Category Archives: News

Logan: Noir – One Night Only at the Frida Cinema

Few understand the power of the black-and-white movie. Color creates visual noise that can pull the eye in different directions. Black and white forces your eye to the centers of action.

For one night only, tonight at 9 pm, the Frida Cinema will present this year’s hit film. Logan. in beautiful black and white.

Set in a bleakly familiar near-future, the latest installment of the X-Men franchise finds a weary Logan (Hugh Jackman) caring for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) at a remote outpost on the Mexican border. His plan to hide from the outside world gets upended when he meets young mutant Laura (Dafne Keen) with whom he finds much commonality. When dark forces set out to capture her, Logan must overcome both physical and emotional pain to save her.

Be the Cure for Cancer Patients – Mixed Match – Filmmaker Interview

Mixed Match is an important human story told from the perspective of mixed race blood cancer patients who are forced to reflect on their multiracial identities and complex genetics as they struggle with a nearly impossible search to find bone marrow donors, all while exploring what role race plays in medicine.

Alan Ng speaks with director Jeff Chiba Stearns and producer/subject Athena Asklipiadis about the film and this important cause. The interview took place at the 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Cardinal X – Geek Lab Interview with Writer/Director Angie Wang

Cardinal X is the story of a damaged Asian American girl from the wrong side of the tracks is accepted into a prestigious university, only to succumb to her personal demons. She begins synthesizing MDMA and becomes one of the largest distributors of Ecstasy during the mid-1980’s. Inspired by true events from writer/director Angie Wang.

Alan Ng from the Geek Lab spoke with Angie Wang during the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. We spoke about her film and the filmmaking process.

Cardinal X stars Annie Q as Annie and Francesca Eastwood as Jeanine.


The Frida Cinema Presents ‘The Seventh Art Stand’ and Other Anti-Islamophobia Films

From Monday, May 8 through Sunday, May 14, The Frida Cinema will be joining over 50 cinemas across the U.S. in The Seventh Art Stand, a nationwide screening series presented by cinemas, museums, and community centers in 25 states, as an act of cinematic solidarity against Islamophobia. These films highlight many of the issues faced by the Muslim community, as well as the Middle Eastern community in general, both in the Middle East and in the United States, and will range from dramas to documentaries to short films.

Organized by distribution company Abramorama, independent Seattle film arts center the Northwest Film Forum, and writer/director/political organizer Vivian Hua, the Seventh Art Stand calls on the “seventh art of Cinema” (the other six being Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Music, Poetry, Dance, and Performance) to do its part to share some of the stories, histories, and culture captured by filmmakers around the world about Middle Eastern communities and the Islamic faith, at a time when the “Muslim Ban” and other policies and political narratives have led to an increase in disinformation, and ultimately, violent actions against Muslims, and individuals from the Middle East in general.

Doris Yeung Interview – Writer/Director of ‘Taxi Stories’

Taxi Stories is an entrant in the Narrative category of the 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

In an increasingly economically polarized and virtually connected 24 hour Asia, a closeted Beijing taxi driver, a pregnant Hong Kong trophy wife, and a Jakarta underage bajaj driver struggle to connect despite the constraints of their social class.

From the 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Alan Ng speaks with writer/director Doris Yeung about her film, Taxi Stories and the independent filmmaking process.

Joyce Wong Interview – Writer/Director of ‘Wexford Plaza’

Wexford Plaza screens in the Narrative category of the 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Synopsis – Nineteen-year-old Betty (Reid Asselstine) toils as a nighttime security guard at a suburban strip mall. Trying to stave off loneliness with failed bids at cyber-flirtation and drunken escapades with co-workers, Betty meets and falls for Danny (Darrel Gamotin), a well-meaning Filipino-American bartender. Danny, a bit lost himself, welcomes her attention, and his mixed signals sets off a series of events that would leave them both worse for wear.

Alan Ng interviews Joyce Wong (Writer/Director) of Wexford Plaza. Her film is showing at the 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

‘Sled Dogs’ Sheds Light on Animal Cruelty in the Sled Racing World – Newport Beach Film Festival Preview

Explore both sides of the Alaskan Iditarod: Sports Entertainment vs. Animal Cruelty. Sled Dogs comes to the Newport Beach Film Festival this Tuesday, April 22 at 5:45 PM at the Island Cinemas at Fashion Island.

What happens to huskies before and after the Iditarod? That’s the question that director Fern Levitt set out to answer in Sled Dogs, the hard-hitting new documentary that has been described as the Blackfish of the dogsledding industry. The film, which will debut in the U.S. in July, recently nabbed two awards at the Whistler Film Festival in British Columbia, where part of the documentary is set.

Sled Dogs exposes the Iditarod’s dark side, from breeders who kill dogs who don’t make the cut to the barren summertime kennels to the deadly race itself that claimed five lives this year alone.

In many commercial dog sled companies, dogs are continually tethered to a chain and euthanized when they’re deemed no longer useful. In 2011, the public finally learned this disgusting truth after in incident in Whistler, B.C. where 100 dogs were brutally murdered and thrown into a mass grave by a tourism company after an unprofitable season. Sled dog companies and the B.C. government decried the practice, claiming it to be an isolated occurrence; but animal rights activists maintain that this practice is pervasive throughout the entire industry. This explosive documentary weaves together various characters and narratives to explore a truth about the dog sledding industry while posing the question: “Is the abuse seen against “man’s best friend” disguised as entertainment?

The True Story of Survival Comes to ‘Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story’ – Newport Beach Film Festival Preview

In Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story, director Phillip Baribeau tells an intimate and riveting look into the complex layers of trauma, healing, and relationships. The film premieres at the Newport Beach Film Festival today at 5:15 pm at the Triangle Cinemas.

The documentary feature film, “Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story,” which had its World Premiere as the Opening Night Film at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, provides extraordinary access into the emotional and inspiring journey of Eduardo Garcia. In a few short moments, this accomplished chef became the survivor of a freak accident — alone, near death and miles from help deep in Montana’s backcountry — hit with 2400 volts of electricity, the strength of a primary high voltage wire.

Miraculously despite severe shock and weakness, Eduardo found the strength to take his first steps toward finding help. The result of the accident was the loss of his left hand and forearm and a recovery which included 21 surgeries. It was during his 48 days in ICU with his former long-term girlfriend and business partner Jennifer Jane with him every step of the way, Eduardo faced yet another health scare — he was diagnosed with Stage 2 testicular cancer.

After months of surgeries and chemotherapy, Eduardo was ready for his next and perhaps greatest challenge — asking, “How am I going to get back to being me?”

There will be a second screening Monday, April 24 at 5 pm.

The Search for Family and Redemption in The Scent of Rain & Lighting – Newport Beach Film Festival Preview

A young woman begins to question evidence surrounding a recently released convict, convicted of murdering her parents. The story plays out in The Scent of Rain & Lighting. The film premieres at the Newport Beach Film Festival today, April 21 at 8:15 pm at The Triangle Cinemas in Costa Mesa.

From acclaimed actor/director Blake Robbins (the award-winning The Sublime and Beautiful), and starring Maika Monroe (Independence Day: Resurgence, It Follows) in a nuanced breakout lead performance, THE SCENT OF RAIN & LIGHTNING features a veteran acting ensemble, including Maggie Grace (Lost, Taken, Twilight: Breaking Dawn), Mark Webber (Green Room, Scott Pilgrim vs the World), Bonnie Bedelia (Parenthood), Will Patton (The Good Wife) and Justin Chatwin (American Gothic).

Evincing an evocative and authentic mood, look, and feel for life in the American Midwest, director Robbins and producer Twenter, who both grew up in Kansas, ground the story with a vibrant emotional authenticity and layered performances from the acting ensemble (Robbins also has a supporting acting role) to create a sophisticated, performance focused drama.

With layered and subtle cinematography from Robbins’ longtime DP Lyn Moncrief, THE SCENT OF RAIN & LIGHTNING portrays the humanity of small town life and one young woman’s search for family and emotional redemption – and how grief, revenge, and family secrets test the strength in an entire community.

There will be a second screening on Monday, April 24 at 4:15 pm.

A Subversive Look at Plastic Surgery – TAKE MY NOSE PLEASE – Newport Beach Film Festival

Allure’s Joan Kron looks at the pressures women have to be attractive and fit in society and seeking plastic surgery as the answer. Kron’s Take My Nose Please premieres at the 2017 Newport Beach Film Festival on Saturday, April 22 at 6 p.m. at the Triangle Square Cinemas in Costa Mesa. An encore showing will take place on Thursday, April 27.

TAKE MY NOSE PLEASE is a seriously funny and wickedly subversive look at the role comedy has played in exposing the pressures on women to be attractive and society’s desire/shame relationship with plastic surgery.

More than 15 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the US in 2014. And 90% of them on were done on women. Yet, for those who elect to tinker with Mother Nature, especially for high-profile women, plastic surgery is still a very dark secret. Funny women, though, are the exception. From Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers to Roseanne and Kathy Griffin, comedians have been unashamed to talk about their perceived flaws, and the steps taken to remedy them. For these dames, cosmetic surgery isn’t vanity, it is affirmative action – compensation for the unfair distribution of youthfulness and beauty.

By admitting what their sisters in drama deny, comic performers speak to women who feel the same pressures, giving them permission to pursue change (or not to) while entertaining us.

TAKE MY NOSE PLEASE follows two comedians as they deliberate about going under the knife. Emily Askin, an up-and-coming improv performer, has always wanted her nose refined. Jackie Hoffman, a seasoned headliner on Broadway and on TV, considers herself ugly and regrets not having the nose job offered in her teens. And maybe she’d like a face-lift, as well. As we follow their surprisingly emotional stories, we meet other who have taken the leap – or held out.

Putting it all in perspective are psychologists, sociologists, the medical community and cultural critics. And for comic relief and the profundity only comedians can supply. The film includes commentary from Roseanne Barr, Phyllis Diller, the late Joan Rivers, Judy Gold, Julie Halston, Lisa Lampanelli, Giulia Rozzi, Bill Scheft, and Adrianne Tolsch.