Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Documentary Last Days in Vietnam at Harris Theater, from October 24.



The 2014 documentary Last Days in Vietnam will play at the Harris Theater from October 24 through October 30. A synopsis, from the film's official site:
During the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance crumbles. The United States has only a skeleton crew of diplomats and military operatives still in the country. As Communist victory becomes inevitable and the U.S. readies to withdraw, some Americans begin to consider the certain imprisonment and possible death of their South Vietnamese allies, co-workers, and friends. Meanwhile, the prospect of an official evacuation of South Vietnamese becomes terminally delayed by Congressional gridlock and the inexplicably optimistic U.S. Ambassador. With the clock ticking and the city under fire, a number of heroic Americans take matters into their own hands, engaging in unsanctioned and often makeshift operations in a desperate effort to save as many South Vietnamese lives as possible.
A September 4 New York Times review says of the documentary and its filmmaker, Rory Kennedy:
Perhaps the most striking thing about “Last Days in Vietnam,” Rory Kennedy’s eye-opening documentary about the 1975 evacuation of the American Embassy in Saigon, is how calmly it surveys what was once among the angriest topics in American political life. The story is full of emotion and danger, heroism and treachery, but it is told in a mood of rueful retrospect rather than simmering partisan rage.
Showtimes haven't yet been announced. The Harris Theater is located downtown at 809 Liberty Ave. in the Cultural District (map).

Monday, October 20, 2014

1963 Japanese movie Matango (マタンゴ, Attack of the Mushroom People) at Hollywood Theater, October 28.

The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show the 1963 Japanese movie Matango (マタンゴ) on October 28. An SFX review provides more information about the "anti-drug" tokukatsu movie:
A yachtful of seven disparate characters are stranded on a mysterious island. Making a home in a deserted wreck, they discover that food is scarce, except for the mind-altering mushrooms that cover the island. One by one, they succumb to their hunger, and turn into monsters.
. . .
In the States, Matango was retitled as Attack Of The Mushroom People. Although the “mushroom monsters” that pop up at the end are gloriously silly, that monicker doesn’t really do it justice. With its eerie environments – a fog-shrouded beach of black sand; a gangrenous ghost ship – and its cast of self-serving scumbags, this is a surprisingly bleak, disquieting B-movie.
The show starts at 7:30 pm, and tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students. There will be food and drink:
Mushroom delicacies will be served by Wild Purveyors, and Night of the Living Stout beer served by Full Pint Brewery. Doors open at 6:30pm.
The theater is located at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont, and is accessible by Pittsburgh's subway/LRT at a block south of Potomac Station.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pink Box Bakery coming to Oakland.



Someone recently told me Pink Box Bakery Café was planning on opening an Oakland location. Turns out they've been saying this since June. The Taiwanese-owned "Asian-European fusion bakery" that opened in Squirrel Hill on July 7 will open a second location at 4527 Winthrop St. in Oakland (map) later this year or early next. The new store is behind KBox, Pittsburgh's Asian karaoke / K-box / 노래방 spot.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Xinjiang Food by Northwest Chinese Pop-Up Restaurant, October 18 in Bloomfield.



The next Northwest Chinese Pop-Up Restaurant event, "Xinjiang Food", is Saturday, October 18 at Sonny's Tavern in Bloomfield (map). The person slash group Northwest Chinese Pop-Up Restaurant exists to "strive to bring Northwestern Chinese culture to Pittsburgh through its authentic food, arts, music and crafts".

Nakama voted Best Japanese, Best Sushi in Pittsburgh by City-Paper readers again.

Nakama Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar was voted by Pittsburgh City-Paper readers as both the Best Japanese and Best Sushi restaurant in the city in the 2014 "Best of Pittsburgh" poll. On its claim to the Best Japanese spot:
There is no better spot to watch the South Side careen by than from a window seat at Nakama. Add to the experience freshly prepared sushi; an extensive selection of appetizers; steak and fish entrees; and perhaps a signature martini or draft beer, and it's no wonder this spot is popular every night of the week.
Nakama was the top vote-getter in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013 as well. Umi and Little Tokyo came in second and third place, respectively, in the Best Japanese category, and Umi and Penn Ave. Fish Company placed second and third in the Best Sushi category. Japanese restaurants popular with Japanese residents and with those who know Japanese food---Chaya, Kiku, Teppanyaki Kyoto, and the recently-closed Fukuda---did not place.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dr. Shinil Kim and "Achievement and Issues of Korean Education" at Pitt, October 23.



University of Pittsburgh alumnus Dr. Shinil Kim will speak at Pitt's School of Education on October 23 on "Achievements and Issues of Korean Education".
Korea is recognized internationally as having made strong advancements in education. The country is often given high rankins in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), has the highest enrollment rates in secondary and tertiary education, and contributing to the overall economic development of education, among other achievements. Nonetheless, there are still difficult education issues on education that Korean society has to tackle wisely. Shinil Kim's presentation at the School of Education will review the development as well as some of these issues within Korean education.
The talk will be held in 5604 Posvar Hall from 2:10 to 3:15. Registration is required and can be done through October 20 by emailing sks at pitt.edu.

Dr. Kim, a former Korean minister of education and longtime professor at one of Korea's top universities, earned a Ph.D. from Pitt in 1978, writing his dissertation on "A Cross-National Analysis of the Determinants of Public Efforts in Education". He was awarded a University of Pittsburgh 225th Anniversary Medallion in 2013 as a distinguished alumnus.

Mark Nordenberg Seoul
Fourth from left, Via 동아일보.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Taiwanese film Touch of the Light at ReelAbilities Film Festival, October 26.



The Taiwanese film Touch of the Light is one of four movies comprising the ReelAbilities Film Festival this month, and will be playing at Bakery Square on October 26.
When a young, gifted pianist who is blind, arrives from his rural village to the city to attend university, he struggles to fit in with his classmates. But, then he meets Jie, a young woman striving to realize her dreams of becoming a dancer. The two take comfort in their new-found friendship. Based on the true life story of Huang Yu-Siang, who stars as himself, Touch of the Light celebrates the triumphs of those who dare to dream.
The movie plays at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories in Bakery Square (map) and starts at 1:00 pm. Tickets are $5 for students or $10 for general admission, and are available online.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ningbo Yong Opera Troupe at Penn State Greater Allegheny campus, October 13.



Pittsburgh's Silk Screen Arts and Cultural Organization tells us about a free performance Monday evening by the Ningbo Yong Opera Troupe at Penn State Greater Allegheny campus. From a Penn State news item:
The 27 member troupe from Ningbo Performance & Arts Group is traveling to the U.S. from Ningbo, China. The group is planning an approximately 1.5 hour performance, which will include parts from "Andi," adapted from Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer-winning "Anna Christie" as well as highlights from a few other plays.

The Ningbo opera originated from the countryside of Zhejiang Province. As one of the most important local operas, it is widely popular in Ningbo, Zhoushan, Taizhou and Shanghai. With a wide repertoire featuring traditional Chinese opera and interpretations of modern works, the Ningbo Yong Opera Troupe has performed in France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the United States, among other countries.

The group’s recent performance of “The Red Dress” at New York City’s Lincoln Center won the 11th National Spiritual Civilization Five Top Project Prize and the Excellent Repertoire Award of the Seventh China Dance Lotus Award.
The show starts at 7 pm in the Wunderly Gymnasium (campus map). The Penn State branch campus is located in McKeesport, roughly 16 miles southeast of Pittsburgh (map).

"CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections" at Pitt, October 16.

The University of Pittsburgh will host a presentation on coal energy in China and a webcast by former President of the United States Jimmy Carter for its "CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections" on October 16. From the University Center for International Studies:
The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations in collaboration with The Carter Center is conducting the eighth annual CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections program at more than 70 locations nationwide featuring a live webcast and Q&A with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on October 16, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. President Carter’s discussion and responses to questions submitted by the nationwide audience will be moderated by National Committee President Stephen Orlins.

In addition to the national portion of the program, each venue will have a prominent China specialist on site to address topics of interest to the local community, including economics and trade, energy and the environment, security and other issues. Pittsburgh’s China specialist will be Ailun Yang of the World Resources Institute, speaking on “Coal and Sustainability in China—What’s the Future?”
The event runs from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Friday, October 10, 2014

"Rubber Duck Project" in Seoul from October 14.



A familiar face will be in Seoul next week. The Florentijn Hofman installation that captivated Pittsburgh last fall will be in Seoul's Seokchon Lake, outside of Lotte World, from October 14.