All posts tagged: AMWF

Theater Review: Allegiance

Last weekend, my husband and I (and some blogger friends) headed up to New York to catch one of the first Broadway performances of Allegiance, a musical based on George Takei’s experiences during his family’s internment under Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. That’s right, a musical about the U.S. government’s internment of its Japanese American citizens. Despite the devastating subject matter, the play is…er…hilarious. And joyful. And uplifting. This is of course the genius of Takei himself who, although the only actor in the production who was himself one of the 120,000 Japanese Americans interned, simply cannot play a role that is without humor. The whole experience was a bit surreal – I was aware of the details of the Japanese American internment, but it’s emotionally challenging (to say the least) to be asked to imagine a situation in which your own government is willing to systematically round up its citizens on the sheer basis of their race. And yet the emotional entry point for the audience is so simple: a family, with typical family problems, caught up in the larger drama around them. Sammy Kimura (Telly …

TV Review: Fresh Off The Boat (season 1 finale)

The success of Fresh Off The Boat is personal. I’m not Asian American, but I have two primary points of investment: 1) My husband predicted that the show would be terrible and never be renewed, and I love it when he’s wrong (he’s capitulated on the first statement). 2) It represents people I love. There will probably never be a sitcom about a family that looks like mine. Mixed families are very specific, and television has only ever bothered to showcase an Asian American family twice in as many decades. Maybe my future children can watch sitcoms like The McCarthys and Fresh Off The Boat and see part of themselves represented in each. (Big Hero 6 is going to popular in this house). I love Fresh Off The Boat, not only because I think the adults are hilarious, the children are adorable, and the stories are entertaining, but also because I love watching my husband relate to a family in an American sitcom for the first time in his life. The sound of my husband’s laughter is the best sound in the world to me. It’s worth ten seasons of any show. …

Book Review: Everything I Never Told You

Celeste Ng’s first novel, Everything I Never Told You, opens with the death of Lydia Lee. Her surviving family, who collectively idolized sixteen-year-old Lydia, struggle to make sense of her death in a collection of flashbacks and subsequent narratives. The story draws a sharp line in the sand – before death, and after. The divide works well as a temporal device, keeping the reader oriented, but it works thematically as well, examining the faulty structures of the Lee family as it comes crashing down around them. Despite the dark subject matter, Ng’s prose is light, engaging, encouraging the reader to read on – Ng is the type of author to bring along to the beach and effortlessly lose yourself in for a few hours. The novel is a page-turner, but not in the traditional sense. This is no whodunit mystery. Rather, Lydia’s death is contextualized in the history of the family’s complex relationships. Before marriage, James Lee was a young, Chinese American professor desperate to fit in, his wife-to-be a Caucasian woman eager to stand out as a woman in the male-dominated medical profession. Like so …

Comics Review: My Japanese Husband (STILL) Thinks I’m Crazy

My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy and the forthcoming followup, My Japanese Husband (STILL) Thinks I’m Crazy are a series of comic books by Grace Buchele Mineta, an American blogger and freelance writer living with her Japanese husband in Tokyo. Mineta explores the humor and small insights to be found in her day-to-day life through her endearing, largely single-panel comics, complemented by explanations of expat life in Japan.

Book Review: Eleanor & Park

So to go along with my twelve-year-old boy taste in movies and my irrational love of sitcoms, my favorite genre of novel is…YA (you all saw this coming, right? Had me pegged for a raging Harry Potter fan? Guilty.) Adult fiction somehow never managed to hold quite the same appeal for me, coming after all the great YA I loved in high school. The seventh Harry Potter book came out the summer before I went to college, my childhood ended, and fiction just hasn’t been the same sense. Okay that’s darker than I really meant the sentiment to be. But the problem is, adult fiction might not capture the imagination in the same way YA once did, but you also do naturally outgrow YA. (Or at least, a lot of YA. Harry Potter will be awesome forever and Holes still really holds up).

Film Review: Big Hero 6

My first review is an animated Disney superhero movie – who’s surprised? If you haven’t seen this one yet, you should. It’s still in theaters, and it’s great. Big Hero 6, directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, is based on a lesser-known Marvel comic that Disney dug up and reinvented. Ryan Potter and Daniel Henney lend their voices as brothers Hiro and Tadashi Hamada, who are half-Japanese-half-Caucasian American (Potter and Henney are themselves of mixed heritage) living with their aunt in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo. While the brothers’ mixed background is implied, both Hamada parents are deceased and never shown. I suppose actually depicting an AMWF couple on screen would have been too much awesome for one movie…sigh.

Turning Point

“Until I saw people who looked like me, doing the things I wanted to do, I wasn’t sure it was a possibility” – Lupita Nyong’o My motivations for creating are twofold: First, I watched Colin Stokes’ two excellent TED talks on gender and racial diversity in film. Mr. Stokes introduced me to Bechdel test, which serves as a lower-bound test for the representation of female characters in film. To pass the test, a movie must script: 1) at least two (named) female characters, 2) who speak to each other, 3) about something other than a man. That’s it. A movie passes the test if two female characters say nothing other than good morning to each other. And yet only about 60% of the movies produced since 1970 pass. The Bechdel test is not a new concept. Invented by Liz Wallace, it was popularized by Alison Bechdel in a 1985 comic strip. This was, however, the first I’d heard of it. I had somehow made it through several college film classes without ever coming across the …