In this entry: random film crews storming the city, a storming Asian American activist storming around a movie, and Bastile Day tourists storming a food fair. It was also storming pretty hard: torrential downpours cleared the air.
Sunday we saw two sessions at the 28th Asian American International Film Festival: the 72 Hour Shootout, and “What is Wrong with Frank Chin?”
The Shootout is a contest where teams have to produce a 6 minute film in 72 hours based on a secret theme, which this year was “AKA”, i.e. “Also Known As”. The winner was “Mister Kiss” by Team Kiko, which was a Blade Runner-esque film where a filipino bounty hunter also known as Mister Kiss has to hunt down and deactivate female androids by kissing them. The second place film was “A.K.A. 084 94 ####”, where the subject exposes her identities by reciting all of her numerical stats (stuff like the social security number and her taiwanese ID card number are bleeped out). The third place film was “Zappka aka The Space Rocker”, which was a parody of old Flash Gordon films. I liked them. We saw 15 of them in all, so after a while, some of them kind of blended together, though.
The feature “What is Wrong with Frank Chin?” genuinely humanizes someone who has been perceived as an opinionated and uncompromising radical orthodox Asian American that likes to disparage Maxine Hong Kingston and Amy Tan. He is an unsung founder of modern Asian American literature, Asian American theater and the Japanese internment reparations movement. I won’t give away the ending, but much of what drives Chin according to the movie is his personal seeking of his own family identity. Recommended.
Sunday was the Bastile Day festival in NYC, and the food was out in full force on E 60th St. We had a baguette with duck sausage cold cuts and truffle butter, 2 crepes, an eclair and an lemon tart. When the fair closed, we picked up some free pate baguettes and merguez sausage. Yum, yum, yum.
All through the day, I was SMSing MJ who was in town and we just couldn’t get it together. She had dinner with her bro, and after the fete, took a nap and slept through her bar get together. Sorry, and next time we’ll be more organized.