Category Archives: In the Grind

Sundance Premieres Dol (First Birthday) – Interview With Andrew Ahn

Tasteful.  Intense.  Exquisite.

All of these words describe my favorite Korean treats: Soju, Korean Bar-B-Que, and Andrew Ahn.

I first met Andrew Ahn at the 2011 Outfest mixer last year. He walked up to me and I was thinking, “Why is this tall, slender Korean male approaching me?” I’m usually mistaken for either Chris Evan’s body double or to be told that the way I’m staring at them is making their girlfriend uncomfortable, so I was prepared for what he had to ask. It turned out we had a lot of mutual friends in common and he was there for the premiere of his latest short film, Andy.

ImageHis CalArts thesis film, Dol (First Birthday), produced in Los Angeles, CA, has been officially selected as part of the Short Narrative Fiction Competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Dol is about a Korean-American man living with his boyfriend who finds himself yearning for a life out of reach at his nephew’s first birthday party – a dol.

The inspiration for the film is just as beautiful as the story itself – Andrew used this film to come out to his parents. About as dramatic and heart-stopping as the Korean soap operas I watch on Hulu – Andrew cast his own parents in the film without telling them what the story was about.

Move over, Boys Before Flowers.

When Andrew told me he got into Sundance it went something like this:

Andrew: So, I’m going to Sundance.

Me: Oh that’s cool! Are you going to see any films?

Andrew: Yeah… Mine.

Me: … O_o

I knew I had to talk to Andrew directly about this, so I picked the most hipster coffee shop in Silverlake, Intelligentsia, where we both wore plaid button ups, skinny jeans and slipons and drank $5 coffee.

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Enter A New Drag Dimension

Hey guys! Oh wow, it’s been a while since I’ve written. But it’s the time of the year again and the contestants for Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 4 has been announced! Check out this fierce trailer below:

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Fabulous High

The eagerly anticipated LGBT high school web series created by Derek Villanueva and filmmaker Sean Willis has released it’s first promo trailer on Youtube. Running at three and a half minutes, the trailer showcases some excellent performances and juicy dramatic moments to garner some fans. I have heard from writer Derek Villanueva that they have the ambition to turn it into a TV series. Right now, everything is in flux but the promo plays well for sure! Good luck!

Do You Like Him?

Brooklyn-based artist Ely Kim is getting buzzed about his latest video “Not Into Asian,” a direct response to the prejudice in mainstream gay community against Asians who, according to the Boston Edge, ” typically face a pronounced stigma marked by stereotypes of femininity, docility and exoticness at the hands of other, usually urban American gay men.” A campy cover of Thelma Houston’s gay anthem “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” Ely dons a beard and a lumberjack shirt (parodying American masculinity) and dances his heart out. Do you like him (this Asian) more this way—in the American male drag?

http://www.http://vimeo.com/29356474

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Margaret Cho’s Best Asian Adjacent

Hands down, this has got to be one of the best works I’ve seen from Margaret Cho. It’s funny. It’s slick. It’s dreamy. It’s satirical. It sounds really good and sexy. And it also features the amazingly talented singer Grant Lee Phillips. I’m totally Cho-dependent now.

Desiree Lim’s The House

Vancouver-based lesbian filmmaker has a new feature titled The House to world premiere at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival on Sunday November 6, 2011. It’s billed as “a different kind of ghost story” starring Desiree’s longtime collaborator Natalie Sky.

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Take Me Out Square Dancing for Halloween

by Jason

On a recent trip to Washington, I was confronted by a member of the audience about my claim that it was difficult to find young square dancers. She had watched “Square Dance Story” at the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, and perplexed by my claim. It happens that she was friends with organizers of Square Dance Collective. The Collective is a local DC group  that hosts a square dance in the sanctuary of a local, social justice-oriented church (St Stephens) every month and is changing people’s Saturday night going-out plans.  Yes, square dancing, contra dancing and many traditional folk dances have a public relations problem, but it does not mean that they are not fun! It also means that they can be open to re-interpretation, and what generation to do this than the youth.

I asked Anne Uebelacker, an established caller, what makes an outfit western and she just said western boots. They could wear mini-skirts, tank tops, spaghetti straps, but in order to make it a western outfit, they’ll need boots! This gave me room to experiment, and I even bent some by having my lead character, the outsider,  wear black ballet shoes while the rest of his outfit remained “western”. Continue reading