Film Review: Bitter Melon (2018) by H.P. Mendoza

“Why don’t we kill Troy?”

“Oh Declan, that’s sick […] How would we do it?”

Perhaps it is in the very definition of family reunions, this blend of fun moments, clumsiness, awkwardness and the inescapable brooding of conflicts. As words are spoken and the first meals and drinks are served, there may be a feeling of tentative unease in the air, especially if a family’s past has not been without conflict. But then again, there just may be no family without a conflict or two hanging in the air once its members have gathered.

Maybe it is this kind of atmosphere which attracted director H.P. Mendoza to the subject. For his feature debut “Bitter Melon” the Filipino-American filmmaker relied upon his experiences with his own family, especially his coming-out as a gay man in front of them. In his statement included in the press kit for the film,
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Today in Movie Culture: One-Minute Cut of 'Predator,' How to Make a European Art Film and More

Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture:   Abridged Movie of the Day: We've got a few months left before the release of The Predator to catch up, but here's a quick one-minute recap of the original Predator:   Filmmaking Parody of the Day: This Nsfw video humorously reveals how easy it is to make an acclaimed and Cannes-worthy European art film:   Character in Close-Up: In the latest edition of Awesome Bad Guys for IMDb, Patrick Epino spotlights Will Ferrell's Mugatu from Zoolander:   Movie Food of the Day: This recent edition of Binging With Babish shows how to make the pineapple and olive pizza from Deadpool:   Vintage Image of the Day: Tobey Maguire, who turns...
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Film Review: ‘Bitter Melon’

Film Review: ‘Bitter Melon’
Domestic violence and black comedy don’t seem a natural match, but to an impressive degree “Bitter Melon” pulls off their shotgun marriage. This third and best directorial feature to date for H.P. Mendoza, best known for writing, composing and starring in 2006’s “Colma: The Musical” (which Richard Wong directed), revolves around an eventful long Christmas weekend for members of a Filipino-American family with a history of abusive fathers. The complex tonal, textural and thematic mix here doesn’t always work, but it’s always interesting and often invigorating.

Christmas in San Francisco may not require winter wear, but there’s a certain amount of frost in the air as the Santos clan convenes for a rare (and nearly full) family reunion. Gay youngest son Declan (Jon Norman Schneider) has flown in from Manhattan, with eldest Moe (Brian Rivera) from Philadelphia, both returning for for the first time in years.
See full article at Variety »

Awesome Asian Bad Guys To Hit Screens June 23 From FilmBuff

We're big fans of the YouTube work by Stephen Dypiangco and Patrick Epino (a.k.a National Film Society) so we're very excited to share the news that these guys' feature debut Awesome Asian Bad Guys is getting a VOD release on June 23 from FilmBuff. An irreverent homage to the nameless, expendable, yet imposing villains of '80s & '90s action flicks, Awesome Asian Bad Guys plunges a ragtag group of Asian "bad guy" actors into a deadly mission to take down La's most nefarious mob boss. The cast uniquely combines popular Hollywood actors including Randall Park (The Interview, Fresh Off the Boat), Al Leong (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon), Dante Basco (Hook), Yuji Okumoto (The Karate Kid, Part II), Tamlyn Tomita (Joy Luck Club, The Karate Kid,...

[Read the whole post on]
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Ifp Announces 2013 Independent Film Week Selected Projects

Ifp, publisher of Filmmaker Magazine, announced today 163 projects in development selected for its Independent Film Week Project Forum. Projects include documentaries by such directors as Academy Award Winners Louis Psihoyos and Cynthia Wade; fiction features by documentarians Jennifer Fox and Jeremiah Zagar; fiction features by web creators Mesh Flinders and Thom Woodley; and an original web series, Awesome Asian Bad Guys, by Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco. In addition, a number of projects from Filmmaker Magazine 25 New Faces have been selected, including new work from Carlen Altman, Sophia Takal, the Zellner Brothers, Alex Jablonski, Pete Ohs & Andrea …
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

Web Series Featuring Kick Ass Evil Asians From 80s Films Seeks Funds

What do you do when you're filming an action movie and you need a villain who can fight the hero in an kickass, choreographed set piece that ends with his death? Why, you use an Awesome Asian Bad Guy, of course! With their knowledge of martial arts and irrelevance to the plot, AABGs make the perfect disposable henchmen. They were all over 80s films like Die Hard and The Karate Kid, appearing for two minutes before being summarily terminated by the leading man. Now, Stephen Dypiangco and Patrick Epino of the National Film Society YouTube channel are hoping to give these ephemeral antagonists their moment in the sun with a new five part web series called Awesome Asian Bad Guys. Awesome Asian Bad Guys will feature appearances from several actors who have a history of playing short-lived Asian villains, including Al Leong (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon) and Yuji Okumoto (Karate
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Movie Lovers We Love: The National Film Society Brings their Irreverent but Thoughtful Commentary to PBS Digital

When filmmakers Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco were looking for a name for their YouTube channel where they'd discuss all things film, they were inspired by an article on Indiewire's Women and Hollywood blog about a "New Faces of Indie Film" panel at the Film Society of Lincoln Center touting the future of indie film.  As Melissa Silverstein at Women and Hollywood and Tambay at Shadow and Act pointed out, only one woman and no people of color were on the panel. "We wanted to be not-that. We aren't white."  They ended up calling themselves the National Film Society because the name was not taken and as they told Indiewire, "We wanted to take this old sounding name and subvert expectations." After only a few months at the helm of their own filmmaker-centric web series, which seems irreverent but is actually quite interested in exploring the ideas that are at the center of filmmaking today,
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Man Bites (Indonesian) Dog

Afp/Getty Images President Obama on May 3.

In 2008, I wrote a column suggesting that if as Toni Morrison said, Bill Clinton was “the first black president,” Barack Obama — the first actual black occupant of the White House — might well be seen as the first Asian American president.

I pointed to his birth and childhood in Hawaii, America’s only state with a majority Asian population; his years spent living in Jakarta with his Asian stepfather Lolo Soetero and half-sister Maya
See full article at Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal »

National Film Society Hosts PBS Online Film Festival

Wow, that was quick. At Filmmaker we’re used to spotting and promoting young filmmaking talent and, within a few years, seeing them graduate to studio blockbusters whose press screenings we aren’t invited to. But when we partnered this Sundance with the nascent National Film Society, we figured we had at least 24 months before they busted out of this joint.

Just five weeks after we ran the National Film Society’s Park City spots, though, the duo of Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco have gone network…. Well, they’ve gone PBS, and that’s a network in our book. From February 27 – March 30 the National Film Society are hosting the PBS Online Film Festival.

From the YouTube page:

Running Feb. 27-March 30, 2012. the PBS Online Film Festival will bring together 20 short films over five weeks produced by a number of public broadcasting organizations including Independent Television Service (Itvs), Pov and the
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Video: “We Are Legion: The Story Of The Hacktivists” Director Brian Knappenberger

Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco of the National Film Society are back with a video interview with director Brian Knappenberger, whose hacker documentary We Are Legion premieres in competition at Slamdance this week.

During the interview, which will give those of you not in Park City a good idea of the snow situation, Patrick and Stephen speak with Knappenberger about hacker group Anonymous, infusing comedy into documentary, and Sopa.

The full interview:

… Read the rest
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Video: Tim Heidecker And Eric Wareheim Of “Tim And Eric’S Billion Dollar Movie”

Filmmaker has partnered with Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco of the newly-founded and ambitiously-named National Film Society for a series of video interviews at Sundance.

In this first video, Patrick and Stephen catch up with comedians Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim on the red carpet before their Billion Dollar Movie premiere. Tim and Eric are their usual absurdest selves, and for their part, Patrick and Stephen turn in what just might be the most laid-back red carpet interview I’ve ever seen:

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie is available on VOD starting January 27th. And for some bonus hilarity, check out this guest appearance that the duo made on Park City TV show In the Can, during which they claim that their movie has been “Rango-ed”

… Read the rest
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Luke Matheny Tells You How To Get An Agent

The auspiciously-titled National Film Society is, according to its YouTube page, “a new media studio co-founded by Los Angeles filmmakers Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco, who’ve decided to take their talents to YouTube. They produce original content, showcase amazing movies, interview talented creators and make fun of each other as much as possible.” The page has short films, interviews about acting and film school (as in, to go or not), and even a (nepotistic) awards show. Below is Academy Award-winning short filmmaker Luke Matheney on getting an agent.

… Read the rest
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

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