The 33rd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival will be presented April 27 through May 4, 2017 at the Aratani Theatre at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center; Directors Guild of America; Downtown Independent; Tateuchi Democracy Forum at JANM; CGV Cinemas; and additional cinemas in the Los Angeles area. A key highlight leading up to annual Asian Pacific Heritage Month activities, the Festival is produced by Visual Communications, the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, and enjoys broad support from cinema artists and audiences alike. Go to festival.vconline.org for showtimes and tickets.
TRAKTIVIST is proud to be a Community Partner again this year, as well as Co-Presenters of two amazing films!
“Turn Left, Turn Right” by Douglas Seok playing at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA on May 1, 2017 at 6:00 PM
Accompanied by the beats of a ‘60s Cambodian pop song, TURN LEFT TURN RIGHT opens with a shaggy-haired young woman posing amid picturesque ruins of Angkor Wat. The scene, called “Track 1” by the title card, plays a bit like a K-TV music video, and it sets the tone for what Korean American director Douglas Seok describes as a “concept album,” a cinematic experiment blending music, dance, and neo-realism. The narrative proper tracks that flighty young woman, Kanitha (Tith Kanitha), as she fumbles her way through menial jobs in Phnom Penh. While her mother wants her to settle into a traditional family life, she dreams of music and dance. Quiet and seemingly disaffected, Kanitha shows herself to be devoted to her dying father, taking him on a road trip to relive a childhood memory.
Director Seok tells this simple, moving story unhurriedly, with a meditative rhythm evoking the work of Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The Thai master’s influence can also be felt in this film’s collapsing of dreamlife with reality. As Kanitha drifts into her own little world, her drab existence is interrupted by delightful interludes. Coming without warning or obvious cues (besides the “Track” title), these pop music fantasias and abstract reveries (such as images of waves superimposed over Kanitha’s dancing) infuse the film with sheer joy.
TURN LEFT TURN RIGHT is Seok’s feature debut, but he’s no stranger to the LAAPFF, having lensed Steve Chen’s beautiful DREAM LAND from last year’s Festival. Both films, as well as Davy Chou’s DIAMOND ISLAND, part of this year’s program, are produced by Anti-Archive, a collective of young Asian American/Asian European filmmakers creating Cambodian art films. TURN LEFT TURN RIGHT is the group’s boldest, most challenging film, and it will reward viewers looking for fresh new voices in Asian cinema.
— Ryan Wu
"I Got You, Fam" playing at the Downtown Independent on April 28, 2017 at 6:00 PM.
We’ll be just fine, pretending we’re not, we’re far from lonely, and it’s all that we’ve got. Whether in the city, or the suburbs, these stories behind and front of the camera showcases families in their elements; antagonizing, struggling, overcoming, supporting, and loving.
— Kirby Peñafiel