“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
The first time I wore women clothes was when I was six. I was hanging out with my mom on a lazy Sunday afternoon while my dad was out. She let me try on her evening gown and carry my favorite glittery purse of hers. As I pranced around on her bed, I playfully dubbed myself “the nightgown chicken.” In Cantonese, “chicken” is the slang for “prostitute.” My mom was cracking up. We both had so much fun. I remember I really enjoyed playing a character… being someone whom I wasn’t.
But she only let me do it that once… Continue reading
Posted in In the Grind
Tagged African American writers, asian-american, Berkeley, Cal, Christmas party, cultural rebellion, deconstruction, do the right thing, drag queen, effeminate boys, Elizabeth Wilson, English Department, femininity, gender subversion, Halloween, Harlem Renaissance, hegemonic, heterosexual, intellectual, literary criticism, mainstream, masculinity, mother, mulatto, nightgown chicken, noncomformity, part time, passing, Philosophy of Grammar, Professor Boyd, prostitute, queer theory, stereotypes, Telegraph Avenue, UCLA, vampires, witches, woman, Yale