“Let it Go” composer Robert Lopez (Filipino-American) writing a song for Neil Patrick Harris to perform at the Oscars

Frozen-songwriters

 Audrey Magazine:

Recognize Robert Lopez? Well you certainly should. Lopez was the very first Filipino American to win an Oscar during the 86th Academy Awards. If you don’t yet recognize his name, you’ll certainly recognize Lopez’s work. This songwriter took home an Oscar for composing Frozen’s “Let it Go” with his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

His time with the Academy Awards is far from over it seems. He and his wife are now writing a song for Neil Patrick Harris to sing at upcoming Oscars.

Neil Patrick Harris revealed this news just a few days ago through his official Twitter account. He explained that while he wasn’t at liberty to say what the duo is planning, he can promise that it won’t be a song called “Let It O.”

Of course, an Oscar isn’t the only thing Lopez can boast about. He is also the first Filipino American to be part of the prestigious group known as EGOT. This group– which contains only 12 individuals such as Audrey Hepburn and Whoopi Goldberg –consists of individuals who have won the four top entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Lopez has voiced that he hopes “Filipino artists everywhere take my example as proof that you don’t have to look a certain way for your dreams to come true. It just takes hard work, perseverance and some luck.”

Top 5 Miyazaki films for those who have only seen ‘Spirited Away’ 

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 Audrey Magazine:

By now, you’ve probably heard of the legendary filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki and his award-winning animated film Spirited Away (2001)Some other Miyazaki fan-favorites that come to mind include My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving CastlePrincess Mononoke and Ponyo (If you haven’t seen these yet — go watch them! They’re classic Miyazaki and beautifully rendered).

But apart from these five, how many other Miyazaki films are well-known? With so many Miyazaki films, the average movie-watcher may not bother with films beyond the fan-favorites, but many of the lesser-known films are definitely worth your time. The more you get into Miyazaki’s world, the more curious it gets.

In honor of famous filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki receiving an honorary Oscar last November 8th at the Governors Awards ceremony, here are five of our favorite Miyazaki films that often fly under the radar.


 

1. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

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Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is Miyazaki’s second feature film, and its animation, especially in the 1980s, is impressive. In fact, this is the very film that led to the creation of Studio Ghibli. The film is set a thousand years after an almost-apocalyptic war forces mankind to live in a polluted forest filled with huge insects. Luckily, the princess of the Valley of the Wind recognizes the importance of preserving the forest and its environmental significance.

 


 

2. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

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Kiki’s Delivery Service is often known as the most popular with mainstream audiences, but it’s on this list because many core Miyazaki fans may not regard it as such. While there might be less drama, the basis of the film is its focus on character. The story is of Kiki developing a sense of independence and confidence though her delivery service (by broomstick) in a faraway city.

 


 

3. Castle in the Sky (1986)

http://www.mildlypleased.com/2014/02/miyazaki-month-castle-in-the-sky/

Castle in the Sky is an epic fantasy story with beautiful animation adornment. Not only was it Miyazaki’s third feature film, it was also one of the first to put Miyazaki on the map for being an excellent storyteller. The film is of an orphan girl who inherits a crystal that links her to Laputa, a legendary kingdom. During the adventure, she crosses paths with a brave young man, evil forces and ancient technology.

 


 

4. Porco Rosso (1992)

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Often referred to as Miyazaki’s strangest movie, Porco Rosso is on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Kiki’s Delivery Service. An Italian pilot/bounty hunter has a curse that gives him a pig’s head in place of a human head. As he navigates his life in the early 1930s, Miyazaki gives us plenty of gorgeous airplane and aerial shots.

 


5. Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

https://mubi.com/films/lupin-iii-the-castle-of-cagliostro

Right to the beginning is Miyazaki’s first feature film Castle of CagliostroLupin III is a criminal genius and sly thief who accidentally steals counterfeit bills from a casino. He traces the money to a small country, where he and his ninjas team search for a fortune and save a damsel. As Miyazaki’s first film, the animation techniques are a bit unrecognizable, but there’s something about all Miyazaki films (this one included) that capture a sense of wonder and adventure.

Hayao Miyazaki receives honorary Oscar

Miyazaki with Pixar chief John Lasseter at the ceremony
Otaku USA:

Legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki received an honorary Oscar for his “years of contributions to the motion picture industry” at a ceremony on Sunday.

Receiving the award, Miyazaki said, “my wife told me I’m a very lucky man,” according to the Japan Times.

To coincide with the honorary Oscar, Miyazaki was interviewed by Japanese film expert Mark Shilling for Variety, where he talked about a variety of subjects, including his current projects, the future of Ghibli and the industry overall.

On winning an honorary Oscar: “Somebody must have been pulling strings. Maybe [Pixar chief creative officer] John Lasseter.”

On Hideaki Anno (Evangelion) becoming an anime industry leader: “I wish him the best of luck. It will be hard work though.”

On making short films for the Ghibli Museum: “I will continue to make them.”

On the state of Studio Ghibli: “I don’t anymore. I don’t want to get involved in that sort of thing.”

On the state of the industry: “The kind of animation… made with paper and pencils is dying… There’s nothing inherently wrong or right about a method, whether it be pencil drawings or 3D CG. Pencil drawings don’t have to go away, but those who continue to use the medium lack talent. So sadly, it will fade away.

On retirement: “I intend to work until the day I die. I retired from full-length films but not from animation.”

The entire interview is a fascinating read, so take a look.

 

Miyazaki needs no introduction for most anime fans. Starting his career at Toei Animation, Miyazaki worked on titles like Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon and Hols: Prince of the Sun, directed by Isao Takahata, with whom he would later found Studio Ghibli.

Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the Oscar for best animated film in 2003, but he did not attend the ceremony.

Miyazaki is the second Japanese citizen to win an honorary Oscar. The first went to director Akira Kurosawa in 1990.

Link

BBC: Michelle Yeoh coming back for prequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

 

Michelle Yeoh

 

BBC: 

Titled The Green Destiny, the movie will see Michelle Yeoh reprise her role as female warrior Yu Shu Lien.

Pre-production is believed to have begun. Filming is due to start in Auckland, New Zealand, with two further weeks of shooting in China.

Yuen Woo-ping, who co-ordinated the action scenes in the original, will step behind the camera for the prequel.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon remains the most successful Chinese-language film of all time, making $213.5m (£127m) on its release in 2000.

It won the best foreign-language Oscar the following year, with three more awards in the technical categories.

Ang Lee accepts his Oscar in 2001Ang Lee won the first of three Oscars for the original

Part of the reason for the film’s success was that it operated on many different levels. It was a love story, a martial arts fantasy with a feminist twist and an historical epic set against a backdrop of spectacular locations in China.

Director Ang Lee also employed sophisticated technology that enabled the characters to perform gravity-defying stunts, drawing in fans of the previous year’s box office hit, The Matrix.

But plans for a prequel were delayed by a row over the film rights to Wang Du Lu‘s novels, on which the film was based.

Columbia Pictures claimed it had struck a deal with the late writer’s son in 2005. He denied this, and said he had signed an agreement with The Weinstein Company, another US studio.

With the case resolved, The Weinstein Company is pushing ahead with the prequel, choosing New Zealand as a location thanks to a generous production incentive that offers filmmakers a 20% rebate on money spent in the country.

The Green Destiny draws on the fifth book in Wang’s series, Silver Vase, Iron Night.

This introduces a new generation of star-crossed lovers, and a new series of antagonists in a battle of good and evil,” screenwriter John Fusco told movie website Deadline last year.

Although Fusco is known for US blockbusters such as Young Guns I and II, he also penned The Forbidden Kingdom for Jet Li and Jackie Chan in 2008.

The film, which drew on the writer’s own martial arts training, broke opening day box office records in China.

Check out this link:

Michelle Yeoh coming back for prequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Link

‘Frozen’ ballad wins for Best Song giving Robert Lopez, first Filipino American to win an Oscar, the EGOT

Congratulations to songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who won an Oscar for Best Original Song for “Let It Go,” the hit single from the animated feature Frozen, at Sunday night’s 86th Academy Awards. The big win apparently makes Lopez the first Filipino American to win an Oscar.

Robert Lopez became the latest member of the EGOT family, adding an Oscar to his three Tonys, two Emmys and a Grammy. Lopez and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, won the Best Song Oscar Sunday for “Let it Go,” the hit single from Disney’s animated feature “Frozen.”

The Lopezes delivered their thank-you’s by alternating their way down a list of names, stopping at one point to sing “Happy Oscar to you/Let’s do ‘Frozen 2’.” While a stage version of the musical film is in the works, Disney has not given a greenlight to a sequel.

The Original Song Oscar joins Lopez’s Tonys for “The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q,” his Emmys for Nickelodeon’s “The Wonder Pets” and the musical theater album Grammy for “Book of Mormon.” Richard Rodgers is the only other songwriter to win each of the trophies for composing; producer Scott Rudin was the last person to go for the cycle.

Check out this link:

‘Frozen’ ballad wins for Best Song giving Robert Lopez, first Filipino American to win an Oscar, the EGOT

Link

Top Asian American achievements of 2013

 

Each year, certain people are recognized for their accomplishments in the Asian American communities. There were many incredible feats this year, so we grouped them into 10 accomplishments.

1. President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to the late Sen. Daniel Inouye in August. Inouye was the first Japanese American to serve in Congress, representing the people of Hawaii from the moment they joined the Union.

2. U.S. Senate Confirmations: It was a big year for U.S. Senate confirmations. Pamela K. Chen became the first openly gay, Asian American person to preside on a federal bench when she was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Raymond T. Chen became the first Asian American to serve on the Federal Circuit in more than 25 years with his U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit confirmation.

Srikanth Srinivasan was confirmed as the first circuit court judge of South Asian descent to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

3. Obama appointments: President Obama appointed Twitter’s legal director Nicole Wong to be the White House’s new deputy U.S. chief privacy officer.

In addition, President Obama nominated Vivek Murthy to serve as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. If confirmed, Murthy would be the youngest surgeon general in U.S history.

4. Nina Davuluri made history by becoming the first Indian American woman to be crowned Miss America 2014. She was also the first woman to perform a Bollywood dance on the Miss America stage.

5. Wei Chen, 22, organizer of Asian Americans United in Philadelphia, won the Peace First Prize. He is one of 10 young people to receive the inaugural award, which includes a $50,000 fellowship that honors young people who are engaged in peace-making projects and positive change in their communities.

6. After 23 years of service, Gil Dong was officially named chief of the Berkeley Fire Department, and became the first Asian American fire chief in the continental United States.

7. Taiwanese American Ang Lee won the Academy Award for Best Director for his work on “Life of Pi.”

8. Young achievements: Nine-year-old Carissa Yip became the youngest U.S. chess expert. She reached the expert level at a younger age than anyone since the U.S. Chess Federation began electronic recordkeeping in 1991.

Eesha Khare, a Harvard-bound high school graduate from Saratoga, Calif., took the top prize at the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for her groundbreaking experiment, “Design and Synthesis of Hydrogenated TiO2-Polyaniline Nanorods for Flexible High-Performance Supercapacitors.”

In simpler terms, she invented a device that can charge a cell phone in 30 seconds. In addition, 13-year-old Arvind Mahankali won the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

9. Francis Su, a math professor at Harvey Mudd College in California, was the first Asian American elected president of the Mathematical Association of America.

Check out this link:

Top Asian American achievements of 2013

Link

Hayao Miyazkai’s animated film on the ‘Kamikaze Plane’ hits a nerve In Asia

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Oscar-winning Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki created beloved films such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited AwayBut his latest film is drawing unusually sharp criticism.

The Wind Rises is no ordinary tale: It tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the Japanese engineer who designed the Mitsubishi Zero, the fighter plane (in)famously used in kamikaze attacks in World War II.

Commentators in South Korea have called the film “right wing” and said it “glorifies Japanese imperialism” and “depict[s] oneself as the victim and portray[s] the calamity of war, but fail[s] to point out the cause.”

Criticism in Japan has been no less vociferous: it’s been called “anti-Japanese” and “dim-witted.” One commenter asked, “Wouldn’t it be good to ban the movie that this traitor created?

These intense responses have their roots in the sensitive issue of World War II history — particularly in Asia, where memories of Japanese aggression and atrocities are still very much alive.

A warplane designer may seem like an unusual subject for Miyazaki. His last film, Ponyo, told the story of a goldfish princess. But he’s long been fascinated by aircraft and aviation — and in fact, his father worked at a company that provided the rudders for the Zero.

The Wind Rises is much like Miyazaki’s previous works. His stories don’t have clear heroes and villains; The Wind Rises is no different. Miyazaki says he knew what he was getting himself into with the film.

I knew a film about a warplane designer would raise questions among our staff and the rest of Japan. So I hesitated before making this film,” said Miyazaki. “It has been a long time since the war ended in 1945, but Japan has not really come to terms with neighboring countries about that part of history.”

World War II history has led to contentious relations among East Asian countries.

South Korean commenters point out the Zero was made with forced Korean labor. South Korean President Park Geun-hye refused to meet the Japanese leader without an apology for wartime “wrongdoing.”

In China, the anniversary of the 1931 Japanese invasion, and an ongoing conflict over a group of islands, has led to violent anti-Japanese protests.

And in Japan itself, there have been hate rallies targeting ethnic Koreans, and calls to change the country’s “Peace Constitution,” which was adopted after the war. Miyazaki, who was born in 1941, says “outdated nationalism” in Japan reminds him of the time leading up to World War II — which led to his decision to make this film.

Check out this link:

Hayao Miyazkai’s animated film on the ‘Kamikaze Plane’ hits a nerve In Asia