Monday, September 8, 2008
Ping Pong Playa Director Jessica Yu and Actor Jimmy Tsai
Ping Pong Playa star Jimmy Tsai with his buddy, Andrew Vo, from Orange County
Irvine -- For our next edition, KUCI's SUbversity show airs a live interview with the director and star of a new Asian American feature film, Ping Pong Playa.
The comedic take on the travails of a basketball star wannabe who ends up becoming a ping pong paddler pokes fun at both mainstream and Asian American stereotypes.
The director (and co-writer), Jesscia Yu, is an established documentary filmmaker undertaking her first feature film. Yu's documentaryshort, Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien, on a writer who lived for four decades paralyzed by polio and confined to an iron lung, won her many awards including an Oscar and an Emmy.
Yu is perhaps best known as the director of In the Realms of the Unreal, her riveting look at the life and erotic obsessions of "outside artist" Henry Darger, whose prolific art formed the basis of her documentary, shown on the PBS series, POV. Yu is based in Los Angeles.
Jimmy Tsai is both the star of Ping Pong Playa and a co-writer. A production accountant turned indie filmmaker and now actor, Tsai was production accountant on such films as Justin Lin's Finishing the Game and Quentin Lee's Ethan Mao.
A young actor from Orange County, Andrew Vo, then 11, also appears in the film as Tsai's buddy.
The film opened in selected theaters nationally Friday 5 September 2008. In Orange County, it screens at Edwards University Town Center 6 across from the UCI campus.
Our interview with Yu and Tsai aired Monday, 8 September, 2008, from 9-10 a.m. on KUCI, 88.9 fm in Orange County, Calif.
Film web site: http://www.pingpongplaya.com/.
KUCI alum Richard Chang's article: www.ocregister.com/articles/asian-american-tsai-2145420-ping-pong.
LA Times review:
NY Times review: movies.nytimes.com/2008/09/05/movies/05play.html?em.
Fandango listing: www.fandango.com/pingpongplaya_115690/movieoverview.