Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Taking Inventory as of March 28

I went 8-0 in March; I saw eight films and would recommend all of them. I saw seven at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) and The Rules of the Game.

Summer Palace; Chinese with subtitles; (2006)
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time; Japanese with subtitles; (2006)
Mistress of Spices with Aishwarya Rai; (2005)
Shanghai Kiss with Kelly Hu; (2007)
Pavement Buttlerfly with Anna May Wong, directed by Richard Eichberg; Silent film; (1929)
King and the Clown; Korean with subtitles; (2005)
Hollywood Chinese; documentary directed by Arthur Dong; (2007)

Non-Festival Film:
The Rules of the Game directed by Jean Renoir; French with subtitles; (1939)

I saw all eight films at the Castro Theater.

A few tidbits. Mistress of Spices was directed by Paul Mayeda Berges, the husband of Gurinder Chadha (the director of Bend it Like Beckham). They met at a previous SFIAAFF (I can't recall the year). It may have been the year that Bend it Like Beckham played at SFIAAFF.

Also, Mistress of Spices was filmed near where I used to work. In the film, the stunning Aishwarya Rai plays a mystical woman that runs a spice shop. The shop's exterior is on Washington St. (between 7th & 8th Streets) in the area called Old Oakland. If you can't quite place it, Washington is parallel & one block over from Broadway. The most prominent landmark in the area is the Marriott on Broadway between 10th & 11th. I used to work at 9th and Washington. I saw my old office window in one shot (2nd floor, 3rd window from the corner, along Washington).

Hannibal Chew was in two of the SFIAAFF films that I saw. James Hong played the alcoholic father in Shanghai Kiss. He was also a talking head in Hollywood Chinese. Jason Wiener went to see Big Trouble in Little China in which Hong plays the main villain. I would have liked to have seen that movie on the big screen but it didn't start until 11 PM.

I am still without a computer. I'm writing this via an internet cafe that my gym provides to its members. Hopefully, I'll be up & running this week. There was quite a delay in getting my laptop fixed. First, I futzed around with it for a few days hoping I could reinstall the OS. Then it took Geek Squad a week to tell me that my hard drive was toast and nothing could be recovered. Finally, it took a week for me to decide on a desktop or a laptop (I was busy with other things). I decided to go cheap & stick with my XP laptop. I want to wait for the Vista bugs to be worked out.

I don't think I'll see anymore movies this month. I'm busy planning a banquet on Saturday.

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