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One Way, or “the Other”: Asian American Film and Video

Thursday, November 1, 2007
5:30 p.m. Living on Tokyo Time (Free Screening!)
Steven Okazaki (U.S., 1986)

Steven Okazaki in Person
PFA Collection Print
Tickets available at the PFA Theater starting at 4:30

Arriving in San Francisco from Tokyo, Kyoko (Minako Ohashi), a shy but adventurous twenty-two-year-old, is determined to prove her independence, but is soon reduced to washing dishes in a sushi bar staffed with kimono’d Caucasians. When her visa expires, a friend suggests the classic green card conjugal. The unsuspecting matrimonial prospect is Ken (Ken Nakagawa), a dullard whose only ambition is to be a rock star, though everyone tells him there’s no such thing as an Asian American metal mogul. What ensues is a comic romance as Kyoko practices her English by reading Creem magazine and Ken tries to revive the long-dormant Asian inside him. The rock rants are rampant, especially those from Ken’s fellow band member Richie (screenwriter John McCormick), who’s never forgiven Yoko for breaking up the Beatles. As for Kyoko, in her perfectly broken English, she asks, “What’s meaning ‘a funky sort of R&B?’” Vintage techno and new wave propel this rockin’ romp across comedic cultures, timid hearts, and power chords.

—Steve Seid

• Written by John McCormick, Okazaki. Photographed by Okazaki, Zand Gee. With Minako Ohashi, Ken Nakagawa, Kate Connell, Judy Nihei. (83 mins, Color, 35mm, PFA Collection, Permission Steven Okazaki)