Indie Game The Movie

Despite all the drama about the indie “rock star” developers, Indie Game The Movie is still an enjoyable movie.  It made me nostalgic about those early days of LAN parties, nerdy guys in gamer shirts, and the camaraderie of old CoJ (RIP CoJ forum TFC servers!).

What I especially liked about the movie (other than the great soundtrack by Jim Guthrie) is that it’s available for download through all sorts of means and is even DRM free.  Now there’s some people who finally get it.

The movie did inspire me to dig out Super Meat Boy on my computer and try to finish it.

Video: A Bite of China

If you haven’t been keeping up with the flogosphere (get it? it’s the food blogosphere!) then you may not have heard of this great mini-series from CCTV called A Bite of China.  The good news is the production value is high and the subject matter is really good. The bad news is that it’s only in mandarin and the subtitles are no-where to be found.  But I have faith that official or unofficial subtitles will turn up soon.

Each 50 minute episode revolves around a theme.  The first episode, Gift of the Nature, focusses on produce that takes work to eat such as the long treks in the forest to dig out tender bamboo shoots, walking many kilometers just to find one matsutake, wading and digging through sludge to get an arm of lotus root, etc.  It’s great that the show focuses on the more traditional way of doing things and that it jumps to locations all over China.

Oh and the food porn shots. WOW.

Full episode list:


Will and I went to a great play called Chinglish while we were in New York.  It’s about miscommunication and the complicated situations it can cause.  What really attracted me to the show was that both English and Mandarin was spoken.  While it helps to be bilingual when watching the play, there are surtitles on stage for those who only speak English. It also helps that the play runs under 2 hours including intermission, for people like me who tend to get itchy-butt 90 minutes in.

The story starts with a businessman, Daniel, who goes to a small city in China’s midwest.  He doesn’t know a word of Chinese, so he meets up with a “business consultant” British guy who speaks pretty good mandarin.  Stephen Pucci, who plays the consultant, has great Mandarin-speaking skills, as well as a decent Beijing-opera-style singing voice which makes for some hilarious scenes. Wacky hijinks follow as the Daniel tries to get the Chinese government to sign a contract with his company.

The dialog, especially the mis-communication issues reminded me of some nights at my parents’ dinner table while they were trying to talk to Will.  It was funny in a that’s-so-true sort of way. Another cool thing about the play was the set design.  The scene changes are done live, with the set and furniture moving in and out on tracks while rhythmic music plays.  Who knew one could get so excited about a scene change.

There was a Q&A session after the show.  One member of the audience started crying tears of joy (I hope that’s what it was!) when he was remarking about how far Asian-American actors have come.  It was touching, but also awkward.

I highly recommend the show, even if it doesn’t come with a slightly-awkward, Q&A session afterward.