In my years of doing interviews and roundtables and Q&A’s for the various films we’ve made, there is one question that recurs. No matter the length of the piece or the tone of the room, eventually, inevitably, I am asked about the white gaze. It wasn’t until a very particular interview regarding The Underground Railroad that the blindspot inherent in that questioning became clear to me: never, in all my years of working or questioning, had I been set upon about the Black gaze; or the gaze distilled.Continue reading “A ‘Gaze’ into the Soul of ‘The Underground Railroad’”
While Marvel Comics has never allowed Sam Wilson to remain Captain America, it is good to see they have decided to allow him to hold the title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the comics, they engineered an excuse for him to become Captain America and when they were done with the story arc, Steve Rogers reclaimed his title and his shield.Continue reading “I Am Captain America: Get Used to It”
by Jamal Igle
(Warning: This essay is filled with spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)
By Russell Fung
Did anyone ask for a sequel to Sleeping Beauty?
I used to write English-language screenplays for a feature animation studio in China. They hired me to write sequels to Snow White and Cinderella, asking me to infuse Western humor so that it would appeal to an international audience. The experience was difficult because nobody could agree on what the story and message had to be. I was told, “It’s a movie for children, so don’t take the themes too far or too serious. It doesn’t have to be logical or make sense. It just has to be fun and pretty.” I left the projects amicably, because I didn’t want to write a generic story that didn’t resonate with the current human condition.
By Esther Kim
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil reunites Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and Aurora (Elle Fanning) as they face their biggest challenge: growing up.
Sure, there are the fey people wanting to come from behind the shadows and a potential battle between them and humans, especially with an evil queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) pulling the strings from behind the throne. But the main story is really the relationship between Maleficent and Aurora.
“I feel the huge part of the success from the first film is that it had a strong emotional core,” said director Joachim Rønning during the global press conference in Beverly Hills. “I think that was the most important to me to continue telling that story. The story about Maleficent and Aurora. That’s what I can relate with as a parent, myself.”
I went to Aquaman for two reasons: First, the ticket was free. Second, this is basically underwater Magic Mike, right? I came for the pecs, I stayed for the pecs. But also for the analysis of what it is to be of two cultures. I mean races. I mean… worlds?
Deadline reports that Marvel Studios is fast-tracking a feature film based on Shang-Chi, arguably the preeminent Asian hero in the Marvel Universe. Chinese-American screenwriter Dave Callaham (hey, he’s from Fresno!) currently is on-board to write the script. From Deadline:
NOC guest Porshèa discusses how the Harry Potter franchise and fandom struggle with progressivism in the wake of Fantastic Beasts and its numerous problems. Continue reading The White Progressivism of The Harry Potter Franchises
Here are some words about the upcoming CosGala from YouTuber and founder of Gamer’s Guide, Jemarc Axinto:
I would like to introduce you all to Jenny Korn. You can read about how amazing she is right here.
Hers was one of the most insightful updates I’ve read about Crazy Rich Asians. There have been tons of hot takes about this film, but I truly feel Korn’s perspective is one that is needed — It’s measured, smart, funny, and bite-sized enough to get a full picture of the film, without spoiling anything. What is does for me is ask hard questions — something I don’t think fans do enough of.
Jennifer Phang has been busy in episodic TV, directing episodes of The Excorcist, Riverdale, Cloak & Dagger, and two episodes of The Expanse leading to its recent Season 3 finale. She also directed the independent features Half-Life and Advantageous. I got to interview her about, among other things, her work on The Expanse Season three episodes “Fallen World” and “Congregation.”
Some time back, I watched a documentary about master Fumio Demura, one of the first to bring authentic Japanese karate (Shito-ryu) to the United States. I thought of him because he was Pat Morita’s stunt double for the Karate Kid movies.
One of the things that struck me about the documentary was his struggles to integrate into our culture, his uncertainty about sharing his cultural treasure with us, the degree to which his masters in Japan didn’t really want him sharing (“cultural appropriation,” anyone?) and his superhuman efforts to create not just a life of meaning but to uplift the children of Japan’s former antagonist.
As he is struggling with health issues now, the story is all the more poignant. One of the most affecting portions was his interactions with Pat Morita. Morita adored him, and the respect was fully returned. The “Mr. Miyagi” character was greatly beloved in Demura’s social and professional circles, and Morita was a superstar, the one who had “made it.” They were so happy that he had made it, and his success was a beacon of hope and pride to the Japanese-American community. The love and admiration at a testimonial dinner when Morita took the podium was unmistakable. The shining faces made me so happy.
by Dominic Mah
It took me a weekend of binge-watching to wake up to the fact that Avengers: Infinity War and the NBC sitcom The Good Place are almost the same story. Except, Infinity War is a superhero slugfest about cosmic catastrophe, and The Good Place is an observational comedy about the afterlife. Apart from that existential difference, they have very noticeable parallels.
MAJORLY INFINITE SPOILERS FOR BOTH SHOWS FOLLOW:
by Benjamin To
I finally understand now why this machine took ten years to assemble. This film is pure spectacle in every best sense of the word. Once the first second starts rolling, it’s all pedal to the metal for 149 minutes.
Want to play a superhero on TV? Note: you might have to be green. And I’m not talking about the Hulk.
Casting directors are currently searching high and low for an Asian teen to star in Titans, a live-action adaptation of DC Comics’ Teen Titans from Warner Bros. Television/DC Entertainment.
The open casting call from Rapaport/Baldasare Casting seeks a 13 to 15 year old Asian male to play the series regular role of “Jax,” who is described as “funny, self-deprecating and charming.”
With the latest release from Netflix, it turns out that Asian Americans will continue to get the shaft in 2017.
In March, Netflix released their trailer for the American adaptation of Death Note, a wildly popular manga series, which debuted on the world’s leading Internet television network on August 25. Death Note is a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. As of 2015, the series has over 30 million copies in circulation worldwide and has won international awards as well as numerous award nominations domestically in Japan. It is regarded as one of the top 10 manga series of all time. It also happens to be one of my favorites, so this fight on racist bullshit has just became personal.
The 3rd Annual Black Girl Nerds of Color Meetup, also known under the hashtag #BGNOC was a success! The idea of the meetup was a collaborative effort by Keith Chow managing editor of The Nerds of Color, Jamie Broadnax managing editor of Black Girl Nerds, and Arturo Garcia Editor-At-Large at Racialicious.
Hell yes. Fellow Trekkies, rejoice. The first-look trailer for the new CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery has dropped, and the latest foray into the final frontier looks pretty damn awesome, not least because of one badass looking starship captain in the form of one Michelle Yeoh. MICHELLE FRICKIN YEOH.
by Dominic Mah
So I went to my preferred karaoke bar in NYC the other night, and who should be there but two of the stars of AMC’s Into the Badlands, Emily Beecham and Ally Ioannides, a.k.a. The Widow and Tilda. This is because magical occurrences happen inside karaoke bars, all the time.
On Monday morning we released our summer collection that included our new Wonder Woman Denim Jacket. Out of everything new we are creating this year, this is the one piece I am most excited for. Wonder Woman is FINALLY getting her own live action film after almost 40 years since Linda Carter’s iconic TV version. Fortunately, in the past few years, we have seen more social advocating for equal representation of gender, orientation, and race in our favorite comics, TV, and films. Much has changed. Much has not.
Yesterday, Finn Jones, the actor playing Danny Rand on the Netflix debut of Marvel’s live action version of Iron Fist abruptly quit twitter. He wasn’t being harrassed, he wasn’t threatened, there was no controversy. In fact, to most observers, he simply seemed to be having a conversation. This raised more than a few eyebrows, especially since the show is set to debut in less than two weeks on March 17.
On Sunday night, Jones appears to have gotten into a discussion on twitter with Asyiqin Haron, a 21 year old artist from Singapore who also happens to be the creative director for Geeks of Color, (Heron’s comments are from her own personal twitter account and she was not representing GOC or tweeting from their account when she made them).
In a time where representation is such a hot topic in Hollywood, Netflix’s The OA does something few have done: cast an actual Asian transgender teenage boy as an Asian transgender teenage boy. Vietnamese-American teen Ian Alexander is one of multiple Asian actors in The OA’s main cast alongside Filipino/Puerto Rican-American Brandon Perea and British Pakistani Riz Ahmed (in a recurring role). Continuing the spotlight from his response to a viral anti-trans photo, Ian makes his on-screen acting debut as Buck Vu in the newly-released show having been cast from an online open casting call in 2015.
Growing up in places including Japan, Hawai’i, and D.C. have helped shape Ian. The fifteen-year-old high school junior has had more experiences than most teenagers his age, and his passion knows no bounds. He’s politically vocal, a huge admirer of actors and filmmakers like Jen Richards (Her Story) and Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) and relentless as a Marvel fanboy (he’s “Team Bucky” for those who are curious). Ian had time to sit down and talk about his upbringing and the show (don’t worry, there are no spoilers here).
This is a guest post from my wife, Janet Christine Mendoza Stickmon. It is a little off from what we usually cover but in these times, it is a very necessary read.