Why You Should Follow Jackie Chan on Facebook

Some celebrity Facebook pages are fan-made; others are run by their managers or agents. But international martial arts choreographer, director and actor Jackie Chan is one of the celebrities who frequently updates his Facebook page himself (though every once in a while one of his people will take over).

Sometimes he’ll advertise for a movie of his or a special event he’s hosting, but most of the time, Jackie likes to upload photos taken over the span of his career –– and his personal captions are nothing short of hilarious.

As if you need another reason to follow this legendary renaissance man –– not only is Jackie a trained martial artist and actor, he also directs, produces and writes his own movies –– here are a few of our favorite photos with captions he’s posted:

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“Call me maybe.”

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“#YOLO”

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“When I read I put on my thinking cap!”

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“I have always had a great sense of style!”

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“My younger years. No more mesh shirts for me!!”

Asian Designers at the 86th Academy Awards

While we’re ecstatic for Robert Lopez, the first Filipino American to win an Oscar for composing Frozen‘s “Let it Go,” the Academy Awards was once again slim when it came to Asian nominees.

But there were plenty of Asian-designed gowns gracing the red carpet at the 86th annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.86th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsEmma Watson, who joined Joseph Gordon-Levitt in presenting the award for best achievement in visual effects, dazzled in a metallic gray and black Vera Wang dress.86th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsA very pregnant Kerry Washington, star of the hit show Scandal, sports her baby bump in a simple lavender Jason Wu number.

oscars384 year-old June Squibb, one of the best supporting actress nominees for her role as Kate Grant in Nebraska (she lost to 12 Years a Slave actress Lupita Nyong’o) wears an emerald green, form-fitting Tadashi Shoji dress.oscars4Idina Menzel, who showed off her powerhouse vocals last night in a performance of “Let it Go” –– the hit song from Frozen that ended up winning best original song –– wears a sweeping Vera Wang dress.

“Alpha Girls” Creates Visibility

Guests gathered at the Greystone Manor in West Hollywood last Wednesday night, Feb. 26, for the launch party of a new reality show featuring successful Asian American women called “Alpha Girls.”

Produced by Mnet America, “Alpha Girls” is a weekly web series following the lives of four Asian American women, each of whom have risen to the tops of their careers. Cast members include fashion model Soo Joo Park, graphic artist Mina Kwon, fashion designer Lanie Alabanza-Barcena and DJ and producer Jennifer Lee, aka TOKiMONSTA.

Guests sipped on cocktails and munched on h’orderves while watching the premiere of the reality show, which runs 23 minutes long and focuses on both the exciting opportunities and personal drama in the Alpha Girls’ everyday lives. In the first episode, Alabanza-Barcena struggles to balance getting her line ready and planning a friend’s bachelorette party, TOKiMONSTA flies to Korea to perform for the first time, Kwon flies to America in search of inspiration and Soo Joo tries to overcome an ankle injury in time for New York Fashion Week. The premiere season also includes cameos from celebrities like Skrillex, Pharrell and Swizz Beats.

“At first I was kind of scared of strangers interfering in my life,” Alabanza-Barcena, the founder and creative director of urban streetwear brand Hellz Bellz, said on her experience of being filmed for the reality series. “But I think this is important. Girls can watch our show and learn to speak their minds, and be motivated to be their own boss.”

Mnet America producers Daniel DPD Park and Danny Park created “Alpha Girls” to promote Asian American visibility in the media, as well as to show American audiences that Asian Americans are capable of succeeding in careers that have nothing to do with being a doctor or scientist. “Alpha Girls” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on youtube.com/MnetAmerica.

Indian Designer Wins Woolmark Prize at Milan Fashion Week

Fashion designer Rahul Mishra was named the winner of the International Woolmark Prize for 2014-2015 on Friday during Milan Fashion Week in Italy. Mishra is the first Indian designer to win the prize, and received $90,000 in prize money as well as collaborations with retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Harvey Nichols and Colette

The contest required that the five competing designers –– each of whom represented their own region –– create six-piece collection made entirely from merino wool and display as a fashion show for a panel of elite judges, which included  Franca Sozzani, Tim Blanks, Colette Garnsey, Angelica Cheung, Alexa Chung and representatives from the competition’s global retail partners.

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“For me, Rahul has won because of his ability to apply his knowledge of embroideries through wool, one of the most versatile fibers with originality in an unexpected way,” said Gucci creative director Frida Giannini.

Based in Mumbai and Delhi, Mishra’s designs paid homage to his Indian ancestry with lotus patterns and and a yellow-and-white palette. “My biggest inspiration came from Buddha’s idea that a lotus is an embryo of the world,” Mishra said, explaining the inspiration behind his collection. “I’m a story teller, I love telling stories!”

Favorite Asian YouTube Covers of Frozen’s “Let It Go”

2013 ended on a high note –– pun intended –– as the release of Disney’s latest animated musical, Frozen, was all anyone could talk or sing about. The film already created a buzz with its storyline that focused on the relationship between two sisters, rather than the usual male-dominated, guy-saves-girl plot. But what really had an impact on viewers was the original soundtrack, which beat out Beyoncé (!!!) for the number one album spot on the Billboard charts. It’s been two months and YouTube musicians are still publishing their own covers of Frozen songs, particularly “Let It Go.” Here are some of our favorite covers.

1. Sam Tsui

Sam Tsui, who is Chinese-American, is a YouTube celebrity known for his mash-ups, like this one, which combines both “Let It Go” and Passenger’s “Let Her Go.” He released his first album, “Make it Up,” last year.

2. Sonnet Son

Sonnet Son, full name Son Seung Yeon, is a Korean student studying at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. She has displayed her powerhouse vocals in other covers of fan favorites like Bruno Mars’s “Grenade” and Alicia Keys’s “No One.”


3. Grace Lee

Korean-American Grace Lee’s cover has gained over three million views on YouTube, and the previously-unknown singer, who auditioned for The Voice, is starting to get recognized.

4. Jun Sung Ahn

Jun Sung Ahn, who claims his specialties are violin, dance, film, video, photography, producing, editing and performing, definitely stands out among the numerous Frozen covers. The talented artist released a beautiful violin cover of “Let it go” which has gathered over a million views so far.

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Japan’s Creative Take on the Haunted House

In case you needed more proof that Japan is always taking old, tired concepts and turning them on their heads before the rest of the world can.

This past summer 2013 and continuing into 2014, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Japan opened a new exhibit for children titled “Ghosts, Underpants and Stars,” but its most popular project is the Torafu Architects’ Haunted Play House.

Created by Koichi Suzuno and Shinya Kamuro, Haunted Play House spins off the traditional dark, zombie and ghost-filled Halloween houses with a subtle yet eerie art gallery. The architectural installation contains hidden passageways, contorted paintings, funhouse mirrors and thousands of watching eyes.

It may be spooky, but the project also aims to educate children on art history while simultaneously fueling their imaginations.

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Geek Out over New Sailor Moon Pens

Do you feel that? That hard blow to the gut is childhood hitting you and bringing back memories of after-school afternoons spent eating Fruit Gushers and watching your favorite Sailor Scouts kick butt while wearing short skirts and heels.

Sailor Moon fans, rejoice: the Japanese online shopping site, Premium Bandai, has just announced plans to release six different pens resembling each of the Sailor Scout’s wands.

Due for release in May of this year, Premium Bandai has already sold out in their pre-orders but is planning on holding another pre-order event. Each pair is priced at 2,808 yen. The company has not yet confirmed whether they’ll be opening up purchases internationally.

The wands come in pairs and range in style, from Sailor Uranus & Sailor Neptune’s Lip Rods to Sailor Pluto’s Time Staff. You might be taking a math test or jotting down your grocery list, but at least in some way you’ll get to feel as if you’re fighting evil by moonlight.

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An Intimate Conversation with Ang Lee

What do a superhero action blockbuster, an intimate western love story and a foreign language film have in common? For one, they’re all directed by Taiwanese-American director Ang Lee.

The Film Foundation and Louis XIII Cognac partnered up Wednesday night to cohost Creative Encounter, an evening of conversation with two-time Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee and actress Anne Hathaway, who worked with Lee on Brokeback Mountain in 2005.

Held in the Charles Aidikoff Screening Room in Beverly Hills, Creative Encounter began with a video montage of Lee’s numerous films along with a discussion about Lee’s love affair with filmmaking, illustrating decades-worth of the hard work and talent the Film Foundation aims to preserve as an “art form that stands the test of time.”

Despite his incredible successes thus far, Lee didn’t always want to be behind the camera. Coming to the United States from Taiwan when he was 23 years old, Lee had all the intentions of becoming a famous actor, but he soon realized an unavoidable obstacle standing in the way of his dream: he couldn’t speak English. Wanting to continue to be a part of the entertainment industry in some way, Lee resorted to directing.

“I went to film school but I was doubtful and I didn’t think I would make any money or do anything,” Lee reflected on his decision. Does he still have his doubts? “Not anymore,” Lee said, “Not after the two, three Oscars. I can’t deny that I’m a talented filmmaker now, but I used to deny it for a long, long time.”

Lee soon fell in love with directing, discovering that he could take something pretend in order to convey a truth. It’s another similarity his many diverse works share: the hopes and disappointments that all humans have. His leaps between genre and style also are due, in part, to Lee’s drive to explore the unknown.

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“It’s like sight-seeing; why would you want to go to the same place?” Lee said. “In marriage you have to be loyal, but in filmmaking…why not explore?” He’s admitted to turning down several movie deals in the past that he felt were in a genre he had already spent time in.

Lee also reflected on his long career from the beginning, back when he directed one of his first films in 1992, Pushing Hands, about the clash between Chinese traditions of family and modern Western ideals regarding individualism. If he could, would he travel back in time to give his younger, less experienced self advice?

“No,” Lee said simply. “I’m not saying that movie was perfect. There were things I did that I think now, ‘Oh, don’t do that, that’s so embarrassing,’ but I was doing my best.”

Actress Anne Hathaway, who won the Oscar last year for best supporting actress, weighed in on her 10 year friendship with Lee and her initial first impressions. The two met when 21 year-old Hathaway auditioned for Brokeback Mountain –– in an extravagant princess ball gown, no less, during a lunch break from filming The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.

“I was so intimidated when I walked into the room, but when I met [Ang], I felt like I’d known him for a long time,” Hathaway reflected. “Before, I never referred to myself as an actress but after working with him on this film I thought, ‘I can call myself an actress now.'”

Continuing with his theme of human condition, Lee revealed his plans for a new film centered around boxing. “It’s two guys beating each other senseless, but with meaning,” Lee said, “And I think that’s the bottom line of life: the effort we put into something.”

Julie Chu Carries U.S. Flag at Olympics Closing Ceremony

American ice hockey player Julie Chu was nominated and selected to represent Team U.S.A. as flag bearer for the Closing Ceremonies at the Sochi Olympic Games last night.

The four-time medallist –– she has two silvers and a bronze in addition to the silver medal she won with her team this year –– was “completely humbled and kind of in shock” when she discovered her team picked her to carry the flag, ending her fourth consecutive Winter Olympic Games.

Chu plays the forward position on the women’s team and helped land them in second place in the finals February 20, losing to Canada by a score of 3-2. Chu, who is Chinese-American, is the first Asian American woman to play for the US Olympic ice hockey team and is tied as the second-most decorated U.S. female in Olympic Winter Games history.

“I’m trying to finagle a hockey stick,” Chu joked when asked if she’d represent her sport by carrying the US flag in on a hockey stick. “I don’t know if they’ll let me.”

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VIDEO OF THE DAY: Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Voicing a Studio Ghibli Character

In honor of the upcoming U.S. release of Japanese-based Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises, here’s an interview with actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who voices the main protagonist, Jiro Horikoshi, in the English-dubbed version.

Hayao Miyazaki’s reportedly last film as Studio Ghibli director (he recently withdrew this statement and has since come out of retirement) is a fictionalized biography focusing on the life of Horikoshi, a budding airplane designer whose life is changed by historical events like the Kanto earthquake of 1923 and the Great Depression.

Gordon-Levitt discusses his love for Miyazaki films and his ability to relate to his character.

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