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BONUS Episode: Asian American Kids' Content (with Lee Ann Kim)

This episode, with special guest Lee Ann Kim, was recorded live at the 2017 San Diego Asian Film Festival. Coming off our season on Asian American Music Movies, we talk about animated musicals like Mulan, Moana, and Ni Hao Kai Lan, before moving into Asian American children's programming in general. Plus, a discussion about how we talk to our kids about what it is to be Asian American and how Asian American creatives should think more about creating meaningful content for young people.

Duration: 00:50:01

Season 3, Ep. 10: A Song For Ourselves

Our last episode of our season about Asian American music movies brings us full circle - from episode 1's "Cruisin' J-Town," produced by Visual Communications, co-founded by Robert Nakamura, to this week's episode about the 2009 documentary "A Song For Ourselves," by Robert's son Tad Nakamura, about the political life and music of the late Chris Iijima. We reflect on how the Asian American movement has evolved in the last fifty years, and how our own individual lives evolve as we learn to...

Duration: 00:19:26

Season 3, Ep. 9: I Was Born, But...

This week's episode is about Roddy Bogawa's autobiographical documentary "I Was Born, But..." which takes us on a journey from his childhood in Hawaii, to his involvement in the punk rock scene in the '70s, to his time as a filmmaker the early 2000s, when this was made. Unfortunately, the film is unavailable on DVD or streaming, so in our attempt to convey the spirit of his work to our listeners who may never be able to see it, we found ourselves doing what Roddy did in his film:...

Duration: 00:17:00

Season 3, Ep. 8: Asian American Music Videos (Part 2)

What started off as us planning to rattle off our favorite music videos turned into an epic history of the Asian American music video form, with much-needed help from our Potluck Podcast braintrust. Impress your friends with your knowledge of Asian American music video, from pre- and early-YouTube to today, with these audio Cliff Notes. We break down the history, from the inspired to the embarrassing, from those videos we got through FTP servers to these modern YouTube videos that rival...

Duration: 00:52:45

Season 3, Ep. 8: Asian American Music Videos (Part 1)

We're doing something a little different for this week's episode: it'll be a two-part exploration of Asian American music videos. Next week, Brian and Ada will be picking a few of their favorite music videos to share with everyone -- so this week, we talk about what technically makes something an "Asian American music video." Asian American musicians? Asian American music video directors? Asian American actors on camera? And we ask YOU, the listener, to tell us what your favorite Asian...

Duration: 00:07:18

Season 3, Ep. 7: The Heavenly Kings

On this week's episode of Saturday School, we revisit the 2006 documentary The Heavenly Kings, by Daniel Wu, about the time the Into the Badlands star was in a Hong Kong boy band with his friends. Sort of. We might have a little too much fun with this episode.

Duration: 00:20:51

Season 3, Ep. 6: Kumu Hina

On this week's episode of Saturday School, we talk about Kumu Hina, a 2014 documentary about Hina Wong-Kalu, a hula teacher at an elementary school in Hawaii that aims to preserve the indigenous culture to the younger generations. Kumu Hina, who identifies as a mahu, someone in the middle of male and female, has the opportunity to mentor six-grader Ho'Onani, who also considers herself to be in the "middle," and we watch Ho'Onani not only join the all-male hula class -- but lead her male...

Duration: 00:13:12

Season 3, Ep. 5: The Taqwacores

On this week's episode of Saturday School, we revisit the 2010 feature film The Taqwacores, which follows a group of characters living together in Buffalo, New York who are part of the Islamic punk scene. We laugh about how in Hollywood movies, the "outsider" character who introduces the audience to a fascinating minority subculture is usually a white guy, but in The Taqwacores, it's an innocent first-generation Pakistani engineering student. We compare a joke Dominic Rains' character...

Duration: 00:15:39

Season 3, Ep. 4: Forbidden City USA/Long Story Short

This week's episode looks at two documentaries about performers in the San Francisco Chinatown nightclub scene in the '30s and '40s: Arthur Dong's 1989 documentary "Forbidden City USA," about the nation’s premiere all-Chinese nightclub Forbidden City, and Christine Choy's "Long Story Short," the story of Larry and Trudy Leung (Jodi Long's parents). Ada and Brian think about how the stereotypes and pressures of Asian performers have changed (or not changed) in the last seven decades -- and...

Duration: 00:14:54

Season 3, Ep. 3: Colma: The Musical

This episode is a straight-up lovefest, as Ada and Brian invite Richard Wong and H.P. Mendoza to talk about their first film, 2006's Colma: The Musical. This is Ada's third time interviewing them about the same exact movie, yet she learns so many new things -- for example how there still has not been a better American musical made since Colma came out over a decade ago. (Brian says this, so it must be true.) Richard and H.P. talk West Side Story homages in Colma and try their best not to...

Duration: 00:25:52

Season 3, Ep. 2: Wave Twisters

We have a very unique musical for Episode 2 of our 3rd season about Asian American Music Movies. It's a 2001 turntablism musical, based on an album by legendary turntablist DJ QBert. Brian reminisces about growing up in the '90s in Cerritos, where there was a prominent Filipino American DJ scene, while Ada admits she was not cool enough to know anything about the Bay Area hip hop scene, despite growing up there. (She listened to a lot of Britney Spears in the '90s.) Brian compares Wave...

Duration: 00:17:27

Season 3, Ep. 1: Cruisin' J - Town

We're back! Season 3 of Saturday School will be about Asian American music movies. There weren't enough Asian American musicals to make an entire season about "musicals," but expanding it to "music movies" allows us to include concert movies, films about musicians, and stories that include music in interesting ways. 10 episodes, every Saturday starting today. We bring you Episode 1, recorded from the floor of the UC Irvine library. Cruisin' J-Town is a 1975 documentary by Duane Kubo, one...

Duration: 00:11:54

BONUS Episode: Flower Drum Song (with Oliver Wang)

This bonus episode of Saturday School -- recorded at the Potluck Podcast Collective Lounge at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival with special guest Oliver Wang -- is the equivalent of summer cram session: while class is usually a swift 10-min affair, this time around, you get a packed 40-min conversation that goes all the way from 1960 to today. We talk about the delight of seeing Asian American movie stars singing and dancing onscreen in a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, discuss the joys...

Duration: 00:40:46

Season 2, Ep. 10: Limited Partnership

This is our last episode of the second season, and we're ending it with a real life epic romance, told in the 2014 documentary Limited Partnership. It's the story of a Filipino American named Richard Adams; an Australian without a green card named Tony Sullivan; and their four-decade-long fight to stay together in America, despite the US government not recognizing their legal 1975 marriage as a "bona fide marriage" that should give them the same rights as heterosexual couples. Earlier in...

Duration: 00:12:54

Season 2, Ep. 9: The Wash

"Falling in love at 18 is magic. Falling in love at 65 is a miracle." This week, we're talking about 1988's The Wash, starring Mako, Nobu McCarthy and Sab Shimono. It's the most excited Brian and Ada have ever been about discovering one of the greatest Asian American romance films ever made, and they had to go to college library basements to find it. Mako and Nobu play a recently-separated married couple in their 60s. She still comes by to do his wash, yet he can't seem to figure out how...

Duration: 00:14:07

Season 2, Ep. 7: The Dragon Painter

This week, we go way back in history, almost 100 years ago to 1919 and a silent film called The Dragon Painter, starring Sessue Hayakawa and his wife Tsuru Aoki. Hayakawa was a star rivaling Charlie Chaplin in the Silent Era, and after being tired of the villainous Japanese roles that were written for him in Hollywood, he created his own production company to make his own movies. The Dragon Painter was restored in 1988 and added to the National Film Registry in 2014. Ada and Brian talk...

Duration: 00:10:28

Season 2, Ep. 6: Living On Tokyo Time

You may know Steven Okazaki as an Academy Award-winning documentarian who's made very serious films about Japanese atomic bomb survivors (White Light/Black Rain, The Mushroom Club) or the Japanese American internment camps during WWII (Unfinished Business, Days of Waiting). But in the late 1970s, he was also part of a San Francisco punk-rock music group called The Maids, and in 1987, he made a wacky romantic comedy called Living On Tokyo Time. It's about a Japanese woman who comes to...

Duration: 00:09:41

Season 2, Ep. 5: Daylight Savings

On this week's episode, we have a special guest: musician Goh Nakamura joins us to talk about the films Surrogate Valentine and its sequel Daylight Savings, directed by Dave Boyle. In both movies, Goh plays a version of himself as he travels around the country on a music tour. Several women enter his life, including Lynn Chen playing his high school crush, Ayako Fujitani as an ex-girlfriend, and Jane Lui as a friend who catches his eye -- but it's him and Yea-Ming Chen, another real-life...

Duration: 00:09:59

Season 2, Ep. 4: Almost Perfect

This week's episode is about Bertha Bay-Sa Pan's Almost Perfect from 2011, a romantic comedy starring Kelly Hu and Ivan Shaw. We've talked about how uncommon it is to have a fully-fleshed-out love story between two Asian American characters in film -- and how it's even rarer it is for those couples to actually have chemistry past a few simple meet-cute moments, only because so many elements have to come together in a film (acting, writing, directing, ample screen time, sometimes movie-star...

Duration: 00:08:58

Season 2, Ep. 3: The Namesake

This week, we're talking about The Namesake, a 2003 novel by Jhumpa Lahiri that was later adapted into a 2006 feature film by director Mira Nair. The trailer makes it seem like the movie is mostly about the American-born son's character (played by Kal Penn) and his romances, but watching it again 11 years later (and 11 years older), we were floored by how romantic the immigrant parents' relationship is (as played by the incomparable Irrfan Khan and Tabu). Their performances show us that...

Duration: 00:09:56

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