16 May 2011

The opening film for the 34th Asian American International Film Festival has been announced: AMIGO, the new film by John Sayles.  Here’s the trailer:

I’m pretty excited about this; I’ve been a John Sayles fan for a long time, from the days when I first discovered auteur filmmakers and would watch all the films of a director I liked.  LONE STAR, CITY OF HOPE, PASSION FISH, THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH, MEN WITH GUNS, EIGHT MEN OUT, and  LIMBO are among my favorites.  If you don’t know Sayles’s films, perhaps think of him as the director who launched actor Chris Cooper‘s career.

Sayles also has a new novel out – A Moment in the Sun – described by Adam Langer in the SF Chronicle as a “955-page epic criticizing American interventionism abroad and racism at home during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”  Apparently it took Sayles two years to find a publisher for it.

Sayles has never been afraid to demand a lot from his readers and viewers; he is in many ways the quintessential indie artist, and a model of success on that path.

We’ve got the book in house, en shelf, surprisingly light in its ornate McSweeney’s hardcover, and I’m hoping to dig in maybe in late summer.

Come out for the AAIFF opening night in August.  Details to come.

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15 July 2010

Tonight, a rare thing happens: I put on a dress, I go downtown.  It’s Opening Night of the annual Asian American International Film Festival.  33 years strong and still kicking.  The staff (I happen to know) work their butts off, and it shows…

Films screen throughout the weekend into next Wednesday night: acclaimed features and shorts from all over the world, by and about people of Asian descent.  At Chelsea Clearview Cinemas and the Quad, mostly, with a few programs at the new Museum of the Chinese in America (MoCA) in Chinatown.  There’s a special “New Taiwainese Cinema” series that’s supposed to be excellent.

Check it out — remember, movie theaters are air conditioned!