Entertainment Spotlight

  • Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’

    Posted by Ben Fong-Torres

    By Ben Fong-Torres It’s short shrift time. I have a life that’s ripe (and slightly wrinkled) for blogs and tweeting; for facebooking and updating. I’m just no good at it. My last column here on AsianConnections was about the memorial in late July for my sister Shirley. My last posting on the authors’ site, Redroom, was about a radio promo tour I did (20 stops, all on the phone...

Celebrity Profiles Articles

  • Actress Michi Barall is in the ensemble cast of stop.reset. a new play by Regina Taylor

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    Photo by Lia Chang of Michi Barall, Actress

    New York City

    stop. reset., a new play written and directed by Regina Taylor which has performances in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York through September 29, 2013, tackles powerful questions of legacy, identity and survival in a world where the real and the virtual are more closely tied than we think.

    Photo by Joan Marcus of Teagle F Bougere as Chris, LaTanya Richardson Jackson as Jan, Donald Sage Mackay as Tim and Michi Barall as Deb in Signature Theatre’s world premiere of Regina Taylor’s stop. reset.

    Photo by Lia Chang of Ismael Cruz Cordova in stop. reset, written and directed by Regina Taylor. 

    In stop.reset., e-books are outselling printed books, and Alex Ames (Carl Lumbly), the owner of Chicago’s oldest African American book publishing company, is faced with the task of questioning each of his employees, Deb (Michi Barall), Chris (Teagle Bougere), Jan (LaTanya Richardson Jackson) and Tim (Donald Sage MacKay), to determine who is still relevant in a rapidly changing world. When he meets J (Ismael Cruz Cordova), a mysterious youth plugged into the future, Mr. Ames is forced to discover just how far he will go to survive.

    Photo by Lia Chang of castmembers LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Michi Barall starring in Regina Taylor’s stop. reset. on September 21, 2013. 

    Photo of Lia Chang of Michi Barall. 

    Signature alum Michi Barall, and member of the ensemble cast of stop.reset. is a native of Toronto, is an actor, playwright, professor and scholar-in-training. She last starred at Signature at The Peter Norton Space in the world premiere of Queens Boulevard (the musical) by 2007-2008 Playwright-in-Residence Charles Mee, her husband of ten years.

    As an actor, Michi has worked predominantly on new plays by American writers –including Julia Cho, Philip Kan Gotanda, A.R. Gurney, John Guare, Naomi Iizuka, Han Ong, Jose Rivera, Sung Rno, Paul Rudnick, Charles Mee, Sarah Schulman,...

  • Justin Chon stars in 21 and Over

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    Hollywood

    February 26, 2013

    What?!! An Asian American male star in a Hollywood movie that isn't a Kung Fu film? 

    Justin Chon ("Twilight"), steps into the spotlight as the lead character in the comedy 21 and Over, opening in theaters nationwide March 1.

    Chon, 31, was born in Garden Grove in Orange County, California, and was raised in Irvine, California. He attended business school at the University of Southern California. At age 20, Chon began taking acting lessons, inspired by growing up watching his father in black and white films. His father is a former child actor from South Korea.

    AsianConnections' Suzanne Joe Kai chatted with Justin about his new role, 
breaking stereotypes, and what's next in his fast-rising career.  (For the full interview transcript click on the blue headline link above.) 

    Justin: Hey Suzanne, thank you.

    Suzanne: You’re right from Orange County, California!

    Justin: Yeah, Irvine. Yeah, born and raised. I was born in Garden Grove Hospital.

    Suzanne: Can you describe your role in your new film 21 and Over coming out in theaters March 1, 2013?

    Justin: Yeah. I play a character named Jeff Chang. It's his 21st birthday and my two friends come up to celebrate with me but I have a medical school interview the next day. They convinced me to have one beer and obviously that beer turns into absolute chaos. My character's just an average kid. He's actually not that smart, he's like failing out of school.

    Suzanne: What made you jump on board this film?  

    Justin: Well, the guys who wrote it wrote The Hangover and they’re great writers. I just read the script and I loved it. I’m an Asian American actor and it’s a three-dimensional part so it’s great to see somebody who wrote such a great part for an Asian American so I just had to do it. 

The whole movie's mass is with partying but the core of it is really about these three guys and their friendship.

    Suzanne: I think this is one of the very few or if not the first movie...

  • Feb. 15-17: Asians on Film Festival 2013; Winners Announced

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    Congratulations to this year’s Asians on Film Festival Winners 2013. From Friday, February 15, 2013 – Sunday, February 17, 2013, check out the exciting lineup of films at the Asians on Film Festival 2013 screening at J.E.T. Studios, 5126-30 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA. The awards will be given out on Saturday, February 16, 2013 @ 5:00pm. Check out the complete list of winners below.Best DramaModel Minority (Lily Mariye, Director)Best DocumentaryLost Years (Kenda Gee, Director)Best ActorChris Pang (Citizen Jia Li)Best ActressEugenia Yuan (Strangers)Best Supporting ActorRoni Mazumdar (9 Eleven)Best Supporting ActressElizabeth Sung (Anita Ho)Best Ensemble CastAnita Ho (Steve Myung, Director)Best DirectorLily Mariye (Model Minority)

    SHORT FILMSBest DramaDumpling (Wesley Du)Best ComedyThe Gelephant (Jenn Liu)Best Action/AdventureSudden: Butterfly and the Dragon (James Boss)Best DocumentaryA Flicker In Eternity (Ann Kaneko & Sharon Yamato)Best AnimationCouch & Potatoes (Chris Lam & Eunsoo Jeong)Best ActorWon Lee (Dumpling)Best ActressJessika Van (Reunion)Best Supporting ActorHiro Kanagawa (Her Story)Best Supporting ActressEileen Soong (Born To Dance This Way)Best Ensemble CastReunion (Jason Z. Wong)Best DirectorWesley Du (Dumpling)Best CinematographyJunior Lucan & Alessandro Mattiolo (Vivian and Veronica)Best EditingVincent Tran (BBOY)Best Original ScoreTerry Chan (30 ½)

    Check out this year’s exciting lineup:

    FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2013, 4:30PMLOWER 9: A STORY OF HOME (Matthew Hashiguchi)“Lower 9: A Story of Home” reveals the displaced culture and community of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward through generations of memories that fill the abandoned homes, buildings and streets of the Lower Ninth Ward community.TULE LAKE (Michelle Ikemoto)Set in the winter of 1943 after martial law was imposed on the camp, “Tule Lake” is an animated short film about perseverance, based on the true story of one internee and her actions one night.A FLICKER IN...

  • Jeremy Lin opens up about Linsanity, fans, and being Asian American in GQ Magazine

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    Jeremy Lin graces the cover of the November issue of GQ Magazine, hitting news stands October 23. 

    AsianConnections thanks GQ and Conde Nast for permission to use these knock-out images of Jeremy by Paola Kudacki/GQ Magazine.

    The slogan on GQ's cover is "Look Sharp - Live Smart" - Jeremy Lin certainly looks sharp in these photos, he's one photogenic guy. 

    Lin talks with GQ writer Will Leitch who spent time with him when he was in the Big Apple to do the GQ photo shoot and attend other events. It was Lin's first trip to New York since it was announced that he would no longer be a Knicks player. 

    Lin talks about how the fans and Linsanity affected him, the Knicks, the Houston Rockets, and being Asian American. 

    Read the GQ article and view more images of Jeremy by Paola Kudacki and a behind the scenes video by Matt Baron here.  

    "There's a lot of perceptions and stereotypes of Asian-Americans that are out there today, and the fact that I'm Asian-American makes it harder to believe, even crazier, more unexpected," he says. "I'm going to have to play well for a longer period of time for certain people to believe it, because I'm Asian.

    And that's just the reality of it." It's not all that dissimilar from what Yao Ming went through. "When Yao came out his rookie year as the first pick of the Draft, you have Charles Barkley saying, 'If he scores seventeen points in a game, I'm going to kiss a donkey's butt,' " Lin says. "If you do it for long enough, I think you would get the respect."

    GQ's Will Leitch asks Lin what he would want to say to anyone who believed in him last year, the people who made Linsanity happen. "I think they changed my life dramatically," he says. "My life will never be the same—but I don't think I necessarily did that for anybody, you know?

    The impact on my life was greater than the impact I had on any of their lives. People are moved by my story, but they're only moved by my story because of what I do on the court." The trick, he...

  • Art Hsu stars in The FP - the SXSW hit

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    March 15, 2012 - 

    THE FP

    Written and Directed by: Brandon Trost & Jason Trost

    Starring: Jason Trost, Lee Valmassy, Art Hsu, Caitlyn Folley, Nick Principe, Brandon Barrera, James DeBello, Sean Whalen, and James Remar

    Indie film The FP makes its debut in limited release in theaters nationally today March 16, 2012. Click here for The FP screening schedule. 

    I would go to see The FP only because Art Hsu is one of the stars in this quirky, funny movie.

    Film critics are writing that this homage to retro-80's B movies and 90's hip hop spoken by white folks is hilarious, utterly ridiculous, and fun.

    A word of caution however, one reviewer warned there is some rough dialogue that is racist, sexist and homophobic in this retro romp.

    The FP won the Audience Award at 2011’s Fantasia International Film Festival in Toronto, and was a hit at 2011's SXSW, the mega film and music festival in Austin, Texas. 

    AsianConnections' interview with Art will be posted soon! 

    Meanwhile, enjoy our exclusive interview with Art on his first feature film starring role back in 2009 in Cranked: High Voltage!