Tag Archives: Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

The Fabulous Filipino Brothers at the LAPAFF!

2 Oct

Items- Rukus Avenue Music GroupBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Aratani Theatre @ JACCC
Oct 2, 2021
8:00 pm

Dante Basco‘s wicked sense of humour, or love of his own family dynamic in The Fabulous Filipino Brothers, defines much of his life in the streets of Pittsburg, California. The question of how much was real life versus fictionalized has me wondering how this Wonder Years type of film came about. Or should that be Malcolm in the Middle? They’re definitely boyz n the hood, in the non-traditional New York sense, with a touch of hip hop in an excellent soundtrack that I hope gets an album release.

This slice of life comedy about four Filipino brothers is very likable. I want to be part of their pamilya. Between their independence and dependence, their stories look at different sides of dealing with life’s many hurdles. A lot of it deals with inter-personal relationships outside of the homestead. I doubt they are parodies of themselves, but Dante, Dionysio, Derek, and Darion Basco are distinct personalities, and it wonderfully gets played up through the eyes of a camera lens.

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A Closer Look at LAAPFF’s Spirited Away Program

28 Sep

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival - FilmFreewayBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Regal L.A. LIVE:
A Barco Innovation Center

1000 W Olympic Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90015

Sept 29, 2021
9:00 pm

Thematically, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival’s Spirited Away shorts program is an apt title to describe a set of works that deals with spirituality. It’s a topic few understand when they are about philosophies from smaller regional areas.

Udval Altangerel is a Mongolian filmmaker whose works explore anthropological subjects, and to introduce this group of films, she wrote for the program guide, “Guided by shamans and ancestral spirits, we traverse the line between the living and the dead, tradition and transformation, fiction and nonfiction.”

This unique set of eclectic works do more than define humanity’s relationship with Nature. There’s spirits, wisdom and counter-culture to be found in each. Fans of slam poetry will like Hinga. This piece argues for change. Unlike the fight to keep Fairy Creek pristine in my neck of the woods, this performance theatre is captured onto film and explores the complexity of what the Filipinx people in the Bay Area are passionate about. They want a utopia that transcends political and geographical barriers. Their message isn’t hard to follow, but it’s the rhythm which sets an unusual pace.

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Sailing Down “The Silent River” Isn’t Easy…

26 Sep

Silent River (2021) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

L.A. Asian Pacifc Film Festival
Regal L.A. LIVE:
A Barco Innovation Center

Sept 25, 2021
5:30 pm

Spoiler Alert

Eliott (West Liang) looks like a man on the run in Chris Chan Lee’s Silent River. After a long drive into the Mojave Desert, he holes up at a motel and is simply waiting. While there, he meets Gretta (Amy Tsang) and she’s a mystery. Not only does she resemble someone he is looking for, but her agenda is straight out of time. She’s from the future and searching for Patrick. Their separate agendas collide, and their reluctance to help each other out makes for a very intriguing film.

Although this work is billed as science fiction, I’m enjoying the supernatural bits more. Eliott hears things, and he doesn’t know where they come from. He can see things others don’t, and we’re uncertain if he’s going crazy or not. Liang plays up the apocryphal Lovecraftian type of character, someone too curious for his own good; and the suggestion that others have “moved on” makes me think I’m watching a very unconventional ghost story.

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Meditating on what Makes Masao A Simple Man

24 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

L.A. Asian Pacifc Film Festival
Regal L.A. LIVE:
A Barco Innovation Center

Sept 25, 2021
12:00 pm

Not everyone can say, “I Was a Simple Man,” like Christopher Makoto Yogi can. This film by this writer/director offers a truly sombre look at the last days of Masao (Steve Iwamoto). The flashbacks reveal everything you want to know about this protagonist–including bits of his troubled family’s past–and why he lives his days out with his daughter, often alone instead with friends and kin.

It’s tough to watch a parent grow old, hear them complain about one thing or another, and see you’re not able to help. Kati (Chanel Akiko Hirai) is the only relative trying her best because they share the same space. Her brother Mark (Nelson Lee) is living a new life far, far away. When she phones him and asks for him to come home, the dilemma they face together in how to deal with their father is tough. 

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Trying to Figure Out Life’s Little Problems in Definition Please

24 Sep

defolkeaseBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

L.A. Asian Pacifc Film Festival
Regal L.A. LIVE:
A Barco Innovation Center

Sept 25, 2021
4:00 pm

Sujata Day’s debut movie Definition Please offers a Bollywood-style charm about Monica Chowdry (played by Day) dealing with life many years after winning the spelling bee as a child. Her friends and family are proud. They assumed big things would be in store for her later in life. None of that fame stood the test of time and it seems she’s transfixed with living in the comfort of what is familiar instead of taking on new challenges.

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