Tuesday, March 28, 2006

not free

A good friend and documentary filmmaker Hao Wu has been in detention in China for over a month now. No one knows exactly why he was detained, though he was working on a documentary about underground churches in the PRC. No one knows where he's being detained, though he was last seen in Beijing. No one knows how long he will be detained. The situation is scary, infuriating and must be excruciating for his family. There has been sporadic contact between Hao and his family. His family originally requested that the story be kept quiet in hopes for an early release. Now, after a month of waiting, with little or no information and no progress in his case, a press campaign has begun. details here

Friday, March 24, 2006

soldiers, visas and hotel rooms

I've been sitting quietly in my self-imposed exile in Daejeon, Korea. I decided this was a good way to describe why I would want to come to a sleepy university town an hour outside of Seoul. I can't speak the language, I don't know very many people, I hardly know what's going on. I think some people would find this state of isolation frustrating, but in fact, I'm really enjoying the serenity of having less information from the outside world. No eavesdropping and no advertising- just time to focus. However after about three weeks of silence, last week I was pulled out of my bubble and there was a whirlwind of activity.

Visited the DMZ (some flickr photos). It's kind of strange to look across at the "menacing" north koreans and realize they look and dress a lot like Chinese PLA soldiers. After spending so much time in China, it seems more sad than scary. With an accompanying armed US Marine (who was frighteningly charming), endless miles of barbed wire, and bridges with hyperbolic names like "Bridge of No Return" the whole trip was surreal and a little bit overly dramatic. At some point I started to feel like the whole thing was engineered to seem EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. The result of which was an overall sense of anti-climax and fact fatigue.

Then made a quick jaunt to beijing to fix my visa at the korean embassy. My passport was held hostage until monday afternoon when pleas from my employers were finally heard and the processing was accelerated to finish one day earlier than expected.

Jumped on a plane back to Seoul tuesday morning, got on a bus, a train, and another train to arrive in Changwon where a variation of the "Robots!" show was being installed in an expo center. I set up "Flip" and stayed in a really funny hotel room. Rushed back to daejeon on a long distance bus, in time for class, taught for 3 hours and promptly passed out afterwards.

whew. no more activity, please. I just want to sit here in front of my computer, thanks.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Alas! a video clip of the Memoirs of a Chinese Geisha sketch from the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors show last month in Feb. The show was performed in L.A.

Written by Greg Watanabe (who plays the Japanese guy) , shot and edited by Sung Kim, it spoofs the casting choices of the recent "oriental flavored" film Memoirs of a Geisha.