OK(drum roll sounds),
So the Koreatown Chronicle is officially back from a hiatus of several months, a trying time which witnessed the sacking of over half the editorial staff(many of which now work for our arch-rival Telemundo), scandals involving lack of appropriate editorial bias, kickbacks to local political dealmakers, a failed attempt at a Reality TV-esque bid for local office in Tucson, Arizona, and so on....
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Not all of us forgot your star turns in Return of the Tiger, where you teamed with Bruce Li(!) in order to coolly-demolish an entire yakuza gang with pre-Chun Li flying birdkicks and a vengeance not before seen, even in Hong Kong cinema, all the while wearing a perfectly-fitting silver lame bodysuit. Later, in Tie jin gang da po zi yang guan, aka Stoner, you showed George Lazenby whose film it truly was, besting the former James Bond at every turn through your intense combination of sensuality and heroism.
We also remember you leaving film in 1982, in the midst of your fame, to raise a family, leaving all your bitterly-disappointed fans with celluloid memories filtered through the spectrum of weekend and late-night syndication.
Thanks for bringing her back, Grindhouse Film Festival.
video via skipster73
Now, I've attended the Festival for pretty much every year since my UCLA days; however, I decided that the usual day of shady Westwood parking garage nightmares followed by bookish shopping and slumber followed by more shady Westwood parking garage nightmares wouldn't quite pass muster this year.
Therefore, I astutely went on Ticketmaster the week before and reserved admission for three author panels, an act which gave me a slight feeling of mature responsibility(Thanks Ticketmaster), a feeling which promptly evaporated when I realized in medias res the realization that author panels, unlike UCLA basketball games or the Long Beach Grand Prix, are basically starving for people to attend, so I would have easily gotten in anyhow. Also, people who attend book events are incredibly-punctual and generally-polite, so forget about people "rushing" the door, etc.
The first panel was alliteratively-titled "The Sands of Strife: The Middle East," and it happened to feature Mark Berman, the author of Black Hawk Down, who was simultaneously both the most-famous and least-interesting of the four panelists. The other panelists, whose names now escape me, managed to engage the audience both through witty anecdotes and, also, through dissing the Bush decision to commence the Iraq War.
Unfortunately, a group named the Democratic Revolutionary Communist Party hijacked the Q&A afterward, so my question about the future of Arab media in forwarding democracy went unheard amid denunciations of the capitalist status quo in the United States and exhortations to vote for somebody named Bob Avakian as President of the United States.
Speaking of politics, the ever-prescient Gore Vidal remains a great speaker, although at his age, it's more about applauding him for a life's work than for caring about whatever he's writing now. There is something of a last hurrah feel to seeing the author of "Myra Breckonridge" and "Lincoln" taking the Bush administration to task.
Alas, Gore, we shall not see the likes of you again.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Heading over to Highland Park in order to celebrate the official launch of the 2007 Not For Tourists Guide to Los Angeles, I could not help but feel a more than a little ambivalent. On the one hand, the offer of free Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and a free NFT Guide proved tempting; however, the wording of the invite sounded just a little too-self-congratulatory: "Bloggers, you know L.A. We at N.F.T. know L.A..." As much as I like admire baseless flattery, I have never been a tremendous fan of the the N.F.T. Guides, mainly due to their too-mundane detail(do we really need to know about every laundromat in the Hancock Park area?) and their amazingly-arcane maps which frankly make the study of Egyptian hieroglyphs seem like fifth-grade material by comparison.
Anyhow, by the time I arrived, the party had been going on for two hours already, so I had to forget about the evening's main draw, a free N.F.T. Guide, a fact the doorman attempted to make up for by passing me a ticket for an extra dosage of the P.B.R, actually a good deal since I had planned on the Seinfeldian "regift" job on the N.F.T. Guide anyhow. Footsie's-known as Highland Park's local hipster dive-certainly did not disappoint, with pool matches played by people who clearly knew better than to take the often-sacrosanct rules of pool seriously accompanied by a safe, too-by-the-Hipster-Handbook dosage of seriously-muted indie rock on the jukebox, a condition that nearly-always gives me an inexplicable jones for the completely hipster-suicide, 100% KMART aisle musical equivalent of a bright green polyester Nehru Jacket-the Vengaboys("We Like to Party" anyone? No takers?). Alas tackiness 'tweren't what it used to be...
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Unfortunately, LACMA's Bing Theater was desperately in need of some form of air circulation. Perched in the fourth row, I was breaking out into an extremely-uncomfortable sweat.
All in all, though, the performance was definitely worth it, as the Assads truly give their all to the music
Monday, April 23, 2007
Of course, in order to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the Rodney King Uprisings/Riots(the term used depends a great deal on your political outlook), a group known as the Friendship Boxing Club(!) has deemed it necessary to plan an event to promote "Memorial Harmony."
What sort of event you might wonder? Maybe A)a peace rally attended by a few local community figures giving featureless speeches devoted to breathless ideals such as friendship, racial harmony, and anti-consumerism?Nope. Umm, B)a charitable gig featuring Chuck Norris, Soliel Moon-Fry, Gloria Allred and other readily-available C-list celebs including, perhaps, Mr. King himself? Nope. C)A Multicultural Book Fair featuring independent bookstores to compete, in numbers and diversity, with the Borders/Barnes & Noble-dominated Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA? Try again.
The answer is D)A boxing match.
Nice going guys. We all know that boxing, unlike the aformentioned-pastimes, promotes tolerance and racial harmony unlike any other activity, and it will surely inform future generations that we truly learned something from the images of Los Angeles burning under curfew fifteen years ago, even if really we only watched from the entirely-safe vantage point of our own living rooms and armed solely with a remote control.
Thanks Friendship Boxing Club for your efforts to promote a more-liveable future in our city.