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Saturday, October 14, 2006

An observation, a compliment and a confession

Ok so where do I start. I have an observation, a compliment and a confession. I guess I’ll start with the compliment. The staff at the San Diego Asian Film Foundation is one great cohesive wheel, working in tandem to weave together a complex tapestry of really (and I truly mean this) great content. They’re supportive of each other and obviously really like working together. A case in point was last night, when I was supposed to pick up some complimentary tickets (that by the way is my confession, but more on that later), that were to be held at the box office. Well, due to unforeseen problems and the general enormity of the event, the tickets weren’t waiting for me on arrival, but quick work and a few phone calls made them appear out of nowhere. So let me thank everyone involved in that magic trick.

So on to my confession. Although I was given a few complimentary tickets, I won’t let that cloud my perception of the events, especially since I’ve already purchased 7 tickets myself and it’s only the third day of the event, and I’ll surely purchase many more. The films that I’ve seen so far have more than surpassed my expectations and everyone that I’ve spoken with about it has been wowed, to say the least. When you realize how diverse what we call “Asia” really is, it’s truly incredible that any group could bring together enough artistic content to satiate even the casual observer. And I’m not a casual observer.

Now my observation. My mistake was in deciding to go to, and comment on, an event held downtown at the Luna Lounge, that was clearly billed as . . .well take a look and see for yourself. I figured it would be a sight and sound feast that would be interesting, if not innovative. Well, let me say first of all that I didn’t stay for most of it, in fact hardly any of it. I was there for the sound and light checks, the pre-concert interviews and the kickoff. Let me also say that the average age was 20-something, which I’m not. But I still have to make this observation which won’t be popular or politically correct; there’s a huge difference between Asians and Asian-Americans. I’ll end up insulting folks here, but if anyone of them thinks about it, I’m sure they’ll agree that I’m spot on. In fact I’m sure that their parents would also agree. They (the 20-somethings) are trying their hardest to not be a part of their parents’ generation. Well, there’s nothing new about that you say. Of course not; every generation goes through that to some degree, I’m included if you ask my parents. But I’d come to see the Asian Film Festival and what I got was an Asian-American version of an African-American rap concert. The participants will have seen it differently and I guess I should have realized it before I’d gone by the use of the term hip-hop in the description. I also should have gotten a clue when I realized that no one that I talked with had even the slightest accent. No apologies here for not being politically correct, but I’m sure that I’ve spent more of my life living in Asia than nearly all of them put together.

Which all brings me back to how I started this commentary; the Asian Film Festival has done a great job of providing something for everyone. Next time I’ll just look more closely at the venue I’m attending.

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