Films for Bridging Cultures

18 09 2010

Today, I went out to watch a film called Harimaya Bridge.  True to its name it’s a film about bridging cultures specifically of the America and Japan type, although it isn’t the first film to do so. Another film in its category: Big Dreams Little Tokyo. (Click Here for a review by DarkMirage)

Harimaya Bridge dealt with generations, cultures, and family (For a synopsis go elsewhere). While Big Dreams Little Tokyo went more pragmatist and dealt with social, business, and intellectual opportunities. But for both films the sensation is when the paradigm shift yields favorable results. In Harimaya the paradigm shift occurred when he was able to see what was in front of him and link them treasured moments in his past to overcome his contempt in order to learn to share the dreams and accomplishments of future generations instead of clinging to the past.

While Harimaya Bridge took place in Japan, Big Dreams Little Tokyo took place right here in America, Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Unlike with an older generation, this movie concerns a newer generation and explores a not so apparent relationship between knowing another culture and one’s success in life. The appeal with our generation on this one is that we’re fresh out of college/high school and we’re looking to strike it rich, we’re looking for jobs, maybe we want the pride and glory of entrepreneurship without the willingness to actually work with it or be patient about it which leads to a great deal of frustration.

Culture bridging films are great, and I think as pointed out in Big Dreams Little Tokyo, unless it’s a hell of a book, then it probably won’t sell. So why not make it a movie? There may have been more movies about bridging cultures, maybe not with Japan and the US like the ones exemplified in this blog post, but with just these two, they’ve covered a large spectrum of ideas. They’re very hard to come by, however— a good one, that is.

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Romance of the Three Kingdoms, or as I like to call it “ROT3K”. A Guide for the modern audience.

4 09 2010

My experience with the Three Kingdoms as a kid was a intriguing one. I never took much interest. Growing up as Thai descended from Chinese, I often saw the Three Kingdoms and its influence as a sort of relic. In places I would go, Chinese restaurants and homes, there would be a statue of a long, bearded man with a red face. These statues would range anywhere from about 1/4th scale to 1/3rd with life-sized or larger-than-life ones being viewable in museums or Chinese historical sites. This was the statue of Guan Yu. Never having come to my attention as to why he was revered, I had posed the question lately, to my Aunt, the answer “His Integrity”. Having read most of the 1st volume, there being 4 volumes each with over 1000 pages (you do the math), I have come to learn that, yes, Lord Guan was highly respected, even in the novel for his integrity and loyalty to his brother “Liu Bei” also known as “Liu Xuande”. [More after the break] Read the rest of this entry »