By Allison Lyzenga, My Film Habit
I love a good mockumentary. What mockumentaries say to me is: here’s a group of thoroughly ridiculous people, who fully admit to being a little bit crazy, but who are offering no apologies. Rather, they are reveling in their unique peculiarity. But hey, I guess that’s just actors for you!
Director Chil Kong introduces us to the eccentric members of the Angry Buddha Theater Company, a fictional protest theater troupe that is largely based on Kong’s Lodestone Theater Ensemble.
I suppose there’s always a grain of truth in any good comedy about a group of demanding, temperamental thespians. In the film, this scrappy group of actors is taking on Gilbert and Sullivan’s, The Mikado, a play that has been traditionally irksome to many modern folk because of all of its over-the-top (and slightly insulting) stereotypes of Japanese people.
This group of very strong and different personalities must come to an agreement as to just how they’re going to update this old-fashined classic to speak to the contemporary Asian-American experience. But they also need to make it entertaining enough to actually sell some tickets. The electricity bill’s not going to pay itself!
There’s a lot of breast-beating and gnashing-of-teeth as the actors try to work through this problem, but ultimately, the decision they reach is really a no-brainer. I think you can improve just about anything by throwing in a good hip-hop dance crew.
My regular readers will know that I do love a good dance crew movie. That prissy, little, operetta never stood a chance against the combined choreography skills of half the first season of America’s Best Dance Crew! Now, if only more of life’s problems could be solved with a dance-off.
Film blogger Allison Lyzenga of My Film Habit will be writing features about the films in DC APA’s 11th Film Festival. Read what she has to say about the short What Hip Hop Means by visiting My Film Habit.