Many of us have experienced the feeling of living in the shadows of our parents. The charming romantic comedy, Cast Me If You Can, tells the story of Hiroshi, a perpetual supporting actor, living in the shadow of his famous playwright father. Helmed by award-winning director Atsushi Ogata (Eternally Yours), a graduate of Harvard College and MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and known as “Japan’s answer to Woody Allen,” the film features a veteran star cast including Toru Masuoka, Hiromi Nagasaku, Masahiko Tsugawa, Keiko Matsuzaka, and Emoto Akira. Already an award-winner in numerous film festivals in major U.S. cities, as well as overseas in China, India and Germany, Cast Me If You Can was a hit in its native Japan where it has been turned into a novel.
If you missed the special screening last week in Los Angeles presented by the University of Southern California’s Japan Film Society, the film is now available on DVD here. Check out the trailer here:
Being a recent postgrad myself and having moved back home since my plans for summer abroad fell through, I feel somewhat stuck.
Here I am, with an expensive degree, at home, hopelessly looking for a job that will see me through at least the summer. I can’t exactly move out because I don’t have any real funds to sustain me for long, but being at home has made me revert back to a weird “upgraded” (updated?) version of the self I was before I ran off to college on the other side of the continent. I’ve come from cooking my own dinners and cleaning my own bathroom to piling up my laundry for my mom to do while rotting my brain with episodes of Dexter, with intermittent breaks to go to the gym or meet up with friends. Then there are the showdowns I face with my mom as we struggle to one up each other as we argue about curfew, my social habits, or the quality of the clothes I’ve scavenged from thrift stores and sales racks.
It’s tough being in “adultolescence” with a Tiger Mom.
Which is the very conflict directors Vicky Shen and Zoe Bui and producer Eleonore Dailly tackle in their 90-minute film, Adultolescence.
It’s not easy breaking into the music industry; it’s even harder being an Asian trying to break into the industry, but it’s amazing how the Asian community has grown in terms of musical artists. On Friday, February 4th, talented musicians shared the stage of the University of Southern California’s Bovard Auditorium in a concert put together by the Asian Pacific American Student Association (APASA). As one of the performers of the night explained: it’s funny how Asian parents always push us to learn instruments such as piano and violin, expect us to play them well (and by well I mean finish the highest level examination), but when we tell them we want to pursue a career in music, they just shake their heads in disagreement. Why build up our interests and discourage it later on? But nonetheless, the artists this night fought for what they were passionate for, and that’s something we should all look up to.
Opening the show was Oak & Gorski (oakandgorski), a dual formed by Ken Oak and Ed Gorski in 2004. They have sold more than 30,000 albums independently and have recently launched their newest album Love Destroyer. For the night, Ed was on the rhythm guitar and Ken on the cello as they performed several of their songs. Like Billboard Magazine described, their songs were very “soulful” and “calming.” Then, Jason Chen (miniachilles) followed with two Bruno Mars covers and his first single on iTunes, an original titled Just for a Moment. He has gained fame through YouTube in a short period of time, with more than 130,000 subscribers and more than 22,000,000 upload views. He sounds just like he does on YouTube, meaning he’s just as incredible, so it’s definitely worth seeing him live. Before intermission, guest performer Heavy Impact from ABDC hit the floor and showed us how they worked their bodies.
As the audience sat back into their seats, Jason Yang (jasonyangviolin), a USC alumni, was glad to be back performing at the place he feels most comfortable. Not only is he majorly gifted, he’s also quite humorous, as he explains that he was going to say “Happy Lunar New Year” after the section of the performance that sounds especially Chinese. His youtube received over 4,000,000 views and as his fan said, Jason is really taking violin to the next level. After was the heart-throbbing Joseph Vincent (hoorahjencar), who greeted us with his charming smirk. He really knows how to sing, but more importantly, he really knows how to engage the audience, welcoming us to sing along. His YouTube channel has over 140,000 subscribers and over 27,000,000 upload views. Clara Chung (ClaraCMusic), whose debut album released last September,was brought on to end the show. She has over 88,000 subscribers on YouTube, but her live performances are even better because she’s super cute in person and very approachable. She wasn’t afraid to get comfortable on stage by taking off her shoes too!
Subscribe to all their YouTube channels, like their facebook fan pages and attend their performances to show your support for the Asian music community!
Living in America, we sometimes get so caught up in the lifestyle here that we forget about our own cultures. Or maybe we haven’t forgotten but can’t find enough opportunities to celebrate our cultural identities. On February 20, it’s your chance to reconnect with your heritage and embrace your inner Asian. This year, USC CASA (University of Southern California Chinese American Student Association) is putting on their 12th annual culture show, Legacy, to remind us of why we should never let go of our ancestral roots.
This student-run production takes us onto the journey of a contemporary young man, Jason Wu, from Los Angeles who one day finds himself in Imperial China, struggling through the unfamiliar land to find his way back home. However, trouble strikes upon the dynasty and to break the commotion, our hero must go face-to-face with history. The time travel theme may be cliché, but his search to reconnect with this Asian roots makes it a meaningful watch. Not only can you expect to see talented acting, you can also anticipate guest performances such as hip-hop dance and martial arts. Joseph Vincent has confirmed to be on the show as their special guest as well, and to be able to see a YouTube hottie live is always a plus!
Speaking from personal experience, I have thoroughly enjoyed last year’s culture show that also touched on the issue of identity crisis. I am not just saying this because I am a proud sister of last year’s CASA culture show director, but because it is amazing how the art of performance can always remind us to never lose track of who we are.
Here’s a teaser video for you:
Date: Sunday, February 20, 2011
Time: Doors open at 6:30pm; Show starts at 7pm
Venue: USC Bovard Auditorium
3551 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: FREE admission, but be sure to pick up a ticket before they run out by contacting Cathy Liu (email@example.com) or by making a reservation here