ben Fong-Torres

Posted by AC Team on Wednesday, 08 August 2012

The Olympics, Ryan Seacrest and Me by Ben Fong-Torres

The Olympics, Ryan Seacrest and Me

As the old song goes, “it’s been a long, long time.”

I apologize for not writing sooner. It’s not that I haven’t been writing. Just not for this space. For example, I just had a short piece published in The Hollywood Reporter, about the Olympics’ opening ceremonies, with a focus on music. It’s in the August 10 edition of “THR,” which is an interesting blend of trade magazine (for showbiz industry folks) and consumer mag (for people who like backstage peeps at the business known as show).

My piece—about the 60’s music that producer Danny Boyle featured during that wild, wacky event—was nothing special. But one thing about it really amused me. Just below my story was a Q&A with Ryan Seacrest, who was among the talent NBC shipped to London to work the Olympics.

A few months ago, when Dick Clark died, I wrote my first article for The Hollywood Reporter, recalling a sometimes contentious interview with him from ‘way back, for Rolling Stone. The editors chose a quote of Clark, something he said to me, for the headline: “YOU’RE A LIBERAL, AND I’M A F---ING WHORE’. This, right after a glowing tribute, “What I Learned from the Master,” by…Ryan Seacrest.

We are fated to be together!

This is to say that stuff happens.

Just the other day, I was on Castro Street here in San Francisco, and a guy asks, “Aren’t you Ben Fong-Torres?” I admit that I am.

“Well, that’s reassuring,” he says.

I didn’t know what to make of that—although I think I knew what he meant, about old-timers still being around—so I just asked for his name and shook his hand. I hope he found my gesture…reassuring.

A few weeks before, at a wine tasting party, a friend asked if I’d seen the banners around town carrying my name and a quote. I had not, but went out in search of one of the signs a few days later. Sure enough, there...

Congratulations to Asian American International Film Festival '12 Award Winners

Posted by Lia Chang on Tuesday, 07 August 2012

Congratulations to Asian American International Film Festival '12 Award Winners

The Asian American International Film Festival handed out the 2012 Awards for feature and short films before the closing night screening of Michael Kang’s Knots, at the Clearview Chelsea Cinemas in New York on August 5, 2012. The awards ceremony was emceed by spoken word artist Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai.

Knots director Michael Kang and writer and star Kimberly-Rose Wolter at the 35th Asian American International Film Festival Closing night screening of Knots, at the Clearview Chelsea Cinema in New York on August 5, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

This year, the Asian American International Film Festival, presented by Asian Cinevision (ACV), featured 50 New York premieres-narrative and documentary features, and shorts-of all genres from The Philippines, Taiwan, China, Japan, Korea, UK, Canada and across the Asian Diaspora.

Presenter Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, a spoken word artist, presents the AAIFF Audience Choice Award for Narrative Feature to Lily Mariye for Model Minority at the Clearview Chelsea Cinemas in New York on August 5, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

Audience Choice Awards:

Lily Mariye’s Model Minority (photo courtesy of Nice Girl Films)


The Audience Choice Award for Narrative Feature was presented to Lily Mariye, an actor, screenwriter and director, whose impressive debut feature MODEL MINORITY, follows the story of L.A. teenagers trying to navigate the treacherous world of peer pressure, drug dealers, juvenile...