An AAIFF Follow Up

Asian American Int’l Film Festival in NYC:

Thursday – missed seeing “Paper Heart.” 🙁 It got sold out.

Friday – 72 Hour Shootout – on YouTube. The Asian American Film Lab announced the Top Ten. (with a cross-posting by Angry Asian Man).

The winner:

“Time’s [Not] Up” – I liked it. Poignant.

Number Two was “Grace and the Staten Island Fairy” – I really liked it. But, I’m a sucker for funny and crisp looking films.

“Just a Burger” was fourth, but hilarious.

Later, I might post more on the ones I watched that didn’t make top 10. The screening was at the renovated MoCA – well, during the soft opening anyway. I like that the space is so spacious!

Saturday – as noted, I watched “Karma Calling” and “You Don’t Know Jack“.

“Karma Calling” was fun – The Raj family of Hoboken deals with this thing called “life.” The eldest daughter falls for this outsourced call center operator – played by Samrat Chakrabarti (who I enjoyed seeing in last year’s “Kissing Cousins” – what an actor to switch accents!), who tells her that he’s from Connecticut (rather than several thousand miles away in India). The brother falls for a girl who came all the way from India to marry the 99 cent store owner. The baby of the family wants a bat mitzvah. And, the elephant god Ganesh is voiced by the guy from The Sopranos (Tony Sirico; “G” apparently has a NJ accent because he’s in Hoboken). I like romantic comedies, with a touch of fantasy. I also liked the Q&A afterward, where the director Sarba Das talked about how she was inspired to make a movie that touched on Asian America (and her love of 1980’s movies).

“You Don’t Know Jack” – filmmaker Jeff Adachi (who previously made “The Slanted Screen” about Asian American actors) on Jack Soo, a pioneer – and to think I barely remember the guy as the Asian one in the Barney Miller series. They don’t make actors like Soo (or tv series like Barney Miller for that matter). During the Q&A, Adachi touched on how it was difficult to get the info, but it certainly seemed worth it. Adachi also mentioned his other life – that of being Public Defender in San Francisco. Lawyers and their creative sides – wow.

Sunday – saw “Pastry” – a young woman’s love of egg custard tarts – the dan taat – and how it revolves around her family life and her love life. I thought the movie started strong – but thought it end was a little different than the amused tone at the beginning seemed to suggest about the movie.

Wanted to see “Fruit Fly” (its own website)(because I’m a sucker for musical comedies), but didn’t get to see it. I think FC did?

Winners of AAIFF announced – documentary “Whatever It Takes” (its own website) won Audience Choice; hmm, maybe I’ll catch it another time.

Pretty enjoyable, even though AAIFF seemed quieter than previously (recession seems to be affecting a lot of non-profits); still I’m glad to have been a part of it.