All posts tagged: Asian American

CAAMFEST Film Review: Cicada

This review originally appeared on AsAmNews  In Japan, the raucous sound of the cicada is synonymous with summer, when leaves take on the dusty green of full maturity and insects molt into adults, leaving empty shells behind. Cicada, directed by Dean Yamada and written by Yu Shibuya, captures that feeling of summer, when we shed another layer of our former selves and take on a more mature form. Our transition is led by Jumpei Taneda (Yugo Saso), who discovers that he is infertile during a pre-marital medical checkup and must figure out a way to tell the woman he wants to marry. Paralleled with Jumpei’s struggles are those of his sister Nanaka (Hiroko Wada), who desperately wants to protect her son Ryota (Houten Saito) from the bully in school. However, only Jumpei has the uncanny ability to find what Ryota really wants: cicada shells.  Cicada uses the discarded insect exoskeleton to propose a metamorphosis for the adult who has forgotten he was also once a child. From the beginning, children are central to the film – …

TV Review: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

If House of Cards is boring you this season (is that just me?), don’t give up on binge watching Netflix just yet. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, follows the transition of Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), who moves to New York City after her rescue from the bunker in Indiana where she has been held captive for fifteen years in a cult by a deranged apocalyptic minister. Arriving in New York City with no job, no money, and no friends, Kimmy decides to stay and finds herself a sketchy pad with roommate Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess) and a shaky job working for trophy wife Jacqueline Voorhees (Jane Krakowski). Oh but don’t worry – this is a comedy.

Book Review: On Such a Full Sea

Most apocalyptic authors do not posses the creativity or desire to end their novel outside the standard normal tropes: a protagonist who submits to his (and it rather often seems to be “his”) malevolent overlords either through acquiescence or death, or else a plot that simply doesn’t bother with catharsis at all. So I was never a big fan of this genre, and that’s largely Aldous Huxley’s fault. (Random fact: Huxley wrote the original screenplay for Disney’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Disney rejected it on the grounds that it was too literary. I feel Walt on that one.) The Host is a great exception. Yep, that’s the one written by Stephanie Meyer, who when she’s not writing about sparkly teenage vampires actually has quite a graphic imagination. If you’re looking for somewhat-lighter adult apocalyptic lit, go read it. If you’re looking for something a bit darker, I’d start with Chang-Rae Lee.

TV Review: Fresh Off The Boat

ABC’s newest sitcom Fresh Off The Boat kicked off yesterday with a double header. The show is based on the memoir of the real-life Eddie Huang, who growing up in the 1990s was obsessed with hip hop and struggling to fit in. The pilot follows Eddie’s Taiwanese American family as they move from the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area to the (far less diverse) city of Orlando, Florida.