James Shigeta co-stars in Sam Fuller's The Crimson Kimono (1959)
Cinematheque Film Noir festival (AUG. 19 to SEP. 5)
WED, AUG. 29 @ 9:10pm
THURS, AUG. 30 @ 7:30pm
It's hard to believe but the promo pics on the right are for a Hollywood production in 1959 with Japanese Hawaiian actor, James Shigeta as one of the co-leads in which he actually plays an Asian American (re: speaks English without an accent) AND is also a romantic interest of the lead actress (Victoria Shaw) in Sam Fuller's film noir, The Crimson Kimono. Shigeta's most well-known role of late was as Joe Takagi, the boss of Bruce Willis' movie wife in the original Die Hard.
See clips of Shigeta in The Crimson Kimono, Die Hard and more in this TRIBUTE VIDEO which played at the 2006 San Francisco Asian American Film Festival.
MORE ON SHIGETA UNDER THE CUT...Posted by Boon Kondo | August 28, 2007 | Comments (0)
Posted by Alden | August 26, 2007
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TV isn't the only place where it's hard to find a diversity of skin colour. The universe of toys can be just as out-of-touch with the real world; and often oversimplifying the world to black and white, literally. Well what about brown? Brown means many things to many people, but in Hawai'i it means everybody -- partly because there is no majority in Hawai'i. With close to 20% of the population claiming to be of mixed ethnicity, it's a full range of brown possibilities: the golden brown of "mixed" hapa Hawaiian (which includes many half-Filipinos, half-Japanese and half-Chinese), and Hawaiians of Chinese and Japanese ancestry (57% of the population is Asian), the orange-brown-beige tans of white American and European tourists, the Japanese and Chinese tourists that have overcome their fear of being darker, and of course the darker Latinos, Pinoys and the indigenous peoples of Hawaiian Islands (at the point of contact there were 600,000 inhabitants in Hawai'i). Exclusive to ABC Stores - a tourist mecca - is the bronzed ("tanned") Hello Kitty. So if you've been looking for brown in the pristine white universe of this huge Japanese icon, it's here in Hawai'i.
"Is this how it feels to be French or Italian? To be chic just because of your nationality? Dare I feel that just being Korean may hold some cultural currency, these days?"
Read Elizabeth Cho's Muse s'Amuse: Hallyu, the Korean Wave @ Popmatters
* IN PICS from left to right: actor John Cho | golfer Birdie Kim | violinist Soovin Kim | comedienne Margaret ChoPosted by Boon Kondo | August 24, 2007 | Comments (0)
Wes Anderson's 5th movie: The Darjeeling Limited
Out in theatres SEPT. 29, 2007
Yeah, 3 white dudes from the States go on a hopeful spiritual journey to India and as the trailer indicates, one of the white guys makes out with a native girl. But before cries of Karate Kid II, The Last Samurai, Dances with Wolves and the like are hurled, remember that this is a Wes Anderson picture, alright?
South Asian cultures put a big emphasis on family, and Wes Anderson pics are no different. If any reoccuring theme appears throughout his 4 previous flicks (in chronological order: Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, the Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), it's all about family. In his 5th pic, Anderson regular Owen Wilson (who also co-wrote the first 3 Anderson pics) is back; Adrien Brody makes his Anderson debut; and best of all, The Darjeeling Limited also marks the return of none other than Rushmore's Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman). Adding to the family affair of things, Schwartzman is (the son of Talia Shire, which also makes him Francis Ford Coppola's nephew and Nicolas Cage's cousin) cousin Roman Coppola (Sofia's bro) is also cowriter of this picture.
The Darjeeling Limited finds the 3 main characters--estranged brothers--who are brought together by the death of their father, and end up taking a trip to India together. Angelica Huston also returns for her 3rd Anderson appearance.Posted by Boon Kondo | August 23, 2007 | Comments (0)
Hidden in a little corner of Wailuku, with no visible signage from any major road, there's no way you'll find this authentic Vietnamese restaurant by accident. Why the secrecy? It's an oasis away from the tourists, and it's probably best that way. The locals know and visit regularly. You'll know when the staff speak to the customers by name. As a result, it's comfortable, affordable and not meant for the touristy all-you-can-eat appetite. The service is warm, and the atmosphere relaxed. The food in fact rivals that of Phnom Pehn (Vancouver Chinatown's world-famous Vietnamese-Cambodian restaurant). Get your pho-fix, fill your lemongrass cravings and wash it all down with some Vietnamese ice-tea (which doesn't exist in Vancouver, unfortunately). You'll love it!Posted by Alden | August 23, 2007 | Comments (0)
Afrikan Boy's sound is said to be mostly on the grime/garage tip, being influenced by the major players of that scene like Dizzie Rascal, Kano, So Solid Crew, Lethal Bizzle, but he also incorporates some homegrown Afrobeat into the mix as well. His "One Day I Went to Lidl" is about coming to the UK without a passport, shoplifting at the supermarket Lidl and getting busted (it's currently making its round on the net). He employs a very straitforward MC story-telling style which reminds one of hip hop in the early 80s.
MORE: Exclaim Magazine profile and stream of Afrikan Boy | Check out Afrikan Boy's self-bio and some more tracks at his MySpace page | Spike Jonze VBS video with M.I.A. & Afrikan Boy in London: PT 2, PT 3, PT 4Posted by Boon Kondo | August 22, 2007 | Comments (0)
Posted by Boon Kondo | August 21, 2007 | Comments (0)
"...this is bigger than I thought."Posted by Boon Kondo | August 21, 2007 | Comments (0)
National anthems aren't really the best songs to cover if you don't want to start a little controversy -- especially true if you change the lyrics in order to make a political statement. Borat got away with it but it could have turned out differently on a different day. Though it's week-old news now, Malaysian student Wee Meng Chee (who, as the link indicates, has already gotten his own Wikiprofile) has ignited quite a controversy, still burning strongly in Malaysia over his rapped rendition of the Malaysian national anthem Negaraku. He even made a video of it and released it on, where else, the Tube.
It's rapped primarily in Mandarin with bits in Hokkien, and the chorus is apparently sung in Malay. It's Chee's so-called attempt to keep it real and let people know what the state of race relations are like in the country, which takes aim at what he (and many other Chinese, Indians and Malays) sees at the institutionalized preferential treatment of native Malays and not so preferential treatment of the minorities. It also alleged that he pokes at the national Muslim establishment. Chee, however, claims that it's a critical yet ultimately patriotic song. Well, at least political hip-hop lives on halfway around the world.Posted by Boon Kondo | August 21, 2007 | Comments (0)
Tags: Current Events
Today it's Reggaeton. Back in the early to mid-90s, it was Kid Frost and La Raza. But further back in the early 80s and onto the early 90s, after disco died away and house music and hip hop were in their infancies, Latinos in the US (NYC and Miami in particular) were all about Latin Freestyle.
Latin freestyle encompassed (and went onto influence) a range of sub-genres like electro, disco, latin jazz, funk, house, hip hop, miami bass, booty, breaks, acid-jazz and so forth. Planet Rock by Afrika Bambatta in 1982 is considered one of the songs to give birth to the freestyle genre (as it did with many others). While freestyle was called "Latin hip hop" by many early on to distinguish from the similar but different movement of hip hop (comprised mostly of Black Americans), those in the forefront of the freestyle scene began to call it that.
Bluffer's Guide to Freestyle
Major freestyle vids below
What do families around the world eat in a span of one week? It obviously differs depending on whether you live in Mali, Africa, or a suburb in the USA where corndogs share the table with iceberg salad.
The families reveal the food they eat within one week. The publisher Ten Speed summarizes it best: "This age-old practice of sitting down to a family meal is undergoing unprecedented change as rising world affluence and trade, along with the spread of global food conglomerates, transform diets worldwide."
MORE: How The World Eats - The Science of Appetite by Bryan Walsh in Time Magazine @
www.time.com/time/specials/2007 | Buy the book @ www.amazon.ca/ | Listen and read article on The Hungry Planet by Michele Norris of NPR @ www.npr.org
Tex-Mex, flamenco, dirty reggae, latin jazz, hip hop, bossa nova, tango, afro pop, cuban....the music selection within the Latin community is endless...and can be heard at the LATIN SUMMER FEST this Sunday, August 19th at Trout Lake Park in Vancouver.
The Latin Summerfest aims to promote latin cultures in a one-day outdoor event through its colourful spirit, arts, culture and food (mmm, cuban corn smothered with butter, cheese, and flecks of chili...or roasted meats, and Cuban sandwiches...*mouth watering*).
The morning will start off with a parade along Commercial Drive, which will end in Trout Lake Park where an import market and food pavilions surround an outdoor stage where artists from Flamenco to Cuban Rueda delight on stage in this free community event, complete with kids activity area.
LATIN SUMMER FEST | Sunday, August 19 | Vancouver
Trout Lake Park, Vancouver | 11am - 7pm | FREE
* More INFO @ www.latinsummerfest.com.
The weekend may be saved for the opening of the PNE in Vancouver, but why not partake in a looksy at the MELA! Festival at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby instead. MELA Festival aims to unite the South Asian communities from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan to celebrate film, music, dance, arts, fashion and FOOD.
Mela can mean market, event, religious gathering--generally it's anywhere crowds gather, so why not join the milieu...er, mela!
MELA! Festival | August 17-18, 2007 (INFO @ www.melafestivals.ca)
Deer Lake Park, Burnaby
* The Film Festival begins at 6:00pm on August 17th, 2007.
* The outdoor MELA! event & Film Festival is on Saturday, August 18th, 2007 | 11:00am to 9:00p
If you were up early enough, or were lucky enough, you may have caught super cute journalist AL DI on the August 15th edition of the CBC Vancouver morning news. Seriously people, one word outta his precious mouth and you would fall in love!
Who is AL DI? He's a Vancouver-based music contributor for the China edition of Rolling Stone magazine who's now become a favorite interviewer of musicians he happens to snag (and post) onto his comically endearing website Al 'D' TV (www.aldtv.com, with producer Colin Askey). He's been called the Chinese Nardwar...and he's a bit of a hit too, as Al Di's interview with Fall Out Boy made it as the #1 favourited position on YouTube recently (here)
Okay, back to crushing on AL DI...his website hosts a number of his happy comments such as: "English is not the universal language. Music is...I think musician can feel my heart and passion when I interview them. That's why they show their respect to me, and they speak truth to AL D TV. Exclusively. Truth is the most important thing in the world, which is one of the most beauty art we lost in 21 century...People live in insecure condition everyday. It's a huge depression days for people's mood. I just want to try my best to bring the hope, the love, the happiness and the light to people 's life. I just wanna them happy. This is all this AL D TV about. Most of matter of this AL D TV is about Friendship." This may be girly to say but even though it's not clear what he means (who cares!), it deserves a big AWWW!
Maybe there's something to multiculturalism after all...when actress STEPH SONG is crowned "the new face of Canadian film" by Canada's premier women's magazine Chatelaine. The only thing is, did they have to spoil it by called her a "coquette". Oh well, what can you do? No doubt Steph's a hottie, no denying that.
Excerpts of the article "Siren Song: Introducing Steph Song -- actress, coquette and Canada's next big thing" by Shaun Smith in the September 2007 edition of Chatelaine (full @ www.chatelaine.com).
"There's an allure to Steph Song that is both guileless and beguiling. Song, the thirtysomething (she is noncommittal about her age) Australian-Canadian actress who appears this month alongside the Hong Kong martial-arts star Jet Li in the action film War, has a sort of disarming look, a strange combination of a worldly come-hither mien and fresh-faced girlishness. Onscreen, she can go from innocence to elegance in a flash. When she does, the effect is captivating..."
M.I.A.'s 2nd album, Kala, will be released on Tuesday, Aug. 21
The clock has struck midnight on Tuesday, Aug. 14 and thus has begun the 1 week countdown until the release of M.I.A.'s sophmore album, Kala. Its been released in the UK already and thus, much of the album's tracks on the Tube already, in addition to the previously released XR2, Bird Flu, and Boyz.
A brand new music video for her track Jimmy is also circulating the Tube. This track will no doubt catch some off guard and will likely inspire a range of opinion (all in a day's work though for Ms. Arulpragasam). Most of the album was produced by a first time collaborator with M.I.A. in Switch who will join M.I.A.'s other storied producer Diplo at a gig at Plush on SEP. 23. Diplo apparently produced one track on Kala (as he also did on Arular with Bucky Done Gun). The previously produced M.I.A./Timbaland track for Timbaland's Shock Value is also on the list.
Curiously again, while Ms. Maya came out guns slingin at those who thought Diplo (who also happens to be her ex) was a svengali to her work in a recent Pitchfork interview is also caught on the Tube with her ex and still colloborator on this track "new">here.
MORE VIDS AND NEW TRACKS BELOWPosted by Boon Kondo | August 14, 2007 | Comments (0)
Better late than neva: review and pics
Daft Punk (with the Rapture and Sebastien & Kavinsky)
JULY 29, 2007
Well, the show's over a few weeks old (gig was July 29) but will def be one of the most memorable concert experiences of this electronic & beat generation of concert goers. From the debut of their current live show at Coachella last year, the hype was been crazy. On blogs and reviews round everywhere, stuff like "best Coachella set so far" to "best show eva!" have been tossed around like a salad. So much that when the Parisian robot duo of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo & Thomas Bangalter (aka Daft Punk) was marked not to set stage in Vancouver, a small legion of devotess and those curious to see what the hype was all about set sail for our American sister city across the border...
PICS BELOW!Posted by Boon Kondo | August 13, 2007 | Comments (1)
One of the hits of the summer has been The Bourne Ultimatum starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. The fight sequences leave you blinking your eyes with a "daaaamn!"under your breath. All that loose-fist fighting Matt Damon shows off is courtesy of his extensive training in boxing, the use of weapons, and Eskrima.
ESKRIMA? Yeah, it's not exactly one of those martial arts that many have heard of. Eskrima (or Escrima) refers to the Filipino weapons-based (stick and sword) martial arts--the term comes from the Spanish word esgrima "to skirmish or engage in combat". It's also known as Arnis or Arnis de Mano in the Philippines; and Pekiti-Tirsia Kali (Kali) or FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) in the US and Europe.
Eskrimadors fight interchangeably with weapons and empty hands--with strikes, grappling, throwing, and biting thrown in to the mix. Historically when the Spanish colonists arrived in the Philippines, the local tribes hid the art of Eskrima by practicing it in their dancing--much like the history of Capoeira. Later, it was considered taboo to teach Eskrima outside of the Filipino community until the 1960s when trainers of Filippino-descent such as Dan Inosanto (a former pupil of Bruce Lee) began teaching it in California.Posted by Tamiko | August 13, 2007 | Comments (1)
Need to feel absolutely free from the excesses of society? Want to shed your clothes and be one with nature? There is one place in the Vancouver area that permits this freedom...Wreck Beach.
This weekend on August 11 and 12th, Vancouver's Kokoro Dance group presents its 12th ANNUAL WRECK BEACH BUTOH performances. Nudity for art's sake! Butoh is a contemporary form of dance from Japan that borrows elements from the traditional and western forms of dance. One striking feature of Butoh is the liberal use of white body makeup. At this event, 19 dancers "will shed their clothes and explore the majestic landscape of Canada's largest clothing-optional beach in two magical performances that embrace the challenge of performing in unpredictable weather and tidal conditions."
BUTOH PERFORMANCE AT WRECK BEACH
* Saturday, August 11 @ 11 am | Sunday, August 12 @ 11:45 am
* Performances are by donation and take place on Wreck Beach at the foot of the #4 Trail (west of the UBC Museum of Anthropology).
* Photography and recording of any kind is strictly prohibited.
[Images by Peter Eastwood).Posted by Tamiko | August 9, 2007 | Comments (0)
(Source: Flavorpill - Earplug - Electronic Music News - Brighton Beats Memoirs: Fujiya & Miyagi leave their day jobs in the dust - July 19, 2007 - HERE)
Introducing FUJIYA & MIYAGI....wait...wtf!?!...what do you mean they aren't Japanese boys making electronica? Er, no...rather, "we're pretending to be Japanese" says "Miyagi" (aka. David Best, vocals and guitar).
The story goes that the trio ("Fujiya", "Miyagi", and "Ampersade"; aka. Steve Lewis, Best, and Matt Hainsby) from Brighton, England met from a mutual hero-worship of world heavyweight wrestler Kendo Nagasaki, and a shared interest in early-90s electronica.
How did they come up with their Japanesque name? "Named for a Japanese turntable and the Karate Kid master, Fujiya & Miyagi play "exquisite corpse" with '70s psyche rock, '80s post-punk, and '90s electronica. Their US debut, Transparent Things, echoes Can, Wire, Happy Mondays, and LCD Soundsystem. Head-nodding form follows hip-swaying function: lean, modernist bass lines pulsating at steady metronomic tempos as melodic synthesizers swoosh over droll, muttered lyrics...F&M prepared to quit their white-collar day jobs and hit the road on their first US tour" (from Earplug...check HERE for full interview by Earplug's Jorge Hernandez)
Videos under the cut...Posted by Tamiko | August 6, 2007 | Comments (0)