Wednesday, February 17, 2021

2020 Korean-American film Minari remains in Pittsburgh through February 25.


The 2020 Korean-American film Minari, which opened in Pittsburgh on February 11, will remain here through at least February 25. A synopsis, from the distributor:
A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.
It will continue at the Waterworks Cinema the Cinemark North Hills, and tickets are available online.

2020 Goro Miyazaki film Earwig and the Witch (アーヤと魔女) continues in Pittsburgh through February 25.


The 2020 Goro Miyazaki film Earwig and the Witch (アーヤと魔女), which opened in Pittsburgh on February 3, will stay in some local theaters through the 25th. A synopsis, from the distributor:
Growing up in an orphanage in the British countryside, Earwig has no idea that her mother had magical powers. Her life changes dramatically when a strange couple takes her in, and she is forced to live with a selfish witch. As the headstrong young girl sets out to uncover the secrets of her new guardians, she discovers a world of spells and potions, and a mysterious song that may be the key to finding the family she has always wanted.
It will continue at the Waterworks and Cranberry Cinemas. Tickets are available online; please note that some screenings are in Japanese with English subtitles while others are dubbed in English.

"Paisley Rekdal & Matthew Salesses Live Reading and Conversation," February 22 with City of Asylum.


City of Asylum will host "Paisley Rekdal & Matthew Salesses Live Reading and Conversation" on February 22.
Appropriate, A Provocation — Utah’s poet laureate Paisley Rekdal’s newest book is a timely, nuanced work dissecting the thorny debate around cultural appropriation and the literary imagination. Paisley Rekdal will be joined in conversation by bestselling author Matthew Salesses for a live discussion and audience Q&A.

How do we properly define cultural appropriation, and is it always wrong? If we can write in the voice of another, should we? And if so, what questions do we need to consider first? In Appropriate, creative writing professor Paisley Rekdal addresses a young writer to delineate how the idea of cultural appropriation has evolved—and perhaps calcified—in our political climate. What follows is a penetrating exploration of fluctuating literary power and authorial privilege, about whiteness and what we really mean by the term empathy, that examines writers from William Styron to Peter Ho Davies to Jeanine Cummins. Lucid, reflective, and astute, Appropriate presents a generous new framework for one of the most controversial subjects in contemporary literature.
The online event runs from 7:00 to 8:15 pm. It is free and open to the public, though registration is required.

Eddie Huang film Boogie in Pittsburgh, from March 5.


The upcoming Eddie Huang film Boogie will play in Pittsburgh from March 5. From the distributor:
From acclaimed writer, producer and restaurateur Eddie Huang comes his directorial debut Boogie, the coming-of-age story of Alfred “Boogie” Chin, a basketball phenom living in Queens, New York, who dreams of one day playing in the NBA. While his parents pressure him to focus on earning a scholarship to an elite college, Boogie must find a way to navigate a new girlfriend, high school, on-court rivals and the burden of expectation.
It will play locally at the Cinemark theaters in Monroeville and North Hills.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

African Cuisine moving into old Chaya spot, February 27.


Signage is up for a new restaurant, African Cuisine, set to move into the spot formerly occuped by Chaya on February 27. Chaya closed on January 30 after two decades in Squirrel Hill. A menu for the new restaurant is available online via The Soul Pitt.

New Chinese-Hong Kong film End Game (人潮洶湧) in Pittsburgh, from February 18.


The 2021 Chinese-Hong Kong film End Game (人潮洶湧) will open in Pittsburgh on February 18. A synopsis, from the South China Morning Post:
Produced by and starring Andy Lau Tak-wah, this black comedy directed and co-written by Rao Xiaozhi is a remake of the 2012 Japanese film Key of Life.

Lau plays an assassin who accidentally swaps identities with a hapless actor played by Xiao Yang, who won over many fans after his mesmerising turn as a movie-buff-turned-murder-suspect in the 2019 sleeper hit Sheep Without a Shepherd. Both characters are forced to reconsider their priorities in life after the swap leads to a chain of bizarre and hilarious encounters.
It plays locally at the Cinemark in Robinson and AMC Loews Waterfront and tickets are available online.

"From Hanok to Hanbok: Traditional Iconography in Korean Hip-Hop Music Videos" by Dr. CedarBough Saeji, February 24 at Pitt.


The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host Dr. CedarBough Saeji and her talk "From Hanok to Hanbok: Traditional Iconography in Korean Hip-Hop Music Videos" on February 24 in the next installment of this term's Asia Pop series.
In her virtual lecture From Hanok to Hanbok: Traditional Iconography in Korean Hip-Hop Music Videos, Dr. Saeji will explore the contradictions and effects of the use of imagined and real Korean settings and traditional iconography in recent videos from Korean hip-hop artists. She investigates what symbols and icons are used to visually represent Korea in the videos, as they take a foreign genre and imbue it with Koreanness. These videos circulate and re-circulate a limited number of icons of Korea, because the images are meant not to portray pre-modern Korea in its complexity, but traditional Korea both as a symbol of national pride and as a (domestic and international) tourist destination where the palace is a backdrop and you wear a hanbok to create a visually striking Instagram post.
It starts at 6:30 pm and is free and open to the public, though registration is required.

Monday, February 15, 2021

2021 Chinese movie Assassin in Red (刺杀小说家), a.k.a. A Writer's Journey, continues in Pittsburgh through February 23.


The 2021 Chinese movie Assassin in Red (刺杀小说家), also known as A Writer's Journey, which opened in Pittsburgh on February 12, will continue here through at least February 23. A brief overview, from a Variety preview last year:
“Assassin in Red,” which is executive produced by Ning Hao and backed by CMC Pictures, tells the story of a father who is tasked with killing a novelist in order to save his daughter who went missing six years ago. It turns out that the man’s writing creates a fantastical world that ends up influencing the father’s quest. The film stars Lei Jiayin (“The Longest Day in Chang’an”), Yang Mi (“Tiny Times”), and Dong Zijian (“Mountains May Depart”).
It opened on the Lunar New Year and was the third-highest grossing film in China its first week. It plays locally at the AMC Loews Waterfront and the Cinemark in Robinson through the 17th, and at the Waterfront from the 18th, and tickets are available online.

"2021 Japan Lecture Series – Shofuso: Philadelphia's Japanese Gem," February 18.

Taken by me at Shofuso, April 2013.

The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania and the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia will present "2021 Japan Lecture Series – Shofuso: Philadelphia's Japanese Gem" on February 18.
Did you know that Philadelphia has one of the best Japanese gardens in North America? Shofuso Japanese House and Garden sits in Philadelphia's West Fairmount Park, which has had a continuous Japanese presence since the 1876 Centennial Exposition, when the first Japanese garden in North America was installed behind a small Japanese bazaar. Designed by architect Junzo Yoshimura, Shofuso was built in Japan in 1953 using traditional techniques and materials. It was shipped to New York and exhibited in the courtyard of the Museum of Modern Art in New York before moving to its current location in 1958. The traditional and modern features of Shofuso and its collection were recently featured in the documentary Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration between Japan and Philadelphia and an article in Nikkei Asia magazine.

Join the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania and the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia for a special lecture on this Pennsylvania gem by JASGP Executive Director Kim Andrews. Shofuso re-opens to visitors on March 20, and Ohanami events begin April 10. Philadelphia’s cherry trees generally bloom at the end of March through the end of April.
The online lecture runs from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and is free and open to the public, though advance registration is required.

Pittsburgh-based ReadyAI hiring Mandarin-speaking Instructional Design and Technology Associate.


ReadyAI, a branch of Pittsburgh-based education consultancy WholeRen (美国厚仁教育集团), is hiring a bilingual Mandarin-English Instructional Design and Technology Associate.
Essential Functions

* Create fun, accessible, interactive, thought-provoking materials for AI classes, for both online and in-person instruction
* Collaborate with AI researchers and academics and write AI lesson plans on various subfields of AI
* Build relationships with local schools, organizations, and businesses to bring ReadyAI classes to their organization
* Identifies and initiates relationships with stakeholders in the AI education community
* Write program proposals for summer programs and after school
* Coordinate class schedule with local organizations at which we are offering classes
* Represent ReadyAI at events

Competencies

* Client orientation
* Bilingual Preferred English and Mandarin communication skill
* Fosters teamwork and collaboration
More information is available on the job ad.