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New Yawkers/Angelenos, Time To Hit The Thea-tuh [Children Of Invention Theatrical Debut]

March 12th, 2010 | 1 comment | Posted by Diana

Remember Tze Chun’s film, Children of Invention–the one that racked up all those awards and accolades during the festival rounds last year? It’s hitting theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a week, starting tonight.

Children of Invention: Two kids are left to fend for themselves after their mom gets thrown in the clink for participating in an illegal pyramid scheme.

Both cities offer Q&A sessions with filmmaker and talent. See showtimes below:

Look, we know everyone’s busy… but there’s a small window (barely a week!) to see this Continue reading New Yawkers/Angelenos, Time To Hit The Thea-tuh [Children Of Invention Theatrical Debut]

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Why Don’t I Have a Paper Heart-On?

April 22nd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Overture Films announced this month that they will be distributing the indie-soft mockumentary Paper Heart, which follows Michael Cera’s real-life old lady, Charlene Yi, on a quest to understand love (a journey that, in onscreen life, leads her right to Cera).

If you happened to be paying more attention to the Presidential Inauguration than the Sundance Film Festival last January, you may have missed news that the film garnered a very positive response–pocketing the Best Screenplay Award–and not just because of offbeat, so-hot-right-now star cameos by Cera, Seth Rogen and Demetri Martin.

Why? IndieWire‘s Steve Ramos points at Yi:

If the great comedian Bob Newhart had an Asian American love child it would be Charlyne Yi. She’s the drollest comic working today and her deadpan style makes the comic documentary “Paper Heart,” premiering in dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival, a fresh, irreverent road comedy.

Since I adore both Bob Newhart, irreverance, and love children, I took a bit of time to watch the film’s trailer today [via Videogum]:

…and while my heart bursts (as always) every time Cera so much as says “um,” the teaser leaves me with not even an inkling to go see the film when it hits an eclectic theater near me. Worse, I now find myself stuck on a question I neither want to ask nor answer, and here it goes:

Why don’t I get Charlene Yi???

So many reasons to love her, as many of you probably do: She’s Asian-American. She’s a comedienne. She’s left-field and quirky, geeky and unafraid, doesn’t ching-chong jokes for easy laughs, doesn’t get fussy about her sloppy hair and moon face. The “New Kings of Comedy,” who I hail to, have championed her success. And I’m pretty sure that Jen loved her as an affable stoner in Knocked Up (prepare for an “Ed. Note” if I’m wrong about this)–and save for the one Yi exception, everyone knows I’m a freakin’ sucker for affable stoners!

But something in me (perhaps the something that can’t forget seeing her do criminally bad improv in Silverlake) doesn’t see her genius. It doesn’t “aww” when she scrunches up her wee little Yi nose. It won’t respond to the perma-grin that spreads across her face, like that other mediocre funnyman-of-the-moment Jimmy Fallon, whenever she’s delivering a flatironed laugh line. It doesn’t believe that her fun, fidgety shifting comes from the inside, that it’s all her own, instead of borrowed from her infectious boyfriend.

I don’t buy her deadpan. I don’t gobble her shifty comedy shuffle, which works so well for her male counterparts, when their off-script mumbling alone is enough to make their movies memorable. Does that make me sexist? Racist? Or just grumpy? I don’t really know.

All I know is that I just don’t get Charlene Yi. But I really wish I did.

[Hollywood Reporter: Overture to Release 'Paper Heart']
[Videogum: Paper Heart Trailerl]

Thanks, Jonathan!

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Smells Like Independent Spirit

February 23rd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

“Oscars Shmoscars! I’m here at the Independent Spirit Awards, which is the Academy Awards for smart, quirky actors who do normal people-things like knitting and shopping for their own groceries. Speaking of that, I was vacuuming my house right before this thingy, and I somehow got my dress caught on the vacuum head, and half of my dress ripped off! But then I thought the dress looked even more edgy, so what the hell? And with a dress this DIY, I figured I didn’t really need to wash my hair or accessorize or pick out shoes that actually go with this outfit. How’s that for indie spirit? Lord, please let Michel Gondry put me in his next movie!”

Thanks, James!

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January 16th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Tim Bui’s new film, Owl and the Sparrow–already being heralded as a critical darling–for some time now. It’s right up my alley (an irreverent love story set in Modern-day Saigon, directed by a Saigon-born OC brat, sign me up!), and I must admit that I’m sliiiiiightly devastated that I missed this week’s Orange County premiere and its ensuing after-party at Vietnamese-America’s Isreal, Bolsa Avenue.

I was suprised to see that Tila Tequila signed up to do a promotional viral video for the film. Wowee zowee, I thought to myself. What does this mean? Does Tila Nguyen really exist? And does she have a heart of gold? And does she want to reprzent for our peeps? And does she love indie films? Maybe we could kick it at the Laemmle Sunset 5 sometime!

I would give my left nut to find some common ground with this bitch. I mean, I hate on her a lot. But I don’t want to have to! I want to find some redeeming quality about my fellow Nguyen and the only Vietnamese sub-lebrity that any blogger gives a hard-on about, so that I can simply rest my hateful, blogging fingertips, knock back some Macallan 12, rock out on Guitar Hero, and call it a night.

I watched Tila’s promotional video with an open mind, if not a bias towards supporting it. Actually–here, you watch:

Guys, I don’t know what to tell ya, but I actually believe that Tila may have the SADIM touch; that is, instead of gold, everything she touches turns to a huge steaming pile of shit. I know that Tila had her heart in the right place when she acted (terribly) in this senseless piece of turd. But it doesn’t matter. She’s terrible to watch. Listening to her robotic speech and disconnected acting gives me awful shivers. Her wretchedness is distracting: What movie was this cross-promoting? I can’t remember; I just slit my wrists to end my own suffering.

I’m not sure how good intentions could go so awry, but they do, especially when someone has the SADIM touch. Think I’m crazy? It’s happened to her before.

Hey, I may never find my common ground with Ms. Tequila, but I do respect the fact that we both gave it the ol’ college try.

View the Owl and the Sparrow official trailer here.

Source Source Source Source Source

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SandraOh the Font Is Ugly

December 3rd, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Can you think of a more awful compliment than “quirky”? It’s one of those words people quickly reach for when they’re trying to be flattering instead of hurtful, and it means nothing, kind of like “neat,” “nice,” and “interesting.” Call me a dickhead or call me fuckin’ weird, just don’t call me quirky. (BTW, I’m totally guilty of using the word, particularly when describing movies I hate like Juno to somebody older, like my parents.)

Which brings me to the SandraOh font, described by an online font site as “a quirky modern take on the classic serif fonts of the 20th century, updated here with a wiggle in her walk and a giggle in her talk…Perfect for indie films or youtube videos.”

“Quirky”? Or maybe “slightly-disturbing-for-an-inexplicable-reason”? Or “so squiggly it makes my eyes hurt”? Or just “ugly”?

See what I mean? I guess it’s wicked cool to have a font named after you, but if I were Sandy, I’d be pissed.


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What to Do if You Love Trannies, Hookers, and Internet Porn?

September 26th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

If you’re in New York or L.A., go see The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela this weekend. This movie, a sort of fictional doc about Raquela, a transsexual dreamer from the Philippines, is filled with things DISGRASIAN loves: trannies, prostitution, Pinaysians, Internet porn, Paris, and cigarettes. The story is loosely based on star Raquela Rios’s life as a “ladyboy” in Cebu City. It is a fairytale without a fairytale ending, a story with a middle but seemingly no beginning and no end, a dream state that takes you from the Philippines to Iceland and then to France. Even if you’re not into trannies, prostitution, Pinaysians, Internet porn, Paris, and cigarettes (in which case, WTF is wrong with you?!), see Queen Raquela for its hazy verité beauty that is equal parts Lars Von Trier, Jean-Luc Godard, and Wong Kar-Wai (and any other auteur with a three word-name, which, coincidentally, Raquela‘s director, Olaf de Fleur, also has).

Click here for theaters.

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Dear Lucy, Part Tiu

July 11th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Dear Lucy,

Hey lady! ‘Memba me? I’ve written you before. Perhaps my blog post/letter got lost in the cyberether/mailroom? No matter. The gist of what I said then hasn’t changed.

Today, I heard that you really want to do Charlie’s Angels 3. You were quoted as saying:

“I do (see Diaz and Barrymore). All the time. I’d love to do another Charlie’s Angels film. That would be so much fun.”

I couldn’t help thinking that the subtext/translasian of that was:

“Are you there, Cam? Drew? It’s me, Lucy. My show got canceled. I’m staring down the barrel of 40. Yes, there’s a gun in my mouth. “

We know we’re hard on you. You’ve been the object of our haterasian countless times, but, really, it’s cuz we love you. We actually love your freckles, those slightly-crossed eyes, that midgety body. Yeah, we’re fucked up like that. But you see, Luce, you’re our Obi-Wan. You’re our only hope. When people think “Asian actress” and “movies,” there’s–like that Yaz song–only you. It’s kinda unfair to have those gigantic expectations heaped on your teensy shoulders but, then again, you’re Asian and expectations are your little bitch. And, as my Hardass Asian Mother would say when whiny shit comes out of my mouth like “I don’t think I can handle it”: Handelit! Handelit!

So, please, for the love of your people, MAKE A GOOD MOVIE. I’m not really buying that your problem is that age-old issue of “Asian actors can’t get good roles in Hollywood” blah blah blah. Like I said before, go small. Do an indie. Self-finance if you have to. Fuck Angels, yo, why not do a Monster? Or a Monster’s Ball? Ditch the makeup and heels. Stop playing characters with their shit together–hard as that may be for an overachiever like yourself. Learn how to cry copiously on cue. Be weak. Take a role that requires you to wear at all times a sad, ugly, old, nubby, clawed-up sweater, the kind that is not made of 24-ply cashmere. I’m going to put one on now, in fact, though it’s the middle of summer, because having this conversasian again kinda depresses the hell outta me.

with tough but tired love,

Thanks, Jasmine!

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