Talk about breaking Asian American stereotypes in cinema! Justin Chon, writer, director and main actor of “Gook” brings to you the movie that many of us Asian Americans have been waiting for. He does what I’ve always wanted to do as an artist; he screams “Hey, your life is shitty, but so is mine. Quit pretending that I don’t exist.”
Last week, I was undulating between two emotions: pride and disappointment. For one, my film I CAN I WILL I DID screened at the Asian American International Film Festival in New York to a sold out crowd. It was invited back for an encore screening the following week and picked up its third festival award (this time the Audience Choice Award). In addition to that, we received invitations to two mainstream film festivals. I am beyond thrilled! I want to thank my Facebook friends, film collaborators and blogging community for the kind congratulatory words that were sent my way. Filmmakers bare their souls for everyone to see and make themselves vulnerable to scrutiny and pain. An audience that is moved by what you have to say, is everything.
We are living in an era that has enabled an openly misogynist man to become president. Backed in part by alt-right religious fanatics, Trump’s administration actively works on dismantling protections for minority groups, including women. Reading Margaret Atwood’s 1986 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” against this backdrop strikes a particularly sensitive chord with me. Her story is set in a world that represents my worst fears, a world where I’m no longer allowed to follow my passions such as reading, writing and filmmaking, and where I have been forced to relinquish autonomy over my own body. Continue Reading “The Handmaid’s Tale – MARGARET ATWOOD”
This is Tiffany McDaniel’s debut novel, and let me tell you… that is one hell of a novel! Set in the Midwestern town of Breathed in the mid-80’s, The Summer That Melted Everything is a story about the strange happenings surrounding the arrival of a young black boy. True to time and setting, we are thrust into a saga that tackles everything from racism, prejudice, small-town mob mentality, homophobia, and HIV/AIDS. It’s easy to want to turn my back on a narrative that normalizes these cringe worthy characters, but McDaniel manages to infuse so much compassion and empathy in these people that I find myself strangely drawn to the anti-heroes of her tale. Continue Reading “The Summer that Melted Everything – TIFFANY MCDANIEL”
I’m with Brian, my husband of nearly two years. We enter a fancy New York lounge and he immediately strolls toward the bar. i’m right behind him, waiting for him to order my go-to drink. The bartender does his thing and then comes back with the two beverages.
“Here you go,” he cheerfully says. “One Jameson neat and one Stella.”
He pushes the whiskey glass toward my husband and hands me the beer.
What a fantastic, entertaining novel. Do not expect literary nuggets, but if you’re in for an emotional planetary ride, this is your book. I was always at the edge of my seat and found myself laughing out loud more than once. The geek in me is pleased and my interest in sci-fi is deepened.
It’s not enough to be a gripping and jumpy novel. Often, the most successful stories are the ones that remind us of our darkest selves or make us revisit moments in our lives that we thought we had safely left in the past. Good novels make us regurgitate our experiences. We project the nadirs of our existence onto works of art, from a distance at first. If the writing is good and doesn’t distract, we will feel the narrative with every fiber of our bodies.
Of all the horror genres, I’ve always liked the zombies the best. The prequel to this film, 28 Days Later, directed by British filmmaker Danny Boyle three years prior, was such a big box office hit, that (of course!) Fox queued up its sequel soon after. But when writers and directors change hands, you get very different movies, almost unrecognizable from each other.
There is honor in writing.
But don’t be a one, unless you’re prepared to suffer through years of rejection, financial burden, and critique from peers that make your heart sink to the bottoms of your feet.
Thus, I repeat: There is honor in writing.
Robert Galbraith put together an enticing cast of characters, rich in complexity and distinct in their agendas. I would not expect otherwise, since Robert Galbraith is actually a pseudonym for none other than Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling (the cat’s been out of the bag for years on that one though, they actually reveal that fact on the back of the cover).