Arts & Culture Newsletter: Look What Blooms: The San Diego Asian Film Festival’s Spring Showcase

Hello and welcome to the UT Arts & Culture newsletter.

I am David L. Coddon, and here’s your guide to all the essentials in San Diego arts and culture this week.

Among those in Japan who know and love movies, Kinuyo Tanaka is a legend. One of the great filmmaker Kenji Mizoguchi’s best-known actresses, she appeared in 250 films during his half-century career.

But as 11th in the Pacific Arts Movement San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase will light up this weekend, Tanaka also became an accomplished director at a time when a woman behind the camera was unknown in Japan.

The festival’s Sunday Spotlight at 1 p.m. will feature a screening of four films directed by Tanaka: 1953’s “Love Letters”, 1955’s “Forever A Woman”, 1961’s “Girls of Night” and 1962’s “Love Under A Crucifix”. The venue for these and all festival film screenings is the UltraStar Cinemas complex in Mission Valley. The festival runs until April 28.

As well as being, in the words of the festival’s artistic director Brian Hu, “one of the most revered actors in the history of Japanese cinema”, Tanaka was a pioneering director who “explored women’s issues with a very high level of craftsmanship and personal vision”.

Hu calls “Forever A Woman,” about a tanka poet with breast cancer, “truly one of the great Japanese films of this decade (the 1950s). It’s melodramatic, it’s visually arresting. I like directors who embrace melodrama. It is often dismissed, in part because of its association as a “feminine gender”. For me, it’s a cinema that isn’t afraid to scare us or make us cry.

Individual general admission tickets for festival screenings cost between $10 and $12.

Rock music

Noodles (right) and Dexter Holland (left) of The Offspring perform at the Sunset Strip Music Festivals street fair in West Hollywood.

(Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times)

Offspring have been around for so long – since 1984 – that the band’s name seems incongruous these days. The last remaining original member of the punk band from Garden Grove in Orange County, guitarist/vocalist Dexter Holland, is 56 years old.

But don’t expect all the punks from The Offspring’s Tuesday night show at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theater at San Diego State University be in your fifties. Like its longtime Orange County contemporaries Teens and Social Distortion, The Offspring enjoys a much younger fan following. Their current tour is named after the band’s 10th album, released last year: ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’. Don’t let that stop you. This show should be a good time.

Classical music

Award-winning classical pianist Jeeyoon Kim poses

Award-winning classical pianist Jeeyoon Kim

(Jarrod Valliere/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Jeeyoon Kim is not only an acclaimed concert pianist. South Korean-born Kim is a podcaster, arts activist, and author of the motivational book “Whenever You’re Ready: How to Compose the Life of Your Dreams.”

The San Diego resident will perform Saturday afternoon at a La Jolla Music Society concert at Baker-Baum Hall at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center. In addition to her rendition of works by composers such as Debussy, Handel and Chopin, Kim will incorporate poetry into the concert by San Diegans Michael Klam and Rudy Francisco and former world surfing champion Shaun Tomson.

Tickets for the 3 p.m. show are $48.

book party

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, file photo, Amanda Gorman delivers a poem after Joe Biden's swearing-in

In this Jan. 20, 2021 file photo, Amanda Gorman delivers a poem after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

(Associated Press)

Every spring I used to make a pilgrimage to my alma mater, the University of Southern California at Los Angeles, not out of nostalgia but to attend the annual Los Angeles Times Book Festival. Then COVID came and for the past two years the festival has been held virtually.

He returns in person this weekend, free as always. However, on-campus parking is $14.

The country’s largest book festival features exhibitions, author presentations, panels, live music and book books. Guest speakers will include poet Amanda Gorman, whose presence at the 2021 presidential inauguration may never be forgotten.

Aside from celebrity appearances this year — Janelle Monae, David Duchovny, Valerie Bertinelli, among others — the family festival will be a wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with authors.


Tom Frank and Ana Marcu star in CCAE Theatricals'

Tom Frank and Ana Marcu star in CCAE Theatricals’ production of “Once,” which opens April 22 at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido.

(Ken Jacques)

Once is not enough to see “Once,” the Broadway musical based on the 2007 film. I say this especially for audiences who saw a performance of “Once” during its wildly popular run at Lamb’s Players Theater in 2018. takes place in Dublin, the actors are also the musicians on stage, and the setting is a bar.

Lamb’s was a working bar. We will see at California Center for the Arts Escondido, which stages its own production of “Once”, opening tomorrow and until May 7th. Tickets range from $40 to $75.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE THEATER: Plays by Young Writers festival, delayed by COVID, opens May 7 in streaming production

More UT writers

Famous choreographer Bob Fosse, center in a top hat, with the original cast of his 1978 musical "To dance

Famous choreographer Bob Fosse, center in a top hat, with the original cast of his 1978 musical ‘Dancin’,’ which included Wayne Cilento, bottom right. Cilento directs and directs the revival of “Bob Fosse’s Dancin'” at the Old Globe.

(The Old Globe)

Pam Kragen: Old Globe’s ‘Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ aims to both honor and reinvent the legendary choreographer’s 1978 show

George Varga: Charles Mingus at 100: The late jazz giant’s legacy also looms large in rock, hip-hop, film and beyond

Michel James Rocha: In “Lost in The Ark”, a story of faith and forgiveness

David L. Coddon: How creative youth development makes a difference in the community

Karl Peterson: When this Del Mar doctor writes a book, Médecins Sans Frontières gets a windfall

Author and physician Richard Brown

Author and physician Richard Brown

(Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune)


Nadia Bolz-Weber standing looking at the camera

Nadia Bolz-Weber is a blogger, essayist, podcaster, speaker, prolific tweeter, and she even runs a social media forum.

(Courtesy of Nadia Bolz-Weber)

University of California Television invites you to take advantage of this special selection of programs from across the University of California. Descriptions courtesy of and text written by UCTV staff:

“An Evening with Nadia Bolz-Weber”: Nadia Bolz-Weber is an ordained Lutheran minister, founder of House for All Sinners & Saints in Denver, and author of three New York Times bestselling memoirs. In 2017, Bolz-Weber won the coveted People’s Choice Award at the Nantucket Project. Her latest project is a podcast, “The Confessional with Nadia Bolz-Weber”, a partnership with PRX and The Moth. As part of the annual Writers by the Seaside Symposium, Point Loma Nazarene University Journalism Program Director Dean Nelson has a witty, in-depth, and witty conversation with Bolz-Weber about his evolution from youthful rebellion to his journey of spirituality and compassion.

“The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics in the 21st Century”: In “The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century,” Moisés Naím, former foreign policy editor, examines the trends, conditions, technologies, and behaviors that contribute to the concentration of power. power, and the clash between the forces that weaken power and those that strengthen it. Naím focuses on the three ‘Ps’: populism, polarization and post-truths, all of which are as old as time but are being combined by today’s autocrats to undermine democratic life in chilling new ways. . Naím explores how power has not changed, but the way people go about acquiring and using it has been transformed.

“Time, Einstein and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe”: At the beginning of the 20th century, Albert Einstein changed the way we think about time. Now, at the start of the 21st century, the measurement of time is being revolutionized by the ability to cool a gas of atoms to temperatures millions of times lower than any natural temperature in the universe. Nobel Laureate William Phillips, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Physics at University and College Park, University of Maryland, talks about laser cooling and ultracold atoms and their relationship to time. Indeed, the best atomic clocks use ultracold atoms and these clocks are essential to the Global Positioning System (GPS) that guides cars, planes and hikers to their destinations.

And finally: the best events of the weekend

A rider at the Lakeside Rodeo

A rider at the Lakeside Rodeo

(UT file photo)

Here are the main events taking place in San Diego from Thursday, April 21 through Sunday, April 24.

Coddon is a freelance writer.

Helen D. Jessen