Bruce Lee biopic being developed by daughter Shannon Lee

Shannon Lee, the daughter of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, recently announced her plans in developing a definitive biopic about the late action star. The currently untitled film will be capturing the life and legacy of Bruce Lee in a way that many previous films failed to do, firstly, by being fully supported by Lee’s family.

Shannon remarked that:

There have been projects out there involving my father, but they’ve lacked a complete understanding of his philosophies and artistry… They haven’t captured the essence of his beliefs in martial arts or storytelling. The only way to get audiences to understand the depth and uniqueness of my father is to generate our own material and find amazing like-minded partners to work with.

The biopic is set for a big Hollywood release with big-budget production by Bruce Lee Entertainment, which launched last year in honor of Lee’s contribution to film and culture. The company plans to release the film as the its inaugural project.

CBS: LA Lakers could feature an all Asian-American starting backcourt

AsAm News/CBS Sports:

CBS Sports is reporting that Jeremy Lin could join Filipino American Jordan Clarkson in the starting line up. This would be an NBA first–the first line up featuring an all-Asian American starting backcourt.

Speaking of Lin, coach Byron Scott was quoted in Lakers Nation as saying “He’s really started to get into a groove, ”

Lin scored seven of his 14 points in the 4th quarter of the Lakers 101 – 93 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. He also added four of his six assists in the fourth quarter, according to Sportige. Earlier this week, Lin dropped 25 in a victory against the Utah Jazz. The Lakers have won three straight.

Clarkson has also been playing well. He scored 16 in last night’s win over the Bucks. Since joining the starting line up, he has averaged 14 points a game.

CBS says Clarkson would play the point and Lin the shooting guard. Lakers Nation also reported that Scott planned to put Lin back in the starting line up, but was uncertain if he would play the point or shooting guard.

The line up change could happen sometime in the next week.

Temple in Thailand plans separate toilets due to lack of bathroom etiquette by Chinese tourists

Wat Rong Khun, better known as the White Temple, is one of Chiang Rai’s most famous tourist attractions

Bangkok Post: 

One of northern Thailand‘s most famous temples plans to build separate toilets for Thais and other non-Chinese tourists, officials confirmed on Saturday.

Wat Rong Khun, better known as the White Temple, in Chiang Rai will add the new toilets as a solution to complaints about the lack of bathroom etiquette by Chinese tourists, temple officials told DPA.

Previously, the temple had banned Chinese tourists altogether after Chinese tour groups had left the toilets in a state of disrepair.

They had defecated on the floor, urinated on the walls outside and left sanitary pads on the wall of the bathrooms,” said an official who requested anonymity.

The temple’s designer, Chalermchai Kositpipat, said in a television interview that it was “impossible” for other tourists to use the bathrooms after the Chinese tours, so he would build new ones.

Reports of misbehaviour by Chinese tourists have become an increasing source of concern as their numbers swell. Last year, 4.62 million Chinese visited Thailand, accounting for 18.7% of all international arrivals, more than any other nationality.

In another recent incident, a tourist identified as a Chinese national kicked a bell at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai. A video posted anonymously online drew widespread condemnation.

In the short film, the man first posed for a photo with a row of bells before kicking one of them while laughing as he left the sacred grounds. Reports of tourists in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai relieving themselves in public have prompted further complaints.

In response, officials have come up with an etiquette manual in Chinese on how tourists should behave in Thailand.

Fox Sports: Korean-American James Hahn wins first PGA title

AsAm News/Fox Sports:

You might remember James Hahn as the guy who did a Gangnam dance on the 16th hole of the Waste Management Open in Phoenix in 2013 after birdying there.

Now you can know him for being a PGA champion.

The 32-year old Korean American won his first PGA title, coming out victorious following a three-way playoff at the Northern Trust Open in Pacific Palisades, California, reports Fox Sports.

Humbling is awesome. Winning is awesome,” Hahn said. “Everyone wants me to do the dance. I don’t think they even know my name.”

They do now. James Hahn graduated in 2003 from UC Berkeley after playing his college golf there. The 33-year old has been on the professional tour for three years. He took home a $1.3 million prize. That’s quite different from what he used to do to earn some money.

You can read about that and the big event in his life coming up in about three weeks in Fox Sports.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic presents West Coast premiere of Unsuk Chin’s opera “Alice in Wonderland,” featuring Libretto co-written with David Henry Hwang

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

 

Backstage Pass with Lia Chang:

The Los Angeles Philharmonic presents the West Coast premiere of Unsuk Chin’s daring Alice in Wonderland at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Friday and Saturday, February 27 and 28, at 8 pm. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Get Directions Online). Click here for tickets.

The ground-breaking, fully-staged opera, written by composer Unsuk Chin and Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang, America’s most-produced living opera librettist who is best known for his critically acclaimed Puccini-inspired Broadway play M. Butterflyoffers a new remix of the Lewis Carroll story.

Under the guidance of director/designer/video artist Netia Jones and with visual material derived from the illustrations of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas gonzo-artist Ralph Steadman, Alice in Wonderland offers the audience a collision of styles and influences set on a black and white chessboard floor and featuring the orchestra as part of the set. Jones combines Steadman’s illustrations with live action, interactive animated projections that inhabit the scene alongside the performers, eye-popping costumes and choreography to bring to life Chin’s brilliant take on the Carroll fantasy.

Conductor Susanna Mälkki

Conductor Susanna Mälkki leads the LA Phil in Alice in Wonderland. The cast includes soprano Rachele Gilmore as Alice and other performers listed below. The performance also features members of the Los Angeles Opera Chorus and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus.

Susanna Mälkki, conductor
Netia Jones, director, costume and set design
Ralph Steadman, illustrations
Netia Jones/Lightmap, projection design
Mark McCullough, lighting designer
Jemima Penny, costume realization
Peggy Hickey, choreographer
Rachele Gilmore, Alice
Marie Arnet, Cheshire Cat
Dietrich Henschel, Mad Hatter
Andrew Watts, White Rabbit/Badger/March Hare
Christopher Lemmings, Mouse/Dormouse
Jenni Bank, Duchess
Jane Henschel, Queen of Hearts
Stephen Richardson, Old Man/Crab/King of Hearts
Nicholas Brownlee, Old Man/Eaglet/Fish-Footman/Off-Stage Voice
Lacey Jo Benter, Owl/Two
Rafael Moras, Pat/Cook/Invisible Man
Kihun Yoon, Five/Executioner/Duck
Andrew Craig Brown, Dodo/Frog-Footman/Seven
David Finch, Bill/Mock Turtle
Julian Bertet, Young Boy
Chris Bonomo, Francisco Cardeña, Cesar Cipriano, Eros Mendoza, Jee Teo, and John Todd, supernumeraries
Members of the Los Angeles Opera Chorus, Grant Gershon, Chorus Director
Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Anne Tomlinson, artistic director
Michael Vitale, stage manager
Jean-Michaël Lavoie, assistant conductor
Vanessa Dionne, makeup design
Taylor Ruge, assistant director
John Todd, assistant choreographer
Nikki Hyde, assistant stage manager
Lindsay Lowy, assistant stage manager
Ian Winters, video technical consultant
Emma Keaveny-Roys, UK costume assistant
Richard Valitutto, rehearsal pianist

Alice in Wonderland is part of the LA Phil’s new in/SIGHT series, which features concerts enhanced with video installations, and in some cases, additional artistic elements for a complete and immersive experience. The remaining in/SIGHT presentation in the 2014/15 season is: Beryl Korot and Steve Reich’s Three Talesperformed by Ensemble Signal, led by their music director Brad Lubman (May 29, 2015).

As a much sought-after artist on the international conducting circuit, Susanna Mälkki has a versatility and broad repertoire have taken her to symphony and chamber orchestras, contemporary music ensembles and opera houses across the world. She has recently been appointed Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, effective from the 2016/17 season. The 2014/15 season marks Mälkki’s second season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, which includes a gala opera evening with soprano Karita Mattila, Sibelius’ Tapiola and Mahler’s Symphony No. 9. Later in the season she conducts Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with Natalia Gutman and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. Also in the 2014/15 season Mälkki debuts with the Philadelphia, Cleveland and New York Philharmonic orchestras, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and La Fenice. In addition, she returns to the San Francisco Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic orchestras.

Netia Jones

Described by The Observer newspaper as “the most imaginative director of opera working in Britain today” Netia Jones is a director, designer and film-maker in opera, theatre and classical music. A “leading pioneer in integrating film and video into live music performances” (Times), she is the Director of Lightmap, a mixed media creative studio working in the UK, Europe and the U.S.

Recent projects include Curlew River with Ian Bostridge for Lincoln Center, CalPerformances, Carolina Performing Arts, and the Barbican London, Feldman’sWords and Music for Happy Days at International Beckett Festival in Ireland, and Kurtág’s Kafka Fragments for The Royal Opera House. Future projects include a new production of Atthis by Georg Frederich Haas for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, Les Illuminations with Daniel Harding for the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and a new staged production of Hans Zender’s orchestral interpretation of Schubert’s Winterreise with Ian Bostridge at the Barbican Theatre.

Unsuk Chin. Photo by Eric Redmond

Unsuk Chin

Unsuk Chin was born in 1961 in Seoul, South Korea, and has lived in Berlin since 1988. Her music has attracted international conductors including Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Robertson, Peter Eötvös, Neeme Järvi, Markus Stenz, Myung-Whun Chung, George Benjamin, Susanna Mälkki, François -Xavier Roth, Leif Segerstam and Ilan Volkov, among others. It is modern in language, but lyrical and non-doctrinaire in communicative power. Chin has received many honours, including the 2004 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for her Violin Concerto, the 2005 Arnold Schoenberg Prize, the 2010 Prince Pierre Foundation Music Award, and the 2012 Ho-Am Prize.

She has been commissioned by leading performing organisations and her music has been performed in major festivals and concert series in Europe, the Far East, and North America by orchestras and ensembles such as the Berlin Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Kronos Quartet and Arditti Quartet. In addition, Unsuk Chin has been active in writing electronic music, receiving commissions from IRCAM and other electronic music studios.

In 2007, Chin’s first opera Alice in Wonderland was given its world première at the Bavarian State Opera as the opening of the Munich Opera Festival and released on DVD by Unitel Classica. Her second opera Alice Through the Looking Glass is commissioned by The Royal Opera in London for premiere in the 2018/19 season. Since 2006, Chin has overseen the contemporary music series of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, a series which she founded herself. Since 2011, she has served as Artistic Director of the ‘Music of Today’ series of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. Portrait CDs of her music have appeared on Deutsche Grammophon, Kairos and Analekta.

David Henry Hwang‘s work includes the plays M.ButterflyChinglishYellow FaceGolden ChildThe Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival), and Tarzan. Upcoming productions include two new musicals: The Forgotten Arm, with music and lyrics by Aimee Mann and Paul Bryan, for the Public Theater; and Pretty Dead Girl, with music and lyrics by Anne-Marie Milazzo.

As America’s most-produced living opera librettist, he has written four pieces with composer Philip Glass, including The Voyage (Metropolitan Opera, 1992), as well as Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar (two 2007 Grammy Awards), Bright Sheng’s The Silver River (1997), Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (2007 “World Premiere of the Year” by Opernwelt magazine), Howard Shore’s The Fly (2008) and Huang Ruo’s An American Soldier (2014). Upcoming operas include Through the Looking Glass with Unsuk Chin for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Dream of the Red Chamber with Bright Sheng for the San Francisco Opera.

Mr. Hwang penned the screenplays for M. Butterfly (1993), starring Jeremy Irons and John Lone; Golden Gate (1994), starring Matt Dillon and Joan Chen; and Possession (co-writer, 2002), starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart. With the pop star Prince, he co-wrote the song “Solo,” released on Prince’s 1994 gold album Come. He is currently writing a feature film for Dreamworks Animation and the film adaptation of Chinglish, to be directed by Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow, the Fast & Furious franchise), as well as creating an original television series, “Shanghai,” for Lions Gate and Bravo.

Hwang is a Tony Award® winner and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner, and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He received the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award, the 2012 William Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg “Mimi” Award, and the 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, and recently completed his the Residency One Playwright term at NYC’s Signature Theatre, which produced a season of his plays, including the world premiere of his newest work Kung Fu in February 2014. He serves as President of Young Playwrights Inc, and sits on the boards of the Lark Play Development Center, The American Theatre Wing, and The Actors Fund.

 

Japanese volcanic island grows to 11 times its original size

Screenshot from YouTube user earthspace101

RT:

Japanese island Nishinoshima has grown to 11 times its original size due to the volcanic eruption started in 2013. A recent observation has shown that the volcano goes on erupting ever since and a new increase of the island’s area is expected.

The actual size of the island is 1.95 km from east to west and 1.8 km from north to south, its area is 2.46 square kilometers, but the scientists say there is still plenty of magma to erupt.

“There have not been any significant changes at the volcanic vent of the pyroclastic cone, where eruptions of lava are seen several times a minute,” Kenji Nogami of the Tokyo Institute of Technology said, the Daily Mail reported. “Magma has risen to shallow areas of the vent, and lava flows to the east have continued to stretch out. Therefore, I conclude a stable supply of magma is continuing.”

Screenshot from YouTube user earthspace101

The authorities recommend vessels to navigate in 6 km distance from the island as the volcano can spit steam, ash and rocks. The smoke billows up to an altitude of 1,200 meters. Japanese Coast Guard observes the island from the air using various modern technologies.

The island is located 1,000 km south of Tokyo in the Ogawasara islands chain, also known as the Bonin Islands. The volcanic explosion that happened on November 20, 2013, formed a new piece of land to the southeast of Nishinoshima, made of cooling magma.

The eruption continued unabated and increased the size of the island, with scientists predicting it would link up to the Nishinoshima island. On December 26, 2013, the Japanese Coast Guard confirmed that the two islands had in fact joined up.

The authorities said they would not give the combined island a name until it became stable.

China media pooh-poohs Japanese luxury toilet seats

Japan Times: 

Japan’s luxury lavatories have become the latest flash point with China, after Beijing’s state-run media launched a thunderous tirade against built-in washers and pre-warmed seats on Thursday.

The Global Times, which is affiliated with the Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily, devoted the editorial in both its English and Chinese editions to the subject, under the headline: “Popularity of Japanese toilet seats overstated.”

Buying Japanese toilets “makes a mockery of China’s boycott of Japanese goods,” it said.

That Chinese tourists swamp Japanese stores at a time when the country is facing a sluggish domestic demand is certainly not something to be proud of,” it said.

The two countries are at loggerheads over the East China Sea islets which Tokyo controls and calls Senkakus and Beijing claims as Diaoyu. Both sides have repeatedly sent ships and aircraft to the area.

But despite their political differences Asia’s two biggest economies have close business ties, and roughly half a million Chinese tourists descended on Japan over this month’s Lunar New Year holiday, spending an estimated $882 million, according to Nomura Securities.

It was unclear why the Global Times focused its ire on the smallest room, but it may have been triggered by a Beijing Youth Daily article which said the seats were second only to rice cookers in popularity among Chinese tourists visiting Japan.

The high-tech bathroom accessories, often equipped with multiple water jets, hot air dryers and automatic lid raisers, are common throughout Japan and are often seen as a status symbol among the Chinese nouveau riche.

The Global Times acknowledged that the toilets’ popularity “is not accidental as they explicitly show the human touch, intelligent design and sophistication of Japanese goods.”

But it added: “World-class toilet seats are not what Chinese manufacturers aspire to make.”