Donald Simmons (theengineer) wrote,
Donald Simmons

Odds and Sods

Last night was the opening of the Reel Asian Film Festival, and my brother and I caught Finishing the Game, a mockumentry by Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow) about the attempt to find a replacement Bruce Lee immediately after his death so the studio could finish making Game of Death. Very funny film that completely captures the 70s and Bruce Lee fandom.

The real Game of Death ended up using the 12 minutes of footage shot with Lee, clips of him from other films, one still photo, and a stand-in (Korean actor Kim Tai-Jung) shot from behind, wearing a motorcycle helmet, or in "disguise" with a moustache, glasses, and hat. It's about half-way between a travesty and an abomination.

One of my favourite bookstores, TYPE Books, is opening a new location at 394 Spadina Road (not Avenue). When a new bookstore opens, an angel would get its wings, if there were any such things as angels.

Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together the fourth volume of the Scott Pilgrim saga, came out yesterday, and I was up late last night reading it. This is a fantastic local comic (published every several month in digest form) and if you're not reading it, you suck.

Last week was at the Gladstone for two book launches. First was Beijing Confidential Jan Wong's follow up to Red China Blues (which is on my list as one of the best titles ever), her memoir of how she became a Maoist in university in Montreal in the 1970s, went to China, and gradually came to her senses. In her early days there, she was approached by a Chinese student who asked for help in getting to America, and she reported her to the authorities, an incident she admits she outright forgot until she started editing her diary for the book years later. Beijing Confidential is about her coming to terms with this act, and going to China to track the woman down and find what happened to her.

Next was Reel Asian: Asian Canada On Screen, a collection of interviews and essays on Asian film-makers in Canada, released as part of the Reel Asian Film Festival. The highlight of the evening for me was Colin Geddes and friends (of the late, very lamented Kung-Fu Friday) presenting a slideshow of some of their odder pieces of Hong Kong movie memorabilia and video footage shot at one of the first Kung Fu Fridays, when it was still held at the Metro (Toronto's last porn theatre). I couldn't spot myself, but Colin said he'd be putting the unedited footage on his blog shortly.

I attended the Small Press Fair on the weekend, (organized this year, and organized very well, by Myna Wallin) running into kelpqueen, handful_ofdust, green_trilobite, and moon_custafer, who looked particularly fetching in her retro superhero outfit, designed to promote her chapbook Supervillian, being sold by kelpqueen's Kelp Queen Press.

The rest of the weekend I spent hunkered down, mostly watching Torchwood episodes, which aside from a few clunkers I give a hearty thumbs-up to.
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