The 29th annual Asian American Film Festival begins next week & I’m thoroughly excited! I LOVE this film festival. I’ve decided to volunteer for them this year. I figured this would be a great opportunity for me to network and learn a little bit about the film industry before I decide if I want to enter this world professionally. The festival will run from March 10th – March 20th in multiple theaters around the Bay Area including Sundance Kabuki in San Francisco, Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, and Camera 12 in San Jose. I’ve been attending this festival for the past 10 years and it has never disappointed me. I usually catch the comedy shorts program but over the years, with so many vast & intelligent topics surfacing, they had enough to start grouping the topics of the short films together. For 2011, the shorts programs are 3rd I South Asian program (South Asian/Indian), Chicken Proof (comedy), Future States (transmedia experiment), Life, Interrupted (human spirit), Living Life Large (portraits), Play/House (family dynamics), Silent Rituals and Hovering Proxies (texture of life), Suite Suite Chinatown (Chinatowns), and Tainted Love (love).
This year though, I’ve decided to skip the shorts progam and opt for a Hong Kong-based feature length film called “Break Up Club.” No, there won’t be any Asian Molly Ringwald look-alikes twirling her overdyed auburn hair or any rebellious Judd Nelson types carving Chinese characters of symbolic meaning onto wooden desks. It actually stars Fiona Sit and Jaycee Chan (Jackie Chan’s son, fyi) and it is “a tale of a mysterious Web site, Breakupclub.asia, that will reunite estranged lovers if one party enters the name of a happy couple and agrees to separate them in exchange.” – Center for Asian American Media(CAAM). Sounds pretty intriguing, right?
I love Hong Kong films, but my favorites are the comedy films with Stephen Chow in it. He is hilarious!! If I could, I would almost marry that fool. He’s an amazing actor and an even more creative comedian who is now directing and producing his own films. He’s been doing this for over 20 years and during this time, with each film, you can witness his progress in honing his comedic timing down to an exact science. He’ll make you cry he’s so good!
My favorite film with him in it is “All’s Well Ends Well” but I wouldn’t suggest watching that as a first Stephen Chow film. He was still at the beginning stages of learning his comedic timing in this one but I just like it because I enjoy the plot. If anyone ever decides to check him out, I would suggest watching “Shaolin Soccer” or “Kung Fu Hustle” in which he starred in and directed. Alternatively, one can watch him in “Fight Back To School,” “God of Gamblers II,” or “All For The Winner.” And those aforementioned are just the tip of the iceberg. All his films have English subtitles so they’re perfect for me. While I do speak Chinese, I can’t, however, read nor write it.
Wow, all this Stephen Chow talk has got me wanting to go watch his movies now. Hmm…I wonder if there’s a Chinese version of Netflix out there. Ah well, doesn’t matter. I own copies of many of his movies anyway. I think I’ll go watch “Take Me Home Tonight” this weekend. Topher Grace is one of my favorites but no one can hold a candle to Will Friedle, at least not in my book. ;0)