Made in Hong Kong Film Festival: A Salute to Kara Wai

If you’ve never heard of the Made in Hong Kong Film Festival, it’s a wonderful event cosponsored by the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office. 2016 marks the twenty-first year since the Festival’s inception in Washington, D.C., with a spectacular line up of films from July 15 through August 7 at the National Museum of American History.

Photo of Actress Kara Wai
Photo of Kara Wai courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

Sunday afternoon featured the second day of a Salute to Kara Wai with a special screening of My Young Auntie (1981). The fifty-six year-old actress won her first Hong Kong Film Award for her performance in the funny and intense kung fu classic made by the Shaw Brothers studio. She plays a young student who marries her dying teacher to protect his inheritance. She delivers the deed to her new nephew and grand-nephew, but greedy relatives are not too far behind. Continue reading “Made in Hong Kong Film Festival: A Salute to Kara Wai”

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Interview with Steven Bartle [Part 2]

Steven Bartle reveals his collaboration with Damon Hess and new projects ‘God Save the King’ and ‘Distant Love.’

Photo of the 'God Save the King' Poster
Courtesy of Steven Bartle

In the first segment of my interview with Steven Bartle, the U.K. actor and writer told me about how his medical discharge from the Royal Marines Commandos shaped the story of his upcoming film short, Recoil. Bartle is very busy on other projects like Distant Love and God Save the King.

As a film producer, are you getting the music for Recoil, too?

I’m currently working with a well-known British producer called Damon Hess, who is doing some of the music for Recoil. It’s a very exciting time to be working with an artist such as Damon. He is collaborating with [DJ and singer] Sonique on a brand new release for Reckless Records due out in the summer.

Tell us about Distant Love, another short film.

Distant Love is actually the first [short] film that I’ve written fully. The husband is doing everything he can to save his marriage that’s falling apart in his eyes. As far as he’s aware, he’s done nothing wrong. He treats his wife like the princess she deserves! But she’s throwing everything back in his face and treating him like he’s not there. In the end, we’re left with this huge twist that I’m not going to reveal. Continue reading “Interview with Steven Bartle [Part 2]”

Interview with UK Actor Steven Bartle [Part 1]

Actor, writer, and producer Steven Bartle talks about his latest project, ‘Recoil.’

Photo of Steven Bartle
Steven Bartle, Courtesy of Bartle Productions

I want to spotlight StevenBartle: an actor, writer, and producer who currently resides in London. Originally from Sheffield, Bartle was a Royal Marines Commando until 2010, when he was injured in an attack that left him blind in one eye and unable to continue in the service. The young man was determined to make a fresh start, which came to be in his passion for acting. The 26-year-old was happy to Skype with me last month to discuss his career and reveal his upcoming projects.

How did you decide to get into acting?

I always wanted to be an actor. However, I never had the courage to do it. I never believed in myself. I went and joined the [Royal] Marines. After that [ended], I was just overcoming some very dark personal issues. I was starting to really think that I may as well come out of that and pursue what I really want in life and not be scared anymore. Continue reading “Interview with UK Actor Steven Bartle [Part 1]”

Middleburg Film Festival Panel: Meg Ryan’s Directorial Debut, ‘Ithaca’

Meg Ryan discusses casting, quality cinematography, and her on-screen reunion with Tom Hanks.

Ithaca Promo Photo
Photo used with permission from the Middleburg Film Festival

In the presence of Meg Ryan, the word “uncertainty” is not likely to cross your mind when it comes to her work. The Golden Globe-nominated actress was remarkably poised and cheerful in her demeanor as she took her seat on the Hill School stage last weekend. That Saturday marked the world premiere of her directorial debut, Ithaca, at the Middleburg Film Festival (MFF) in Middleburg, Va.

“What am I [as a woman] doing here, making a story about boys?” she asked Sam Shepard one day at the set. The renowned playwright and actor replied that she shouldn’t worry, because women make men after all. Indeed, Ryan has much to be proud of with her new film, which was shot at an exhilarating pace (a mere 23 days!) in Petersburg, Va. Ithaca centers upon a coming-of-age story about Homer Macauley, a boy who starts his first job as a telegram delivery boy. The drama is an adaptation of William Saroyan’s The Human Comedy and takes place during World War II. Continue reading “Middleburg Film Festival Panel: Meg Ryan’s Directorial Debut, ‘Ithaca’”

Kevin Spacey Discusses His Career and ‘House of Cards’ at UVa

Kevin Spacey sees Frank Underwood as a “misunderstood” role model in the political arena depicted in the Netflix hit series, “House of Cards.” Therefore, his counterpart would make a wonderful source of information for students looking to be successful at the University of Virginia. At least that’s what the Academy Award winning actor believes. He was in Charlottesville last night as part of the President’s Speaker Series for the Arts, now its second year. Continue reading “Kevin Spacey Discusses His Career and ‘House of Cards’ at UVa”

Giancarlo Esposito Talks ‘Breaking Bad’ and New Projects at Wizard World

As you may have noticed, I have returned to the blog scene after a bit of a break. Earlier this month, Richmond, Va. hosted a Wizard World convention with many exciting panels. Be sure to check out my main page soon for details about the Adam West and Burt Ward panel.

Down the hall from the “Gotham” sneak peek, Giancarlo Esposito spoke to fans in his panel, “Behind the Role.” He is currently best known for his role as Gustavo “Gus” Fring from the acclaimed series, “Breaking Bad.” Esposito has also starred as villains in “Revolution” and “Once Upon a Time.” Continue reading “Giancarlo Esposito Talks ‘Breaking Bad’ and New Projects at Wizard World”