Tag Archives: Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

LAAPFF 2020 The Chef on Tolerance in Ethnic Places

14 Oct

The Chef / Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2019(SSFF & ASIA 2019)By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available to viewers in Southern California (excluding San Diego County) from Oct 1 at 12pm PT to Oct 31, 2020 at 11:59pm PT. Click here to watch the film on Eventive.

Hao Zheng‘s short film, The Chef is eerie in the sense that we are already replacing workers with robots. The documentaries I’ve looked at earlier this year show how they can be helpful in various situations. From therapy to companionship, just where is the line drawn? Writers Ithaca Deng and Leqi Vanessa Kong can easily take a page out of Star Trek: Picard (or vice versa, when considering the original release date) if they wanted to expanded on the idea.

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LAAPFF 2020 Basurero is Cabiling’s answer to Sicario!

14 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available to viewers in Southern California (excluding San Diego County) from Oc 1, 2020 at 12pm PT to Oct 31, 2020 at 11:59pm PT. Click here to watch the film on Eventive.

The Philippine word Basurero translates to ‘Dump,’ and Filipina-American filmmaker Eileen Cabiling‘s short takes this title and explores the meaning in context of the problems that still occur in her native country. Although her work is fiction, the real-world connections are heavy since it’s more than just another short film about feeling trapped. It’s a character study on Bong (Jericho Rosales), a fisherman in Manila struggling to make ends meet. He’s like a cat on a hot tin roof.

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LAAPFF 2020 Animated Shorts Spotlight

14 Oct

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film FestivalBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available to viewers in Southern California (excluding San Diego County) from October 1, 2020 at 12pm PT to October 31, 2020 at 11:59pm PT. Click here to find listings on Eventive.

In addition to the previous animated works which I have looked at playing at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, there’s plenty more. The works that are available range from experimental to enduring, and of those that are available, I’m glad to report that one on my list has world-wide distribution.

The following are my favourites:

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Exploring Horimono: Japan’s Tattoo Pilgrimage at LAAAPFF 2020

2 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available to viewers in Southern California (excluding San Diego County) from October 1, 2020 at 12pm PT to October 31, 2020 at 11:59pm PT. Click here to watch the film on Eventive.

The Japanese word Horimono (彫物) does not necessarily translate to defining the same art form which the English term tattoo expresses. The mini-documentary, Horimono: Japan’s Tattoo Pilgrimage, shows that this country’s older generation sees a difference in how to express themselves through full body art modification. Some conflict exists. The media in Asia stereotyped the image of what it means to have a pattern on their skin–they are historically labelled a criminal. This belief dates back to the 4th Century.

This mini documentary aims to correct all the misconceptions.

The soundtrack is just as entrancing. The English definition includes how the word can signal the beat of a drum at night to tell soldiers it’s time to go to their quarters. We see it played at a temple in Oyama during a ritual of purification. The mountain shrine welcomes not only the artists who still practice the ancient art but also the men, whose body is fully covered in imagery from the Edo period (1603 – 1868). They wear it like a suit–a badge of honour.

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You Can’t Break The Haunted Swordsman at LAAPFF 2020

2 Oct

The Haunted Swordsman (2019) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available to viewers in Southern California (excluding San Diego County) from October 1, 2020 at 12pm PT to October 31, 2020 at 11:59pm PT. Click here to watch the film on Eventive.

If Studio Laika ever feels they’re stuck on what to make next, they should talk to Kevin McTurk and give him the chance to realize The Haunted Swordsman as a full length film. His work may not be mainstream, but the Japanese folklore about the spirit world he’s borrowing from certainly is! His Kickstarter page reveals how the spooky narrative would develop, and his use of Bunraku Puppet Theater must be seen to be believed. It’s nearly photo-realistic, and the puppeteers are hidden from view to move scale figures in alluring detail. The spook factor is something even The Addams Family would approve of.

Laika made a name for themselves with their equally haunting works, Coraline and Kubo & the Two Strings. Their ability to generate box office hits is very hit or miss. Certain groups will love puppet theatre, but for the masses, CGI has sadly tainted the spectrum. McTurk’s previous short won him accolades. The Mill at Calder’s End earned 14 awards and Guillermo del Toro purchased Grimshaw for his traveling museum exhibition At Home With Monsters.

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