Art of Woo

The reels are rolling at the 2002 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, happening this week at the Kabuki Theatre in Japantown. Friday evening, Rae and I went to see the American premiere of Art of Woo, a film by Helen Lee starring Adam Beach and Sook-Yin Lee. The movie looked like it would have been an intelligent romantic comedy, but I found it a bit too trite and cliched for my tastes. The leading actress was shaky in her portrayal, though I thought Beach’s character was better acted and developed.

I noticed a difference in the quality of the film while watching it. During the credits, I discovered the reason; the film was created using DV cameras and transferred to 35mm for its theatrical release. Very interesting indeed.

Before meeting Rae at the theatre, I drove over to Eric’s place and hung out there with him and Amabelle for a few hours. March 8 is the last day of my 26th year. Tomorrow (or rather today, as I write this entry), I turn 27 years old!

On Saturday, March 9, Rae and I went to this seminar on young Asian American film directors, and the methods that they employ to distribute their works. The panel showcased the directors of The Debut and Better Luck Tomorrow, Gene Cajayon and Justin Lin, along with Laura Kim and Marcus Hu, two individuals from the producing and promotion side of the business. Gene kept on talking and talking and talking. The crowd was clearly getting tired of his rants about The Debut and were eager to hear from Justin and his experiences on Better Luck Tomorrow. I felt a little bad for Gene, since I’m not sure if he was aware that he was talking so much.

The photographer from the Art of Woo performance was there, taking a number of photos from a crouched position to the left of the panelists. He was using an Olympus or Pentax film camera and was taking flash photos exclusively. I shot the following images using the 50/1.4 and the 85/1.8 without flash. The speed of the lenses affords me the ability to take handheld shots without flash. I’m starting to dislike flash photography. It annoys the subjects being photographed and it gives images a harsh, washed out look. There are people like Neil Turner of dg28, however, that get great results out of flash photography. I guess that I just have to master flash photography to end my complaints, eh?

I’m curious to see how the other guy’s images turned out. Maybe they’ll appear on the NAATA web site one of these days.

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