Dean Yamada

Dean Yamada

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Tough Girl Review


Good
This USC short film by Dean Yamada and Leilani T. Abad (see also The Nisei Famer) had me for about 7 of its 11 minutes. It's about an angst-ridden young girl (hey, what filmic teenager isn't angst-ridden these days?) still coming to grips with her long-deceased mother. She's distant, and she shuns affection, even from the sk8r boi who tries to get close to her.

Continue reading: Tough Girl Review

The Nisei Farmer Review


Good
Though we don't normally review short films, Chris Gore of Film Threat goaded me into reviewing this (along with Tough Girl) at the 2003 Sonoma Valley Film Festival.

This ten-minute vignette concerns an older Asian couple, wrestling over what to do with a reparations payment, a $20,000 payoff for WWII mistreatment. I unfortunately never got entranced by Steven Kondo's leading man performance, while Jude Narita, who plays his saner wife, is far more successful in the role. The cinematography, which paints the California desert farming community in washed-out bleakness, is interesting but a little too grainy and ultimately homogenous.

Continue reading: The Nisei Farmer Review

Dean Yamada

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