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

Christine Lin, Henry Godinez and Liz Griffiths Receive Halcyon Theatre’s 2013 Iris Awards

Posted by Lia Chang on Wednesday, 20 March 2013

On Friday, March 8, 2013, the Halcyon Theatre Company honored actor Christine Lin; Henry Godinez, resident artistic associate at Goodman Theatre and the curator of the Latino Theatre Festival; and Liz Griffiths, immediate past Director of North River Commission’s (NRC) two economic development affiliates, the Lawrence Avenue Development Corporation (LADCOR) and the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce, with The Iris Award for connecting Chicago’s communities and arts, at Night of Flight, Halcyon Theatre’s first major fundraiser at Architectural Artifacts in Chicago, Il.

Christine Lin was presented with The Iris Award for connecting Chicago’s communities and arts by Halcyon Theatre co-founders Jenn and Tony Adams, who is also the Artistic Director, at Night of Flight, Halcyon Theatre’s first major fundraiser at Architectural Artifacts in Chicago, Il, on March 8, 2013. Photo by Kan Chou

Christine Lin, an actor, improvisor and engineering consultant, grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and began her affiliation with Halcyon in 2008 as an Artistic Associate, appearing in the Company’s productions of Caridad Svich’sIphigenia…(a rave fable), Tony Adam’s Trickster, and Salman Rushdie’sHaroun and the Sea of Stories. She also directed Astrid Saalbach’s The Blessed Child in 2009′s Alcyone Festival. She has been a company and board member since 2011.

Eric Lin and his daughter Christine Lin, who was presented with The Iris Award for connecting Chicago’s communities, at Night of Flight, Halcyon Theatre’s first...

Awards announced - San Francisco's CAAMFEST Celebrates Asian and Asian American Film, Food and Music

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Linsanity by filmmaker Evan Jackson Leong was the opening night film at CAAMFEST

Linsanity by filmmaker Evan Jackson Leong was the opening night film at CAAMFEST

March 30, 2013

San Francisco

Updates - CAAMFest winners announced:

DEAD DAD is the winner of the Comcast Narrative Competition.

SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE is the winner of the Documentary Conpetition.

Aggie Ebrahii Bazaz received the Loni Ding Award

The Emerging Filmmaker Award recipient is Ernesto Foronda of SUNSET STORIES.

CAAM (The Center for Asian American Media) offers programs all year round.

Visit CAAM's website at CAAMedia.org, and support its mission by becoming a member. 

 

March 17, 2013

San Francisco

CAAMFest is in full swing! 

The Center for Asian American Media has launched CAAMFest, an exciting new festival March 14-24, 2013. Formerly called the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, the 31st annual event not only has a brand new name CAAMFest, and a brand new website CAAMFEST.com, the festival has branched out into food, music and digital media. 

As CAAM's Executive Director Stephen Gong says, CAAMFest aims to present a world-class festival of Asian and Asian American film, music, food and digital media.

Judging from what I saw in the first few days, CAAMFest's ambitious plans have succeeded. 

I counted at least 100 films and events representing more than twenty countries, held in ten venues mostly in San Francisco, with some events and film screenings at the Oakland Museum of California and Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive Theater.

There's still time to take in a screening or an event.

Click here to CAAMFest's schedule of events.

Linsanity, Evan Jackson Leong's documentary about NBA player Jeremy Lin was CAAMFest's opening night film     Linsanity, Evan Jackson Leong's inspiring documentary about Jeremy Lin was the opening night film to an enthusiastic sold-out audience. Linsanity has received rave reviews at the 2013...

Mar. 6-17: Thom Sesma and Diane Phelan Featured in Prospect’s Death For Five Voices

Posted by Lia Chang on Wednesday, 06 March 2013

Mar. 6-17: Thom Sesma and Diane Phelan Featured in Prospect’s Death For Five Voices

New York City

Thom Sesma

Click the title link above for the full story. Photo by Lia Chang: Thom Sesma (The Times They Are A-Changin’, Man of La Mancha, Nick & Nora), Diane Phelan (Prospect’s Honor), Wilson Bridges (Signs of Life), Ryan Bauer-Walsh (Billy Elliot), Meghan McGeary (The Blue Flowerwith Prospect Theater Company, A.R.T. and Second Stage, Prospect’sThe Rockae), Hannah Jane McMurray (The Hidden Sky), and Peter Saide (Jersey Boys) are currently featured in Prospect Theater Company’s inaugural “Prototype Production” with public performances of DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES, an original musical drama inspired by true events in the life of infamous Renaissance composer – and murderer – Carlo Gesualdo.

Diane Phelan

Featuring a book by Prospect’s founding artists Peter Mills and Cara Reichel, music and lyrics by Mills and direction by Reichel, DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES began performances on March 6, 2013 at the West End Theatre in the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, 263 West 86th Street in New York, and will continue through March 17, 2013.

A talkback with Mills and Reichel and other members of the production team will be held on Saturday, March 16th at 5:30pm and is free and open to the public.

Set amid the political intrigue, religious conflict and artistic vibrancy of the late Renaissance, DEATH FOR FIVE VOICESinvestigates the dark harmonies of Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa – who is remembered for his unusually complex...

Justin Chon stars in 21 and Over

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Wednesday, 27 February 2013

 Justin Chon stars in 21 and Over

Hollywood

February 26, 2013

What?!! An Asian American male star in a Hollywood movie that isn't a Kung Fu film? 

Justin Chon ("Twilight"), steps into the spotlight as the lead character in the comedy 21 and Over, opening in theaters nationwide March 1.

Chon, 31, was born in Garden Grove in Orange County, California, and was raised in Irvine, California. He attended business school at the University of Southern California. At age 20, Chon began taking acting lessons, inspired by growing up watching his father in black and white films. His father is a former child actor from South Korea.

AsianConnections' Suzanne Joe Kai chatted with Justin about his new role, 
breaking stereotypes, and what's next in his fast-rising career.  (For the full interview transcript click on the blue headline link above.) 

Justin: Hey Suzanne, thank you.

Suzanne: You’re right from Orange County, California!

Justin: Yeah, Irvine. Yeah, born and raised. I was born in Garden Grove Hospital.

Suzanne: Can you describe your role in your new film 21 and Over coming out in theaters March 1, 2013?

Justin: Yeah. I play a character named Jeff Chang. It's his 21st birthday and my two friends come up to celebrate with me but I have a medical school interview the next day. They convinced me to have one beer and obviously that beer turns into absolute chaos. My character's just an average kid. He's actually not that smart, he's like failing out of school.

Suzanne: What made you jump on board this film?  

Justin: Well, the guys who wrote it wrote The Hangover and they’re great writers. I just read the script and I loved it. I’m an Asian American actor and it’s a three-dimensional part so it’s great to see somebody who wrote such a great part for an Asian American so I just had to do...

Congratulations! Ang Lee Wins Best Director Oscar for "Life of Pi"

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Monday, 25 February 2013

Congratulations! Ang Lee Wins Best Director Oscar for

Hollywood

February 24, 2013

Ang Lee won the Oscar for Best Director at the 85th Academy Awards for his film "Life of Pi," the adaptation of the bestselling novel by Yann Martel about a boy shipwrecked and stranded in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. 

The film took Lee four and a half years to complete. He has said it was the hardest fim he has ever made.  (Click the top headline for the full story and a peek at Ang holding his new Oscar in one hand, and with his other hand enjoying an In-N-Out burger. This great photo was posted on Twitter by Vanity Fair's publisher Edward Menicheschi!

This is Ang Lee's second Oscar win. His first Academy Award was in 2006 for directing "Brokeback Mountain." 

Lee's 2000 Chinese-language film "Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger," won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. 

Lee, 58, thanked his wife of 30 years, Jane Lin, a microbiologist, his two sons Haan and Mason, and the 3,000 people involved in the making of his film. He also thanked Taiwan, and Taichung City in central Taiwan where 80 per cent of the film was shot, and his Canadian and Indian partners. 

Other Oscar contenders for the Best Director award were Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln," David O. Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook," Michael Haneke for "Amour" which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Fim and the prestigious Palm d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and Benh Zeitlin with "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

And we couldn't help but admire Ang Lee for being so down to earth even on his big night at the Oscars. We know - those burgers are good! This image was posted on Twitter by Vanity Fair magazine's publisher Edward Menicheschi.