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

Friday, December 7, 2007
7:00 p.m. Mod Fuck Explosion
Jon Moritsugu (U.S., 1994)

Even before the opening titles collapse in their clamor, punk provocateur Jon Moritsugu (Hippy Porn, My Degeneration) declares “Teenage Hate Now!” Strange proclamation for a love story about two teens, albeit teens lost in a dreary wasteland of punked-out peers, suicidal fantasists, and mod bikers with bongs. London (played by Amy Davis, darling of the depressed) lives in a trashy apartment, her “box of disease,” with a strung-out mom and sib X-Ray, who’s hyped-up about the coming rumble with rival “Nipponese” bikers. Moritsugu plays “the yellow stud,” leader of the pack, but this is a Warholian wasteland of insensate actors, so the bikers respond with rigor (mortis) to such epithets as “Hunan chickens” and “rice jockeys.” For her part, London has a bad case of angst in her pants, summarized by the snarling realization: “I am the two words—Fuck and Up.” Roaring with a punk soundtrack, the meaty MFX is definitely not about race, unless it’s on a road to nowhere. (Look for the scene shot in the Berkeley Art Museum.)

—Steve Seid

• Written by Moritsugu. Photographed by Todd Verow. With Amy Davis, Desi del Valle, Jacques Boyreau, Victor Fischbarg. (70 mins, Color, 16mm, From Jon Moritsugu)

Preceded by short:
Rev (Seoungho Cho, U.S., 1997) smears a cityscape into dreamy oscillations, accompanied by Stephen Vitiello’s processed guitar. (11:30 mins, Color, 3/4” Video, From Electronic Arts Intermix)

• (Total running time: 82 mins)