Not to be outdone by Toronto, the 11th Vancouver Asian Film Festival presents "its largest line-up of features, shorts, and documentaries from Asian filmmakers from North America." And possibly the best festival line-up it's ever had. But it's not just the films!
VAFF is being hosted by FOURTEEN of Vancouver's top actors - some of the hottest Asian Canadians working in film and TV (see here). Highlights include sure-to-be-sold-out screenings of Justin Lin's FINISHING THE GAME; the HIROS & VILLANS series followed by Gangsta to Geek: Asians in Western Drama, a panel about the representation of Asians in film and TV (a must-see for all Dragon Boys fans; moderated by filmmaker Nilesh Patel); and In The Director's Chair with Justin Lin. Check out VAFF's complete program here.
Individual Tickets now available @ http://www.vaff.org/festival.Posted by Alden | October 31, 2007 | Comments (1)
Borrowing the title of Muhammad Ali's historic bout Thrilla in Manila in the Philippines, it's Thrilla in Manila for real (yeah, yeah, the prisoners are actually in Cebu). They're wearing orange jumpsuits and performing to Michael Jackson's Thriller (HERE or under the cut), so it's perfect for Halloween.
The clip features an unusual physical fitness regime that's compulsory for all 1,600 inmates at Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Centre in the Philippines. The most popular routine has been the dancing routine to Thriller, the brainchild of Byron Garcia, a security consultant for the Cebu provincial government. He said it had helped "drastically" improve inmate behaviour, and the videos have become a source of great pride for the prisoners.
Mwahaha! Happy Halloween!
More: "Philippine jailhouse rocks to Thriller" by BBC News @ news.bbc.co.uk | Freaky (!!) optical illusion @ www.eyetricks.com -- you may scream out! | Minorities less likely to trick-or-treat @ www.bostonherald.comPosted by Tamiko | October 31, 2007 | Comments (0)
Think of it as TIFF's baby sister: spunky and up for the challenge. From Nov 14 to 18, the 11th Annual Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival will present 77 films (59 premieres) from 13 countries.
Highlights include the opening night gala and Toronto premiere of Justin Lin's FINISHING THE GAME; the Closing Night Gala's showing of Mika Ninagawa's debut feature SAKURAN--a sensually stunning film that brings to life the courtesan world of the 1700s with a decidedly 21st century verve and attitude; Chen Shi-Zheng's stark drama DARK MATTER, a story inspired by a true tragedy from 1991 when a young Chinese student is pushed to the margins of American life and ultimately beyond his darkest limit (Full Schedule HERE)
Individual Tickets now available @ www.reelasian.com/tickets. PLUS - Passes at Early Bird prices until October 31!Posted by Tamiko | October 30, 2007 | Comments (0)
Liverpool has been chosen as the European Capital of Culture 2008 -- and CREAM, the most definitive super-club in the world -- has much to do with it! Possibly the most trend-setting nightclub in the world, it has influenced club culture, afterhours warehouse parties and uber-clubbers in every hidden corner of the world.
Last Saturday (October 20th) Cream celebrated its 15th birthday and BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix was there. For this week ONLY: the Essential Mix delivers highlights with sets from Pete Tong in the Main Room and the newly crowned world's number 1 DJ Armin Van Buuren in the Courtyard (2 hours straight).
Celebrate 15 years of Cream with Pete Tong and winner of the Top 100 DJ Awards, Armin Van Buuren herePosted by Alden | October 30, 2007 | Comments (0)
Written and performed by Tricia Collins and directed by Maiko Bae Yamamoto, Gravity is about four women across time, water and worlds, connected by blood and the gravity which pushes them together and pulls them apart. From the kidnapping of a young Chinese girl, to a ghost trapped in a waterfall, to a Vancouverite trying to understand her cultural past, Gravity interweaves storytelling, memories, myths and facts.
The piece also features the talents of five other performers and will integrate music, video media and live performance.Posted by Michelle D. | October 29, 2007 | Comments (0)
Marie Claire magazine issued a special report entitled ERASING ETHNICITY (here), which probes the dramatic jump of plastic surgery amongst ethnic minorities (a rise of 65% compared to 38% increase among the overall population). They boil it down to higher incomes and a range of ethnic-specific techniques available for their taking, such as double-eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, and calf reduction.
The article also touches on other methods of "erasing ethnicity" from straightening hair, lightening haircolour, "whitening" skincare, using blue/grey/hazel/green contact lenses, and tanning. There is also a random notation of "the beauty and the challenges of being multi-ethnic".
The store feels like stepping into a very different (and very pink) world of fashion. The line is based in Hangzou, near Shanghai, but Westmend borrows its style from Japanese street-style youth, known as the Gothic or Classic Lolita style. In layman’s terms, that means lots of frilly, frothy dresses; ribbons; patterned peacoats and lace. While the store can’t promise you a place in Gwen Stefani’s dance troupe, the quintessentially feminine style will likely make you feel like a living doll.
Visit Westmend's official site @ www.westmend.com (In Mandarin).
ARCHIVE: The best street food in NYC? To find out, go to the growing community site PLATIAL, which its co-creators hope "enables anyone to find, create and use meaningful maps of Places that matter to them. We hope it can connect people, neighborhoods, cities and countries through a citizen-driven common context that goes beyond geopolitical boundaries."
Platial is like a cross between MapQuest and a blog. It's perfect for "neogeographers" who wish to use digital maps to tell stories. The site uses mashups to create customized maps, much in the same way inside game communities such as Second Life or World of Warcraft include maps of the virtual reality worlds within them.
Oh horrors, shades of Akihabara Otaku madness has arrived in Canada! Alas, the cosplay cafe (in particular, the maid cafe) has made it over the Pacific and now resides in Toronto in the form of I MAID CAFE, where young waitresses in short French-maid uniforms gamely serve the clientele such fare as fruit with ice cream waffle or fresh mango and bolden fried chicken steak with rice.
The premise is that you get "served" by a cute subservient maid in full gear cosplay, who'll most probably giggle coyly and bat her lashes at pimply teenage boys into anime, or worse yet...oily older men into anime. Are you rolling your eyes already?
Alright, alright, can't knock it until it's been tried, and according to reports the clientele is actually mostly 20-something female Asians (the cafe is located near one of the new Chinatowns in Toronto), and the owner sees the cosplay element as a gimmick rather than exploitation. If only that was the truth...
More: Official website @ www.imccanada.com | "I Maid Cafe Serves Up Japanese Weirdness in Cold Canada" by Steve Levenstein, (Oct 05, 2007) @ inventorspot.com | CBC Toronto Metro Morning report on I Maid Cafe (Feb 4, 2007) by Catherine Jheon @ www.cbc.ca/metromorning.Posted by Tamiko | October 25, 2007 | Comments (0)
Vocab junkies help feed the world! You know who you are. People say it's like you've swallowed a dictionary; you use audacious words in place of the simplified synonyms (sheepishly guilty?); you have time to spare to improve (or show off) your vocab skills; you want to help those less fortunate than you?
FreeRice has two goals: (1) Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free and (2) Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free. How? For each word you get right, FreeRice donates 10 grains of free rice to help end world hunger.
The rice is distributed by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the rice you donate makes a huge difference to the person who receives it. So go on...rev up your cranium @ www.freerice.com.Posted by Tamiko | October 24, 2007 | Comments (0)
How does one prepare sliced pork uterus for dinner? It's something you might want to ask the butcher. Or head over to Jeff Houck's blog Side Salad to peruse through pics of his Asian supermarket adventure, and see what he's documented with Jade of the Steamy Kitchen blog.
Other delicacies found in "FUN WITH LABELS AT THE ASIAN MARKET" include the dim sum treat--chicken feet (aka. golden phoenix talons), and...wait for it...Potent Man tea (see pic under the cut). Curiously, wonder what a reverse blog would be like...if someone from Asia went into a typical North American supermarket and found amusing delicacies on their part...
(Full Article @ sidesalad.net)
MORE: Watch "Phoenix Talons. A Chicken Feet Docu-Short by Ray Wong. Betcha Can't Eat Just One" @ www.deependdining.com.Posted by Tamiko | October 23, 2007 | Comments (0)
The ethereal sounds of Icelandic post-rock band SIGUR ROS have been heard in over ten films since the early millenium, so it seems a natural progression for the band to release their own film.
On November 20th, Sigur Ros will release a film entitled Heima, which documents the band's tour around Iceland during the summer of 2006. During this tour, Sigur Ros performed free shows at two big open-air shows, five smaller shows, as well as a protest concert. The documentary, which translates to "Home," also captures footage of an intimate acoustic concert played at a coffee shop in Borg, a small town in Iceland.Posted by Michelle D. | October 22, 2007 | Comments (1)
Smashing! German photographer Martin Klimas' amazing images capture fragile objects breaking on impact, with only a strobe light and one sheet of film.
You almost want to say, "Hai ya!" after looking at each shot. Go on, it's okay.
MORE: Martin Klimas' Official site (in German) @ www.martin-klimas.de | Interview with Martin Klimas by Rosecrans Baldwin @ www.themorningnews.org | "Martin Klimas: Temporary Sculpture" by Jonah Samso @ www.coolhunting.com.Posted by Tamiko | October 21, 2007 | Comments (0)
(From playbackmag.com) CBC's hit sitcom LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE may not be nominated in the best comedy series category at this year's Gemini Awards, but the show is receiving a special award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television later this month at the 22nd annual fete.
Mosque has been named recipient of the Canada Award, sponsored by Canadian Heritage, recognizing excellence in TV programming that reflects racial and cultural diversity. Last year's winner was the APTN animated program Wapos Bay. (Read the entire article on playbackmag.ca here).
LITTLE MOSQUE airs on CBC every Wednesday at 8:00PM.Posted by Alden | October 20, 2007 | Comments (0)
Vancouver has joined the ranks of NYC, Boston, San Fran, Honolulu, and LA...even HK, London and Tokyo. How? BEARD PAPA, a Japanese cream puff chain--which should be called a cream puffery--(known as choux cream in Japan) has finally arrived. Creamy custard goodness tucked inside a fluffy pastry cloud. Mmm...
Beard Papa has over 250 stores in Japan, with franchises across the US, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Whatever you like to call them--cream puffs, profiteraoles, choux cream--get yourself to Richmond (of course!) to try the delicacies filled with vanilla, chocolate, green tea, or seasonal flavoured custard. Like cinnamon buns, the scent will lead you there...
WHERE: Beard Papa, Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC (website @ www.muginohousa.com)Posted by Tamiko | October 19, 2007 | Comments (0)
South Africa is one of the most dangerous societies in the world. Figures from the South African Police Service show that from April 2006 to March 2007, more than 19,000 South Africans were murdered, more than 52,600 people were raped, and nearly 13,600 people were carjacked.
"It's very sad," said Mark Sutherland, London bureau chief for Billboard Magazine. "He's a big loss to the South African music business. (He was) one of their most successful artists and certainly one of their leading reggae artists."
Sutherland said Dube was an extremely respected musician who toured extensively around the world. Dube had just returned from a tour of the United States that stretched from California to New York.
His record company said Dube leaves "a great void" in the music industry after a 25-year career. Dube recorded 22 albums in Zulu, English and Afrikaans."Posted by Tamiko | October 19, 2007 | Comments (0)
Schema has always been a big fan of the mini-series DRAGON BOYS! In fact we devoted an entire fansite to the Vancouver-based Asian Canadian crime story. Packed with internationally recognized Asian Canadian talent, as well as Hong Kong's megastar Eric Tsang, it was no surprise that Dragon Boys was nominated for 9 Gemini Awards (the official Canadian Emmy Awards).
On Wednesday Dragon Boys received the Gemini Award for BEST DRAMATIC MINI-SERIES. Uber-TV-writer Ian Weir also took home a trophy for Best Writing in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series. According to lead actor Byron Man's blog, "Dragon Boys will debut in Hong Kong and China this fall."
It would be a shame to travel to Italy and forego the cuisine...fresh, seasonal, and local--after all, the slow food movement started there. Visions of prosciutto, herbed olives slick with extra virgin olive oil, linguine alla vongole with plump clams, refreshing limone granite...
* Snap back to reality*...take a look at these posters from an Italian advertising company which portray quirky shots of food. A marriage of design and food--how a propos. Photos HERE.
The game-world tremored with delight on October 17th when Japanese game developer Capcom (also known for Resident Evil/Biohazard) announced in a London press conference their fighting game STREET FIGHTER IV has just entered into development.
Otaku's everywhere are surely salivating...but whether you care if the future game will feature 3D CGI-style graphics or traditional 2D hand-drawn animation, you'll dig the teaser trailer of STREET FIGHTER IV, which shows characters Ryu and Ken (where's Chun Li?) kickin' ass in a 3D "brush stroke-painted style"...it's enough to make you want to see what the fuss is about...maybe.Posted by Tamiko | October 17, 2007 | Comments (0)
While some might see them as ethnic ghettos, others believe they're merely tourist sights, and still others might see them as home. Whatever your belief, Chinatowns across Canada are slowly revitalizing their image to bring in new crowds and more money.
All this week, CBC Radio One's Sounds Like Canada (10am; 10:30am Newfoundland) is running a series called "NEW BUSINESS IN OLD CHINATOWN". It will showcase "young business people who believe there is a place for a Chinatown in their modern lives. But its much different than the district their grandparents shopped and socialized in."
The program will visit Chinatowns in Vancouver, Edmonton, Moosejaw, and Montreal.
LISTEN to the shows you've missed @ www.cbc.ca/soundslikecanada/features.
If you go to cultural festivals primarily for the food (and let's be honest, who doesn't?), then you'll want to set aside a day or two (or three) this October 19 to 21 to attend the HELLENIC COMMUNITY'S 30th ANNUAL GREEK FOOD FESTIVAL. For 3 days, Vancouver's Hellenic Community Centre will be transformed to feature a dining room, taverna, bakery, and kafenio (cafe), all designed to give you a real taste (pun intended) of what Greek culture is all about.
GREEK FOOD FESTIVAL | Fri-Sun, Oct 19 - 21, 2007 |
4500 Arbutus Street (Corner of Arbutus and Valley Drive), Vancouver
Fri, Oct 19 / 5 pm - 11 pm
Sat, Oct 20 / noon - 11 pm
Sun, Oct 21 / noon - 10 pm
MORE: For menus, entertainment info, and tempting pics of featured entrees, visit
Don your yellow workout suit with the black piping, a la Bruce Lee (and come to think of it, Uma in Kill Bill) and head down to Hyphen Magazine's party for Justin Lin's FINISHING THE GAME, complete with the cast and crew of the film in attendance, on Friday, October 19. Why go (other than the obvious)? In Justin Lin's words:
OPENING NIGHT: FINISHING THE GAME | Friday, Oct 19 | San Francisco
9:30pm-2am | $8 to get into Club Six OR free with the movie tix to that night's screening (7 or 9 pm).
Check out all the info on the Bruce or Bust facebook event page @ www.facebook.com/event AND RSVP @ sanfrancisco.going.com/bruceorbust
Don't let the cover of Anokhi Magazine fool you, MuchMusic VJ HANNAH SIMONE is definitely more than just a pretty face. With a BA in International Relations and a Ryerson degree in Radio and Television Arts, she's balancing the "good life" of the music world with her global activism. You may, after all, recognize her as the face of climate prevention in those Flick off campaigns (definitely prettier than Al Gore). Regardless, Anokhi Magazine does promise some "hot" photos of this former model (on newsstands Monday Oct 15th, 2007).
The question "Where are you from?" is often a difficult question to answer. Here's what Hannah had to say:
Bored? Wanna see some cool flicks or dope live shows?
Legendary Japanese turntablist, DJ KRUSH is back on Wednesday, Oct. 24 @ Vancouver's Commodore to promote his first DVD release, History of DJ Krush/Suimou Tsunenimasu, a 3 disc DVD set (HERE for other cities; click on Schedule).
And after her first show sold out 20 minutes after it went on sale for Nov. 14 in Vancouver, Sri Lankan/British bombstress, M.I.A added a 2nd show for Nov 13 (other cities HERE). Not only has M.I.A.'s sophomore release KALA equaled the crazy praise that her much hyped debut, Arular earned, the numerous glowing reviews also read like a what's what about the current urban music scene.Posted by Boon Kondo | October 12, 2007 | Comments (0)
Religious or not, if you're a DJ or DJ enthusiast and in the Toronto area this Sunday, October 21, you'll want to head to church -- specifically, the city's historic Berkeley Church -- to attend the 2ND ANNUAL TORONTO DJ FESTIVAL. In addition to bringing together over 15 competitors screened from hundreds of DJs from across Canada, this one day event will feature product demos, learning seminars, a charity spinathon, TDJF awards, special performances, and more.
Celebrating new concepts, elements and sound, last year's festival launched Canada's first ever digital DJ-ing competition. This year, it's holding the first ever scratching competition.
Highlights for this year's events include a live performance by the world-renowned DJ Q-Bert (Invisibl Skratch Piklz) in his last year on tour and first time back in Toronto in five years. For more information, go to www.torontodjfestival.com.
TORONTO DJ FESTIVAL Sunday, October 21, 2007 | 12pm - 2am
Berkeley Church, 315 Queen St. East, Toronto | Phone: 1.416.841.6224
Tix: Adult: $30 Advanced $35 at the door | Kids (under 10): $15 Advanced $17.50 at the door
We all have the right to play, animals included. Witness a polar bear play with sled husky dogs in Churchill, Manitoba...and wonder, why can't us humans get along?
Narrated by researcher Stuart Brown, the slide-show features shots by German photographer Norbert Rosing who took images of a 12lb polar bear approaching a team of sled dogs. Rosing assumed the inevitable would happen since the polar bear probably hadn't eaten for months...yet they ended up playing without nary a threatening gesture. Instead, the polar bear returned daily to play with his new friends: WATCH THEM PLAY HERE.
Go play.Posted by Tamiko | October 11, 2007 | Comments (0)
It's billed "The Yogurt Wars"...the tiff between the upscale frozen yogurt chains of RED MANGO which operates 130 stores across Korea, and LA-based PINKBERRY with locations across SoCal and NYC. The more prolific of the two in N.America is Pinkberry, a chain started by Shelly Hwang and former bouncer Young Lee in 2005. If Pinkberry copied Red Mango the founders aren't admitting or denying the similarities, although the media has made the connection. Local afficiados can compare as Red Mango launches in the US this year.
Of course, this is merely background noise to the consumers of the tasty treats...what really counts is the menu: Original or Green Tea frozen yogurt swirled and topped with fresh fruit or confections such as yogurt chips, cocoa pebbles, sliced almonds, coconut...Alas, Red Mango has no "secret" menu (but it's touted as being creamier than its adversary).
The yogurt will set you back nearly $10 for a large cup with 3 toppings (average price is $5.50) but in Pinkberry's case the 1,500 customers who visit a single store a day seem to be enticed by the funky atmosphere of the Philippe Starck/Le Klint decor.
Fourth-generation Japanese American cartoonist, Adrian Tomine, known for his acclaimed comic series Optic Nerve, which he self-published when he was 15 (now 33), now has a long-form graphic novel called SHORTCOMINGS for you to peruse...
(Source: Boldtype - Diana Metzger) "...Here, he tracks one young Japanese-American man's inner search for love, understanding, and having the last word in any argument. Fearless in his study of the heartbreaking and bizarre mating rituals of the young, restless, and angsty, Tomine is just as bold when it comes to capturing the intense racial issues that bubble, and sometimes explode, within casual daily conversation.
Ben Tanaka is a movie-theater manager aimlessly stumbling into his 30s. His life consists of alienating his girlfriend Miko, venting to his sharp-as-a-tack lesbian best friend Alice, and attempting to seal the deal with cute young blondes. Although Ben could easily have been a completely unlikable anti-hero, instead he's a surprisingly sympathetic guy, whose awkward charm lurks just beneath his prickly wit..."Posted by Tamiko | October 7, 2007 | Comments (1)
The musical sound of Bat For Lashes resembles animated Halloween music crossed with 1970s French music. The haunting pseudonym is the work of Pakastani-born/British singer-songwriter, Natasha Khan, and a row of her ethereal accomplices from her live performances: Ginger Lee, Abi Fry and Lizzy Carry
Inspired by dreams, animals, forests and phenomena, Bat For Lashes released her debut album, Fur and Gold, earlier this year under Parlophone Records. The album contains the sensational single, "What's a Girl to do?" which features Khan's whispering voice layered over Dracula-themed harpsichords and heartbeat-like tom toms (listen HERE). Another single, "Horse and I," shows off Khan's powerful vocal abilities overtop a galloping riff on the harpsichord (listen HERE).
With comparisons to Bjork, Bat for Lashes offers a unique and inspiring multi-textural sound which draws listeners in, particularly when Khan sings in a whisper. Now touring North America, the sultry doe-eyed singer will be in Vancouver on Saturday, October 13. So head on down to the Plaza for a night of musical illusions.Posted by Michelle D. | October 5, 2007 | Comments (0)
Digital Diversity -- calling on creative Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35 to submit their short film or podcast (audio file) on the theme of immigration.
Hundreds of short film submissions were received, and most recently, RCI launched its online contest, giving the online public the chance to decide their favorite. Now in Week Three, Tenzin Jangchup's short "A Brief History of Life" is now viewable online. Easily one of the most moving shorts! But you decide. Check out all the films here - and don't forget to vote!Posted by Alden | October 4, 2007 | Comments (0)
Nike unveiled on Tuesday what it said is the first shoe designed specifically for American Indians, in an effort to promote physical fitness in a population with high obesity rates.
The Oregon-based company says the Air Native N7 is designed with a larger fit for the distinct foot shape of American Indians, and has a culturally specific look.