Just got back from another two months of shooting in New Orleans. I was lucky enough to catch the Jazz Fest which was two weeks of wonderful music with top liners like Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Santana. Actually the most interesting are the local Jazz and Zydeco music. It feels like a combination of blues and country music with a French accent.
May is also crawfish season. I went to a couple of Crawfish boils, which were crawfish parties where spiced crawfish were boiled in 10 gallon caldrons. When it's do...Read more
I was blown away by my first NASCAR experience last week in Las Vegas. I have seen NASCAR races on TV, but nothing can compare to 170,000 screaming fans on their feet cheering for their drivers. They even drown out the roaring engines of over 40 super souped up "stock cars".
The race covered 400 miles on a 1.5 mile oval course which means 267 laps. The average speed was 170 mph. Cars were crashing into walls and each other. Surprisingly, all the drivers walked away a little shaken up but otherwise unhurt. Why can't our cars...Read more
Just got back from a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam. Angkor Wat was simply amazing. I was awed by the majestic beauty of the temples. Thousands of artists and craftsmen must have sacrificed their lives for this project. And yet at the end nature is ready to reclaim this jungle. Evidenced by the trees that simply overwhelmed the buildings.
Vietnam is a country of stunning natural beauty. From fields of flowers in Dalat in the highland to the lush green rice paddies in the deltas, everywhere I turned there was a perfect pictu...Read more
I have been in New Orleans for the last couple of weeks shooting a new TV series. New Orleans has always been one of my favorite American city. With all the French, Spanish and African influences, it almost feel like a foreign country. It has the seedy and decadent charm of a party town that never stops. As the locals say: Laissez les bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll!
At night the streets of the French Quarter are packed with people drinking and partying. They actually close Bourbon Street so people are literally dancing o...Read more
I have been in Athens for two weeks now consulting on a Greek TV series. It is very exciting to be in the birthplace of theater and very humbling to realize that whatever we do on stage had been done before by the Greeks.
The Greek people are very warm and friendly. They love to sit for hours in cafes and bars talking, arguing or just people watching. The night life is great. Dinner starts after 10pm and usually lasts for 3 hours. Then it's onto the bars and night clubs. My favorite is the rembetatiki which is like a blues club with ...Read more
Last Monday, we had a reception and screening of LUST, CAUTION at Directors Guild of America sponsored by the Asian American Committee. Ang Lee brought his star Tang Wei. She looks so young and fragile in person and yet delivers such mature performance in the film. I am sure she will be recognized for her work.
LUST, CAUTION is a fantastic story about improbable love. How does one reconcile love and hate when right and wrong are not clear anymore? Should she follow her heart or complete her duty? The way Ang explores t...Read more
After spending more than a month in Russia, I have come to really appreciate the enormity of this country; the diversity of it's population and the strength of the Russian character. On the streets of Moscow, there are Middle Eastern faces and Asian faces among the blond hair, blue eyes of the Slavic people. The food is just as diverse and colorful. For some reason, sushi is quite the rave. Having sushi served by a six foot blond in kimono was an interesting experience.
There is a Chinese saying about 吃苦, ea...Read more
Last week I got a call from Sony International. They asked me to go to Russia to consult on the remaking of "I dream of Jeannie" for Russian TV. Boy, we have come a long way since the cold war. Instead of shooting missiles at them, we are sending over American TV shows.
For the last several years, Sony has been licensing old American TV shows all over the world. Shows like "Married with Children" and "The Nanny" are being made in Greece, Turkey, Agentina and Indonesia. I guess that should not b...Read more
The first Asian American Theatre Festival was held in NYC from June 11 through June 24. There were over 30 shows from all over U.S. From drama to comedy; from traditional to experimental; from one man/woman show to full blown production.
It was so exciting to check out what everyone is doing. The best part was to meet the artists from all over the country. So the whole two weeks felt like one big party.
There seems to be a trend, especially with younger artists to explore beyond the traditional ethnic th...Read more
I am very flattered and encouraged by the responses I've been getting. It's great to feel so welcome.
Right now I am directing a play called TeleMongol. It is a sketch comedy about an Asian American TV station that tries to program for Asians, by Asians. We spoof on every Asian American stereotype, nothing is sacred. If you are ready to poke some fun at ourselves and not easily offened, please come join us for a riotous evening. It is part of the Asian American Theater Festival in New York from June 11 through June 24. Thei...Read more