Part two of my Queens World Film Festival report and while part of me feels a bit guilty over missing days, it's okay because I still saw some good movies.
Thousand Pieces of Gold. Before Memoirs of a Geisha, there was this film from 1990, also based on a book, based on a true story: in 19th century China, a young woman is sold into an arranged marriage in gold-rush era California and fights to maintain her dignity in a land where her fate is not in her hands.
Fellow Trekkies are quite familiar with actress Rosalind Chao, a supporting actress on both TNG and DS9 as Chief O'Brien's nagging but lovable wife Keiko. Chao, of course, has done lots of television and film work over the years. She's gonna be in next year's live-action version of Mulan.
|Kelly & Yamamoto
receiving the Spirit
of Queens Award
Chao is quite good. It was nice seeing her speak in Chinese. Her character is determined to not be treated as a whore by the men around her, and that propels her through the story, despite her changing circumstances.
Chris Cooper, long before he became Chris Cooper, plays the guy who steals her from her intended husband out of what he claims is kindness, but he's got flaws of his own he needs to overcome.
|l-r: Yamamoto, Kelly and
IndieCollect's Sandra Schulberg
Yamamoto, who was unpaid for Gold, learned what he needed to learn during the $1.8 million production. He characterized his partnership with Kelly to "two dolphins swimming side by side."
In the Soup. New York screenwriter struggles to make a movie, backed by an eccentric financier full of enthusiasm for filmmaking but deals in shady business on the side.
The other Spirit of Queens winner was former MOMI curator David Schwartz, who introduced this 1992 indie darling, starring Seymour Cassel and Steve Buscemi.
Director-co-writer Alexandre Rockwell was on hand to discuss his film. He said it was inspired by people he knew. He talked a lot about working with the long-time veteran Cassel, whom he lovingly called "an absolute madman," an actor who challenged him as a filmmaker.
|Beyond the Veil
- Best Wishes. Marital advice from a father to a son. Kevin Etherson's piece is funny, with a lovable performance from Patrick Garner as the father.
And that's it. Next year is the tenth anniversary, and I think it'll be exceptional.