CRISTINA PEDLER AND AIDAN SMITH-FAGAN WRITE – On a sunny Tuesday morning, Kelly Lu sets out red paper gift bags and envelopes on a table along the Palm Walk at LMU. “We prepared hongbao because it’s the year of the tiger,” she says, pointing out a small cartoon tiger printed…Full Article LMU: ASIAN CULTURAL ORGS HELP BUILD BRIDGES DURING LUNAR NEW YEAR
AIDAN SMITH-FAGAN WRITES — These days, remakes and reboots rarely offer surprises on the silver screen. But Studio Chizu’s Belle -which hit US theatres January 14th– goes beyond the typical remake formula to fully reimagine and reinterpret the classic Beauty and the Beast tale. Writer/director Mamoru Hosoda not only builds…Full Article ‘BELLE’ MOVIE REVIEW: A BEAUTY AND THE BEAST TALE FOR THE VR GENERATION
AIDAN SMITH-FAGAN WRITES — After 20 years of war, the Biden administration finally ended the US presence in Afghanistan. And by the end of this year, the US role in Iraq – the second of the America’s 9/11 wars- will be reduced as well. Last July, President Biden announced that…Full Article UNITED STATES: AS AMERICA ENDS COMBAT OPERATIONS IN IRAQ, WILL BIDEN MOVE TO A FULL MIDDLE EAST WITHDRAWAL?
AIDAN SMITH-FAGAN WRITES – Balance is tough for any action film to get right, especially in franchises known for their blockbuster effects and grand set pieces. Too easily, action flicks can fall into the trap of having so many fists flying, guns firing, and cars doing backflips that it all…Full Article ‘NO TIME TO DIE’ REVIEW: DOES FUKUNAGA STICK THE LANDING FOR CRAIG’S FINAL FILM?
AIDAN SMITH-FAGAN WRITES – As I walked out of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, I couldn’t help but note a few of the similarities it has with 2018’s Black Panther: a Marvel hero breaking ground for a historically underrepresented minority, a fictional secret paradise, and a…Full Article SHANG-CHI REVIEW: CRAZY QUICK ACTION
AIDAN SMITH-FAGAN WRITES — By now, the stories have become almost familiar: elderly Asian Americans shoved to the ground, Asian students subject to racist harassment, xenophobic epithets shouted in public. According to the nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans have reported over 9,000 incidents of hate since the COVID-19 pandemic hit…Full Article ASIAN AMERICANS: FACED WITH RISING API HATE, CALIFORNIA CITIES RETHINK PUBLIC SAFETY
AIDAN SMITH-FAGAN WRITES — Japan’s Defense and Deputy Prime Ministers have both recently affirmed their government’s willingness to defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion from the Chinese mainland. Those statements also coincided with a recent report from the Financial Times detailing joint US-Japanese military exercises in the hotly…Full Article DIRE STRAITS: JAPAN, THE U.S. AND THE FUTURE OF TAIWAN
AIDAN SMITH-FAGAN WRITES — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, in Singapore on June 10- marking the sixth Australia-Singapore Leaders’ Meeting, an annual conference between the two countries – and the first in-person meeting between Lee and Morrison since pandemic travel restrictions began.…Full Article SINGAPORE: PRIME MINISTERS LEE AND MORRISON HAVE A SERIOUS CHAT
AIDAN SMITH-FAGAN WRITES — President Joe Biden hosted South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House last Friday. After a day that included a medal of honor ceremony and a long, private discussion between the two heads of state, Biden and Moon held a joint press conference at which…Full Article SOUTH KOREA: PRESIDENTS BIDEN AND MOON ASK, “CAN’T WE ALL GET ALONG?”
AIDAN M. SMITH-FAGEN WRITES — Last month, both America and China released government reports on each other’s human rights failures. Although nothing in the reports is wholly unexpected, given the tense US-China summit last month, the two documents provide insight into the struggle for global diplomatic credibility between the two…Full Article CHINA VERSUS U.S.: HUMAN RIGHTS, NATIONAL SLIGHTS