Tag Archives: Hollywood

Bindlestiff Studio’s Icon Exhibition

Sixth and Howard is just a few blocks away from San Francisco’s theater district, but it’s home to what may be the ONLY Filipino American performing arts space in the country: Bindlestiff Studio. Here, actors, comedians, and musicians have honed their craft and built a multi-generational community of performing artists.

The ‘Stiff (as it is affectionately called) has hosted a range of events like Pinoise Pop, a music festival of Asian Americans in rock; Pinoy Midsummer’s Night Dream, where Bindlestiff’s largely Fililpino membership performed Shakespeare; and the current show, Stories High, which is the culminating one-act festival built up from a series of workshops that develop the next generation of theater artists. But what’s not always talked about is the visual art on Bindlestiff’s walls.

Contributor Robynn Takayama met with photographer Nina de Torres Ignacio and Roczane Enriquez to talk about their exhibition, Icons, which is up in the Bindestiff Studio lobby and mezzanine and features Bindlestiff volunteers styled as celebrity icons.

Download the audio by clicking here


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)