Brian Yang, who produced the 2012 documentary Linsanity (directed by Evan Jackson Leong), is in Beijing for the Beijing International Film Festival, which means now's a good time as any to remind everyone that you can watch his 88-minute doc for free on iQiyi (embedded above; just turn off your VPNs, China people).
There's the only picture evidence you need that Badr Benjelloun's tipple of choice is rum -- pure rum, navy rum, sweet rum, fragrant Yunnan rum, Cuban rum ("love, passion")... Captain Morgan's... it doesn't matter. The man will take your rum and sell it back, likely with a historical anecdote on the side.
The fourth Beijing International Film Festival opened on Wednesday, and it looks like it's already less boring than last year's. For that we have the Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone to thank, who on Thursday in a panel discussion spoke provocatively on Mao Zedong and urged the Chinese to confront their history. As The Hollywood Reporter reports:
Beginning today, we'll be posting, piecemeal, the entirety of our March 16 event Poetry Night in Beijing, co-hosted by Pathlight Magazine for the Bookworm Literary Festival. (A big shout-out to Patrick Lozada for filming.) Up first was physics teacher / poet Stephen Nashef, introduced by Pathlight poetry editor Canaan Morse.
DC rappers Pacman and Peso, who made waves in January after releasing a music video filmed in Pyongyang, North Korea (a trip that their friend and colleague, Ramsey Aburdene, documented for this site), are back with another video, this one set in Beijing. There's a lot to love about this, including:
Links! Meanwhile, I've folded sobriety into a bundle and won't see it again till the morning. Likely drunk on rum thanks to the Anthill and Cu Ju's Writers and Rum event, a Creamcast of which will be posted in time.
If you're not following Chris Buckley (@ChuBailiang) on Twitter, you probably should. The New York Times reporter who gave us panda TV (addendum: postmodern panda watching pandas on TV), double-decker bus-driving fail, and his timely "Pulitzer Prize" series of tweets (e.g., "...for urban planning goes to Zhengzhou for planting trees under an expressway") is who we should thank for the above, via People.cn, which really needs no additional commentary.
The new deputy chief of Qianjiang township in Laibin, Guangxi is dead. Zhong Xiefei, on the night of April 9, died while solemnly performing his duty as loyal servant of the people. Let this be a warning for all those in China who aspire for public office...
Those of you who follow us will know about C4, the sometimes funny, certainly unique, not-unnoteworthy comedy/variety show via China Radio International that we sporadically syndicate. Among the fun things that hosts Rob Hemsley and Stuart Wiggin have done recently -- though not quite as good as "The Panda" -- is a bloopers segment that featured none other than Xi Jinping.
"Unexplained disturbances" caused a glass door to shatter on Line 1 of the subway system in Shenyang, Liaoning province this morning, though the likely cause, per chatter on microblogs, is a fight that occurred inside the train.
The latest update on still-missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 -- New York Times: "China’s Actions in Hunt for Jet Are Seen as Hurting as Much as Helping" -- puts the attention on China's naval incompetence and prestige hunting. Apparently good intentions don't get you good press. I read the Times's article while slowly shaking my head at the entirety of the MH370 situation/mess. Then I came to this quote:
There are some serious amateur filmmakers working for the United States's Federal Bureau of Investigation -- I can think of no other reason why Game of Pawns would exist: a nearly half-hour mini-movie that tells the story of Glenn Duffie Shriver, who was bribed by Chinese officials when he was studying in Shanghai to pass along sensitive information. Shriver made $70,000 before he was caught. He's now in the US serving out a four-year sentence in federal prison.
Here's a strange little story from the other side of the world. Frances Chan, a 20-year-old history major at Yale, was apparently told by her school's health center officials that she was dangerously underweight at 92 pounds. She's 5-foot-2, and according to the ideal weight calculator, someone between her age and height should weigh at least 97 pounds. As Chan wrote on Huffington Post last month about her ordeal:
What's your cure for pain? If you say television, you're sadder than sad can be. But if you say television and you're a giant panda, you must live in the plushy confines of Yunnan Wild Animal Park. Check out the smirk on that ursine flaneur!
Global Times is back with another reader contest, "What are your misconceptions?" Those who answer that question as it relates to China -- with either short essay (150-250 words), photo, video, etc. ("the possibilities are endless!" Endless?) -- can win a stay at the Grand Millennium Beijing. So, Global Times, mind if we get an example?