Entertainment Spotlight

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

    Posted by Ben Fong-Torres

    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...

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  • July 28: $UPERCAPITALIST starring Derek Ting, Linus Roache, Kenneth Tsang, Richard Ng and Kathy Uyen is the AAIFF’12 Centerpiece Presentation; opens in U.S. Theaters in August

    Posted by Lia Chang

    $UPERCAPITALIST, an adrenaline fueled thriller which focuses on a vast financial conspiracy spanning Wall Street to Hong Kong, will open theatrically while simultaneously debuting day and date on Video on Demand and iTunes across North America on August 10th. Directed by former MTV VJ Simon Yin and produced and written by Derek Ting, the film opens in New York at the Village East on August 10th and in LA at the Laemmle Noho on August 31st with additional markets to be announced.

    Derek Ting in $UPERCAPITALIST

    The film features film stars from the U.S. and China including Linus Roache (Batman Begins, The Chronicles of Riddick, Wings of the Dove) and Hong Kong cinema veterans, Kenneth Tsang (Rush Hour 2, John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow) and Richard Ng (Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life). In addition to its U.S. theatrical debut,$UPERCAPITALIST will have its world premiere as the Centerpiece Presentation on Saturday, July 28, 2012 at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas (7:45pm), for the 35th Asian American International Film Festival which runs from July 25th to August 5th in New York.

    Linus Roache in $UPERCAPITALIST

    The U.S./China co-production, the first English language financial thriller independently produced out of Hong Kong, follows a maverick New York hedge fund trader who moves to Hong Kong to orchestrate a mega-deal that swiftly escalates beyond his control. Caught between competing forces in America and Asia in a ruthless culture of profits at all costs, he desperately negotiates and maneuvers inside China’s closed, complex society. With his life and Hong Kong’s future staked on a corrupt billion dollar deal, the trader takes the ultimate risk.

    Derek Ting and Kathy Uyen in $UPERCAPITALIST

    The film stars Derek Ting in his first leading role, Kathy Uyen (How I Met Your Mother), the Vietnamese American star of Passport to Love which is still one of the highest grossing films in Vietnam to date and also 2-time Emmy winner, Michael Park (“As the...

  • July 25: Janet Yang to receive 2012 Asian American Media Award at AAIFF’12 Opening Night Presentation of Shanghai Calling

    Posted by Lia Chang

    Shanghai Calling, a romantic comedy set between Shanghai and NYC, written and directed by Daniel Hsia (Psych) and produced by Janet Yang (Larry Flint vs. The People) opens the Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF’12) on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at the Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Avenue in New York.

    The film stars Daniel Henney (X Men Origins: Wolverine), Eliza Coupe (Happy Endings) , Bill Paxton (“Big Love”), Alan Ruck (Greek, Extraordinary Measures, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Geng Le (Desires of the Heart) and Zhu Zhu (What Women Want, MTV-China)

    Shanghai Calling, tells the story of Sam Chao (Daniel Henney), an up-and-coming Manhattan attorney angling for partnership, who is dispatched by his bosses to Shanghai to open the firm’s new satellite office there. If Sam completes the three-month assignment, they will give him the promotion he’s been dreaming about. But Sam may not be suited for life in China. His first day in Shanghai, he humiliates Amanda (Eliza Coupe), the lovely relocation specialist hired to smooth his way into the expat community, browbeats Fang Fang (Zhu Zhu), his hyper-capable office assistant, and insults everyone he meets with his refusal to adapt to local customs. When his insistence on doing things his way costs an important client a potential billion-dollar deal, Sam must rely on the very people he has alienated to fix his blunders and save his job. As he painfully learns to temper his take-no-prisoners style, Sam slowly discovers a new way of looking at the world—and at Amanda.

    Janet Yang

    Shanghai Calling’s producer Janet Yang is the recipient of the 2012 Asian American Media Award, presented by Asian CineVision (ACV). Her stunning achievements as a film producer and superb impact on the Asian American community as a cultural ambassador will be acknowledged during the AAIFF’12 Opening Night Presentation of Shanghai Calling (USA/China).

    “I am deeply honored,” said Janet Yang after being...

  • July 26: 'An Evening with David Henry Hwang' at East 86th St. Barnes & Noble

    Posted by Lia Chang

    On Thursday, July 26, 2012, the New York Foundation for the Arts is presenting an evening with Tony Award-winning playwright of M. Butterfly David Henry Hwang at the East 86th St. Barnes & Noble at 7pm, to celebrate the TCG publication of his most recent Broadway comedy Chinglish, which played at the Longacre Theatre last season.Chinglish is about an American businessman who heads to Asia to score a lucrative contract for his family’s firm – but the deal isn’t the only thing getting lost in translation as he collides with a Communist minister, a bumbling consultant, and a suspiciously sexy bureaucrat.

    David Henry Hwang Photo by Lia Chang

    Chinglish was named “Best American Play of 2011” by TIME magazine, and as one of the Top 10 Broadway shows of the year by Bloomberg Radio, NY1 and WNYC. The West Coast premiere of Chinglish at Berkeley Rep starring Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge, begins performances August 24, 2012. West Coast Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish at Berkeley Rep stars Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge, August 24-October 7, 2012 . In April, filmmaker Justin Lin acquired the film rights to the critically acclaimed play, which is slated to begin shooting in 2013. Filmmaker Justin Lin Acquires Film Rights to David Henry Hwang’s Critically Acclaimed Broadway Comedy ChinglishHwang will read excerpts and discuss his work. He will autograph copies immediately after the event.

    David Henry Hwang’s plays include Bondage, The Dance and the Railroad (1982 Drama Desk Award nomination), Family Devotions (1982 Drama Desk Award nomination), FOB (1981 Obie Award),Golden Child (1997 Obie Award, 1998 Tony Award nomination), M. Butterfly (1988 Tony Award, 1989 Pulitzer Prize finalist), and Yellow Face (2008 Obie Award, 2008 Pulitzer Prize finalist). He also wrote the libretti for three Broadway musicals: Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Disney’sTarzan, and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song (revival, 2002...

  • July 25-Aug.5: 35th Asian American International Film Festival Line-up in New York

    Posted by Lia Chang

    The 35th Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF), presented by Asian CineVision (ACV), runs July 25 - August 5, 2012 with screenings at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas, Asia Society and Museum, and The Museum of Chinese in America in New York.

    “On the event of our 35th year we honor our roots–showcasing the best and most recent achievements by Asian American film and video makers while looking to future by nurturing emerging talents and embracing transformative technologies” says ACV Executive Director John C. Woo. More than half of the Festival selection is made in the US or is a co-production. Many are first time directors, including actress turned director Lily Mariye’s Model Minority, telling the story of an underprivileged teenage girl surviving the treacherous world of peer pressure, drug dealers and dysfunctional families in L.A. There are also a number of returning filmmakers, including H.P. Mendoza’s horror film I am a Ghost, about a girl trapped in a repetitive routine in Victorian times. And Rich Wong’s raunchy new film Yes, We’re Open, a sharp-witted comedy about a modern couple testing their boundaries of love, sex and honesty. “We are extremely happy to see the number of Asian American filmmakers making quality work in a truly independent fashion which AAIFF continues to champion,” adds Martha Tien, AAIFF Program Director.

    AAIFF is also proud to bring back LGBTQ Cinema Night, which will take place on Friday, July 27. “LGBTQ Cinema Night was a huge success last year, and we are very happy to collaborate with our community partners again,” says Sophia Giddens, Festival Director. AAIFF will screen narrative feature SEÑORITA (The Philippines) by New York-based director Vincent Sandoval, a story of a transgendered woman who tries to leave her past life as a sex worker but becomes embroiled in the politics of a local election.

    AAIFF’12 Line-Up:Feature FilmsA LOT LIKE YOU – Dir. Eliaichi Kimaro | USA/TanzaniaTender,...

  • Pork Filled Players presents Porktacular! at the Ballard Underground through July 28, 2012

    Posted by Lia Chang

    Porktacular!, a new sketch comedy show with vaudevillian flair from the Pork Filled Players, Seattle’s Asian American sketch comedy institution, is playing at the Ballard Underground (2220 Market Ave. NW, Seattle), Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm through July 28, 2012.Porktacular! is a whiz-bang variety show of original new sketch comedy, with special guest stars Assaulted Fish (perennial favorite from Vancouver, BC), sketch comedy duo Charles (“Best Writing” and “Best Sketch Comedy” of the 2012 LA Comedy Festival) and Drop the Root Beer and Run (recently featured at Improlympia and the LA Improv Fest).The Pork Filled Players are led by Roger Tang and lead writer Maggie Lee, and includes Matt de la Cruz, Narea Kang, May Nguyen and Kerstin Porter. PFP is not just the longest-running Asian American theatre group in Seattle, but also features a unique brand of cheeky geek wit, stage combat, and a rare majority of female comedy writers and performers. For more information, check the PFP websiteFacebook page or email at oink@porkfilled.com. Tickets can be bought online athttp://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/252462.

    Mild-mannered scientists, editors and office workers by day…by night, they are the Pork Filled Players! Since 1997, the Pork Filled Players has been redefining Asian American humor for audiences of every race, creed and gender. PFP is one of the most diverse sketch comedy groups in Seattle, featuring an awesome majority of female writers and performers, blending their unique brand of nerdish humor with maximum tongue-in-cheekiness and an Amazing Kung-Fu Grip(tm)!

    Assaulted Fish is considered (by their mothers) to be Vancouver, British Columbia’s (second) funniest sketch comedy troupe. Since 2003, they have performed in nearly five hundred shows, including appearances at SketchFest Vancouver, SketchFest Seattle (near Vancouver), the CanWest Comedy Festival (in Vancouver) and numerous Fringe Festivals (also in Vancouver). Their work has been...