The Center for Asian American Media is proud to co-present Good Cats directed by Ying Liang, Claustrophobia directed by Ivy Ho, and New Muslim Cool directed by Jennifer Maylorena Taylor, at the 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival – April 23 to May 7, 2009.
Luo Liang, a young man trying to meet the expectations of family and work, has come to town looking for something better but is unsure of his lot in life. The film documents the effects of fraud, greed and corruption—capitalism —in his hometown of Zigong, charting how economic changes have altered the lives of many Chinese today. Ying’s invocation of the three destinies of modern Chinese man—as wanderer, corrupt boss or tragic loser—is enriched through sly wit, excellent work with nonprofessional actors and his insertion of Chinese rock group Lamb’s Funeral into scenes where the band functions as a kind of Greek chorus to the proceedings. – Roger Garcia
The film screens on April 26 at 6:15PM, on April 28 at 8:45PM, on April 29 at 9:15PM, and again on May 1 at 3:15PM at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas.
For information about Good Cats visit http://fest09.sffs.org/films/film_details.php?id=36
A sensitive and deceptively serene portrayal of an office relationship between five office colleagues on the daily drive home after work who gossip and bicker, each representing a facet of the career cycle: youngish boss Tom (Ekin Cheng) at the wheel, time-serving veteran Karl, nerdy executive trainee John, sexy assistant Jewel and recent hire Pearl (Karena Lam). The film then moves back in time to trace the evolution and origin of the relationships between all five characters. Ho’s expert dialogue is a model of deflected intentions and emotions, a web of subtexts that captures the passions raging under the formal structures and “claustrophobia” of the daily grind. An intelligently crafted feature by one of Hong Kong’s best known screenwriters, Ivy Ho. –Roger Garcia
The film screens on May 3 at 8:30PM, on May 5 at 8:45PM, and again on May 7 at 3:15 PM at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas.
For information about Claustrophobia visit http://fest09.sffs.org/films/film_details.php?id=19
NEW MUSLIM COOL
From behind the headlines on inner-city crime, clashing civilizations and the War on Terror comes filmmaker Jennifer Maytorena Taylor’s illuminating portrait of Puerto Rican Muslim Hamza Pérez. By following the gentle but determined Hamza over the course of three years—during which he and a group of roughly 60 American Muslims move from Massachusetts to found a religious community in Pittsburgh’s crime ridden North Side—New Muslim Cool offers an intimate vantage on a new generation of Latino and African American Muslims, youth in many cases drawn by the example of Malcolm X as well as the culture of hip-hop to weave a communal identity in the interstices between differing languages, ethnic backgrounds, religious ideals and the racial and class tensions in American society post-9/11. – Robert Avilla
The film screens on April 25 at 2:00PM at the Pacific Film Archive and on April 26 at 3:00PM and again on May 4 at 6:30PM at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas.
For information about New Muslim Cool visit http://fest09.sffs.org/films/film_details.php?id=63