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

November 1, 2007 - December 12, 2007

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Contortions, November 14

A nine-part film and video series, One Way, or the Other tracks the evolution of Asian American film—from Wayne Wang’s Chan Is Missing (1982) to Gina Lim’s Invisible Light (2003)—hoping to gain some insight about the impulse towards identity, a politics of culture, or, in some cases, an avoidance thereof. While the BAM gallery exhibition One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now focuses on artists who came of age in the eighties and nineties, the film series concentrates on the influence of young artists from more than one generation, so the works you’ll see were made by Asian American mediamakers in the formative stages of their careers—Gregg Araki, Shu Lea Cheang, Jon Moritsugu, and others—powered by the iconoclasm, exuberance, and intellectual curiosity associated with youth. You’ll see films that are preoccupied with issues of identity, like Chan Is Missing; others, like Quentin Lee’s Shopping for Fangs, that settle for settings with an ethnic bent; and still others that find their identity elsewhere, in punk culture or sexual orientation, like Moritsugu’s Mod Fuck Explosion. In addition, we present two special screenings with contemporary media artists who pursue the more performative and experimental short form. San Francisco–based James T. Hong and San Francisco–born Patty Chang will be here to investigate the id in identity.

Steve Seid
Video Curator

Thursday, November 1, 2007
5:30 p.m. Living on Tokyo Time (Free Screening!)
Steven Okazaki in Person. Girl (Japanese) meets boy (Japanese American) in Okazaki’s rockin’ romantic comedy.

Friday, November 2, 2007
7:00 p.m. Invisible Light
Two anguished women intersect in Gina Kim’s keenly insightful diptych. “Kim has a terrific eye, a gift for near-wordless storytelling.”—Film Comment. With Helen Lee short Sally’s Beauty Spot.

Friday, November 2, 2007
7:00 p.m. Invisible Light


Wednesday, November 7, 2007
7:30 p.m. Behold the Asian: Video Works by James T. Hong
James T. Hong in Person. “It’s rare when a filmmaker is able to match provocative themes with evocative imagery—and do it consistently. Addressing race and class issues in his arrestingly photographed works, [Goldie Award winner] James T. Hong is one such artist.”—S.F. Bay Guardian

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
7:30 p.m. Contortions: The Performance Work of Patty Chang
Patty Chang in Person. Chang startles us with images that challenge physical limits, ironically celebrate the feminine through exaggerated acts of display, and finally redeem Asian women from the clutches of cultural misrendering.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
7:30 p.m. Shopping for Fangs
Quentin Lee and Justin Lin play fast and loose with genre and identity in their “Generasian X” comedy-thriller about a wannabe lesbian with a Marilyn complex, a neurotic housewife suffering from blackouts, and a guy afraid he’s becoming a werewolf.

Saturday, December 1, 2007
8:30 p.m. The Living End
Gregg Araki in Person. Araki’s “gorgeously jagged road movie” (Village Voice) injects HIV-positive outcasts with an ironic lust for life.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007
7:30 p.m. Chan Is Missing
Touted as the first all–Chinese American feature film, Wayne Wang’s 1982 movie is irreverent and refreshingly authentic in its depiction of two cab drivers searching through S.F.’s Chinatown for an elusive flim-flam man. With Kip Fulbeck short Some Questions for 28 Kisses.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007
7:30 p.m. Chan Is Missing


Friday, December 7, 2007
7:00 p.m. Mod Fuck Explosion
From provocateur Jon Moritsugu, a love story about teens lost in a dreary wasteland of punked-out peers, suicidal fantasists, and mod bikers with bongs. With Seoungho Cho short Rev.

Friday, December 7, 2007
7:00 p.m. Mod Fuck Explosion


Wednesday, December 12, 2007
7:30 p.m. Fresh Kill
A lesbian couple hooks up with an activist hacker underground in Shu Lea Cheang’s seriocomic feature, set in an alternative New York verging on apocalypse. Written by Jessica Hagedorn and scored by Vernon Reid. With Meena Nanji short It Is a Crime.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
7:30 p.m. Fresh Kill


Special thanks to Chi-hui Yang, exhibition director, San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, for his many suggestions. This series is presented with support from the Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Endowment. Patty Chang’s residency is presented with support from the Consortium for the Arts at UC Berkeley. In-kind support provided by Southwest Airlines.