Monday, November 26, 2007

Q! Film Festival founder John Badalu

On our 26 November 2007 edition of Subversity, a KUCI public affairs program, we chatted with John Badalu, the founder of the all-free Q! Film Festival, a queer film festival that started in Jakarta and has spread to other towns in the Indonesian achipelago. Badalu discusses why he believes in keeping his festival free of charge and community-based, and how he has managed to keep the state censors at bay.

Badalu was recently on the UC Irvine campus where he met with students and also curated a queer Southeast Asian film shorts program. Badalu is both an independent producer working with some of East Asia's leading filmmakers as well as the director of the Q! Film Festival. The Jakarta-based Q! Film Festival weathered attacks early in its history from fundamentalist religious groups to emerge as the only film festival of its kind in Indonesia with venues in Jakarta, Jogjakarta, and Bali. It is the largest queer festival in Asia. Badalu has served as a juror for the Berlin and Bangkok Film Festivals and as a producer for five independent films.

To listen to the show, click here:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cultural Work, New Media and the Screenwriters' Strike

On the 19 November 2007 edition of Subversity, a KUCI public affairs program, we discuss the nature of cultural work, new media (such as streaming video) and why screenwriters are currently on strike. We talk with Tony Bui ("Three Seasons"), a screenwriter-director, who is actively participating in the current Writers Guild of America strike, and with Sylvia Martin, a UC Irvine Ph.D student in anthropology, who has been doing field observation of the writers' strike and offers an ethnographic analysis of the picketing.

Tony Bui directed and wrote "Three Seasons," shot in Vietnam and starring Harvey Keitel. He also co-wrote and produced "Green Dragon", which his brother, Timothy Bui, directed. Airlifted out of Vietnam at age two, Tony Bui studied film at Loyola Marymount University and shot his thesis short, "Yellow Lotus" in Vietnam. His developed his screenplay for "Three Seasons" at the Sundance Filmmakers and Screenwriters Lab, with the film later winning at the Sundance Festival both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. On the show, he addresses the importance of solidarity with striking screenworkers and the growing numbers of Asian American screenwriters in the guild.

Sylvia J. Martin is writing her dissertation in anthropology at UCI on media industries. She has conducted ethnographic research of the production process of commercial film and television programs in the Hollywood and Hong Kong media industries. Her fieldwork experience includes working at a film and television production company at Warner Bros. Studio and observing on the set of numerous films and television shows, even working as an "extra". Prior to graduate school, Sylvia worked on over a dozen National Geographic Television Specials and in visual effects in feature films.

To listen to the show, click here:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mike Davis, winner of Lannan nonfiction prize, on "Katrina in the Suburbs" and on OC and Academia

Mike Davis at 2002 UCI rally supporting UC lecturers & librarians; photo © 2002 Daniel C. Tsang

Irvine -- On this Veterans Day show, KUCI's Subversity show features a veteran of countless peace and justice struggles and related literary output, cultural critic and UCI history prof. Mike Davis. Davis, who last week won the noted Lannan Literary Award for non-fiction for his prolific body of work, speaks to Subversity about developers and Orange County, and why he would like to reduce his time in academia (from full-time to one-third). He has made such a request to UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake. We talked to him after his recent (October 31) UCI talk, "Katrina in the Suburbs," about the politics of wildfires, which will also air.

Davis, who will receive $150,000 with the Lannan honor, is a past recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship award.
His biography from the Lannan Literary Awards notes:
"Mike Davis was born in Fontana, California, 60 miles east of Los Angeles in 1946, and is a veteran of 1960's civil rights and anti-war movements. From his first book, Prisoners of the American Dream (1986), about unionism in the United States, to his most recent, Buda's Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb (2007), Davis' fearless writing in 18 books shines a fresh light on economic, social, environmental, and political injustice. Some of his other books include City of Quartz, Ecology of Fear, Magical Urbanism, Planet of Slums, Dead Cities, In Praise of Barbarians, and No One is Illegal. He is currently working on a book about climate change, water, and power in the U.S. West and northern Mexico. A former meat cutter and long-distance truck driver, Davis has been a fellow at the Getty Institute and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1998. He teaches at the University of California, Irvine."
The show airs on Monday, 12 November 2007, on KUCI, 88.9 fm in Orange County, California, and is webcast simultaneously via Subscribe to podcasts here: .
He was last on Subversity after the Katrina disaster (14 October 2004). To listen to that show (unfortunately some audio is lost):
Among his recent articles is this one, "San Diego Builds a Statute to an Arsonist: Developers with Matches".
To listen to the show, click here:

Monday, November 5, 2007

Daring Singapore film Solos and its director Loo Zihan

On our next show, airing Monday, 5 November, 2007, we talk with director Loo Zihan (on right in poster), whose provocative new film, Solos, dares to depict a taboo relationship, that of a secondary school teacher and a student.

Loo, who turns 24 next Sunday, plays the teenager.

The film has its U.S. premiere (after its world premiere at Pusan), Sunday and Tuesday at the AFI Festival in Los Angeles. It will also show in Hong Kong later this month.

The film was censored by the Singapore censorhip board and thus taken off the Singapore film festival lineup to preserve its artistic integrity in April.

The film depicts the last stages of a loving -- if agnonized -- relationship between the two with artistic, lyrical scenes in bed, in the shower and elsewhere. Its frank depiction of gay lovemaking -- even a threesome -- is pioneering in the Lion City, where sodomy and other sex acts among males remain a crime. The film also depicts the the mother while the boy is focused on seeking sexual and emotional satisfaction with the man.

Loo, originally interested in becoming a graphic designer, is pursing his MFA in digital filmmaking at Nanyang Technological University's School of Art Design and Media in Singapore, where he was among the first batch of students to enrol in the new school in 2005.

Solos: (Loo is on the right in the first picture)AFI film showings: of director Loo:

To listen to the show, click here: