Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kung Fu Fest at Row House Cinema starts tomorrow.

Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville will present Kung Fu Fest from tomorrow through December 4.
Watching old Kung Fu films is both an honest & fantastical experience. The action is the focus... sure sure, but there are no explosions nor fancy gadgetry, just extremely athletic, hand to hand combat.
The films to be presented are: Enter the Dragon (龍爭虎鬥); Fists of Fury (精武門); Master of the Flying Guillotine (獨臂拳王大破血滴子); Once Upon a Time in China (黃飛鴻); and Drunken Master (醉拳). A schedule is available on the theater's website and in .pdf form. Movies will be shown in their original languages, with English subtitles. The theater is located at 4115 Butler St. (map).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語) and From Up on Poppy Hill (コクリコ坂から) at Row House Cinema, December 12 - 18.

Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville will present the GKIDS Animation Festival from December 12 through 18, including two animated films from Japan and Studio Ghibli: 2013's The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語) in its Pittsburgh debut and 2011's From Up On Poppy Hill (コクリコ坂から).

A.V. Club provides a summary of The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語):
A humble bamboo cutter named Okina (translation: “old man”) happens upon a glowing stalk in the grove near his house. When he investigates, the shimmering tree blossoms reveal a baby nested inside. Believing this discovery to be a gift from the heavens, Okina brings her home to his wife Ouna (“old woman”), with whom he begins to raise the child as their own. Dubbing her “Princess” Kaguya, Ouna and Okina marvel at how rapidly the girl begins to grow, racing from infancy to pre-adolescence in a matter of days.

While Kaguya busies herself with a normal childhood, making friends with the local kids and bonding with an older boy named Sutemaru, her adopted father becomes distracted by Kaguya’s value to him—the bamboo shoot from which she was born begins producing gold. As Kaguya transforms into a teenager, Okina relocates their family to the capital city, where the girl receives lessons on how to be a proper woman, and is celebrated as a rare beauty. When five aggressive suitors come calling—followed by the emperor himself—Kaguya begins to feel trapped, things falling apart as she imagines a different life for herself.
It goes on to say the film has "some of the most beautifully expressive animation that Ghibli (or anyone else) has ever produced".

Wikipedia provides a brief summary of the latter:
Set in 1963 Yokohama, Japan, the film tells the story of Umi Matsuzaki, a high school girl living in a boarding house, Coquelicot Manor. When Umi meets Shun Kazama, a member of the school's newspaper club, they decide to clean up the school's clubhouse, Quartier Latin. However, Tokumaru, the chairman of the local high school and a businessman, intends to demolish the building for redevelopment and Umi and Shun, along with Shirō Mizunuma, must persuade him to reconsider.
And the Pittsburgh City-Paper adds, in a review of the film when it was last here in 2013:
The film's small story is set against a larger cultural one, as Japan transitions from the sorrows and hardships of the last generation's wars to being a modern world power. Nearly every scene contains visual cues that show Japan's mish-mash of old and new, while the story illustrates this new generation, caught between the nostalgic pull of the past and the responsibility of leading this new Japan.
Showtimes will be released shortly. The theater is located at 4115 Butler St. (map).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New "Asian Noodle Bar" coming to Oakland.

Signage went up today for Asian Noodle Bar at 3531 Forbes Ave. (map), in a storefront that was most recently the Pittsburgh Pretzel Sandwich Shop.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Nak Won Garden Korean Restaurant (낙원가든) opens in Shadyside.

PG Plate wrote on the 10th about a new Korean restaurant that opened in Shadyside on the 14th. Nak Won Garden Korean Restaurant (낙원가든) is located at 5504 Centre Ave. (map), next to Market District. PG Plate has scanned and posted the menu, which includes most of the standard appetizers, dishes, and soups.

WholeChi (豪吃匹兹堡) delivery service.

Flyers recently went up around Oakland for WholeChi (豪吃匹兹堡), which offers a delivery service from local Asian markets to customers' homes in parts of the Oakland, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, Greenfield, and Uptown neighborhoods. It's run by the group behind WholeRen, a locally-based Chinese education consulting and placement firm.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Shim Eun-kyung chose "한국 사람이 없는 피츠버그".

Korean actress Shim Eun-kyung might be best known to readers in Pittsburgh for starring in the 2011 film Sunny, which was part of the 2012 Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival.

A story from four-and-a-half years ago, but worth sharing: Korean actress Shim Eun-kyung chose Pittsburgh as a study abroad location back in 2010 because there are few Koreans here. From the Chosun Ilbo:
영화 '반가운 살인자' 배급사 롯데엔테테인먼트 측은 "심은경이 오는 9월 미국 피츠버그로 유학을 떠난다"며 "심은경은 어린 시절부터 연기를 시작해 지친 심신을 위로하고 연기자로서의 삶과 대학생활 중 어떤 것을 선택할 것인지 본격적으로 고민하기 위해 일부러 한국 사람이 없는 피츠버그 유학을 결심했다"고 전했다.
Unlike most interested in studying abroad, Shim---who by the age of 16 had been in several successful TV shows and movies---sought refuge from years of media attention in order to focus on her studies. A location with few Koreans, though, is a selling point for some programs, and to those students who might wish to avoid certain crutches.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thai Loy Krathong Festival at Pitt, November 24.

The Office of International Services at the University of Pittsburgh and the Thai Student Association will present a Thai Loy Krathong Festival on November 24. "Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar", says Wikipedia.
The name could be translated as "to float a basket", and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river.
The free festival runs from 11:00 to 1:00 pm in room 310 of the William Pitt Union (campus map).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chinese short "Carry On" part of Competitive Shorts Program at 3RFF, November 21 and 22.

The 2014 Chinese short film "Carry On" will play in the Competitive Shorts Program on November 20 and 21 as part of the Three Rivers Film Festival. Director Yatao Li provides a summary of the 17-minute film, which served as his thesis project for his MFA in Film and Animation at Rochester Institute of Technology:
Carry On tells a story set in Japan-occupied China during World War II. In 1944, the tide turned against Japan and the war began winding down. Prior to their retreat, Japanese troops looted every Chinese village in their path. They took only food and women from these villages followed by massacring all others and burning everything to the ground. To save his daughter, a Chinese father in my film stuffs her into a large bag disguised as food. As he loads the bag onto the back of a truck along with other bags with food, a Japanese army officer spots his secret. But, surprisingly, moved by the Chinese father's love and courage the officer plays along and lets the daughter go.
The Competitive Shorts Program plays at the Melwood Screening Room (map) on Friday, November 21 at 7:30 pm and on Saturday the 22nd at 1:30. Tickets for each are $9.

"Chinese Time" for children at Carnegie Library in Oakland, November 20.

Since October the Carnegie Library in Oakland has been holding "Chinese Time" for children on Thursday evenings.
Experience Chinese language and culture through books, storytelling, songs, games and more!
The next meeting is November 20 from 6:30 to 7:00 pm, and it will continue on Thursday evenings through December 18. The event takes place in the children's library, to the right of the main entrance.

Kung Fu Fest at Row House Cinema, November 28 - December 4.

Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville will present Kung Fu Fest from November 28 through December 4.
Watching old Kung Fu films is both an honest & fantastical experience. The action is the focus... sure sure, but there are no explosions nor fancy gadgetry, just extremely athletic, hand to hand combat.
The films to be presented are: Enter the Dragon (龍爭虎鬥); Fists of Fury (精武門); Master of the Flying Guillotine (獨臂拳王大破血滴子); Once Upon a Time in China (黃飛鴻); and Drunken Master (醉拳). A schedule is available on the theater's website and in .pdf form. Movies will be shown in their original languages, with English subtitles. The theater is located at 4115 Butler St. (map).

Peking Acrobats coming to Pittsburgh in April.

Tickets went on sale earlier this month for the Peking Acrobats at the Byham Theater on April 2, 2015. Prices run from $15 to $35.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"Dynamic Supports Association for Chinese Students (匹兹堡大学首个华人心理社团): A Lecture and Discussion" at Pitt, November 21.

The Dynamic Supports Association for Chinese Students at the University of Pittsburgh (匹兹堡大学首个华人心理社团) will present "A Lecture and Discussion" at Pitt on Friday, November 21, as part of the campus's International Week.
A Global Classroom event that focuses on introducing Chinese thinkers and their critical thinking of the world. The event will begin with a lecture followed by a group discussions. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
The group "provid[es] psychological support. Our goal is to serve as a platform for international students to share their difficulties and seek for solutions."

The event will take place in English and will be held in room 527 of the William Pitt Union (campus map) from 2:00 pm.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

15% off Jeff Guererro Ceramics items in November.

Jeff Guererro Ceramics is offering a 15% discount on his Asian-inspired pottery in November for those who use the coupon code FACEBOOK on his Etsy site. A bit about the artist, from his official site:
I began making pottery in the fall of 2007 when I was hired to teach digital arts at a non-profit arts center in Pittsburgh, PA. I’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside some great artists and learn from a variety of master potters. Early in my ceramics journey I spent a month in close contact with a 14th generation Japanese living national treasure who specialized in tea ware.

As a result, I’m highly influenced by Japanese pottery, and I am a student of chado (Japanese tea ceremony). I also enjoy creating a variety of utilitarian forms and I occasionally create very commercial-oriented pieces that incorporate ceramic decals.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (夢と狂気の王国) at Harris Theater, November 16; in Oakland, November 18.

The 2014 documentary on Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (夢と狂気の王国), will play at the Harris Theater on November 16 and at the Melwood Screening Room on November 18, as part of the 2014 Three Rivers Film Festival. The festival's website summarizes:
Go inside Studio Ghibli, the renowned Japanese animation studio that created such beloved classics as “Spirited Away,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” and “Princess Mononoke,” with this fascinating new documentary. The film, fresh off the screens in Toronto, offers unprecedented access to the work of producer Toshio Suzuki and world-renowned filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, and establishes the studio as an enchanted workshop. Talking, drawing, musing – to watch these artists in conversation with their teams is to begin to understand the success of Studio Ghibli.
The Harris Theater showing is at 2:00 pm (tickets), and the Melwood Screening Room showing on the 18th (tickets) starts at 7:30. Tickets for both are $9.

Golden Dragon Acrobats performance at Pitt on 11/14 cancelled.

The Chinese American Student Association at the University of Pittsburgh informs us that the Golden Dragon Acrobats performance scheduled for November 14 has been cancelled. The nearest the troupe will come to the city is Grove City College on November 20.

Golden Dragon Acrobats at Grove City College, November 20.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats will be at Grove City College on November 20.
The Golden Dragon Acrobats represent the best of a time honored tradition that began more than twenty-five centuries ago. The Golden Dragons are recognized throughout the United States and abroad as the premiere Chinese acrobatic touring company of today.

The reputation of the company is solidly rooted in a commitment to the highest of production values and an attention to artistic details that is unparalleled in the art form. World renowned impresario Danny Chang and choreographer Angela Chang combine award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques to present a show of breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty.
The show starts at 7:30 pm in Ketler Auditorium of the Pew Fine Arts Center (map). General admission tickets are $15, while tickets for children and current Grove City College students are $5. Grove City College is located in Mercer County, roughly 60 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Taiwanese-French movie Stray Dogs (郊遊) at Harris Theater on November 14, Melwood Screening Room on November 19.

The Taiwanese-French drama Stray Dogs (郊遊) will play at the Harris Theater on November 14 as part of the 2014 Three Rivers Film Festival, and at the Melwood Screening Room on November 19. The festival's website summarizes the 2013 film:
A father and his two children live in the margins of modern day Taipei. By day he scrapes out a meager income as a human billboard for luxury apartments, while his young son and daughter roam the supermarkets and malls surviving off free food samples. Each night the family takes shelter in an abandoned building. One day the family is joined by a mysterious woman. Might she be the key to unlocking the past? This existentialist study of human endurance won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Venice Film Festival.
The Harris Theater (map) show starts at 4:30 pm on the 14th (tickets), and the Melwood Screening Room (map) show at 7:30 pm (tickets). Tickets are $9.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Japanese film R100 at Waterworks Cinemas on November 13.

The Japanese movie R100 will play at Waterworks Cinemas on November 13, part of this year's Three Rivers Film Festival. The festival's website summarizes the 2013 film:
A fixture in film and comedy in his native country, director Hitoshi Matsumoto is raising underground cinema to an impressive level. This midnight film is about a frustrated, mild-mannered salesman with a secret. He spends his days at his meaningless office job, at night he cares for his young son and comatose wife. When he enters an unbreakable contract with an S&M club, his routine is upended and his life turns increasingly outrageous. This surreal sex dramedy includes detours into genre parody, dreamlike imagery, even a meta-themed subplot in which a censorship committee attempts to classify the movie itself.
The movie starts at 9:00 pm, and tickets are $9 for general admission and $5 for children 12 and under. The Waterworks Cinema multiplex is part of the Waterworks Mall near Fox Chapel, across the Allegheny River from Highland Park (map).

Kano: Soul of Baseball at Taiwanese Film Festival at CMU, November 13.

The Taiwanese Film Festival at Carnegie Mellon University, which will begin on November 12th, will finish on the 13th with Kano: Soul of Baseball and a discussion with its director Umin Boya. The Taiwanese Scholar Society summarizes the 2014 film:
This movie based on an inspiring Taiwanese history in 1931 when Taiwan was ruled by Japan. A high school in southern Taiwan overcame all the odds and obstacles to form a baseball team. The team presented Taiwan to compete at Japanese High School Baseball Championship at Koshien Stadium. The underdog team advanced to the championship game in the tournament beyond all expectation.
The movie starts at 6:00 pm and is in University Center McConomy Auditorium from 6 (campus map). Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance online with Paypal. To purchase tickets or to read more about the film festival, visit the event's website.

"The Politics of Migration Control in Asia" lecture at Pitt, November 14.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host Dr. Erin Chung of Johns Hopkins University and her lecture "The Politics of Migration Control in Asia" on November 14.
[I]n South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, where immigration is tightly controlled and integration programs are at their infancy, the catchword, “multiculturalism,” has gained popularity among policymakers and the public alike. This paper argues that the variants of multiculturalism developing in the three countries represent each society’s attempt to improve upon what policymakers view as the failures of multiculturalism—and, more broadly, diversity—in traditional countries of immigration. Multicultural discourse and programs ostensibly attempt to promote greater diversity and openness in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan; yet, they are more notable for the ways in which specific categories of foreigners are included and excluded. Whereas “multicultural society” in Korea signifies a broadened definition of Korean national identity to include specific categories of “overseas Koreans” and foreign spouses, “multicultural coexistence” in Japan has further narrowed conceptions of Japanese national identity to exclude ethnic Japanese (Nikkei) foreigners. The arrival of new immigrants to Taiwan has shaped a type of hierarchical “multiculturalism” with native ethnic groups at the top, non-Chinese migrants in the middle, and mainland Chinese marriage migrants at the bottom. Using interview and focus group data of the major foreign communities in each country, I analyze how government officials, the media, pro-immigrant advocacy groups, and immigrants themselves define and negotiate these frameworks.
The lecture begins at 3:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (campus map), and is free and open to the public.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Winds of September (九降風) and Monga (艋舺) at Taiwanese film festival at CMU, November 12.

Carnegie Mellon University will host a Taiwanese Film Festival on November 12 and 13, presented by the Taiwanese Scholars Society, with the movies Winds of September (九降風) and Monga (艋舺) on the first day. Tickets for these two movies are $5 a piece, and comprise the "Taiwan Classical Movies" set on the 12th. summarizes Winds of September:
Tang is one of seven friends of varying high school years. Collectively, the group is known as a bunch of troublemakers, though some of the gang are worse than others. The charismatic assumed leader is Yen , a handsome playboy whose prim girlfriend Yun has to put up with incessant stories of his infidelity. The problem reaches a tipping point when Yen sleeps with another girl and her angry boyfriend comes calling. Tang is mistaken for Yen and assaulted in his place, and the incident ultimately drives a minor wedge in the group. The situation is exacerbated by the other boys' individual conflicts and issues, and Yen and Tang nearly have a falling out. The two do seem to patch things up, but the cracks in the group's camaraderie begin to worsen. Some boys are pressured to drop the group, while others continue to misbehave, ignoring the damage it may have on their future. Ultimately, the boys' aimlessness results in a tragedy that further drives them apart, revealing the anger, cowardice, fear, jealousy, and helplessness that lives within them.
A South China Morning Post review says of Monga:
Set in Taipei’s once notorious Monga (known officially as Wanhua) neighbourhood in 1986-87, the narrative is part history lesson and part mob tale, but primarily an exploration of the ties that bind a group of sworn brothers.
The movies will be shown in Doherty Hall 2210 from 6:00 pm. Tickets may be purchased in advance online with Paypal; to purchase tickets or to read more about the film festival, visit the event's website.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pirates are scouting Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are among the teams scouting Nexen shortstop Jung-ho Kang (강정호), who is expected to enter the Major Leagues next year. Star News spotted a Pirates' scout at Mokdong Stadium on the 7th for Game 3 of the Korean Series, the Korean Baseball Organization's championship round.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Welcome to the Space Show (宇宙ショーへようこそ) at Waterworks Cinema, November 9; in Oakland on November 13.

The Japanese animated movie Welcome to the Space Show (宇宙ショーへようこそ) will play at Waterworks Cinema on November 9 as part of the 2014 Three Rivers Film Festival, and at the Melwood Screening Room on November 13. The festival's website summarizes the 2010 film:
This sci-fi anime begins when a group of youngsters find an injured dog in the woods. But they discover he's not a dog at all, but Pochi, an alien botanist sent to Earth to track down a rare plant. Before long Pochi has whisked the kids away to a space colony on the dark side of the moon, an interstellar gathering place of humorous alien creatures, jellyfish spaceships, dragon trains, and – if that weren’t enough – a theme song from UK pop star Susan Boyle. This family film is suited for ages 7 and up. Dubbed in English.
The Waterworks Cinema (map) show starts at 1:30 (tickets), and the Melwood Screening Room (map) show at 9:00 pm (tickets). Tickets are $9 for general admission and $5 for children 12 and under.

Japanese film Why Don't You Play in Hell? (地獄でなぜ悪い) at Hollywood Theater in Dormont, November 13 - 16.

The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show the Japanese film Why Don't You Play in Hell? (地獄でなぜ悪い) from November 13 through 16. A summary, from The Japan Society:
A tribute to old-school yakuza cinema and shoe-string amateur filmmaking based on a screenplay Sion Sono wrote 17 years ago. The Fuck Bombers, a group of film geeks led by Hirata (Hiroki Hasegawa), try to turn brawler Sasaki (Tak Sakaguchi) into their new Bruce Lee but are nowhere near making their action masterpiece. An ambush set up by a yakuza clan comes to a gory end in the home of boss Muto (Jun Kunimura) with only one man, Ikegami (Shinichi Tsutsumi), surviving. When Mitsuko, the Mutos' young daughter, makes an unexpected entrance, Ikegami is instantly smitten. Ten years later, she has become one sultry mean mess of a girl (Fumi Nikaido). Determined to make Mitsuko a star, her father gives Hirata a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make his movie, with the yakuza as film production crew and the Bombers joining the "real" action--the ultimate sword battle between the Muto and Ikegami clans.
Tickets are $8 for general admission and $6 for students and seniors, and are available online by clicking on the movie calendar on the theater's site. The theater is located at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont, and is accessible by Pittsburgh's subway/LRT at a block south of Potomac Station. The movie was first in Pittsburgh last spring as part of the 2014 Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival.

Korean Culture Association at Pitt's annual Night Market, November 7.

The Korean Culture Association at the University of Pittsburgh will hold its annual Pojang Macha Night Market tomorrow, November 7, in the William Pitt Ballroom.
Come out to get an authentic experience of what food you would encounter on the modern streets of seoul at night! It will be a time filled with free food and fun people!
Pojang macha (포장마차) are tented street food vendors that are a ubiquitous part of Korean nightlife.

Spring Roll Workshop at Pitt, November 7.

The Vietnamese Student Association at the University of Pittsburgh will host a Spring Roll Workshop on Friday, November 7, at 3:00 pm in room 630 of the William Pitt Union.

Spring rolls are a famous national appetizer made of rice vermicelli, mint leaves, sliced cucumbers, and shrimp/pork/tofu, all rolled up in a rice paper wrapper. It is enjoyed with a sweet and salty hoisin sauce. We'll have all these ingredients for everyone to enjoy for this workshop!

So come out to our event and we'll teach you how to make these delicious spring rolls to eat (for free)!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Shinil Kim named University of Pittsburgh Legacy Laureate.

The 2014 honorees; Kim is third from right.

Former South Korean Minister of Education and longtime professor at Seoul National University Shinil Kim was named a Legacy Laureate by the University of Pittsburgh last month. Kim was one of ten alumni honored at a ceremony during Homecoming Week in October. He earned a Ph.D. from Pitt in 1978, writing his dissertation on "A Cross-National Analysis of the Determinants of Public Efforts in Education", and received a University of Pittsburgh 225th Anniversary Medallion in 2013 as a distinguished alumnus. On October 21, he presented an overview of education in South Korea at a Department of Education colloquium.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Hawker Stand" temporary restaurant coming to Oakland, bringing Southeast Asian street food.

Spice Island Tea House will be taking a brief hiatus, says its Facebook page, and will be replaced by "Hawker Stand,"
a temporary restaurant featuring classic street foods of South East Asia.

We will serve tasty snacks and curries popularized by Asian food stalls, some of which you may recognize from the original Spice Island Tea House menu. We will post a working menu up as soon as possible. The menu will be posted on

Spice Island Tea House will return in late 2014 or early 2015.

After nearly 20 years, 6 days a week, we think that Spice Island Tea House deserves an extended vacation. But we are excited about exploring this new territory, and hope that you will be too.
The spot is located at 253 Atwood Street in Oakland (map).

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Huun Huur Tu and Alash–A Festival of Khoomei (Tuvan Throat Singing)" in Oakland, November 8.

via Facebook.

Pittsburgh will host two Tuvan throat singing performing groups on Saturday, November 8. The groups, Huun Huur Tu and Alash, will perform at Synod Hall on N. Craig St. in Oakland. The event is free for Pitt undergraduates who register through the PITTArts website, and $30 for the general public ($25 in advance). Doors open at 7:00 pm. For profiles of the two groups, and for ticket information, visit the Calliope website.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し) at Waterworks Cinemas, November 8.

The Japanese animated film Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し) will play at Waterworks Cinema on November 8, the first full day of the Three Rivers Film Festival. A brief summary of the Hayao Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli classic from a 2002 A.V. Club review:
Spirited Away centers on Chihiro, a sullen, fearful Japanese girl whose parents are moving so far out into the country that they predict they'll have to drive to the next town just to shop. While traveling to their new home, they discover an abandoned, disintegrating theme park, which they cheerfully explore in spite of Chihiro's shrill protests. Suddenly, a boy approaches her and commands her to leave before nightfall. But before she can gather her wayward parents and escape, night does fall, in a breathtakingly eerie sequence that almost subsumes Chihiro's danger with its technical achievement. Chihiro is trapped in the spirit world, and in order to save herself, her parents, and eventually her new friend, she has to come to terms with herself and her unwitting captors. Gradually, in a series of almost episodic adventures, she learns to be brave and face up to her responsibilities to herself and the people she loves.
Wikipedia sums up its reception:
When released, Spirited Away became the most successful film in Japanese history, grossing over $274 million worldwide. The film overtook Titanic (at the time the top grossing film worldwide) in the Japanese box office to become the highest-grossing film in Japanese history with a $229,607,878 total. Acclaimed by international critics, the film is often considered one of the greatest animated films of all-time [and it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards, the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival (tied with Bloody Sunday) and is among the top ten in the BFI list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.
Spirited Away is one of four Japanese movies part of this year's festival, and will also play on November 15 at the Regent Square Theater.

The November 8th show starts at 1:30 pm, and tickets are $9 for general admission and $5 for children 12 and under. The Waterworks Cinema multiplex is part of the Waterworks Mall near Fox Chapel, across the Allegheny River from Highland Park (map).

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tickets still available for Royal Ballet of Cambodia in Pittsburgh, November 7.

A 2010 performance in Paris, by Jean-Pierre Dalbera (Creative Commons).

Tickets are still available for the November 7 performance of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia at the Byham Theater. It is considered an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, and is described thus:
Renowned for its graceful hand gestures and stunning costumes, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, also known as Khmer Classical Dance, has been closely associated with the Khmer court for over one thousand years. Performances would traditionally accompany royal ceremonies and observances such as coronations, marriages, funerals or Khmer holidays. This art form, which narrowly escaped annihilation in the 1970s, is cherished by many Cambodians.

Infused with a sacred and symbolic role, the dance embodies the traditional values of refinement, respect and spirituality. Its repertory perpetuates the legends associated with the origins of the Khmer people. Consequently, Cambodians have long esteemed this tradition as the emblem of Khmer culture. Four distinct character types exist in the classical repertory: Neang the woman, Neayrong the man, Yeak the giant, and Sva the monkey. Each possesses distinctive colours, costumes, makeup and masks.The gestures and poses, mastered by the dancers only after years of intensive training, evoke the gamut of human emotions, from fear and rage to love and joy. An orchestra accompanies the dance, and a female chorus provides a running commentary on the plot, highlighting the emotions mimed by the dancers, who were considered the kings’ messengers to the gods and to the ancestors.
The Friday night show begins at 8:00 pm, and tickets range from $20 to $45. The Byham Theater is located at 101 6th Street, in the Cultural District downtown (map).

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