Trailer - Baraka (1992)
Some of today’s research material
Next Generation curated by Yuna Baek is a group exhibition featuring works by artists exploring the future of Asian American art in a digital age of flexible and hybrid cultural identity asking, “What is the face of the next generation of Asian American artists? It might as well be an avatar, as the globalizing force of the Internet continues to build a cultural landscape that transcends location, ethnicity, gender, and language. The next generation of artists can log into any culture with a click of a mouse, and their personal identities (be it singular or multiple) are shaped by the limitless possibilities of the web. They build bridges between different cultures and communities, creating flexible and hybrid identities that define the Next Generation. “
Featuring Kalani Largusa, Wang Frank Yefeng, Eunie Kim, Cathy Kim, Snow Yunxue Fu, Hiba Ali, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Sua Yoo, Heelim Hwang, Arjuna Capulong, and Greyson Hong.
If you’re in the Chicago area, come by the opening reception this Friday!
Film Reviews: I am starting a series of film reviews and recommendations. I’ve always been a conscientious viewer of “foreign” cinema (in quotes because I don’t believe in the term “foreign” which inherently brings divisions in “US” vs. “them,” much in the same whay that Orientalism functions), documentaries, and other non-Hollywood films, and I’d like to share my thoughts on them, and perhaps facilitate discussion.
On Netflix Streaming:
Marco Berger, 2009
"After he is dumped by his girlfriend, Bruno plans a cold, sweet vengeance. Intent on eroding the couple’s relationship, he befriends her new boyfriend Pablo. Will he introduce Pablo to another woman, or go for Plan B and seduce him himself? Thus, Bruno embarks on a perilous romantic journey that calls his own sexuality into question."
Despite the seemingly-straightforward comedic synopsis of this film, Plan B is a surprisingly refreshing modern romance.
It succeeds in holding an exquisite sexual tension through the interactions of the two male leads, as they get to know one another. The framing choices are very deliberate, holding the shot for long periods of time on the characters’ faces and nervous ticks, showing their internal debates, doubts, and desires. The acting and chemistry are superb, and through a mechanized smile, or in holding back a genuine reaction, the viewer is held in tension along with the characters.
The way the two men’s relationship develops is also handled with a lot of respect and care. As a gay male viewer, I was transported to the feeling of adolescence (an era over which the characters connect) and the discovery of new feelings, new ways to gaze, new aches that set the heart racing; uncharted sexual and emotional landscapes, exciting, and the results highly unpredictable.
The girlfriend character, Laura, could have been better developed, however. In here, she serves mostly as a plot advancer, which is quite unfortunate, as I would have liked to know her own motivations for dating one man or the other.
Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this film, and if you’re looking for a romance without the typical banality of Hollywood trappings, you should really check this out.
Plan B - Trailer
This is everything. The end.
Maggie Cheung in In the Mood for Love, which, by the way, is screening next week at the Siskel Film Center. Who wants to be my date?
NEW Wong Kar-Wai film, The Grandmasters.
I’m not sure what I think yet about Wong Kar-Wai’s new visual style. He’s obviously filming in digital now, and no longer working with Christopher Doyle (cinematographer). The sumptious, slow-mo, cross-processed, blurry, neon/candy-colored schemes of his earlier films (Days of Being Wild, Fallen Angels, Chungking Express, 2046) is now replaced with fast paced, cold, intricately detailed, sharp visuals.
People change, after all. Art has to continue evolving. I’m sure this will still be amazing.
Luckily, they’re screening In the Mood for Love and Happy Together at the Siskel Film Center this month. If you’re in Chicago and wanna be my date, let me know!
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Pedro Almodovar, 1988
Only hours left to join in on the Chicago IRL Kickstarter!
Donate and get awesome prizes, including a curated selection of original Polaroids by me!
This is a cause that I highly believe in, and I believe you should too. <3
We’re approaching the end of the runway for Chicago IRL #4’s telethon with less than 69 sensual hours to go! We’ve got a few exciting last minute additions.
*All levels at $12 and above include the fourth issue. This is the best way to pre-order a copy! Orders made after the Kickstarter won’t have such an exciting set of bonus options to choose from.
*All levels at $15 and above include the set of artist postcards featuring work from Chicago IRL contributors. The set now includes issue 2 contributor Vincent Chevalier’s HYPER-REAL (and hopefully a few more before all is said and done).
*All levels at $30 or above that mention the choice of artist prints or jockstrap now also include a curated selection of issue 3 contributor (and soon to be issue 4 cover model) Kiam Marcelo Junio’s original polaroids!
All of the funds raised go directly towards paying printing costs for the magazine and production costs for the rewards. We provide free copies of the issue to every contributor whose work appears, and we also donate copies to local archives and other lgbtq libraries and institutions.
Wong Kar Wai
Opening scene, (1994)
Meshes of the Afternoon, 1943
Couchsurfing with Filipe