Friday Favorites Remixed: Dramatic Stories
Friday, July 17, 2020
Asia Society at Home
Discover your newest binge and get to know our staff a little better with the Asia Society Texas Center team's favorite ways to stay entertained indoors! In each post we'll share with you our picks for what to read, watch, listen to, and more.
Our Friday Favorites: Remixed series looks back at the dozens of suggestions our staff members have made over the last few months, collecting them by theme and adding a couple new suggestions to help you find exactly what you most want to nerd out to!
This week's remix surveys a range of dramatic stories via movies, musical artists, TV shows, books, and more.
Recommended by Saleena Jafry, Director of Business and Policy
"Dangal is a Punjabi word which means fighting or wrestling in an arena. The Bollywood film, starring Aamir Khan and released in 2016, revolves around a former amateur wrestler trained in the pehlvani style of Indian wrestling. Despite his passion for the sport, he is forced to stop training to pursue gainful employment. Disappointed by not being able to win a medal for his country, he is determined that one day when he has a son, he will train him to pursue the sport and relive his dream of competing in the Olympics. His desire to have a son does not materialize, and he has four daughters. Despite cultural and societal norms, he decides to train one of his daughters, who shows potential, to succeed as a wrestler. Dangal is a story of hard work, hope, and perseverance."
Find it on: Netflix
Film: Shoplifters by Hirokazu Koreeda
Recommended by Oleg Jolic, Senior Vice President of Operations and Strategic Initiatives
"A beautiful meditation on love and family (biological or any other). In many ways a gentler, more humanistic and spiritually driven take on the class and family than Parasite, Shoplifters is a masterpiece."
TV Show: One Spring Night
Recommended by Jennifer Kapral, Director of Education and Outreach
"My friend Jihye recommended this drama to me, and I am forever grateful to her for the recommendation! One Spring Night is quite different from other K-dramas in that it's gritty, realistic, and unravels unhurriedly. Lee Jung-in is a librarian, bored and uninspired in her current long-term relationship when she meets Yoo Ji-ho — sparks fly, causing her to question, then end her long-term relationship. Jung-in and Ji-ho become friends before eventually beginning a relationship. What makes this drama so interesting is that we get to see what happens when the characters realize that initial attraction is not enough, that they both have baggage they need to work through, and that most importantly, they need to learn to be honest and communicate. This messiness of being a new couple is rarely explored in any dramas, and I found it deliciously slow, deliberate, and compelling."
Find it on: Netflix
Music: Li Yugang
Recommended by Mei Qi, Business and Policy Manager
"Li Yugang is a singer and performer specializing in the 'nan dan' role, which is a male who plays the female role in Peking opera. Peking opera is definitely not for everyone, but I grew up around it due to my mom's interest, so it's really fascinating to me to see and hear how differently Li Yugang acts when singing naturally versus in his opera role. I like these two music videos for providing examples of his 'regular' singing voice as contrasted to when he is on-stage in character. One video also showcases the behind-the-scenes transformation through costume and makeup to prepare for the Beijing opera stage, which is quite dramatic — in both senses of the word!"
Recommended by Alauna Rubin, Production Manager
"Mitski is probably one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful performers in music these days, and sad people should unite and dedicate a depression day to listen to her. She also has a gut-wrenching NPR Tiny Desk performance that everyone should see at least once."
Find it on: Mitski's website
Novel: Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
Recommended by Stephanie Todd Wong, Director of Performing Arts and Culture
"This is such a beautiful and heartbreaking book. Shobha Rao creates a vibrant and cruel world for the heroines Poornima and Savitha. It is a story of friendship that I couldn't put down, all the way up to the surprise ending."
Find it on: Shobha Rao's website (with links to purchase)
Novel: How Much of These Hills is Gold by C. Pam Zhang
Recommended by Kaitlyn Ellison, Performing Arts and Culture Manager
"I recently read C. Pam Zhang's extraordinary debut novel How Much of These Hills is Gold, and I will be following her going forward. I love her use of elements of magical realism, her reliance on mythology, and hypnotizing descriptions of the natural world contrasted against a devastating story exploring the fraught history of the American West. She has created a world that simultaneously makes me nostalgic about the natural environment where I grew up, but also challenges the narratives taught to us about that environment's history in an exploration of family and relationships, land, and identity."
Find it on: C. Pam Zhang's website
Business and Policy programs are endowed by Huffington Foundation. We give special thanks to Bank of America, Muffet Blake, Anne and Albert Chao, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Nancy Pollok Guinee, and United Airlines, Presenting Sponsors of Business and Policy programs; Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, and Leslie and Brad Bucher, Presenting Sponsors of Exhibitions; Dr. Ellen R. Gritz and Milton D. Rosenau, Presenting Sponsors of Performing Arts and Culture; Wells Fargo, Presenting Sponsor of Education & Outreach; and Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Presenting Sponsor of the Japan Series. General support of programs and exhibitions is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., The Hearst Foundation, Inc., Houston Endowment, Inc., the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, McKinsey & Company, Inc., National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, Vinson & Elkins LLP, and Mary Lawrence Porter, as well as Friends of Asia Society.
About Asia Society at Home
We are dedicated to continuing our mission of building cross-cultural understanding and uplifting human connectivity. Using digital tools, we bring you content for all ages and conversations that matter, in order to spark curiosity about Asia and to foster empathy.
About Asia Society Texas Center
With 13 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and West. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.
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