Autumn Gem Article in the World Journal

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We have a new article from David Wang about Autumn Gem, our screening tomorrow at the Chinese Culture Center, and our new iPad textbook, in the World Journal today:


自2007年開始籌畫研究,2009年自費開拍「秋瑾」紀錄片的華裔第二代張蕊(Rae Chang)與先生曹健鏗(Adam Tow),日前完成「秋瑾」(Autumn Gem)電子書,已在蘋果iBook上架。內容不但有文字,還有圖片及電影片段,是一本「多媒體電子書」。「秋瑾」目前在舊金山中華文化中心展出,張蕊和曹健鏗將於本周六,17日上午11時,在中心講解電影及示範電子書。
「秋瑾電子書是我們在開拍電影時,就考慮這麼做的,」曹健鏗表示,拍「秋瑾」前,他回母校史丹福大學的東亞圖書館收集資料;張蕊則回母校柏克萊加大東亞圖書館研究,兩人還訪問過美國的專家學者,以及秋瑾的後代,「無數文字和圖片內容,再加上電影片段,成為今天這本電子書。」

張蕊指出,出版電子書是希望藉著影音、照片、文字綜合起來的多媒體,造就一種新的教育形式,「比如說書中談到秋瑾的時代背景,就可以按書中的連結,去看背景資料,或是電影中的片段。」張蕊表示,未來的教材將會朝向多媒體的方向進行。

張蕊和曹健鏗的中文程度不太好,但因為看了一本介紹「鑑湖女俠」秋瑾(1875-1907)生平的書,兩人不但放下工作,還投資了6萬元拍電影,「想把這位少為人知的中國女權運動先驅者,介紹給西方世界」。

「秋瑾是位非常特別的人物,」張蕊指出,婦女在清朝是沒有地位的,裹小腳、不能讀太多書,「而秋瑾不但追求婦女解放,爭取男女平等,還立志推翻封建王朝,是中國婦女運動的先驅。」張蕊今年6月看到中國第一位上太空的女太空人劉洋,她第一個反應是:「劉洋是現代的秋瑾!」

張蕊和曹健鏗今年3月到現在,跑遍灣區所有圖書館,放映「秋瑾」並舉行座談,向大家介紹秋瑾,「很多老僑說看到他們的上一代;而年輕一代則反應對這段歷史有更多的瞭解。」張蕊表示,「秋瑾」放映總共超過120多場,灣區放映之前,曾在加拿大、夏威夷、澳洲、香港放映過,下個月還將到日本去放映。

「秋瑾」電影及電子書詳情:autumn-gem.com。

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Autumn Gem Textbook Now Available for iBooks 2

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We are excited to announce the release of AUTUMN GEM: The Story of Modern China’s First Feminist for the Apple iPad! This interactive book features Qiu Jin’s writings in Chinese with English translations, photo galleries, and selected video clips from the documentary. It is available to purchase for $4.99 from Apple’s iBookstore. For more information and to view a free preview, visit:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/autumn-gem/id551197955?mt=13

Check out the screenshots below:

iBook Screenshot 1

iBook Screenshot 2

iBook Screenshot 3

iBook Screenshot 4

Santa Clara and Hayward Public Libraries Screening Recap

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We’re just hours away from boarding a plane to Hong Kong for our final screenings for 2011. Last week, we had two screenings in public libraries in the San Francisco Bay Area. We showed the film at the Santa Clara City Library and the Hayward Public Library.

Though I’m writing this as I’m furiously packing, it was nice to have some local screenings for a change. The Santa Clara library is five minutes from our house and is the library that we personally go to. Both screenings had very enthusiastic crowds who posed many questions when the lights came back up. We’ve been showing a version of the film that has Chinese subtitles during the spoken English sections. We’ve been working on this version for the past several months in anticipation of our Hong Kong trip.

We’ll be scheduling more screenings at local libraries around the Bay Area in 2012. Check our screenings page for a full list or join our mailing list to get quarterly updates.

And now for some photos from Santa Clara and Hayward.

Southern California Fall 2011 Tour Recap

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It’s been two years since we had our first Autumn Gem screening in Southern California at the Pacific Asia Museum. Since then, we’ve had over one hundred screenings around the world, including stops in Australia, Canada, Texas, the Southwest, the Midwest, and the East Coast.

This past week, we returned to Southern California for a week of screenings at the Cerritos Library, West Covina Library, San Marino Chinese School, Fullerton Library, Diamond Bar Library and Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

As I’ve stated numerous times one of the benefits of traveling with our film is the opportunity to visit with friends and family. In-between screenings, we were hosted by Dave and Audrey and by Rae’s aunt and uncle. We also met up with Rae’s cousin Hans (who played the role of Qiu Jin’s cousin in Autumn Gem), my cousin King-Ming, along with his fiancée Aimee, and Rae’s college friends Ben and Christine in Sherman Oaks.

Following a radio interview at EDI Media in West Covina, we paid a visit to our actress, Li Jing, at her new Wushu Action Star Academy in Temple City. At the San Marino screening, one of Li Jing’s acting colleagues, Peter Kwong, was in attendance. Rae and I remember him as the villainous Rain in Big Trouble in Little China, one of our favorite movies growing up!

Here are photos from our Southern California Fall 2011 screening tour. Our next stop is this Monday and Wednesday at the Santa Clara Library and Hayward Library. Then, we’re off to Hong Kong for several screenings in my parents’ hometown!

Autumn Gem in the Epoch Times

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Epoch Times article on Autumn Gem

The Epoch Times attended our screening at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum in Downtown San Diego last weekend. The newspaper just posted its review of the screening.

曹健鏗與張蕊在影片放映後舉行的招待會上和聖地亞哥中華歷史博物館館長莊紹文合影(攝影: 楊婕/大紀元)

加州華裔後代拍「秋瑾」巡演百場

【簡體版】 【不顯現/顯現圖片】

【大紀元2011年06月03日訊】(大紀元記者楊婕美國聖地亞哥報導)值辛亥革命成功、中華民國建國百年,來自北加州的華裔後代曹健鏗和張蕊夫婦再次攜帶兩人合拍的「秋瑾」記錄片回到聖地亞哥,於5月28日在中華歷史博物館放映,自3年半前完成該片來在各地巡迴放映已過百場。
張蕊畢業於加州大學柏克利分校藝術系,喜愛舞蹈和傳統繪畫。她介紹說,幾年前讀到一本秋瑾傳記,深受感動,因為很多西方人,以及像她這樣在美國長大的華裔從來沒有聽說過秋瑾。秋瑾作為一個性格剛烈的女性民族英雄,給她留下很深的印象。她想,如果能拍一部秋瑾生平事跡的記錄片,讓更多的人,尤其是西方人知道,應該是很有意義的事。
張蕊的想法得到先生的支持。雖然曹健鏗畢業於史丹福大學計算機軟件專業,他也是專業攝影師,對藝術的興趣不亞於太太,兩人也希望有機會成為獨立電影製片人。張蕊於是辭去職位,為拍片全力以赴。
夫婦倆介紹,他們自籌資金,花了兩年多的時間拍片。期間他們到多家圖書館、博物館查找資料, 並到中國參觀了紹興的「秋瑾紀念館」,訪問了秋氏後人,還錄製了美國漢學專家對秋瑾的評價。影片以豐富的史料為主線,加入一些表演鏡頭,由前中國女子武術冠軍、好萊塢華裔女演員李靜飾演秋瑾,使記錄片內容更加全面、更容易讓沒有中國歷史背景的觀眾看懂。
自該片2009年在曹健鏗的母校,聖地亞哥私立學校「La Jolla Country Day School」首映以來,一年多的時間裏,這對年輕的夫婦足跡從美西到美東,並到加拿大。他們除了向公眾放映,還應邀到學校做教學介紹。所到之處,很多人對影片表現出極大興趣。今年十月他們將到香港介紹他們的作品。
張蕊和曹健鏗說,在製作過程中,雙方父母都給予很多幫助和支持,比如他們會幫忙把一些中文資料翻成英文等。這次在中華歷史博物館的放映,也靠曹健鏗的父母,聖地亞哥華裔畫家梁潔貞和先生曹進美牽線搭橋。
2011-06-03 14:47:30【萬年曆】

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum Screening Recap

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Two years ago in May 2009, we held our first major public screening at Adam’s alma mater La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego. Over 100 screenings later, we’ve returned to Adam’s hometown for another event at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.

Early on in our project we had contacted the museum to do background research and also film some historical artifacts. Museum director Dr. Alexander Chuang and his staff were very generous in sharing their knowledge and support for our project. It was great to come back with the finished film and have a showing at the museum’s Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

We had a fantastic turnout with a full house of 100 people, who all managed to fit inside the cozy auditorium. Some audience members had attended our first screening two years ago, and noticed the difference between our earlier version and the latest cut (we’re up to Cut #21 now!).

Many thanks to Dr. Chuang and the terrific museum staff for hosting us and organizing a wonderful reception afterwards.

Here are photos from our screening at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.

AAS Conference

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Wednesday night was the start of the Association for Asian Studies Conference, and after our screening at Hawai’i Pacific University we headed over to the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort to enjoy the welcome reception.

The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) is the largest worldwide scholarly professional association for those interested in the study of Asia. Last October, we attended their Western Regional Conference, held at California State University Northridge. This year’s conference was a much larger affair, a joint event with the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), held at the Hawai’i Convention Center.

With over 5000 attendees, the Convention Center was bustling with activity, and we ran into several people we met over the course of our screening tours. We also saw the three scholars whom we had interviewed for our film: Amy Dooling, Lingzhen Wang, and Hu Ying, and it was great reconnecting with them all at the same place.

Prior to our panel, we attended some other sessions, including “Rethinking the 1911 Revolution” which was moderated by Mary Rankin, who had written an invaluable study of Qiu Jin, “The Emergence of Women at the End of the Ch’ing: The Case of Ch’iu Chin” in Margery Wolf and Roxane Witke’s book Women in Chinese Society.

We also caught a few movies playing in conjunction with the conference, including 1428, a documentary on the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake and the recovery efforts by government agencies and survivors, and Ruby Yang’s Tongzhi in Love, a poignant account of the conflicted lives of gay men in Beijing.

Our panel, “Word and Image in Chinese Film Adaptation,” was organized by Professor Tze-Lan Sang from the University of Oregon. The five panels covered a range a topics in analyzing the adaptation of literary works onto film, and included presentations by Xiaoquan Zhang from the University of Oregon, Alexander Huang from Pennsylvania State University, Hsiu-Chuang Deppman from Oberlin College, and Tze-Lan Sang, with Lingzhen Wang as the discussant.

Prior to the panel, we had lunch with our fellow presenters, all of whom we met for the first time (except Lingzhen Wang). I discovered that Alexander Huang, who had recently written a book called Chinese Shakespeares: Two Centuries of Cultural Exchange, is a colleague of my uncle in Taiwan, who is also a Shakespeare scholar. We also found out some more information about the upcoming feature film on the Xinhai Revolution currently in production in China. Simply titled 1911, it’s directed by Jackie Chan, who plays revolutionary leader Huang Xing. The role of Qiu Jin is played by Ning Jing, whom we’re not familiar with, but in any case we’re looking forward to seeing this when it comes out in September!

We had a tight schedule with our five presentations squeezed into a 2-hour session, but it went fairly smoothly, with a few of us having to shorten our talks a bit to fit into the time limit. Adam served as tech coordinator to help transition between the multiple presentations, and there was time to get in some thoughtful audience questions as well as Lingzhen Wang’s insightful commentary.

Overall, it was a constructive and enlightening experience, and we had a great time participating in the conference. Thanks to all our fellow panelists for a fantastic job!

Here are photos from the AAS Conference.