Julie Hamaïde 「Frédéric Chau, porte-parole de la communauté asiatique malgré lui」

Posted on September 27, 2016 commentaires
Indigné par la mort d’un couturier chinois agressé à Aubervilliers en août, l’acteur franco-vietnamien a décidé de passer à l’action. Avec son clip, 「Sécurité pour tous」, il porte le drapeau d’une nouvelle génération.

On l’a vu sur tous les plateaux de télévision ces dernières semaines. Depuis la mort de Chaolin Zhang à Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis), le comédien franco-vietnamien Frédéric Chau est devenu porte-parole malgré lui de la communauté asiatique. Le 7 août, un couturier chinois de 49 ans, père de deux enfants, est agressé en compagnie de l’un de ses amis. Il meurt quelques jours plus tard d’un « traumatisme crânien grave avec fracture du rocher gauche et hémorragie intracrânienne », selon le rapport d’autopsie. « N’ayant pu être présent pour la marche silencieuse [qui a eu lieu le 14 août à Aubervilliers]. Toutes mes pensées vous accompagnent. Je m’indigne face à la passivité de notre État », tweete, le 15 août, Frédéric Chau, révélé au Jamel Comedy Club, et popularisé dans le film à succès 「Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu ?」 (2014), où il endossait le rôle du gendre chinois.

Un clip et des artistes
Touché par ce drame, lui qui a eu tant de mal à trouver sa place en tant que Français d’origine étrangère – « Dès que je rentrais chez moi, j’étais le Frédéric introverti qui correspondait aux us et coutumes de mes parents. Dehors, j’étais le Français qui vanne ses potes, joue au basket, tchatche les meufs » –, il décide de réaliser le spot 「Sécurité pour tous」, afin d’accompagner la manifestation du 4 septembre contre le racisme anti-asiatique organisée à Paris. « La visibilité était plus importante que d’habitude, mais ce n’était encore qu’une goutte d’eau. C’est pour cela que j’ai fait ce clip », explique-t-il, sans prétention. Il met ainsi à contribution son carnet d’adresses et rameute ses troupes en un temps record. Michel Boujenah, Josiane Balasko, Édouard Montoute, Pascal Sellem ou encore Brahim Asloum se prêtent au jeu dans un studio d’enregistrement que Frédéric Chau loue à ses frais. Face caméra, chacun marque son opposition à la violence.

Les jours suivant la manifestation parisienne, qui a rassemblé plus de 15 500 personnes, le comédien se retrouve invité à la matinale d’i-Télé et à 「C à Vous」 sur France 5. Il répète à qui veut l’entendre l’agression dont fut victime sa mère, près de la cité Maurice-Grandcoing, à Villetaneuse (Seine-Saint-Denis), où il a grandi. Bousculée et jetée à terre en rentrant du travail par un agresseur qui lui vole son sac. « J’avais 15 ans. Vingt-cinq ans après, les choses n’ont pas changé », déplore-t-il.

Le 7 septembre, 「Le Gros Journal」 de Mouloud Achour installe son plateau à Aubervilliers. Ce jour-là, l’émission s’ouvre et s’achève en langue chinoise, et la séquence Carte blanche est confiée à Frédéric Chau. Pendant deux minutes, le comédien en profite pour dénoncer les clichés circulant sur les Asiatiques (ils auraient toujours de l’argent plein les poches, s’exprimeraient toujours avec un accent, se ressembleraient tous...).

Cet emballement médiatique n’est pas forcément perçu d’un bon œil par l’acteur, qui craint d’être étiqueté. Il fuyait déjà les rôles « clichés et condescendants de Chinois avec un accent » depuis des années. « Ce que je veux exprimer passe à travers mon spot. Ça m’embête d’aller sur les plateaux télé. Je suis un artiste, apolitique, avec des convictions qui m’appartiennent, confesse Frédéric Chau, les sourcils froncés. Je sens que j’ai un poids sur les épaules, mais c’est à la communauté asiatique de faire un pas vers l’autre, de créer un lien social. Le racisme existe parce qu’on ne connaît pas l’autre. Nous, traditionnellement, nous sommes des gens introvertis et discrets, nous avons l’intelligence, ou pas, de ne pas relever les réflexions. Mais les jeunes générations, dont je fais partie, se sentent françaises. On commence à s’indigner, à répondre. Il nous appartient de faire changer les choses.» Voyant la vague se retirer, Frédéric Chau va retrouver avec bonheur ses rôles préférés : acteur, auteur et réalisateur. À travers eux, il continuera à défendre sa double culture et à mieux faire connaître sa communauté.


「Sécurité pour tous」 - posted on September 04, 2016.

Réalisation: Frédéric Chau
Chef Opérateur/Cadreur/Monteur: David Coignoux
Caméra/Son: Aurélien Dienis
Compositeur: Jean-François Blanco et Samuel Alhaouthou
Ingénieur Son: Nils Blumenfeld

Remerciements: Sonia Menhane (sans elle rien n'aurait pu se faire), Kamel Guemra, Bastienne Rondot, Studio Matignon, Sacha Lin, David Khamsing, Didier Soulivanh, Pascal Liu et Danaë Faupin

Spot réalisé en la mémoire de Zhang Chaolin agressé à Aubervilliers en août 2016. Il est mort peu de jours après, laissant femme et 2 enfants.


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Kero Kero Bonito 「Trampoline」

Posted on September 26, 2016 commentaires

Kero Kero Bonito 「Trampoline」 - from『Bonito Generation』released on September 26, 2016.


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Geoff Mak 「The Anxiety of Human Connection」

Posted on September 20, 2016 commentaires

In our interview with Oakland-based painter and zine-maker Jeffrey Cheung, he discusses the significance of social anxiety and how he rebels against mainstream idealization of the white gay male body.

“I think being Asian American has a lot to do with my feelings of being an outsider. When I was younger a lot of the images that I saw from gay mainstream media idealized white men and white bodies and I remember feeling unattractive at an early age.”

What was your relationship with visual art when you were younger?

I have been interested in visual art since I was young but not more than any other kid – just drawing cartoons and stuff like that. In High School I took art classes and never did very well, but it was always something that I enjoyed doing. I think I started really getting into it during my last year of high school when I started going to drop in figure drawing classes with a few of my friends.

That’s funny, I also took figure drawing classes in High School. I remember being surprised at how lush and “unidealized” the nude models were. One was a pregnant woman. Another was an old man with deep folds of skin that sagged from his joints. Was that kind of also your experience? What were the models like?

Yes I had a similar experience! We often had older and bigger models with lots of wrinkles and folds in their body. We had a variety of body types as well, but I am very glad that we had those kinds of models looking back. I think I enjoyed drawing them the most.

What made you more drawn to them, and do you think that influenced the development towards your current work?

They just seemed more interesting to me than the younger, more fit models at the time. I am not sure why. I just liked the way they looked. I think having those types of models really did have an impact on me now that I think about it. I would draw someone who was young and fit, and they would often come out looking much older and heavier than they actually were somehow.

I find that really fascinating – how you can start out to draw something, but your hand will produce something else. What’s your creative process like? Do you have a general concept of what your work will be, or does it plan itself out on the page?

Sometimes I will have a rough idea of what I want the drawing or painting to be, but a lot of the times it will sort of come together on its own. Usually I will start out with one thing, and then will keep adding until I feel it reaches a point of balance. I don’t usually make sketches and will often start directly on the canvas or paper, but recently have been trying to plan things out a bit more. I think it helps sometimes to plan, but also think a little bit of spontaneity is a good thing. There have been many times when the drawing will end up way different than I intended it to be, sometimes turning out more sexual or explicit than expected.

When did you start exploring sexual imagery in your work, and how did you come into it?

I first started exploring the idea when I was doing a project on gender identity and re-examining gender norms at UCSC, but feel like the concept really started to develop when I was in a queer printmaking class in San Francisco. I did a series of linocuts there that became the basis of my current work. Some of my work may have imagery that can be interpreted as sexual, but I feel that there is also an aspect that is more about the anxiety of human connection.

How would you describe that anxiety? And what do you think is the source of it?

I think it often comes from my own anxieties about connecting with others. I can be a very anxious person, and I think I project this feeling into my artwork somehow. Although some elements may be exaggerated, many of the scenes and characters I depict are often inspired by my own experiences or observations. Personally I feel like there definitely can be a sense of eagerness and uncertainty when connecting with another individual.

Obviously, your work isn’t autobiographical, nor is it self-representational, since you don’t physically resemble the people in your work. Though I’m interested in your emotional identification with your subjects’ anxieties. I’ve spent some time in sex clubs and dark rooms, both in the States and abroad, and I find that “eagerness and uncertainty” seems to be heightened in anonymous interactions. Actually, when I first saw your work, it reminded me of the drawings I saw across the bathroom stalls of the sex club at Berghain in Berlin. Is that culture at all an inspiration? Or rather, what are the experiences or observations that have inspired your work?

For a period of time, that culture was definitely a big source of inspiration. Sex clubs, dark spaces, bathroom stalls, saunas, and other cruisy scenarios were all common settings of some of my artwork. The sense of eagerness and uncertainty is definitely heightened in these anonymous situations, and I think I am drawn to that. Men waiting in dark hallways, wandering around catching glances of each other, everyone seems to be searching for someone else and not at all at the same time. Physically, the subjects are mostly not self representational but I feel there is still a certain level of personal connection because they are inspired by my own experiences or observations.

“To me I think that the body types that I illustrate are beautiful and attractive, and feel like it was something that I did not often see in public spaces even growing up in the bay area.”

I see your work as taking men from the shadows – unideal bodies of older and larger men, bodies that are shamed from mainstream gay culture – and projecting them larger than life, in full daylight, sometimes as tall as the facades of buildings. You definitely aren’t mocking them, but you aren’t idealizing them on a pedestal. Though the lack of shame is immediate, intimate, humorous, and arresting. Was that public visibility an interest in your decision to do street art?

I don’t think I have ever really identified or felt a real connection to a lot of what mainstream gay culture idealizes, especially when it comes to body imagery, and I think that is reflected in my artwork. To me I think that the body types that I illustrate are beautiful and attractive, and feel like it was something that I did not often see in public spaces even growing up in the bay area. Being able to make these images vibrant and large scale in the public eye was a very empowering thing for me and even helped me overcome some feelings of internalized shame I had.

Well also, not to mention that mainstream gay culture – and fashion in general, which is directed by the white gay man’s eye – is very centered around white bodies. How much do you think being an Asian-American with an Asian body played into feelings of shame and outsiderness?

I think being Asian American has a lot to do with my feelings of being an outsider. When I was younger a lot of the images that I saw from gay mainstream media idealized white men and white bodies and I remember feeling unattractive at an early age. Asian men are already seen as being passive and submissive, and I feel like racial stereotypes are magnified in the gay community. I think white idealization is part of the reason why racism and discrimination is so openly expressed among gay men. It seems common that even men of color are stating their preferences for white only, and no Asians, blacks, or Latinos. Being exposed to white ideals definitely had an impact on me, whether subconsciously or not.

“I think I was able to overcome some of my own anxieties and feelings of shame by illustrating these anonymous scenes and making them publicly visible.”

What were your early experiences like in gay spaces, and did it change as you got older? Physical unattractiveness is something that is taught, and then one has to unlearn it, and I’m interested in your own personal trajectory there, and how that may have led you to the public, and confrontational subject matter you often explore.

Even though I came out after High School, I still had some issues feeling comfortable with my sexuality. For a long time I felt insecure and was somewhat discreet about my sex life, and often had anonymous encounters with strangers online and in bathhouses. I had some self esteem issues for a while, but as I got older I became more open and honest with myself and the people around me. I think I was able to overcome some of my own anxieties and feelings of shame by illustrating these anonymous scenes and making them publicly visible.

Can you tell me about how you got into zine publishing, and what that experience was like?

Some of my friends who I went to school with started a zine publishing press called Tiny Splendor, and I did a zine with them a few years ago. They are some of the sweetest people in the world and since then they have made quite a name for themselves in the zine scene. That was how I first actually got involved with making zines, but I have been doing most of my recent zines under a project my partner and I started called Unity Press. I really enjoy making zines because they are so accessible and are an easy way for me to share my work with the world. I often hand them to strangers and leave them in public places like bathrooms, laundromats, bookstores, or on bulletin boards. They are not always going to be well received but I like knowing that they are still somewhere out there for someone to see.

Follow Jeffrey on Instagram at @unitypress.

This feature was originally published in『Posture』’s second print issue, available for purchase in our online shop here.

Geof Mak
Author
Geoff Mak serves as Fiction Editor of『The Offing Magazine』. His literary features have appeared in『Forbes』,『Flavorwire』,『Guernica』, and the『Los Angeles Review of Books』. His interview subjects include Rachel Kushner, Ben Lerner, Karen Russell, and Justin Torres. His art criticism has appeared in『The Brooklyn Rail』. He divides his time between New York and Berlin, and is currently at work on a novel.

Author: Geoff Mak/Date: September 20, 2016/Source: http://posturemag.com/online/the-anxiety-of-human-connection/



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Eric Francisco 「Lana Condor: Asian Superheroes Are Highly Underrepresented」

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Hollywood is pumping out more blockbuster superhero movies than ever before, and in some spots, making a push for more racially diverse characters and filmmakers. But the new effort has not, for the most part, extended to better representation for Asian-Americans. Lana Condor, the Vietnamese-American actress who played Jubilee in 「X-Men: Apocalypse」, was just one of two Asian actors in superhero movies this summer, and she is hoping that the roster won’t be so scarce in the future.

“We’re highly underrepresented,” she told Inverse in Canada over the weekend, during an event to promote the film’s Blu-ray and DVD release. “I love that I’m doing this because I want to show Hollywood that people don’t just like this, but it actually works, especially in big blockbusters. I’m hoping I made a small impact for us fellow Asians, in Hollywood and in life.”

Condor also gave a shout out to Karen Fukuhara, who played Katana in this year’s 「Suicide Squad」 from DC Comics and Warner Bros; she was the only other actress of Asian descent to appear as a superhero (or supervillain) this summer. While some critics lamented the stereotypes of Katana, Condor was enthused. “I was so happy to see that.” She added in a joking tone: “Now all the franchises have one! Let’s go!”

There has at least been a growing conversation about Asian representation in film this year: The live-action adaptation of 「Ghost in the Shell」, 「Doctor Strange」, and 「The Great Wall」 have come under fire for casting white actors as characters that are Asian in the source material. This spotlight has compelled Asian actors like Constance Wu and Ming-Na Wen to speak out. At the 2016 Emmys, Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang won Best Comedy for 「Master of None」, and on stage, Yang told Asian parents watching to get their kids “cameras instead of violins and we’ll all be good.”

Jubilee’s screen time in 「X-Men: Apocalypse」 was relatively short in comparison to the movie’s more major charaters, and the only time Jubilee uses her powers – Jubilee can generate pyrotechnic energy – was in a deleted scene that leaked online. But in the comics and the popular X-Men cartoon from the ‘90s, Jubilee was a much more prominent force, giving Condor hope for future installments.

“I want to prove to everyone she is epic and she can be amazing and powerful,” she said. “I wanna fight. I would love to fight.”

Author: Eric Francisco/Date: September 20, 2016/Source: https://www.inverse.com/article/21181-x-men-apocalypse-lana-condor-jubile-asian-superheroes


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Glenn D. Magpantay 「Why Can’t Prince Charming’s True Love Be Asian?」

Posted on September 16, 2016 commentaires
Lamenting another lost opportunity to showcase queer Asian men.

Logo’s new reality show 「Finding Prince Charming」 could have been a little more charming if the prince, Robert Sepulveda Jr., had some Asian suitors vying for his affection. The lack of Asian representation is especially disappointing since the show includes African-American and Latino bachelors among the 13 contestants – gay Asian men are also looking for love.

We are constantly searching for our faces and voices in the media. Asian-Americans are the nation’s fastest-growing minority group and we're a growing segment of the LGBT community. Yet LGBT Asian-Americans are often overlooked or marginalized. 「Finding Prince Charming」 is just the most recent example.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance has been fighting for more positive portrayals of LGBT Asian and Pacific Islanders in the media. There are many LGBT Asian actors, bachelors, and contestants waiting in the wings, but, sadly, only 6 percent of LGBTQ characters on television are Asian or Pacific Islander, according to GLAAD. That percentage is the lowest of any group and, what’s worse, is the highest in over 10 years. We’ve got a long way to go.

An Asian-American contestant on 「Finding Prince Charming」 could have brought so much. Diversity and inclusion is more than simply having an Asian face to check the “Asian” box. An Asian-American contest could have brought certain values and perspectives to add to the richness of the contestants’ experiences. Typical Asian-American values of family, honoring parents and elders, and a strict work ethic could have been have been themes on the show. Aren’t these some of the values that we all want our Prince Charming to have?

Moreover, gay Asian men are sexy. Sure, there was a time when all Asian men in media were emasculated computer geeks or heavily accented foreign students. But today it’s well settled that Asian men are beautiful, bodied, and often sought after. Let’s not fetishize us but rather portray the full spectrum of our community.

It would have been nice if Logo took more affirmative actions to promote diversity that is inclusive of Asian-Americans. Maybe next time, I hope.

*Correction: After this post, one of the contestants, Brandon Kneefel, emailed the writer. He acknowledged the absence of casting Asians but noted that he is part Asian himself. His father is Indonesian (born in Java) and Polynesian. He is not Latino as many people assume. The writer acknowledges this error.

Brandon Kneefel

GLENN D. MAGPANTAY is the executive director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, a federation of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander organizations. Contact him at glenn_magpantay@nqapia.org.

Author: Glenn D. Magpantay/Date: September 16, 2016/Source: http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2016/9/16/why-cant-prince-charmings-true-love-be-asian

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KSUKE × AMBER 劉逸雲 from f(x) 에프엑스 「BREATHE AGAIN」

Posted on September 09, 2016 commentaires

KSUKE × AMBER from f(x) 「BREATHE AGAIN」 - released on September 09, 2016.

Collaboration d'AMBER avec le DJ japonais, KSUKE, tout à fait honorable. Sans être totalement fan du morceau, on apprécie le chant et le rap d'AMBER, le mix efficace et la rencontre Corée du sud/Japon.


f(x) 에프엑스
Official Website (South Korea): http://fx.smtown.com/
Official Website (Japan): http://www.fx-jp.jp/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fx.smtown


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Red Velvet 레드벨벳 「Russian Roulette」

Posted on September 07, 2016 commentaires

Red Velvet 「Russian Roulette」【러시안 룰렛】- released on September 07, 2016.



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David Perrotin 「« Chintok », « jaune », « bol de riz »... cet omniprésent racisme anti-asiatique」

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François Guillot/AFP/Getty Images

« Il y a beaucoup de blagues contre notre communauté à la télévision, à l’école, dans la rue... Les gens trouvent ça tolérable et se réfugient derrière l’humour. Sauf que ce n’est pas drôle, ça blesse et parfois ça tue ».

Dukhwan Kim, originaire de Corée du Sud et âgé de 18 ans, semble stressé et un peu timide. Avant de présenter sa chanson, il donne son nom et tente de l’épeler pour que le jury face à lui puisse le retenir ou au moins faire semblant. « On va t’appeler Luc », lâche Joey Starr, satisfait d’amuser ses comparses André Manoukian, Sinclair et Élodie Frégé, qui rient aux éclats. La scène humiliante qui suit dure près de trois minutes, et est un exemple parmi d’autres du racisme ordinaire que vivent les personnes asiatiques en France. Tournée en différé, elle a tout de même été diffusée en plein prime time sur D8 le 23 novembre 2015 dans 「Nouvelle Star」.

Les exemples de « bons mots » ou « de petites blagues » contre la communauté asiatique sont légion. À la télévision française, dans les cours de récré comme dans les quartiers chics de la capitale, les Asiatiques sont tous Chinois et ces Chinois ont les poches pleines d’argent liquide et raffolent tous de chien.

Cet « humour» bien installé en France et qui suscite rarement l’indignation est toutefois de moins en moins accepté. Encore moins depuis que Chaolin Zhang, un couturier de 49 ans originaire d’Aubervilliers, a été agressé par trois hommes qui voulaient voler le sac d’un de ses amis. Après avoir reçu de nombreux coups, le père de famille s’est écroulé au sol en percutant violemment le bord du trottoir. Il est décédé cinq jours plus tard.

« Ces blagues, ces préjugés, commencent dès l’école. Lorsque certains enfants sont interrogés sur ce qu’ils veulent faire plus tard, ils répondent : “Rien, je suis Chinois.”»

Dimanche 4 septembre par exemple, des dizaines de milliers de personnes, majoritairement d’origine asiatique, ont défilé à Paris pour exiger plus de sécurité. Mais aussi pour dénoncer « le racisme dont la communauté est victime ». « Les agresseurs pensaient que Chaolin Zhang et ses amis avaient de l’argent. Ils pensaient cela parce que les préjugés selon lesquels tous les Chinois sont faibles ou se promènent avec de l’argent liquide, sont tenaces », explique à BuzzFeed News Tamara Lui, présidente de l’association Chinois de France-Français de Chine et membre du comité de soutien de la famille Zhang. Selon elle, l’équation peut être mortelle.

« Les trois agresseurs de Chaolin Zhang ont été interpellés mais le procureur n’a pas retenu le mobile raciste. On verra si le juge le retient, mais cela peut étonner puisque l’un des jeunes avait déjà attaqué des personnes asiatiques et était placé sous contrôle judiciaire après l’agression d’un commerçant chinois. Les autres ont dit aux policiers qu’ils avaient attaqué Chaolin parce qu’ils “entendaient souvent dire que les Chinois ont de l’argent”», pointe Tamara Lui.

JO, Touche pas à mon poste... adeptes des blagues racistes
Le racisme contre la communauté asiatique semble difficile à admettre. « Cela ne suscite pas d’indignation. Il y a beaucoup de blagues contre notre communauté à la télévision, à l’école, dans la rue... mais les gens trouvent ça tolérable et se réfugient derrière l’humour. Sauf que ce n’est pas drôle, ça blesse et parfois ça tue », renchérit-elle.

Dans 「Touche pas à mon poste」 par exemple, Cyril Hanouna peut cibler la communauté asiatique presque quotidiennement en se moquant des supposés yeux bridés d’un de ses chroniqueurs, ou en imitant « l’accent chinois ». Et amuser ses millions de « fanzouzes » sans que le CSA ou d’autres institutions s’en émeuvent.

Les auteurs de ces « blagues » peuvent aussi résider dans le service public. Thomas Bouhail, consultant pour France Télévisions lors des Jeux olympiques de cet été, a cru bon de comparer les gymnastes japonaises à des Pikachus :

« On dirait un petit manga, y a tous les petits personnages qui sont contents. On se croirait vraiment dans les dessins animés. Des petits Pikachus de partout, et tac-tac-tac-tac.»

« Elle aura bien mérité son bol de riz !» s’était aussi exclamé Philippe Candeloro à propos d’une patineuse artistique japonaise, lors des JO de Turin en 2006. Le racisme anti-asiatique semble « totalement décomplexé » et touche même les plus hautes institutions, déplore Tamara Lui. Dans『Le Point』(magazine par ailleurs condamné en 2014 pour diffamation envers les immigrants chinois), on apprend par exemple que des enquêteurs de la police nationale surnommaient officiellement un réseau de blanchiment d’argent de grossistes chinois... « Fièvre jaune ».

« De fait, le slogan “Black, Blanc, Beur”, exclut la communauté asiatique sans que cela ne choque qui que ce soit.»

«Ces blagues, ces préjugés, commencent dès l’école. Des enfants me racontent que certains de leurs camarades répondent : “Je ne joue pas avec toi car tu es Chinois.” Lorsqu’ils sont interrogés sur ce qu’ils veulent faire plus tard, certains répondent : “Rien, je suis Chinois”», regrette Tamara Lui, qui interroge :

« Est-ce que la société française est raciste envers la communauté asiatique ? La question mérite au moins d’être posée. Ce qui est certain, c’est qu’il y a une forme de méconnaissance et de jalousie envers la communauté. C’est aussi alimenté par les médias qui ne proposent de parler des Asiatiques que lorsque ce sont des touristes avec de l’argent qui se font voler ou des salariés adeptes de la contrefaçon ou du travail au noir.»

Le rappeur français d’origine cambodgienne Lee Djane fait le même constat sur ce racisme présent dès le plus jeune âge. Il le résume dans son titre 「Ils m’appellent Chinois」, sorti en 2015.

« Beaucoup de jeunes asiatiques sont perdus à cause de tous ces préjugés et ces blagues récurrentes, estime Lee Djane. Il peut y avoir une vraie crise identitaire car on leur enlève une confiance qu’ils avaient en eux. Ils ne méritent pas cela.» Le rappeur prend l’exemple du célèbre slogan « Black, Blanc, Beur », censé illustrer la réussite française du vivre-ensemble. « De fait, ce slogan exclut la communauté asiatique sans que cela ne choque qui que ce soit. Mais je pense que les choses vont bouger avec la nouvelle génération. On a envie d’ouvrir notre bouche », se rassure-t-il.

Face au racisme, le clivage entre les jeunes et les anciens
Lee Djane et Tamara Lui estiment que l’ancienne génération « n’osait pas trop souligner ces discriminations ». Feng, 27 ans, rencontré à la manifestation de dimanche, avance une explication :

« L’ancienne génération retient la France comme étant un pays d’accueil pour les réfugiés politiques qu’ils étaient. Ils relativisent aussi tous les clichés sur les Chinois en expliquant que c’est juste de l’humour. Aujourd’hui, la nouvelle génération pense au contraire que ce sont ces blagues qui renforcent les préjugés racistes. Et ce sont ces préjugés racistes qui peuvent tuer.»

Il rappelle qu’avant la mort de Chaolin Zhang, deux manifestations (en 2010 et en 2011) avaient déjà été organisées par la communauté pour protester contre l’insécurité et les agressions à répétition. Cinq ans après, les choses semblent s’aggraver. Depuis le début de l’année, 105 plaintes pour des agressions contre la communauté chinoise ont été enregistrées à Aubervilliers, contre 35 sur la même période l’année dernière.

Pour Nonna Mayer, sociologue spécialiste de la question, ce racisme, qui « ressemble à bien des égards à l’antisémitisme », repose sur un paradoxe. Alors que 71% des personnes interrogées dans le dernier baromètre de la commission nationale consultative des droits de l’homme estiment ainsi que les Asiatiques sont « très travailleurs », les personnes qui les jugent positivement sont ceux qui ont les profils les plus racistes :

« Cette image de réussite suscite des sentiments ambivalents comme la jalousie ou le ressentiment. On leur reproche ce qu’en même temps on loue : leur travail, leur discrétion », explique-t-elle à Europe1.

« Ce n’est pas le même racisme que celui dont peut être victime les communautés juive ou musulmane, il n’y a pas de haine idéologique, mais il y a une vraie méconnaissance », analyse quant à elle Tamara Lui, qui dénonce aussi les explications des autorités ou des médias après chaque agression :

«Certains disent que les Chinois sont attaqués car ils ont beaucoup de liquide sur eux, mais cette réponse est scandaleuse. C’est comme dire qu’une femme a été violée parce qu’elle avait une jupe trop courte.»

En 2010, La Licra « n’observait pas » le racisme anti-asiatique
Alors comment expliquer que ce racisme contre la communauté asiatique puisse prospérer aussi librement ? « Nous sommes sous-représentés numériquement. La communauté asiatique étant absente sur la scène politique, médiatique, ou artistique, il y a un boulevard pour se moquer d’elle », estime Lee Djane. La question ne semblait pas non plus intéresser les différents gouvernements jusqu’à présent. Dans sa dernière campagne contre le racisme intitulée « Tous unis contre la haine », le gouvernement ne mentionne jamais le racisme anti-asiatique et aucun clip vidéo ne concerne cette communauté.

D’autres mettent aussi en cause le soutien des associations antiracistes comme le Mrap, la Licra ou SOS Racisme, qui serait très discret voire inexistant. « Je ne sais pas pourquoi il n’y avait pas plus de représentants d’associations antiracistes dimanche. C’est vrai que cela aurait été fort que la manifestation soit supra-associative. En tout cas on a tenté cela, mais ça n’a pas été le cas », regrette par exemple Tamara Lui.

Interrogés par『Le Monde』, SOS Racisme et la LDH ont mis en avant le thème surtout sécuritaire pour expliquer leur grande discrétion à la manifestation. S’agissant de la Licra, son président Alain Jakubowicz avait déjà dû s’expliquer à ce sujet en 2010. Il avait alors déclaré à Slate ne « pas observer une montée particulière du racisme à l’encontre des communautés asiatiques » et ne pas souhaiter « créer de communautarisme autour du racisme ». Il ajoutait :

« Le racisme anti-chinois ne constitue pas l’un des grands problèmes à venir.»

Joint par BuzzFeed News, Alain Jakubowicz explique « assumer ces propos de 2010 », mais ajoute « que l’époque a changé »: « Nous n’avions pas les éléments d’aujourd’hui. Et les victimes ne nous contactaient pas alors que les choses changent maintenant.» Précisant que la Licra « a vocation à aider toutes les victimes de discrimination et qu’elle évoque le racisme anti-asiatique sur son site », Alain Jakubowicz rappelle « la dangerosité de ces préjugés qui circulent sur la communauté chinoise ». Ces mêmes préjugés « qui ont tué Ilan Halimi » parce qu’il était juif.

David Perrotin est journaliste société chez BuzzFeed News France et travaille depuis Paris. Il écrit notamment sur les sujets liés aux discriminations.
Contact David Perrotin at david.perrotin@buzzfeed.com.




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Jasmine Lee Ehrhardt 「Arthur Dong’s Films Spotlight Asian American And Queer History」

Posted on September 06, 2016 commentaires
When I was an impressionable 14-year-old, my mom’s side of the family went to an independent theater to see Arthur Dong’s 「Hollywood Chinese」 (2008). My family always made a point of seeing movies that featured prominent Asian actors  –  for example, I remember we watched 「Memoirs of a Geisha」 together (which was, understandably, a disappointment to all of us). But Dong’s work was different; it was a documentary, one of the first I’d seen.

Arthur Dong’s work as a filmmaker and historiographer has been central to my own understanding of Asian American cinema, labor, and identity. It took me a while to realize that all the great documentaries I’d been recommending to Chinese American friends –  who, like me, were disappointed by the lack of Asian American representation in film and the perceived lack of Asian American filmmakers  –  were created by Arthur Dong. While 「Hollywood Chinese」 taught me that the film industry had not and might never truly support Chinese or Asian American artists or care about us as filmgoers, it also showed me that there was progress to be made while keeping an eye on the past. It gave me the historical framework I needed in order to understand what “whitewashing” means and why representation matters.

That documentary was the springboard for my interest in film history, Asian American history, and popular media through the lens of critical race theory (which eventually led to a senior thesis on actress Anna May Wong). 「Hollywood Chinese」 seems especially pertinent today, given the ongoing conversation about the whiteness of Hollywood and what should be done about it. It’s easy to feel disenchanted with what’s missing from the media we consume; to feel weary of the evolution and repetition of stereotypes based on race, culture, gender, and class. It’s because of these problems that I return again and again to Arthur Dong’s work, especially 「Hollywood Chinese」 and 「Forbidden City, USA」 (1989): His films remind me of the artists that have come before us, the labor they undertook.

Dong’s original goal was to be a film historian. “A love for film history has influenced my films, [which] are archival-based [and] history-based,” he tells me in a phone interview. “When I was younger (and even today), I’d watch vintage movies. I would be transported to a period decades before I was born. That’s fascinating. It’s magical.”

Dong’s respectful treatment of historical documents, as well as his clear delight in including them, is most striking in 「Hollywood Chinese」, which includes a segment on the first Chinese American silent film. 「The Curse of Quon Gwon」 (1916–17), directed by Marion Wong, was entirely produced by Chinese Americans in Oakland. While it is only partially preserved, Dong uses many clips of the film to give an overall sense of the plot while also showcasing its aesthetic and formal achievements. The historical weight of Marion Wong’s work  –  and Dong’s own work to bring it to light for a more contemporary audience  –  was not lost on me, even at the age of 14. As an Oakland native whose grandmother lives in Oakland’s Chinatown, I remember how affirming it was for me to learn the story of a Chinese American woman who wrote, directed, and starred in her own film in my community.

I still find extraordinary comfort and inspiration in the fact that, a full century ago, Chinese American filmmakers were striving to make media specifically for and about us. A complaint you often hear from some in the Asian American community is that “they” won’t “let us” have starring roles in movies and television shows; that there are, in short, no options for us. In 「Hollywood Chinese」, Dong shows us the importance of remembering and preserving Asian American history, media, and art. The work he has done to excavate and share this history should remind us that we cannot rely on big-budget studios to give us the roles we want: we have to engage with and be aware of our own history, and tell our own stories.

The next time I was exposed to Arthur Dong’s work was in a class I took on Asian Americans and the media at UC Santa Cruz. My professor showed us a clip of Dong’s film 「Forbidden City, USA」, which I was also fortunate enough to hear Dong speak about during a panel at the Center for Asian American Media’s CAAMFest in 2015. One of the first Chinese American nightclubs in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Forbidden City was novel in its swing music and revue acts featuring Chinese American performers. Beyond the sheer delight of seeing vintage glamor shots of Chinese American faces in this film, there’s something quite novel  –  even now  –  in seeing Chinese Americans tap-dance, or sing like Frank Sinatra with a big band.

While Dong’s film tells the stories of a handful of surviving performers, in our interview he told me that it chronicles a small slice of gay and lesbian Chinese American history as well. Even though this film addresses only one brief chapter in Chinese American history, Dong tells me that a few queer scholars have also picked up on the gay and lesbian performers in the film. “In sections that reflected a gay sensibility [in the subject of the film], I’d find a way to project that, even without saying the word ‘gay,’” he tells me. There were moments, he explains, when an interview subject for the film would ask Dong not to include discussion of their sexuality in the film: “They would turn the mic off, you know, and say, ‘This is just for you.’ And I had to honor that request. When I create someone’s story onscreen, I need to keep in mind that they honored me by opening up to me.”

The film was especially important to Dong as a gay Chinese American director from San Francisco’s Chinatown. Dong asked that the premiere of 「Forbidden City, USA」, which was to be held at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, be co-hosted by CAAM (then the National Asian American Telecommunications Association) and a LGBTQ organization. “I wanted to bring these two communities together,” he says, “so [CAAM] agreed, and they worked with [a local] AIDS organization, and it was wonderful.”

Dong later directed the 1994 film 「Coming Out Under Fire」, which tells the story of gay and lesbian soldiers who served in World War II. When it was shown at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, Dong urged Asian American media organizations to support it. It was very important to him that Asian Americans filmgoers see “a gay film made by a gay Asian filmmaker”  –  because, as Dong says, “I straddle these two communities.” Several of his other works, such as 「Licensed To Kill」, 「The Question Of Equality」, and 「Family Fundamentals」, have shone a spotlight on queer history and issues affecting the LGBTQ community.

In 2015, Arthur Dong’s most recent film, 「The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor」, was released, and he also received spotlight recognitions from CAAM, Visual Communications, and Asian CineVision. [「The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor」 will be shown this month as a part of DOCWorld, a new showcase of nonfiction storytelling from around the globe. It will air September 18, 2016 on public media’s WORLD Channel; check listings for more information.]

At a time when the whitewashing of social justice movements, cinematic history, and contemporary movies remains so common, revisiting Arthur Dong’s work offers both comfort and food for thought. His films reanimate different pieces of history and encourage contemporary viewers to examine our present. What Dong has shown us throughout his career as a filmmaker and historian is that our desire for media representation for our communities doesn’t necessarily have to begin or end with Hollywood feature films. There’s plenty of material, plenty of stories, and plenty of history we can already access.

“History gives me a sense of where we are today, and it also gives us perspective,” Dong says. “So to be a progressive, to be a fighter for change, it’s important to know your history.” As we think about how far we still have to go in terms of representation in film, perhaps we can find some solace in the important historiographical work that Arthur Dong has already done for us  –  and let it inspire us to strive for better.




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Evelyn Wang 「The Japanese male sex symbol who took over Hollywood」

Posted on September 05, 2016 commentaires

Sessue Hayakawa made his name playing a sadistic loan shark at the turn of the 20th century, but his fame was shortlived and the leading Asian male never truly returned

A man and a woman are alone in a room and the door is locked. She is a pre-Raphaelite Courtney Love, thin and fleshy with a babydoll face in a kinderwhore get-up, eyes rattling helter-skelter in her skull. He is treacherous as a melting glacier and twice as pretty in a haori thrown over a white waistcoat, mean-mugging her like a possessed Patrick Nagel poster.

“If you keep me here – I’ll kill myself,” says the woman. The man smirks and offers her his pistol – a true gentleman. She recoils, he laughs. She cowers, he regards her with cheerful contempt. A scuffle ensues and he wrestles her against the wall before dragging her by the hair to his desk. Holding her face-down, he rips off the sleeve of her dress and grabs the branding iron waiting patiently in the brazier. His face turns grotesque, her shoulder sizzles. He shoves her to the ground and there, seared into her white skin for all of America to see, is the mark he puts on all of his toys.

And that’s how Hollywood’s first male sex symbol was born. The man was actor Sessue Hayakawa, playing a sadistic Japanese loan shark in Cecil B. DeMille’s silent 1915 blockbuster 「The Cheat」. The villain opposite comedienne Fannie Ward’s shopaholic socialite, he lends her $10,000 in exchange for a ravishing and brands her when she reneges on their deal. “The idea of the rape fantasy, forbidden fruit, all those taboos of race and sex – it made him a movie star,” said Stephen Gong, the executive director of San Francisco's Center for Asian-American Media in an interview. “And his most rabid fan base was white women.” They were especially hot and bothered by the branding scene, during which female audiences apparently erupted in screams and swoons. “Countless other ladies who saw the film would have loved to be on the receiving end of his hot iron,” quipped the『Japan Times』.

Predating Rudolph Valentino as “catnip to women” by several years, Hayakawa became America’s new leading man. 「The Cheat」 transformed him into a millionaire who threw opulent parties in his mansion-turned-castle and drove a gold-plated car. It launched a rockstar career playing villains and heroes alike. He enraptured audiences overseas too, often name-dropped in the same breath as Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks. It was utterly unexpected, an Asian man dominating Western box offices the way he did, starting a production company to remedy the stereotyping of Asians, his sex appeal nailed firmly (albeit problematically) to his Asianness instead of his ability to emulate whiteness. It had never happened before, and it would not happen again for a very long time. Hollywood made sure of that.

Every few months or so, the Internet cracks open its roster of Hollywood heartthrobs and declares the most universally covetable one the Internet’s Boyfriend. Sayeth incumbent Internet’s Boyfriend Oscar Isaac, “[The Internet] never struck me as being into monogamous relationships. It's very promiscuous, the Internet.” And how. At any given moment, the Internet can count on many different boyfriends with a vast array of traits. The Internet’s Boyfriend can be a tormented, psychosexual lumberjack, like Tom Hardy. If you prefer an Eton-bred gallant in the streets and a Machiavellian space trickster with daddy issues in the sheets, there’s Tom Hiddleston. The Internet’s Boyfriend can be aesthetically oxymoronic (Benedict Cumberbatch) or the recipient of a Faustian makeover (Chris Pratt) or, because it’s 2016, occasionally and conditionally black (Idris Elba).

What he can’t be is Asian. In the multitude of universes c」 ontained by Hollywood, Asian men are not sexy or masculine or desirable. The Asian man is almost never the hero and just about always the (white guy’s) sidekick, a jester eagerly pissing himself in his haste to serve as the butt of the joke. Hollywood’s Asian man is the same handful of cardboard punchlines rotated ad infinitum; just take your pick and call up Ken Jeong: He is a heavily accented buffoon fresh off the boat, blissfully unaware of his many cultural faux pas. He is a soulless tech whiz whose sole purpose is to recite jargon as a number-crunching deus ex machina. He is an awkward virgin who will never get the girl and wouldn’t be able to satisfy her even if he did. In Hollywood, the Asian man is not a man and on the rare occasion that he is, he is still just a body.

“Mainstream America, for the most part, gets uncomfortable with seeing an Asian man portrayed in a sexual light,” said Filipino-American director Gene Cajayon in the『Washington Post』. His film 「Romeo Must Die」 was forcibly changed to show Jet Li’s Romeo hugging Aaliyah’s Juliet, because a kiss between the two “didn’t test well with ‘urban audiences.’”

It wasn’t always like that. I don’t mean Hollywood wasn’t racist once upon a time – it has been from the very beginning. But the racism came in a very different flavour. Asian men weren’t always portrayed as gauche, kowtowing castrati. Quite the opposite. Until WWII ended, Hollywood (and American society) stereotyped Asian men with other men of colour as hypersexual, virile, savage sexual predators who would steal white women from white men.

But Sessue Hayakawa spun it into a career. At the time, America was struggling to reconcile its fear of the yellow peril with its huge Japan fetish, wrote historian Daisuke Miyao in his book on Hayakawa. When 「The Cheat」 became a hit, so did its villain, with most reviews fixating on the acting talent that left his co-stars in the dust. The movie industry started answering to female audiences, so his instant fangirl horde helped immensely. But his production company at the time, wrote Miyao, sustained this stardom by branding him as the perfect balance between East and West – Americanized enough to not be threatening while keeping all the Asian parts white people liked.

Critics pounced to laud and exoticize his zenned out acting technique: “When he portrays sorrow, his pain is of ancient dimensions. When he plays the lover, his smile has the grace and aroma of lotus and cherry blossoms. As the avenger, his body explodes in exotic wilderness. Whoever sees him knows everything about Japan, everything of the beauty of the mystical East.” For the first few years of stardom, he tailored his public persona and roles to exude this image, fluctuating between cruel, sensual villains and tragic, assimilated good guys who’d sacrifice themselves so their white lovers could be with white men.

Women far preferred the villains. “The effect of Hayakawa on American women was even more electric than Valentino’s,” wrote one film critic quoted in Miyao’s book. “It involved fiercer tones of masochism as well as a latent female urge to experience sex with a beautiful but savage man of another race.” Hayakawa himself said, “My clientele is women. They like me to be strong and violent.”

But Japanese-Americans didn’t. They protested 「The Cheat」, which they rightfully criticized as anti-Japanese. This sentiment spread to Japan, where he was considered a “traitor” and “national humiliator.” Hayakawa apologized. In 1918, sick of playing racist stereotypes, he founded his own production company aiming to portray Japanese characters more authentically. But Miyao said he never really could, since he relied on orientalist tropes to eat. “Public acceptance of me in romantic roles was a blow of sorts against racial intolerance,” he later said. In 1921, his company folded after a fight with a distributor who called him a “chink” in public. He was forced to leave Hollywood and alternate between New York, Japan, London, and France for the next decade and a half.

If you thought America had adored him, France was utterly consumed. The intelligentsia even invented a film technique called photographie inspired by his acting, which had critics waxing exoticism: “The beauty of Sessue Hayakawa is painful,” wrote one, in Miyao’s book. “Few things in the cinema reveal to us, as the lights and silence of this mask do, that there really are alone beings. I well believe that all lonely people, and they are numerous, will discover their own resourceless despair in the intimate melancholy of this savage Hayakawa.”

“The effect of Hayakawa on American women was even more electric than Valentino’s” – film critic on Sessue Hayakawa

Meanwhile in America, anti-Japanese sentiment raged. In the years following Hayakawa’s Hollywood exodus, laws targeting Japanese immigrants passed one after another. In 1930, the Production Code passed, outlawing interracial relations on-screen. By now, Hayakawa’s celebrity in the U.S. had plummeted. Everything had come full circle: Both he and “exotic lover” successor Valentino had been unceremoniously dethroned as sex symbols, replaced by the exact type of all-American men whose masculinity they had threatened back in their prime. It’s unclear whether this was driven by female audiences or Hollywood, but rampant xenophobia meant both gladly obliged. Asians could only play villains now, while Asian heroes were played by whites. Nevertheless, as WWII began, Asian villains’ “monstrous qualities” remained “primitively masculine ones – rage, cruelty, lust – and they were still presented as symbols of power,” wrote journalist Anthony Venutolo. “Unlike Hollywood's other minority characters – particularly African-Americans – Japanese males, however evil, were still seen as men.” Until Japan lost. “Along with the de-militarization of Japan, came Hollywood's de-sexualizing of all Asian male characters.”

Hayakawa had spent WWII fighting for the French Resistance. After the war, he went back to Hollywood for a few more high-profile flicks, but never returned to his pre-talkies glory. In 1957, he received an Academy Award nomination for his most famous role as “honourable villain” Colonel Saito in Best Picture winner 「The Bridge Over the River Kwai」. The same year, 「Sayonara」, a Marlon Brando film in which two white men seduce two Asian female stereotypes and a Mexican actor dons yellowface, was hailed as a progressive depiction of interracial marriage.

The year Hayakawa returned to Japan following his wife’s death, Mickey Rooney committed the fuck-up of his career with 「Breakfast at Tiffany’s」 racist caricature, criticized even then by the『New York Times』as “bucktoothed, myopic,” and “broadly exotic.” Hayakawa retired from acting in 1966 to master Zen Buddhism and coach actors before dying of pneumonia in 1973. Bruce Lee died a few months before him after shooting 「Enter the Dragon」, which would help jumpstart Hollywood’s kung fu craze. By then, David Carradine had spent a year in yellowface and prosthetics pretending to be a half-Chinese Shaolin monk in ABC’s hit TV show 「Kung Fu」. Although he had no experience in martial arts at the time, Carradine was cast to replace Bruce Lee because, Japanese-American Academy Award winner Mako remembers a studio executive saying, “If we put a yellow man up on the tube, the audience will turn the switch off in less than five minutes.”

As an Asian-American, watching movies and TV shows can be a bit of a mindfuck. It’s true for most marginalized identities, be they trans women or queer people or other racial minorities. You grow accustomed to Hollywood pretending you don’t exist or reducing you to a faceless, walking set piece, a disposable plot point if you’re lucky. It feels like shit at first, but slowly it becomes almost normal to tune into alternate realities from which you’ve been erased based on true stories that are never yours. It starves you into a complacency that has you bolting upright whenever someone like you has lines, making you overly thankful when there’s nothing negative or stereotypical, ecstatic when it’s actually positive, like you’ve found the fucking holy grail when it’s something well-written and memorable. Because more often than not they end up being a racist joke or lazy caricature, or worse, replaced and whitewashed because people like you are a turn off, a hard sell, just not believable as anyone important. They throw you a bone with Rinko Kikuchi in 「Pacific Rim」, dangle cameos from George Takei or Margaret Cho, pretend they can’t see John Cho and Constance Wu’s social media coup. Next thing you know, it’s back to making children participate in a little bit of Uncle Chang minstrelsy at the Oscars, Emma Stone half-assing a half-Asian or Matt Damon saving China.

Studios feign a deadlock by claiming there are no bankable Asian actors, that casting Asians is a huge risk, that there’s simply no economically justifiable reason to do so. They take no responsibility for creating the feedback loop of not casting Asians because they’re supposedly not bankable thereby leading to them being less bankable. They ignore the countless unknowns and B, C and D-list white actors being cast as race-neutral roles in movies whose profitability clearly relies on something else. They selectively emphasize how China’s box office is so invaluable, scenes have literally been reshot to appease it. But I suppose actually casting Asians would be taking it a step too far. On a silver screen filled with dragons and superhumans and curses and ghosts, Hollywood says, an Asian male lead would require too much suspension of disbelief.

Follow Evelyn Wang on Twitter here @MissEvelynWang



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Chris Lam 「The Importance Of Gay Asian Representation To Me」

Posted on September 01, 2016 commentaires

Chris Lam 「The Importance Of Gay Asian Representation To Me」 - posted on September 01, 2016.

Anyways, this week was amazing for me. I'm definitely looking at getting a Netflix account to access more awesome film that have gay and Asian stories. Because you still don't see a lot of that in mainstream media. And that's why I loved YouTube so much.
Definitely please check out the films I mentioned! Supporting these beautiful films with your money is one of the best ways to make sure they keep coming out!

「Eat With Me」:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLGcaThfRzI

「Spa Night」:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLGcaThfRzI

And please show love to Jenny Yang and Disoriented Comedy for creating the 「Comedy Comedy」 Festival:
https://twitter.com/jennyyangtv



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