J.P. Chan 

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Opening Night Party

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I didn’t make it to the Seven.11 opening night because of the other rehearsal, but the after party was great!(Canal Lounge, Manhattan)

 

Rehearsal Week: Part 2

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Working on a musical has been a lot of fun, especially when you have super-talented collaborators like these. Here, Andrew Fitch and Lisa Wilkerson work on a hot tango in Raw Impressions Music Marathon #21.(Players Theatre, Manhattan)

 

Rehearsal Week: Part 1

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It’s been a busy week, with two short pieces going up the same weekend. Lots of rehearsals, last-minute tweaks, and excitement/anxiety as opening night approaches.First up: Alicia Ying gives Andrew Guilarte a taste of the future in Seven.11.2006.(Kraine Theatre, Manhattan)

 

SF/SJ: Colma Stays!

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We’ve seen a lot of terrific films at SFIAAFF, but the one that won my heart was Colma: The Musical. Colma is a coming-of-age story set in the eponymous town just south of San Francisco that’s home to 17 cemeteries but just 1,300 residents. This film is jam-packed with humor, smarts, and great songs. It’s amazingly well-shot and looks much more expensive than it probably was, proving once again that budget and creativity are not correlated. (In particular, the eight-minute long tracking shot in the party scene is exhilarating.) First-time feature director Richard Wong and writer/composer H.P. Mendoza have created something amazing here. I hope lots of people get to see this. I can’t stop humming the songs.(BART to SFO, San Francisco, CA)More SF/SJ:SF/SJ: SloganeeringSF/SJ: Slanted ScreensSF/SJ: Tourists Shot For ShotThe SFIAAFFChapeau ShoppingBay Area Transit Is RapidThe Guest Cottage LifeI Visited The MothershipSpecial West Coast MICWYou Heard?Babe’s MufflersFlight To

 

SF/SJ: Slanted Screens

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An interesting panel discussion about Asian men in American cinema following the very good documentary The Slanted Screen. Though I think it would have been cool to hear a female perspective on the subject, I think the audience was more than happy to see some of their favorite AA leading men in person – we were almost elbowed out of line by one aggressive fan!From left to right: Darrell Hamamoto of UC Davis, Chris Tashima, Daniel Dae Kim, Jason Scott Lee, and Jeff Adachi, director of The Slanted Screen.(AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres, 1881 Post St, San Francisco, CA)More SF/SJ:SF/SJ: Tourists Shot For ShotThe SFIAAFFChapeau ShoppingBay Area Transit Is RapidThe Guest Cottage LifeI Visited The MothershipSpecial West Coast MICWYou Heard?Babe’s MufflersFlight To

 

SF/SJ: Tourists Shot For Shot

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I say this every time I come to San Francisco, but next time I’m definitely gonna do my own photo homage to Vertigo. The idea is cliché, I know, but I still wanna do it.(San Francisco, CA)More SF/SJ:The SFIAAFFChapeau ShoppingBay Area Transit Is RapidThe Guest Cottage LifeI Visited The MothershipSpecial West Coast MICWYou Heard?Babe’s MufflersFlight To

 

SF/SJ: The SFIAAFF

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I knew SFIAAFF was the biggest Asian film fest in the US, but I didn’t know just how big – every day, films are showing in at least four venues simultaneously, and it seems like every show sells out. We want to see everything and hit all the social events, but we can’t. So we’ve resigned ourselves to the reality that we will be missing lots of good films. Some of our favorites so far:Eve and the Fire Horse – a story about two young Chinese girls in 1970s Vancouver trying to reconcile two (or three) cultures simultaneously. Full of heart and great acting. This is director Julia Kwan’s first feature, but it feels so confident and mature you’d think it was her tenth. I hope this gets released far and wide.Conventioneers – a scrappy and modern guerilla-style Romeo and Juliet story shot in NYC during the 2004 Republican National Convention, with props to Medium Cool. Great acting and style. Can’t wait to see Mora Stephens’ next film Georgia Heat. Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story – a documentary about a Japanese family’s attempt to deal with the kidnapping of their daughter by North Korean spies. I didn’t get a chance to make this screening, but Jo saw it and thought it was touching and very well done. Hope lots of people get to see this.Dear Pyongyang – we only got to see the first sixty minutes of this documentary about a Korean family split between Japan and North Korea, but we really liked the director’s personal approach to the story. And also how she told the audience, half-jokingly, to turn off their cell phones and not to sleep during the film.(AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres, 1881 Post St, San Francisco, CA)More SF/SJ:Chapeau ShoppingBay Area Transit Is RapidThe Guest Cottage LifeI Visited The MothershipSpecial West Coast MICWYou Heard?Babe’s MufflersFlight To

 

SF/SJ: Chapeau Shopping

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Hats off, hats on.Speaking of Noriyuki “Pat” Morita, Jo and I heard a story about him here from a fellow filmmaker/actor that made us respect the man even more. I won’t repeat it now, but ask me about it next time we’re in the same place.More SF/SJ:Bay Area Transit Is RapidThe Guest Cottage LifeI Visited The MothershipSpecial West Coast MICWYou Heard?Babe’s MufflersFlight To

 

SF/SJ: Bay Area Transit Is Rapid

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Getting around the Bay Area is remarkably easy, with or without a car (though with a car is better). Some observations:- VTA bus drivers will cheerfully cut you a break if you’re short on bus fare. (It’s kind of like the pay-what-you-wish policy at the Met.) I’m a little embarrassed to say that I was able to confirm this on three different trips in San Jose.- 4 in 5 SF Muni bus drivers don’t care at all if you have the correct fare or a valid transfer, so just get behind the white line already you damn tourist.- BART still looks more or less like it did in THX 1138.- I’m the only one not driving in the SF bus lanes.- Next time I’m in SF, I’m definitely riding the Milan streetcars on Market St. They’re beautiful and loud as heck.- I’m averaging one illegal u-turn per day in SF.(Fremont BART Station, CA)More SF/SJ:The Guest Cottage LifeI Visited The MothershipSpecial West Coast MICWYou Heard?Babe’s MufflersFlight To

 

SF/SJ: The Guest Cottage Life

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I’m behind in my writing, but Dixie the dog doesn’t seem to mind. We’re enjoying each other’s company and the small bits of sun we’ve seen.(San Jose, CA)More SF/SJ:I Visited The MothershipSpecial West Coast MICWYou Heard?Babe’s MufflersFlight To

 

SF/SJ: I Visited The Mothership

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OK, so I’ve been able to resist going in any Apple stores on this trip (so far), but I couldn’t keep from making the hajj to Macca. And somehow I scored an employee discount at the Apple Company Store. Praise Jobs!(Apple Campus, Cupertino, CA)More SF/SJ:Special West Coast MICWYou Heard?Babe’s MufflersFlight To

 

SF/SJ: Special West Coast MICW

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This might be Kidney Pants, my cousin’s cat. He’s on long-term loan to an aunt in San Jose. I say might because I suspect I may have misheard my aunt when I asked her what his name was. Despite this, I don’t want to ask for clarification because, truthfully, is it gonna be better than Kidney Pants? Not likely.Note: his eyes really are that wide normally. He looks like he’s in a perpetual state of amazement.(San Jose, CA)

 

SF/SJ: You Heard?

SF/SJ: You Heard?

The great thing about being on vacation is that it gives you the psychic license to do things you’d never even consider doing at home — like walking by an Apple Store and not going in.

(Apple Store Valley Fair, Santa Clara, CA)

 

SF/SJ: Babe's Mufflers

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I haven’t seen much of San Jose yet, but I have a feeling I’m off to a great start.(Babe’s Mufflers, 808 The Alameda, San Jose, CA)More SF/SJ:Flight To

 

SF/SJ: Flight To

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I’m heading to the Bay Area for two weeks to relax, write, and attend the San Francisco Asian International Film Festival, where my short Take It Or Leave It? will screen. It’s been more than four years since I’ve been out to that part of the country and I can’t wait. During this first week I’ll be staying with my aunt and her husband in San Jose writing in their guest cottage (sounds fancy, huh? I hope I don’t have to sleep too close to the lawnmower). The following week, I’ll move up to my cousin’s place in SF for the festival week. Ah, the glamorous life of the itinerant deadbeat.Some random thoughts about travelling as I sit here on the flight:- If you have to be up at 6:30am for a 9:15am flight, then 2:00am is a bad time to teach yourself DVD Studio Pro so you can dupe ten DVDs to take to the festival.- If you are taking the A train to JFK and don’t know which car is optimal for getting off at Howard Beach-JFK, look for the one with all the airline workers.- If you are north of 34 St in Manhattan, it’s faster to take the E to Jamaica and getting the AirTrain there instead of taking the A.- If you are travelling alone and want to maximize your chances of sitting next to an empty seat, choose an aisle seat in the center section, because the middle seats of the center section are always the last to go.- For me, the inflight movie is always more interesting a few minutes at a time, with the sound off. I like seeing how the shots work together without the crutches of dialogue and music. On this flight, they’re showing Goal! and The Family Stone. The former looks a lot more interesting.- In twenty years of semi-regular flying, I have never, ever seen anyone use the back-of-the-seat airphone. Ever.- It’s not enough to select a seat next to a powerport, you also have to make sure the powerport actually works (mine doesn’t).(AA Flight 179, JFK-SFO)

 

Thinking Differently At Hai Sun

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You can often tell how good (or bad) a New York neighborhood is by the way the local Chinese take-out looks. In the worst neighborhoods, thick sheets of plexiglass or even metal grates separate take-out workers and customers. It’s unwelcoming to say the least, but considering the violence and racial taunts many of these workers endure on a daily basis, I can’t exactly blame them. Still, I’m happy to say that Hai Sun stands out among the others in my (rapidly) gentrifying neighborhood for its classic open-counter design. This is especially brave considering that even our local Popeye’s Chicken workers hide behind bank-style bulletproof glass – even though that’s where our local cops often eat.As for the food, well, it’s actually not bad for what it is, though my favorite place these days is Peppa’s Jerk Chicken down the street. (No plexiglass or grates there either.)(Hai Sun Chinese Take-Out, 651 Flatbush Av, Brooklyn)

 

Subway Metacritic

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I’m guessing this means two tumbs down? (One for the film, the other for the socks.)(Bleecker St Station, Manhattan)Related post:Why NY Ad Graffiti Rocks

 
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