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Archive for the ‘Films/Documentaries’ Category

The 16th Annual Asian American Showcase in Chicago

Posted by litdaily on April 6, 2011

The 16th Annual Asian American Showcase is screening films at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago through April 14, 2011. The film festival’s schedule over the next week includes Iris Shim’s The House of Suh, Helie Lee’s Macho Like Me, Chuck Mitsui’s One Kine Day, and Rasaka Theater Company’s brief tribute to Bollywood. You can find the details for Asian American Showcase here.

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Film Screening and Discussion: “The House of Suh”

Posted by litdaily on February 5, 2011

The award-winning film “The House of Suh | A good son is committed for life” will be screened at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) on Tuesday, February 8, at 5:30 p.m. The screening will be followed by a discussion with UIC alumna Iris K. Shim, the film’s director and producer, producer Gerry Kim and associate producer and UI graduate Joseph Lee. Further details for the event can be found here.

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Film Synopsis: Yoon Myung and Tai Sook Suh immigrated to America for a better life for their children, Andrew and Catherine. But their pursuit of happiness quickly became riddled with misfortune, culminating on Sept. 25, 1993, when Andrew shot and killed his older sister’s fiancé of eight years, Robert O’Dubaine, at Catherine’s bidding. Those closest to Andrew expressed shock and disbelief: How could a young man with a promising future allow himself to be convinced into committing murder? As the Suh’s complex history unfolds, issues of cultural assimilation, traditional values and justice are examined, raising questions of guilt, innocence and the illusive gray area in between.

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An Evening of Film and Consciousness-Raising

Posted by litdaily on October 21, 2010

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum will host a film screening of A Crossroad Called Manzanar and Vincent Who? on Friday, Oct. 22.  For more details, see >>

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Shyamalan’s “Devil”

Posted by litdaily on September 16, 2010

“Devil” is the first installment of M. Night Shyamalan’s “Night Chronicles,” a planned trilogy of original stories…more>>

As the article notes, Shyamalan is a controversial figure.  Critics either love him or hate him.  Some believe he’s still living on the glory of “The Sixth Sense,” which has carried him through a series of movies that have a lot of trimmings but not enough substance.

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Chicago South Asian Film Festival

Posted by litdaily on September 14, 2010

The inaugural Chicago South Asian Film Festival runs from October 1st through October 3rd, 2010 with showings at Columbia College Chicago’s Film Row Cinema and Chicago Cultural Center. The festival showcases filmmakers from South Asia and South Asian diasporas. Expected attendees include Deepti Naval, Manisha Koirala, Ajay Naidu, Aparna Sen…more>>

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The Film Adaption of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, Never Let Me Go

Posted by litdaily on September 14, 2010

Mark Romanek’s second feature film is an adaptation of Ishiguro’s novel, Never Let Me Go.  A hyrbid of Japanese and British sensibilities, the novel and the film exhibits a calm surface with underlying emotional turmoil…more>>

Having read the book a couple of years ago, I know that descriptions of Ishiguro’s work will never be able to do justice to it.  The most surprising aspect of his narrative is the way that the characters capture your heart, which in the end, feels twisted with emotion.  It is not an easy to novel to forget, and for this reason, there is no better title.

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San Diego Asian Film Festival, Oct 21-28, 2010

Posted by litdaily on September 7, 2010

The San Diego Asian Film Festival showcases documentaries, short films, and  animations. The festival is one of the largest Asian international exhibitions in the United States…more>>

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“Norwegian Wood” at Venice Film Festival

Posted by litdaily on September 2, 2010

The film, “Norwegian Wood,” based on Haruki Murakami’s wildly successful novel, will premiere at the Venice Film Festival. It will compete for the Golden Lion with 22 other films…more>>

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Replicating Indian and Chinese Education in the West

Posted by litdaily on September 2, 2010

American filmmaker Robert Compton’s documentary, “2 Million Minutes” urges U.S. schools to mimic Indian and Chinese education.  Even with high illiteracy rates, primary school drop-out rates, and extreme levels of poverty, there is an inherent culture of learning that arises from everyday interactions and the inculcation of learning habits…more >>

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“Aashayein” Defies Bollywood Formula

Posted by litdaily on August 31, 2010

Director Nagesh Kukunoor’s latest offering Aashayein(Wishes) resists the typical Bollywood formula of music and dance mashed up with melodrama. The movie explores issues of disease and death…more>>

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Bollywood Goes to Washington

Posted by litdaily on August 28, 2010

South Asian American filmmakers are auditioning actors for a Bollywood film to be shot in the D.C. area. The film’s title is “9 Eleven” but it is not about the September 11 attacks…more>>

The responses from the people interviewed for the article reflect the increasing cultural value of Bollywood. Both in India and in the West, Bollywood is no longer viewed as a trivial object of pop culture consumption but as something “cool”. Paul Singh, one of the article’s respondents, considers Bollywood a means of cultural fulfillment—something more than financial fulfillment. Similarly, the director of the film Manan Singh Katohora acknowledges that while acting in Bollywood was not considered a respectable profession for women earlier, women are now encouraged to act in films and TV. Of course, what Katohora fails to comment upon is that even with the changing perception of Bollywood as culturally valuable and of women’s participation in it as respectable, women directors and complex portrayals of female characters continue to be few and far-between in mainstream Bollywood cinema.

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Muslim Taxi Drivers, Hate Crimes, and New York City

Posted by litdaily on August 26, 2010

The WSJ online published an article this morning about a hate crime against a Muslim taxi driver named Ahmed H. Sharif in Manhattan. He was slashed by a drunken film student, Michael Enright, who spent time in Afghanistan. The WSJ links the crime to tensions regarding the planned mosque near the site of the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001…more>>

While WSJ explicitly connects the attack to the debates, the conditions of South Asian taxi drivers as systematically racialized, oppressed, and denigrated continues to receive little attention in media, arts, and literature.  Aside from Vivek Bald’s documentary, Taxi-Vala/Auto-biography (1994), which chronicles the experiences of taxi drivers in New York City, there really isn’t much that sheds light on this particular class of workers…>>

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