Sunday, October 09, 2005


Go Chinese this weekend! That's the optimistic tag line for "Life, Translated," a film starring Jennifer Li (aka Niu Niu) based on her "Sheep With Wings,' her award-winning book about life at a British boarding school. I saw this movie at ImaginAsian, a tiny Asian-themed art house near the 59th St bridge, with Fernando and Sunil. It seems Sunil knows Niu Niu's boyfriend, Cary Woodworth, who also acts in the film. Shortly after the viewing, we met up with them in front of the Chinese eatery where they'd been dining. They were delightful, and oddly tiny, thin, and life-sized compared to spending two hours with them in widescreen TechnicolorĀ©Ā®. The movie's mostly in English, a little in Mandarin, subtitles in both languages. It evokes 'Mean Girls,''Buffy', and 'Heathers' but with heart and a multi-culti spin. The Mean Girls and the adult characters are a bit cartoonish, but the leads were very emotionally centered. You care enough about them to visit overly familiar landscapes in their company, such as high school rivalries and rugby matches. Apparently it was a hit in China - the NY Times loved it, too. There were, alas, about 10 other people in the movie theater. That cute youngster on the right is Edison Chan, a bona fide Hong Kong teen heartthrob. Both Cary (far left) and his character speak fluent Mandarin, though there's no on-screen explanation. Cary said that was edited out, but that he'd been roommates with Edison Chan's character at a Hong Kong boarding school. I wonder if Niu Niu's book is available in English..

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