Visual Communications presents “VC #TBT” on Thursday, July 30, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Union Center for the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St. in Little Tokyo.
After a four-year absence, Visual Communications is pleased to welcome the return of the summer screening, curated and organized by its intrepid group of summer interns. “VC #TBT” features ten new short films by Asian Pacific American artists that showcase a diverse variety of stories and styles. Stick around afterwards for a post-screening reception in the Aratani Courtyard with free food and drinks, good company, and an opportunity drawing for cool prizes.
• “All the Way,” directed by Allison Nakamura. It’s a Wednesday morning in Salt Lake City and the “Nisei Senior Mixed” bowling league is cooking up competition on the lanes. Black-haired perms bob up and down alongside white-haired comb-overs under the dimmed fluorescent lights. Rants about expired hearing aids and grandchildren gossip weave amongst the crash of strikes and spares. Down-low high fives, gasps, and cheers accompany white Velcro sneakers and tucked-in button-ups. Backed by slouched posture and arthritic hands, the ball rolls straight down the middle.
• “Hello Kitty and Her Fans,” directed by Frances Ito. Sanrio created Hello Kitty and began her globalization in 1974. She is not a cat, does not have a mouth but is an ambassador of friendship. Watch how she takes over the world with her motto: “You can never have too many friends!”
• “Croissant Man,” directed by Tulica Singh. Croissant, a depressed artist, feels that his life as a pastry is meaningless. When his best friend Biscotti takes him out to the junk-food slums to clear his existential blues, Croissant meets a beautiful Pain Au Chocolat vision that inspires him to validate his existence by protecting the Pastries of the Boulangerie from an angry Donut assailant. A nine-part web series, “Croissant Man” combines puppetry, beauty, and melodramatic comedy to look at issues of depression, social stratification, and the brief life-affirming moments that make life worth living.
• “Juliet Juliet — The Sound of Love Musical,” directed by Ken Ochiai. Two rivals bid for the lead role in an annual music festival at a prestigious women’s high school. Things get complicated when a male transfer student appears.
• “Our Place in the Sky,” directed by Yoko Okumura. Starla knows a place where pigtails are on animals and schoolgirls are educated. This is a slam poetry film that pulls back the curtain on fetishization.
• “Insomnia,” directed by Brian Tran. A man goes through his normal routine under a troubled sleep-deprived state. As the day progresses, delusion and reality become indistinguishable until he finally reaches a deeper state of insomnia.
• “Jeannie Wong Wants to Do Everything,” directed by Jeff Man. A portrait of the multi-talented Jeannie Wong: filmmaker, artist, writer, party host, marathoner, dancer, and musician. She does it all and yet still finds that her life is missing something.
• “Remembering Rafu Mandolin Club,” directed by David Osako. The discovery of old reel-to-reel tape recordings exhumed from the back of a closet leads to the resurrection of musical treasures from the Japanese American musical culture of the 1950s-60s, recorded by a Los Angeles band called the Rafu Mandolin Club. The film presents a selected sample of these recordings — highlighting an extraordinary female vocalist, Harumi — along with some moments captured from a 50-year reunion of the original music group members and family at a gathering in a Little Tokyo restaurant.
• “Coming Home,” directed by Steven Liang. Jie Cheng, a well-behaved local Taiwanese high schooler, and Eric, a rebellious international student from the U.S., take a road trip down the most dangerous highway in Taiwan. Their trip is cut short when Eric reveals that he must return home after graduation, forcing Jie Cheng to confront his darkest demons.
• “The Cut Through,” directed by Weldon Powers. Kenneth, a suburban husband, is tired of the neighborhood kids cutting through his backyard to get to the woods behind his house. One day, Kenneth decides to follow the kids into the woods, and he finds out about their discovery of a mysterious portal to an unknown place. With some peer pressure from the kids, Kenneth begins to question his own comfortable suburban lifestyle and considers jumping into the portal with them.
Tickets: $15 at the door, $12 presale online, $10 Visual Communications members, students, and seniors. Go to http://bit.ly/1FDio2E
Parking: Judge John Aiso Parking Lot, 101 Judge John Aiso St. (between First and Temple, across the street from the Union Center for the Arts). $1 per hour; $5 for three hours. Several pay lots are available in Little Tokyo. Metered street parking is also available.
For more information, call (213) 680-4462 or email [email protected]