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Saving Face Premier in SF June 3rd and June 4th

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  • aathsani
    We may be organizing a group to go to the premier. More info to come! Att/tamagochan *waves at stynium* - You are in another group I am in, aren t you?
    Message 1 of 7 , May 27, 2005
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      We may be organizing a group to go to the premier.
      More info to come!

      Att/tamagochan

      *waves at stynium* - You are in another group I am in, aren't you?
      (SAMBAL/Redqueen?)


      ===========================================================
      A forward from APIQWTC-


      APIQWTC and NAATA Proudly Presents a very special

      "SAVING FACE" Premiere Weekend! June 3 and 4

      -FRIDAY, JUNE 3rd-
      It all starts opening night. GO SEE THE SHOW - writer/directer Alice
      Wu will
      be present for a Q&A with the audience. Afterwards, come schmooze
      with her at
      the "Meet and Greet" Party. Noshables will be provided along with a
      cash
      bar. This is a FREE, all ages event!

      9PM - 11PM
      Bar 333
      Park Hyatt
      333 Battery Street
      (Across pedestrian bridge from Embarcadero Cinemas)


      -SATURDAY, JUNE 4th-
      APIQWTC along with the promoters of PersuAsian Hosts
      The Official "SAVING FACE" Kick-Off party!

      10PM -2AM
      TRIPLE L (Ladies Love Lounge)
      at The Cat Club
      1190 Folsom Street
      San Francisco, CA 94103

      There will be "SAVING FACE" give-a-ways and more!



      --More about SAVING FACE and Alice Wu--

      "Opening Night film and winner of the Audience Award at the
      2005 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival"

      Select showings of the film SAVING FACE will include appearances by
      its
      writer/director Alice Wu. She will speak with audiences at evening
      screenings on Friday and Saturday, June 3 & 4, at Embarcadero Cinema
      in
      San
      Francisco. Wu also speaks at Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley on Sunday,
      June 5,
      late afternoon and early evening shows. More details are available on
      the
      respective information lines: 415/267-4893, 510/464-5980 and at
      www.landmarktheatres.com.

      Writer/director Alice Wu's romantic comedy stars Michelle Krusiec as
      Wil, an
      overworked medical resident living in Manhattan who meets Vivian
      (Lynn
      Chen)
      and begins an exciting new relationship. Trouble is, she's afraid of
      her
      widowed mother Ma (Joan Chen) finding out. All goes well until Wil
      discovers
      Ma on her doorstep--she has also been living a secret life and is
      pregnant
      and unmarried, which is not acceptable in their traditional
      Chinese-American
      community--and the worlds of family, love, lust and secrets come
      together.
      www.sonyclassics.com/savingface

      Writer/director Alice Wu was born and raised in San Jose and earned a
      bachelor's and master's degree from Stanford. She directed the short
      film
      Trick or Treat (2002) and SAVING FACE is her first feature film.

      DETAILS:
      Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema, One Embarcadero Center, San
      Francisco
      Friday and Saturday, June 3 & 4, 2005, both evening shows ­ Alice Wu
      in
      person
      Tickets are $10.00 and available at the theatre box office;
      Information:
      (415) 267-4893

      Landmark's Shattuck Cinemas, 2230 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley
      Sunday, June 5, 2005, late afternoon and early evening shows ­ Alice
      Wu
      in
      person
      Tickets are $9.50 and available at the theatre box office;
      Information:
      (510) 464-5980

      (Note that the film continues its engagement with daily showings
      after
      these
      opening night events.)

      SAVING FACE also opens at these additional locations:
      UA Stonestown Twin (San Francisco)
      CinEArts @ Marin (Sausalito)
      CinEArts @ Palo Alto Square (Palo Alto)
      CinEArts @ Pleasant Hill (Pleasant Hill)
      CinEArts @ Santana Row (San Jose)

      Please check your local listings for details.
    • stynium
      Hey Att! What a coincidence! Yes I am, in both. ;) I m thinking of doing another group in Berkeley..cos I m here and I m feeling too lazy to go to SF. But
      Message 2 of 7 , May 27, 2005
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        Hey Att! What a coincidence! Yes I am, in both. ;) I'm thinking of
        doing another group in Berkeley..cos I'm here and I'm feeling too lazy
        to go to SF. But maybe :)


        --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, "aathsani" <aathsani@g...> wrote:
        > We may be organizing a group to go to the premier.
        > More info to come!
        >
        > Att/tamagochan
        >
        > *waves at stynium* - You are in another group I am in, aren't you?
        > (SAMBAL/Redqueen?)
        >
        >
        > ===========================================================
        > A forward from APIQWTC-
        >
      • Clarissa C. S. Ryan
        If I only I weren t going to be in OHIO. It seems the two weeks I ll be out of California are the two weeks when everything, from this premier to a Studio
        Message 3 of 7 , May 27, 2005
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          If I only I weren't going to be in OHIO.

          It seems the two weeks I'll be out of California are
          the two weeks when everything, from this premier to a
          Studio Ghibli festival at Berkeley to etc., is
          happening.

          Bah!

          --
          Clarissa C. S. Ryan
          wintersweet@...
          wintersweet@...
          www.sharedwing.net
        • aathsani
          But you should be here for the Yuri Senshi Kamen Rider ride, won t you? Come one, come all. Bicycles and scooters are possible options to you know ;) Att
          Message 4 of 7 , May 27, 2005
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            But you should be here for the Yuri Senshi Kamen Rider ride, won't you?
            Come one, come all. Bicycles and scooters are possible options to you
            know ;)

            Att

            --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, "Clarissa C. S. Ryan"
            <wintersweet@s...> wrote:
            > If I only I weren't going to be in OHIO.
            >
            > It seems the two weeks I'll be out of California are
            > the two weeks when everything, from this premier to a
            > Studio Ghibli festival at Berkeley to etc., is
            > happening.
            >
            > Bah!
            >
            > --
            > Clarissa C. S. Ryan
            > wintersweet@s...
            > wintersweet@s...
            > www.sharedwing.net
          • Clarissa C. S. Ryan
            ... Rider ride, won t you? ... possible options to you ... Hee. I don t have either, and I don t think anyone wants a large and inexperienced girl riding
            Message 5 of 7 , May 27, 2005
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              --- aathsani <aathsani@...> wrote:
              ---------------------------------
              >But you should be here for the Yuri Senshi Kamen
              Rider >ride, won't you?
              >Come one, come all. Bicycles and scooters are
              possible >options to you
              >know ;)

              Hee. I don't have either, and I don't think anyone
              wants a large and inexperienced girl riding pillion.
              :p (I've only been on a motorcycle once. Although I
              did really enjoy it...)

              --
              Clarissa C. S. Ryan
              wintersweet@...
              wintersweet@...
              www.sharedwing.net
            • Shimako Toudou
              An article from today s SF Chronicle about Saving Face and Director Alice Wu: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/g/a/2005/06/02/wu.DTL ASIAN POP
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 2, 2005
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                An article from today's SF Chronicle about "Saving Face" and Director Alice Wu:

                http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/g/a/2005/06/02/wu.DTL


                ASIAN POP
                Alice in Indieland
                "Saving Face" director Alice Wu comes out as a computer geek turned
                hot property filmmaker
                - by Jeff Yang, special to SF Gate
                Thursday, June 2, 2005


                NEW YORK -- It's Sunday afternoon on Memorial Day weekend, and Alice
                Wu, director of the new romantic comedy Saving Face, is sitting in the
                Angelika Theater, Manhattan's pre-eminent venue for art-house cinema,
                waiting for her closeup.

                "It's all been very strange for me," she says. "For a number of weeks,
                I've done nothing but talk about my film and myself. And it's weird to
                start seeing the articles coming out now. I know we need the
                publicity, but all this focus on my life, on myself -- it verges on
                the surreal. Still, it's hard to complain about feeling awkward,
                because the fact that anyone is interested in writing about my film is
                a small miracle itself. I mean, it's almost like, 'Thank God I'm
                having this problem.'"

                The problem, if you can call it that, is that in the space of a year
                and a half, Wu has gone from being a blissfully anonymous aspiring
                screenwriter with an acclaimed but unproduced debut script to a hot
                indie filmmaker pinned square in the glare of the media spotlight.
                Thursday, Seattle. Sunday, New York. Tuesday, San Francisco. Multiple
                publicists. Back-to-back appearances. A torrent of previews and candid
                profiles. Welcome to the other side of the looking glass, Alice.

                The hubbub and hullabaloo is in large part a reflection of the kind of
                movie Wu has made -- that is to say, a throwback film with a sharply
                contemporary twist. Saving Face (which opens at the Embarcadero
                tomorrow) is a movie where lovers meet cute and dance the fumbling
                tango of attraction and miscommunication until sparks fly and
                fireworks flash. It's a movie where parents and children tumble
                headlong into the generational divide, only to build a fragile bridge
                of understanding across it. Wu herself refers to it as a "screwball
                romantic comedy" in the grand tradition of Cary Grant and Katharine
                Hepburn -- that is, if Grant happened to be a not-quite-out lesbian
                cosmetic surgeon and Hepburn her enigmatic ballerina flame.

                Toss in the fact that the protagonist's fortysomething, widowed mom
                has shown up on her doorstep, unexpectedly pregnant by who knows whom;
                roll the whole thing up in the insular Chinese-immigrant community of
                Flushing, Queens and you have a recipe for a tasty and convenient dish
                by any pop scribe's standards.

                Critics are falling all over themselves to dub the movie "Bend It Like
                My Big Fat Greek Wedding Banquet," which means Wu has faced a litany
                of questions that would be familiar to filmmakers whose movies are
                referenced in that catch-all title. The most common one is also the
                most personal: Just how autobiographical is this film, anyway?

                All in the Family

                "Number one, I didn't grow up in Flushing," Wu says. (She's a Bay Area
                girl, actually, born and bred.) "Number two, I'm not a doctor -- much
                to my parents' dismay. And, number three, my mom's not pregnant."

                On the other hand, she is an only child, her not-pregnant mom is on
                her own (her parents are separated) and when she was in her late 40s,
                her mother was indeed trying to find her way in a confusing single
                world. "That's actually the reason I wrote this film," says Wu. "I was
                thinking a lot about my mom, who was on the cusp of her 50s, and who
                was treating her life like nothing new or exciting could ever happen
                to her again, other than me getting married and having kids. Which
                wasn't going to happen anytime soon. And I really wanted my mom to
                feel like she could fall in love. I wanted her to feel like it's never
                too late to have that second or third chance."

                As in all too many Asian-American families, love as a concept just
                didn't come up in Wu's household. "My parents got married so young,
                and they never really had the chance to fall in love. And we never
                talked about loving each other, either. It's not like I didn't love my
                parents, or didn't think they loved me -- that was not in any doubt.
                But it was just one of those things that we never said. It's an Asian
                thing."

                And so, "Saving Face." "I wanted to tell my mom what I felt about her,
                and I couldn't call her up and say it to her directly. In a weird way,
                I guess I thought the only way I could tell her was to show it. A
                friend of mine who saw the movie said to me, 'God, the movie was
                terrific, but couldn't you have just told your mom you love her?'
                Until I heard that, it hadn't really occurred to me that that's what
                this whole project was about -- a love letter to my mom" -- who, after
                Wu came out to her during a college Thanksgiving break, didn't speak
                to her for two years.

                Coming Out Times Three

                Wu points out that the film really has three separate yet intertwined
                love stories: the mom's, the daughter and her girlfriend's and the mom
                and the daughter's. As with all love stories, their resolution depends
                first on loss -- because you can't have a happy ending without risking
                everything that's precious in your life. You have to blow it all up
                before rebuilding -- that's the only way you can find out who you
                really are. In effect, the love stories of "Saving Face" are also, at
                their heart, coming-out stories -- both Wil and her mother come out as
                sexual beings to the world, and they come out as emotional beings to
                one another, breaking down the wall of silence and repression that
                prevents them from truly and honestly embracing one another.

                The whole coming-out issue is the other part of what has made the
                media whirl such an odd experience for Wu -- who's now watching as
                intimate details about her life and career and family unfurl, black
                and white and read all over.

                It's not just the lesbian thing -- Wu, now 35, has been out for years.
                (Though she admitted she had a discussion with her mom before the
                movie was released about what its impact would be in their social
                circle. "I said, 'Come on, Mom, your friends must have figured out I'm
                gay by now,' and she was, like, 'No, they just think you're a very
                busy career woman.' And she's right. I found out that they've totally
                bought that for, like, 30 years. The whole time, they just assumed
                that I'm so on the go that I never had time to date.")

                It's also the Asian-American thing. Because part of the media's whole
                packaging process is to distill people and phenomena into McNuggets of
                identity, Wu's Asian-American-ness has been as central to how the film
                is being covered as her sexual orientation. The weirdness comes not
                from hesitation at being pigeonholed, but, rather, that being Asian
                has always been such a big part of who she is that it's strange to her
                it's even news.

                "It's like, 'What's the big deal?'" she says. "I totally embrace being
                Asian American and being lesbian. I've never been afraid of being put
                in those categories, because I feel like the fact that I'm an
                Asian-American filmmaker or a gay filmmaker doesn't change the fact
                that I can write any story I want. And, ultimately, this is a movie
                about relationships, which I think are universal, across color, race,
                sexual orientation. But I'm totally cognizant that not many
                Asian-American films even get distributed, so I understand that that's
                the angle people are coming from, and that's fine with me."

                That's fine because Wu knows there's a real need for more
                Asian-American creatives to come out of the closet as Asian American.
                "People assume that we're the Model Minority, that it's so easy for us
                -- that, in a weird way, we can 'pass,'" she says. "And yet, we can't.
                The reality is, hell, my last name is Wu, and as a result, elementary
                school was not fun. In third grade, I remember that we all had to
                write these stories to read in front of the class, and this kid wrote
                this story, and it was all about Alice Woo-Woo, the Playboy Bunny. I
                still remember the neighborhood kids saying things like, 'Why don't
                you just get back on the boat you came in on?'" (It would have been a
                short trip -- Wu was born in San Jose.)

                So, in the course of "Saving Face"'s release, Wu has actively set out
                to affirm her roots in the Asian-American community. She pushed Sony
                Classics to premiere the film at the National Asian American
                Telecommunications Association's San Francisco Asian American
                International Film Festival, rather than the much bigger "mainstream"
                venue of the San Francisco International Film Festival. ("It wasn't a
                fight so much as a kind of heavy debate. I told them that I really
                need to do the SFAAIFF, because NAATA is so amazingly supportive of us
                Asian-American filmmakers. And Sony, to their credit, said, 'It really
                doesn't work for our marketing plan, but if you feel that strongly
                about it, we'll do that festival.'")

                And despite her preference to stay out of the limelight, she's packed
                her schedule with Q&As, where she can stand in front of audiences,
                many of them Asian American, and explain why and how a self-proclaimed
                computer science geek and ex-Microsoft exec was able to accidentally
                and fortunately tumble into filmmaking. "If there's another aspiring
                Asian-American director listening who says, 'Wow, that Alice Wu, she
                managed to do that, and that makes me, as an Asian American, feel like
                I can do that,' that's the goal."

                Writer's Bliss

                Back at the Angelika, Wu's latest Q&A is about to begin. She's gone
                mostly unnoticed while sitting in the theater's small café, a brief
                and pleasurable respite from all the nonstop attention. "I don't like
                being recognized, really; the best thing of having a cast with three
                beautiful actors is that no one wants to look at you. They're all
                like, 'Oh, can you introduce me to Joan [Chen]?'" (Wu does note,
                however, that these days, after Q&As, she gets mothers coming up to
                her to try to set her up -- with their daughters.)

                "I kind of cherish that anonymity; that's the best thing about being a
                writer," she says. The process of writing fiction provides a kind of
                intimate distance; it gives authors control over their identity --
                allowing them to reveal themselves in a way that's selective, complex,
                nuanced. Ultimately, the process might actually be more honest than
                autobiography.

                "I always say, if you want to get to know someone, read their novel,
                not their journal," says Wu. "Because we're masters of lying to
                ourselves. An author friend of mine recently told me that she
                discovered these journals she wrote in high school, and she was so
                excited. She's in her 40s now, and she was thinking, 'Finally, I'm
                going to read this, and all this stuff will be revealed to me about
                myself.' And she read them, and she said to me, 'You know, it's a
                little bit like finding undiscovered film footage of the Battle of
                Waterloo, then realizing that a monkey was holding the camera: lots of
                shots of bananas, no Napoleon.'"

                And with that, the theater manager summons her for her next
                appearance, a curtain call to step into the limelight, to answer
                questions, to come out in public again.
                * * * *

                Dear readers:

                Next week, I'll begin consistently contributing to this space every
                two weeks in a new column on Asian pop culture. Part of what makes
                this so exciting is that it's an opportunity to frame a longer-term,
                ongoing discussion -- one that hopefully will include your comments,
                your feedback and your ideas. E-mail me at yangasianpop@...,
                and share your thoughts (yeah, critical ones included), and I'll run
                the most interesting and incisive ones right here, as part of a
                regular postscript to the ongoing column. To kick off this feature,
                let me know whether you have any questions you'd like to pass along to
                Alice Wu; I'll pick the three most interesting ones, and her answers
                will appear next week, right here.

                Until then, here's a quick note to urge you to check out "Saving Face"
                when it debuts here in the Bay Area this weekend. You've probably
                already gotten an e-mail from a friend (the grassroots word of mouth
                on the film has extended its tendrils with amazing breadth and speed),
                but, if not, here's the deal: Wu's directing is artful and remarkably
                assured for a first-time filmmaker, and she writes snap-crackle-pop
                dialogue that'll have you nodding with recognition when you're not
                laughing out loud. The performances, particularly those of the three
                female leads, are charming and heartfelt, with Joan Chen showing a
                remarkably deft comic touch as Wil's bun-in-the-oven mom.

                So, see it to watch a canny veteran actress and two bright young
                ingenues at the top of their game. See it because the romantic comedy
                section of the Asian-American cinema shelf is about three films deep,
                and ours is a community that needs to wear our hearts on our sleeves
                more often.

                Or, well, see it because two gorgeous young women have a frankly hot
                love scene that had me rubbing the steam off my spectacles.

                As Wu says herself, it's got a little something for everyone. So,
                yeah, check it out.

                Yours,

                Jeff

                Jeff Yang is author of "Once Upon a Time in China: A Guide to the
                Cinemas of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China" (Atria Books) and
                co-author of "I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action" (Ballantine) and
                "Eastern Standard Time" (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin). He lives in New
                York City.
              • aathsani
                Looks like there will be a bunch of people (not Yuricon-related though) going to the Embarcadero Center Cinema for the 7.20pm show.
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 3, 2005
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                  Looks like there will be a bunch of people (not Yuricon-related
                  though) going to the Embarcadero Center Cinema for the 7.20pm show.
                  (http://sanfrancisco.citysearch.com/profile/892541/san_francisco_ca/emb
                  arcadero_center_cinema.html)for those who are interested.

                  People are recommending buying the tickets online prior to going to
                  the theater.

                  I am personally waiting for the movie to open in the peninsula/south
                  bay plus work is too distracting right now...


                  Have fun!

                  Att
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