Local filmmaking hero Wayne Wang is in the official spotlight at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, just where he belongs. We left our hearts in his S.F. slice-of-Chinatown-life feature Chan Is Missing many years ago, but we're just film nerds that way; most people know Wang as the director of The Joy Luck Club. He's also responsible for Eat a Bowl of Tea, which is great in many ways, but most importantly because it brought us plenty of Russell Wong. Mmmm, Russell Wong. Thank you Wayne! The festival's spotlight also shines on Wang's latest feature, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers.
Speaking of beautiful actors, the festival brings us a double dose of John Cho, who stars not only in the yowch-hot Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, but also in West 32nd, a joint Korean and U.S. production focusing on Manhattan's Koreatown underworld and co-starring Battlestar Galactica's Grace Park.
Perhaps to calm us down from all that hot-pantsing around, the fest also presents a talk called "The Hypersexuality of Race" by Celine Parreñas Shimizu, which takes a critical look at clips of early Hollywood productions along with assorted porn, but Shimizu's not bringing any buckets of cold water. Instead, she argues that viewers should just remember that they're enjoying looking at complex humans, instead of Dragon Ladies or submissive dolls. Catch Sing-Along Colma: The Musical tonight at 9:30 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post (at Fillmore), S.F. Admission is $10.
March 13-23, 2008