“Fall 1990” was also very much another experimental film in the sense that it was my first experiment to make a traditional and compelling narrative film with a non-traditional protagonist that you still won’t see in a Hollywood film—a gay Asian American college student. I set out to write something that chronicled my politically active senior year at Berkeley. Ambitious enough to make a semi-period piece, I wrote “Fall 1990” in the fall of 1994 as my second year “Advanced Project” at UCLA.
I also just met UCLA film school senior Justin Lin. Bonded over founding APACT (Asian Pacific Coalition for Film, Theater and Television at UCLA), I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to work with Justin who became the Director of Photography on the project. I can still remember driving up to the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival with Justin in March of 1994 right before shooting “Fall 1990” to screen our short films—my “Matricide” and his Spotlight Award winning “Soy Bean Milk.” We watched Kayo Hata’s Picture Bride together on the opening night of the festival. I remember Justin commenting all night about the exposure of the moon in that movie. Was a it 1/4 stop off or something? Continue reading
One unexpected afternoon during my film school daze in my sunbathed Koreatown apartment, I received a call from the festival director of the Vancouver International Film Festival on my cordless phone.
“Is it going to be a world premiere?” asked Po Chu.
“Yeah…” I stammered. I guessed I had never shown my “first feature” Flow, a compilation of my student short films made at UCLA anywhere yet. I put “first feature” in quotes because I later decided that it was more of a feature compilation of my works as a graduate film student at UCLA rather than a real feature film.
Posted in Sight and Sound
Tagged 16mm, Berkeley, Fall 1990, Flow, gay Asian, Koreatown, multiculturalism, San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, To Ride a Cow, UCLA, Vancouver International Film Festival
That’s what a lazy blogger does… or perhaps rather a hardworking filmmaker does… to screen one of his old movies instead of blogging. It was 1994, my second year in the production program of UCLA Film School, and I wanted to make a substantial narrative short with a gay Asian love story and the result became the 35 min. “Fall 1990” that won me a UCLA Spotlight Award. “Fall 1990” also marked my early collaboration with Justin Lin who shot the piece for me. He’d probably wince at what he shot now. It was also my first collaboration with Angry Little Asian Girl‘s Lela Lee who arrived in Los Angeles fresh out of Berkeley. The lead was none other than Barney Cheng, my friend who later went on to be in a Woody Allen’s film Hollywood Ending.
Barney, far left, at Woody Allen's Hollywood Ending Cannes premiere
I’m sure now everyone involved will wince at why they did in this little student short of mine now. But it was history. Continue reading