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).