Reel Stories Archive

  • A Look Back at 2008

    A Look Back at 2008

    As another year draws to a close, it’s time to look back and see if any progress has been made by Asian Americans in Hollywood or if it’s the same Auld Lang Syne. Because I did a fairly comprehensive piece on Asian American representation in […]

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  • Do Asian Remakes Have to Suck?

    Do Asian Remakes Have to Suck?

    When the Korean film My Sassy Girl became one of the biggest comedy hits in all of Asia, Hollywood took notice and soon 20th Century Fox Pictures proudly announced it would be making the big budget American version. Starring up-and-coming hottie Elisha Cuthbert (24, The […]

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  • The ‘Lost’ Sessue Hayakawa Found

    The ‘Lost’ Sessue Hayakawa Found

    The name of Sessue Hayakawa may be unfamiliar to most movie-goers today, but at the height of his fame from the mid-1910s to the late 1920s, the Japanese issei actor was as well known to audiences as Charlie Chaplin or Douglas Fairbanks.

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  • S.F. South Asian Film Festival This Weekend

    S.F. South Asian Film Festival This Weekend

    Here are some highlights from this weekend’s 3rd I: San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival — every one of these is worth watching. Kissing Cousins (2008, USA) Romantic comedies are one of the most difficult genres to pull off. Not only do you have […]

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  • Jon Lawrence Rivera Joins ‘The Joy Luck Club’

    Jon Lawrence Rivera Joins ‘The Joy Luck Club’

    Amy Tan’s 1989 novel The Joy Luck Club might be the most iconic work of fiction in the Asian American literary canon. The story of four Chinese American women and their mothers, it quickly became a bestseller and led to the hit 1993 film.

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  • ‘Ashes of Time Redux’

    ‘Ashes of Time Redux’

    Wong Kar Wai reimagines his 1994 film F. Scott Fitzgerald famously remarked that American lives have no second acts, but in recent years, it’s become clear that American filmmakers do. Whether it’s Francis Ford Coppola adding extra scenes to Apocalypse Now or Steven Spielberg digitally […]

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  • The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela

    The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela

    Olaf de Fleur, the director and writer of The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela, describes the film as a “visionmentary”: a film that mashes together elements of both fiction and documentary. After meeting the real-life Raquela Rios, a transsexual or “ladyboy,” on the streets of […]

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  • The Kids Are All Right: The teen stars of ‘Be Like Water’

    The Kids Are All Right: The teen stars of ‘Be Like Water’

    W.C. Fields famously advised actors to never to work with animals or children. But perhaps Fields didn’t dislike kids; he was just afraid of being upstaged by their natural charm. Watching three of the young stars of East West Players’ production of Dan Kwong’s new […]

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  • Sukiyaki Western Django

    Sukiyaki Western Django

    A Western Heads East There may be no director working on the world cinema stage today as interesting as Japanese auteur Takashi Miike. Granted his work isn’t for everyone. In films like Audition and Ichi The Killer, Miike pushes his vision to the extreme, almost […]

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  • Where are the Asian American Sports Movies?

    Where are the Asian American Sports Movies?

    Watching Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Jessica Yu’s narrative feature debut Ping Pong Playa reminded me how much I love sports movies. In Yu’s film, Jimmy Tsai plays C-Dub, a suburban Chinese American slacker who dreams of being a basketball player but finds himself thrust against […]

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