Friday, July 14, 2006

Colma chameleon

Weekend pick: Yet another Asian filmfest swings into view for New Yorkers, this time the Asian American International Film Festival—a blunderbuss of a name!—which theoretically chooses the best of both foreign-made titles and homegrown fare. Well . . . I reviewed an earlier installment of the AAIFF, and found much not to like, alas (and I seem to remember attending a movie there some years prior that was so bad I can't even remember the title), but this year's lineup has at least one fun, surprising film: Colma: The Musical (playing this Saturday and next Tuesday). The movie follows a trio of friends during the in-between daze post–high school, pre–who knows what, in the titular exurb of San Francisco. (The pals are all Filipino American, but there's surprisingly little ethnic identity pondering; in fact, I don't think there's any.) The scenario admittedly sounds maybe not so interesting—but the movie is absolutely packed with original songs (all by H.P. Mendoza, who also acts here), all of which are listenable and many of which are terrific: catchy, fresh, intricate. Toe tappers with smart lyrical turns! What more could you want? It's perhaps a bit long (at nearly two hours), but I like this refreshing, ambitious, and entertaining take on what might otherwise simply play as humdrum late-teen angst.

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If you want a good, breezy read instead of two hours at the cinemathéque: Check out Caitlin Macy's The Fundamentals of Play. A perennial page turner!

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Or just watch this crazily energized video. (Thanks to Brandon Stosuy for the link.)

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More Wiki wanderings: This school sounds like something out of Garth Nix, or the original of Hogwarts!

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Poet Cathy Park Hong now blogs at Invisible City, a place for "poetics, politics, and random argot from random cities." She is the author of Translating Mo'um (see my note on maum, in my Linda Linda Linda rave) and the forthcoming Dance Dance Revolution, which just won the 2006 Barnard Women's Prize. The book includes her recent forays into a crazy invented language that I totally dig—here's a sample from Action Yes.

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And this Revenge of the Bookeaters event, a benefit for 826, sounds absolutely amazing. I wonder if it's too late to get tickets?!


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