Tag Archives: Hmong

12/27/12 Year in Review

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Happy Holidays from the APEX Express Collective.

Contributor R.J. Lozada compiles different stories from the bay, the country, and around the globe. Every month, a moment, a story-either read on your facebook feed, heard in your conversations, or viewed on broadcast. You’re invited to tune in, and a take an hour to reflect on 2012.

Asian gangbangers and Dirty Harry retired?

Gran Torino starring the Hmong community?  It was a bit of a long ride to get the interview for Apex. Try cracking the Hollywood studio PR department and you gotta be someone to get them to talk to you. Gran Torino was no exception. Except I didn’t want to speak to Clint Eastwood but to the un-sung Hmong actors and extras. So I did a round about and got contacts (thanks Louisa) cuz I knew it was faster to by-pass the studio.

But this here’s always the problem with interviews with anyone or anything with broad “name” recognition like an Eastwood movie: folks you want to interview may not want to talk about what an anti-racist pro-gressive Asian Pacific Islander radio on-line program like Apex wants to talk about.  Will the studio want to review the interview before it airs? Will starving Asian actors be careful about biting the hand that might give them a break?  (Yeah – maybe.)  Were the Hmong actors invited to the film’s gala openings? Are Chinese and Japanese mafia movies tired; will Hmong have a chance to be the latest Asian gangsters? Will folks be happy with these questions? (No – not really.)

But I got lucky on my first call to Elvis Thao – Hmong activist, MC, and extra, (a gangbanger in the film). And more luck. He was more than willing to talk. This is good, if not great.  (Hear it on the Jan 8 Apex show–check out the sites on the blogroll). This is just another way of saying sometimes it’s a better talk if it’s with an extra than a star. You get an extra dab of reality. (by G)