Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What I Saw and Heard at DisOrient 5

I was asked for names of films I saw so my friends and relatives who did not go to DisOrient can google.

(*) means I have bought a festival copy or will buy as soon as it becomes available. (&) means I have the CD and can sing along! (**) means the festival copy is uniquely coolly packaged and if you go to festival to see this, buy one now and don't wait!

**Opening Night: "Mr. Sadman" Patrick Epino, director and Al No'mani as Mounir, a Saddam Hussein double, unemployed goes to Amerika and to borrow a phrase from Spike Lee's "Malcom X," Plymouth Rock lands on him. Al No'mani's Mounir is hard to shake. Get ready to have him stay with you for awhile. You will be having conversations with yourself, so, my suggestion is go to see the film with friends who like to talk about films.

& "American Me" songs and music by Dawen, available now on CD GET IT!

"Lovely to Me, Immigrant Mother" music video by Taiyo Na. Download!

"Keep Pushin" music video by Johnny Le for Kero One. Johnny's from Portland! Check him out! He and ROP represented us!!

*"Born Sweet" (28 minutes) documentary Cynthia Wade, Cambodia. To say it's about the effect of arsenic poisoning on a rural area and a 15 year old's survival and achievement of a goal to be a karaoke star just does not do this dvd justice. It's such a powerful story.

*"Guam is Crying" Alex Munoz's music video a must download.

"I Want to be Desi" Allan Tong

*Lt. Watada (40 minutes) documentary by Freida Lee Mock highlights Ehren and his family in his courageous stand

*Feature "Why Am I Doing This" Tom Huang comedy about the plight of actors of color getting work

*"A Village Called Versailles" documentary directed by Leo Chiang, a documentary of the Vietnamese community in New Orleans after Katrina and how they united to stand up for their neighborhood -- young and old -- and learned about civics not from a book but on a grassroots level.

*I have "Midas' Son" dvd. I missed this but have a copy and will view it. It's a short directed by Annetta Morgan who was present.

*"Ajumma! Are you Krazy???" directed by Brent Anbe (comedy short) Ajumma are outspoken women, middle aged. These three are also fans of a Korean celebrity track him down when he visits their town in Hawaii and the escapade follows.

*"You Can't Curry Love" directed by Reid Waterer a sweet romance set in India between an East Indian businessman from London visiting New Delhi and meeting a local man. Must choose between love and business promotion. Bollywood dance included.

"Works of Art" directed by Andrew Pang, a short about a struggling NY actor snags an interesting, unwelcome role with a twist.

"Security Guard Karaoke King" directed by Jazmin Jamias, an "all too short" piece about her dad.

"Empire Corner" directed by JP Chan
ans "Wu is Dead" directed by Richard Wong are two shorts, two parts of a story which I want to see a lot more of!

"Love? Pain" directed by Han Tang You've got to see it. To speak it doesn't really give you the impact. As the title says, it is about Love? and Pain and you'll feel it when you see it. Also check Han Tang and James Horiuki Liao's "Yellow Face"!

"Operation Baby Lift" directed by Tammy Nguyen Lee, feature documentary. Important because of the revealing and rich interviews of the adults who were some of the 2500 babies airlifted out of Vietnam at the end of the war and adopted by Americans. I don't understand why a third of the film focused on the American social workers in orphanages in Viet Nam who made the decisions for Operation Babylift. Now elders, and seemingly still burdened with their personal pain resulting from the controversy which followed their involvement in "Operation Babylift" it was another story and, in my opinion, clashed with the story of the adult adoptees.

*&"Fruit Fly", a musical and comedy by HP Mendoza who was accompanied by actor, LA Renigen to the festival. LA plays Bethesda, performance artist, affectionately called a "Fruit Fly" by her friend Mark who comforts her as she searches for her biological mother and struggles to become a performance artist in SF on the one hand and bristles at the label "Fag Hag" given to her by her roommate. (Sorry, forgot his name.) She finds respect, peace and community in between her auntie's calls from the Philipines. The songs are catchy, clever, funny and presses to the edge so smoothly that although in any other person's hands some of the lyrics may earn an R rating, it's as PG as a family gathering or hanging out with best friends. From 12 - 72, we're singing along and tapping our feet, having a happy time. What can I say. We love HP. There's no one like him. And he talks really fast so sit toward the front during the Q and A.

I will embed the wonderful Rites of Passage films by our students.
Shown were:
Race wars
Dream No More
Pursuit of Hapaness
My Life in brown and Pink

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"from Outside the Belly" was also known as "TBAsian" from 2008-2010. Thank you for reading.

from Outside the Monster's Belly

from Outside the Monster's Belly
. . . following Earth instead (Rakaia River, site of Salmon Ceremony, photo credit Ruth Koenig)


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Eugene, Oregon
I am a citizen of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. I am a Nikkei descendant sansei (third generation);retired teacher, involved in the Winnemem tribal responsibility to Water, Salmon, and our belief that the Sacred is our Teacher. Working locally for human rights and supporting youth leadership.