VAFF This Year

Each year, the “release” of the VAFF (Vancouver Asian Film Festival) schedule is like mini-Christmas to me as I peruse the highly manageable list of films screening over the four-day festival. Each year, I identify at least two films I want to watch and for the past two years, I have managed to watch none during the festival run. Each year, I’m tempted to blather about how appreciative I am about living in a city that has an Asian Film Festival but I’ll refrain and just tell you about the three (consecutive) film festival evenings I have committed to by having already purchased tickets.

white on riceWhite on Rice

If you didn’t know it, there is something vaguely obscene-sounding from the expression “white on rice”. Like possibly Asian fetish suggesting. It turns out “white on rice” means “all over something you like”, for example,“When Krispy Kreme Donuts opened their first shop in Boston this summer, the locals were on it like white on rice.”

I first heard of this movie through the series of articles about the movie written by Angry Asian Man since the movie has been making the film festival circuit this summer. Then it dawned on me that this “film festival darling” (my quotes) would be screened at my local Asian film festival–yay! I read only one article, one with the director, where I learned that (ahem, unlike the next movie), the script was written with no particular ethnicity in mind; however, since the movie portrays a family, when one main character was cast, the rest of the family needed to be consistent.

I am not familiar with the Japanese actors in some of the main roles, but I recognize a couple of the other main actors: James Kyson Lee of Heroes and Lynn Chen of Saving Face.

300x441-POSTER-DIM-SUM-FUNERALDim Sum Funeral

The main event of the film festival is a big family drama-comedy with a host of big names: Bai Ling, part-Canadian Steph Song of Dragon Boys, Lisa Lu of many Chinese movies and Joy Luck Club, Russell Wong of Joy Luck Club, and Kelly Hu .

The movie’s website displays one far-fetched exclamation, “This could be the next Slumdog Millionaire“. I highly doubt it based on the very revealing trailer, but I hope it will be a fun movie!

33413_200805241847371.thumbThe People I’ve Slept With

The final feature-length film of the festival has two screenings so that many viewers can watch this charming-looking movie. NPY is accompanying me to this one since he appreciates the younger cast (he would hate to have to watch Dim Sum Funeral). Compared to the above movies, this movie actually has a Chinese title that translates to something like “Fun Girl Diary”–I couldn’t find the first character in my dictionary.

This movie stars a most sassy- and captivating-looking Karin Anna Cheung from Better Luck Tomorrow and Lynn Chen (again) as her conservative sister.

Each of the films I’m watching is preceded by a short that with it creates a theme for the evening. For the most part, I am also looking forward to the short film accompanying the movies I am watching. Two other evenings caught my attention: New Asia Cinema with the film named “Turbid”, and Lost Children, Lost Stories with the feature documentary “Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam”. However, five sessions at VAFF would be quite much going from zero in the past two years!

On this day..