Thursday, January 29, 2015

In the Mood for Love (花樣年華) at Carnegie Library Oakland, February 1.



The iconic Hong Kong film In the Mood for Love (花樣年華) will be shown for free at the Carnegie Library Oakland branch on February 1. The 2000 movie is February's installment of International Cinema Sunday. From a 2001 Roger Ebert review:
They are in the mood for love, but not in the time and place for it. They look at each other with big damp eyes of yearning and sweetness, and go home to sleep by themselves. Adultery has sullied their lives: his wife and her husband are having an affair. "For us to do the same thing," they agree, "would mean we are no better than they are." The key word there is "agree." The fact is, they do not agree. It is simply that neither one has the courage to disagree, and time is passing. He wants to sleep with her and she wants to sleep with him, but they are both bound by the moral stand that each believes the other has taken.
. . .
His name is Mr. Chow (Tony Leung Chiu-wai). Hers is Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung Man-yuk). In the crowded Hong Kong of 1962, they have rented rooms in apartments next to each other. They are not poor; he's a newspaper reporter, she's an executive assistant, but there is no space in the crowded city and little room for secrets.
The movie runs from 2:00 to 4:00 in Classroom A. The library is located at 4400 Forbes Ave. in Oakland (map).

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Colloquium "Visual Orthographic Variation and Learning to Read across Writing System" at Pitt, January 30.


Via the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures.

Li-Yun Chang, a graduate student in the Learning Research and Development Center, will give a talk on "Visual Orthographic Variation and Learning to Read across Writing System" on Friday, January 30, at Pitt. The abstract:
Different writing systems are used across the world – their visual forms vary greatly. How can we classify this visual variation? Across the range of writing systems, how does variability in the visual characteristics of graphemes, the smallest linguistically significant writing units, in different orthographies (e.g., English: letters; Chinese: characters) affect learning to read? Specifically, do individuals with differing writing system backgrounds perceive graphemes differently? This talk focuses on research testing the hypothesis that more complex orthographies impose greater perceptual demands on learners, encouraging development of stronger visual perceptual skills through learning to read. Findings suggest that visual orthographic variation, encompassing both grapheme complexity and size of grapheme inventory, affects learning to read due to resulting differences in visual perceptual processing. Implications of this orthographic variation on Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) pedagogy are discussed. Light refreshments will be served.
The talk begins at 12:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (campus map) and is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tibetan-French short film "Butter Lamp" at Regent Square Theater, from January 30.



The Tibetan-French short film "Butter Lamp" will play at the Regent Square Theater from January 30 through February 12 as part of the Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action series. A synopsis, from the theater's site:
A young itinerant photographer and his assistant offer to photograph some Tibetan nomads in front of various backgrounds.

Host families needed for visiting Japanese college students.

GlobalPittsburgh, by way of the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania, tells us of a need for host families for a group of Japanese students visiting Duquesne University in March:
GlobalPittsburgh is arranging homestays for a total of 18 pharmacy students from Kobe Gakuin University while they attend programming at Duquesne University. The students are between the ages of 18 and 23. At present, We still have 10 women in the group who need to be placed with host families. We will need hosts whose homes are accessible to public transportation as the students will be using bus passes to go to and from their classes and activities. We are asking that hosts provide private bedrooms for the students or provide one room with separate beds for the students. The students will be practicing their English while they are in the city. There will be some compensation for the host families for this program. Our colleagues in Japan are eager to learn the names of hosts so that the students may begin corresponding with their homestay hosts in advance of their arrival in March. If you are interested in this project, please contact Gail Shrott, Director, International Leaders Program, GlobalPittsburgh [. . .] GlobalPittsburgh will ask all potential hosts for this program to fill out a host family application (link to the application is: http://www.globalpittsburgh.org/node/1099).

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語) at Regent Square Theater, tomorrow through January 29.



The Regent Square Theater will present The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語) from January 24 through 29. The highly-acclaimed 2013 Studio Ghibli film made its Pittsburgh debut at the Row House Cinema in December, and was announced as an Oscar nominee last week for Best Animated Feature. An A.V. Club review provides a summary:
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".
Showtimes are available at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers website. The website says tomorrow's and Sunday's screenings will be dubbed in English, while the other shows will be in Japanese with English subtitles.

The Regent Square Theater is located at 1035 S. Braddock Ave. (map).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pitt News previews "Top Shabu Shabu".


First look at Top Shabu Shabu signage in October; new interior sign installed in January.

Today's Pitt News--the student newspaper of the University of Pittsburgh--has a profile of Top Shabu Shabu, the hot pot restaurant moving into the former Pizza Sola location on Atwood Street.
Andrew Khoo, the restaurant’s manager, said although they named the new restaurant after Shabu-shabu, a Japanese style of dining, yet Top Shabu’s hot pot style is traditionally more Chinese.
Customers will order a “hot pot” and whatever meats and vegetables they would like to eat, which servers will bring to the table. Customers will then cook the food using the hot pot, a metal container filled with broth and heated by an electric coil, and eat their food at their table. In hot pots, the food is cooked while the pot simmers. Thinly sliced beef is the traditional choice, Khoo said, but Top Shabu will offer a variety of meat and vegetable options.

“All food is cooked at the table,” Khoo said.

According to Khoo, Top Shabu’s bar will offer Asian-inspired drinks.

“We have a 10 tap system from the previous owner,” Khoo said. “We’ll also have a variety of wine and a large variety of liquor for unique mixed drinks. The mixed drinks will have an Asian influence. For example, melon liqueur is used a lot in China.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Japanese language exchange at Kenmawr Apartments, January 29.



The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania shares news of a Japanese language exchange scheduled for Shadyside's Kenmawr Apartments (map) on January 29. The apartment complex is home to a lot of Japanese families recently arrived in Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

"The Myth of McDonaldization: Globalization and Culture in a Japanese Community, 1961-2014", January 29.

Dr. L. Keith Brown, a professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh, will present "The Myth of McDonaldization: Globalization and Culture in a Japanese Community, 1961-2014" as part of this year's MEPPI Japan Lecture Series. A summary from the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania:
Observe more than half a century of change in Japan through photographs and stories. Dr. Keith Brown has been traveling to Mizusawa, a town in Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, for 53 years.

Dr. Brown has captured the emergence of car culture and the evolution of agriculture from labor-intensive hand cultivated rice to capital-intensive highly mechanized agriculture. As in America, “Main Street” in the center of town has hollowed out as suburban big box stores have overtaken small shops.

But what does that mean for the lives of the farmers there? Has this Japanese town been “McDonaldized?”
The talk runs from 6:00 to 7:30 pm in the US Steel Building, Conference Room 33C12 (map). The talk is free and open to the public, but registration is required by January 23.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Last: Naruto the Movie (ザ・ラスト ‐ナルト・ザ・ムービー) at Hollywood Theater, February 21 and 22.



The Last: Naruto the Movie (ザ・ラスト ‐ナルト・ザ・ムービー) will play at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont on February 21 and 22, the theater announced today. A summary by the distributor:
The moon is approaching dangerously close to Earth! Unless something is done, the moon will disintegrate, showering the earth with gigantic meteorites. As the clock ticks towards the end of the world, can Naruto save the earth from this crisis? The final chapter of Naruto's story unfolds!

Naruto has become one of the most popular and recognizable anime and manga series in the United States, with the manga volumes frequently appearing on the New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers List and the Naruto Shippuden anime ranked as one of the top three anime series by the Los Angeles Times. With over 683 chapters and 367 anime episodes and more to come, Naruto continues to be a pillar in the US’s anime and manga culture.
The Last will premiere in the US on February 20. Tickets for the two Pittsburgh shows are now available online. Both screenings are in Japanese with English subtitles, and guests will receive free mini-posters while supplies last.

The theater is located at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont (map), and is accessible by Pittsburgh's subway/LRT at a block south of Potomac Station.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語) at Regent Square Theater, January 24 - 29.



The Regent Square Theater will present The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語) from January 24 through 29. The highly-acclaimed 2013 Studio Ghibli film made its Pittsburgh debut at the Row House Cinema in December, and was announced as an Oscar nominee this week for Best Animated Feature . An A.V. Club review provides a summary:
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".
Showtimes are available at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers website. The website says the 24th and 25th screenings will be dubbed in English, while the other shows will be in Japanese with English subtitles.

The Regent Square Theater is located at 1035 S. Braddock Ave. (map).