Movie Reviews by Sofia Duarte: Asian-American/Pacific-Islander Heritage Month

Here are a few movie suggestions to highlight amazing Asian actors, actresses, directors, cinematographers, etc. during this wonderful month.

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Sofia Duarte

Parasite (2019)

Dir. Bong Joon-Ho

Song Kang-Ho, Yeo-jeong Cho, Choi Woo-shik 

A modern classic, Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite is a psychological thriller that chronicles the life of a small poor family living in modern-day Seoul. They begin to weave their way into the lives of a rich family they all work for, and the more they learn about these people, the more darkness they uncover. The unsettling cinematography, the build-ups, and the elements of surprise all make this a revolutionary picture.  Parasite won four Academy Awards in 2020, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe. Bong Joon-Ho continues to raise the bar for Korean cinema, and as well prove his intense directorial skills, shown again in another amazing film by him, Memories of Murder (2003).

 

Chungking Express (1994)

Dir. Wong Kar-wai

Faye Wong, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Brigitte Lin

Wong Kar-Wai’s Chungking Express is a pop-art drama following the lives of multiple men and women in early 90’s Hong Kong. From a heartbroken cop hung up on expiration dates, to a daring female drug dealer in a blonde wig, you are guaranteed a good time during your watch.

Chungking Express has a genius screenplay, dreamy cinematography, and an angelic soundtrack featuring Faye Wong, Cocteau Twins, The Mamas & the Papas, and The Cranberries. Wong Kar-wai is a master of meaningful and moving motion pictures, some more of his notable films, Fallen Angels (1995), Happy Together (1997), and In the Mood for Love (2000), both show his unique directing skills and abilities and make him one of the best directors to grace our screens.

 

Turning Red (2022)

Dir. Domee Shi

Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Jordan Fisher, Maitreyi Ramakrishna

Domee Shi’s Turning Red is the newest animated film by Pixar this year and has already won the hearts of all that have seen it. Turning Red chronicles the life of 13-year-old Meilin, who discovers that she transforms into a large red panda upon feeling extreme emotions, which as a growing girl is frequent. Domee Shi’s work is not only funny and heartwarming, but she also alludes to the experience of being a girl in modern-day, and about “taboo” subjects that affect girls’ sense of self and naturality (periods, emotions, growing up, friends. Shi also directed the amazing 2018 short film Bao, depicting empty nest syndrome between a mother and her son. Shi is the future of animated cinema, showing a hopeful and bright future for Pixar and Disney