Giant Robot Store and GR2 News

One of the more famous actors in China isn’t someone you’ve seen in the US or Europe. It’s Cao Cao or Jonathan Kos-Read who’s played in 100 movies playing the non-Chinese person. He’s fluent and began his career there in 1997. Now with the new relationships with the rest of the world, his characters are becoming more dynamic. He’s seldom the lead actor, but it could happen, unless Hollywood kills his career by drowning China with the likes of a dubbed Christian Bale… (China Daily – Cao Cao) ounds aweful
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[youtube]TlZaJ5ZcOKI[/youtube] Japanese horror film director Takashi Shimizu keeps on turning them out. He’s the director of The Grudge (Ju-On) and yes, he’s making movies in the USA too. Rabbit Horror! That’s the two words to describe this film. “As in THE GRUDGE, director Shimizu ventures once more into the terrifying corners of the mind, creating an eerie atmosphere that is accentuated with the lensing of world-renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle, a former collaborator of Wong Kar Wai. Like his previous horror film SHOCK LABYRINTH and his next film, the Hollywood film, 7500 (coming out this summer, starring Ryan Kwanten, Jamie Chung, and Amy Smart), Shimizu is obsessed with 3-D. And rightfully so, because he has quite a command with the medium, creating a delusional fantasy world-come-fever dream of a film that delivers frights aplenty and will appeal to 3-D aficionados.” It’s playing Saturday May 12th 9:45pm at the DGA. (LAAPFF – Tormented)
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He’s back. So is the movie that didn’t fare so well. The film, Gi Joe: the Retaliation will be happening soon also starring The Rock and Bruce Willis. Here’s an interesting quote since it’s about the language barrier and how things go when one part goes wrong. “”But I’d just forget every line – literally every single line – when I was told that I’d pronounced one word wrong while acting. Having to think that I somehow have to fix my pronunciation for that one word would just make me totally lost at the set. There’s a huge difference between making conversation in a foreign language and acting in a foreign language. I feel the most comfortable when I perform for pieces that are based on Korean culture. So I can’t help but feel that I could’ve done better if this were a Korean movie.”” The movie will hit theaters in the summer.
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Greetings from Chicago

Tim Hugh, one man bandleader of the Chicago Asian American Film Festival

This is Tim Hugh and his dog Helga in his kitchen in Chicago. Tim has run the only Asian American Indie Film Fest (i.e. no “imports”) for 12 of the 17 years that it’s been in existence. In this picture, he’s a one man bandleader- running it solo, something I can relate to as a solo musician. I’m in town to promote my film “Daylight Savings” which premiered at SXSW this year, and will be the opening night film this year. Joining me at the screening will be Michael Aki who plays my cousin in the film. I met Mike at this very festival in 2010 when he was showing his films Sunsets that he directed with Eric Nakamura, and his Film Noir tribute “Strangers”

I asked Tim a bunch of questions:

Goh: Why is this festival important?

Tim: It’s one of the only festivals that shows only Asian American films; produced, directed and/or about the Asian American experience. In the midwest more so than the coastal states, you’re constantly asked that stupid question “Where are you from?”… so it’s important to help define what being Asian and American is.

I’m a fourth generation Chinese American. In the midwest, it’s usually under the assumption that you’re just “Asian”… and not “Asian American.” When I see Causasian people I don’t ask them “are you from Poland? are you European?” I just see them for who they are, not what they look like.

Goh: How did you get involved in the festival?

Tim: I was just a fan of the band Seam, and Sooyoung Park, Ben Kim and Billy Shin started the festival in 1995 after they released the Ear of the Dragon CD, which was the first Asian American Rock Compliation. I’d always go and watch everything I could. I’d never seen films like this before; Asian American characters that spoke like me; the actors weren’t forced to speak with a bad accent. I could relate to these images and characters that I was seeing at this festival.

I became obsessed and would watch everything I could, whether it be a feature, documentary, or shorts program. I just wanted to see as much as I could, because I knew I’d never get a chance to see these movies again. Plus, being able to meet the directors and hear them speak about their films was one of the coolest things for me. I remember hanging out with Justin Lin, back when he was just a shorts director.

They noticed me being there year after year, and began to recognize me. Eventually, they would ask me to do little things like hand out program booklets, take tickets, watch the table, and take pictures during the Q&A’s. Basically, I became a volunteer. I remember standing there back in the day giving out Giant Robot magazines!

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