Surrogate Valentine


Asian American Showcase

Presented by the Foundation for Asian American Independent Media and the Gene Siskel Film Center, the 16th annual Asian American Showcase runs Friday, April 1, through Thursday, April 14. Among the features screening this week are Chil Kong’s documentary The Mikado Project, about an experimental Asian-American theater company thrown into turmoil by the artistic director’s suggestion that they stage Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado (Sat 4/2, 6:30 PM); Miao Wang’s documentary Beijing Taxi, which focuses on three cabdrivers in the Chinese metropolis (Sun 4/3, 6 PM, and Wed 4/6, 8 PM); and Lesley Loksi Chan’s documentary Redress Remix, about the reactions of Canadian Chinese to the official apology of Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the nation’s history of institutionalized racism (Mon 4/4, 6:15 PM). Also this week, Chicago’s Silk Road Theatre Project will present a staged reading, Seven (Sat 4/2, 8:15 PM).

The opening-night movie is Surrogate Valentine. Albert Williams writes, “San Francisco singer-songwriter Goh Nakamura plays himself, sort of, in Dave Boyle’s rambling black-and-white comedy. Hired to teach a show-offy actor how to play guitar for an upcoming movie, the introverted, diffident Goh soon realizes that he’s become the model for the actor’s performance—and that the actor’s cockiness is rubbing off on him as he gathers up the courage to confess his love to a longtime friend (Lynn Chen). The movie suffers from its reliance on caricatures—the morose musician, the flaky actor—but it’s intermittently amusing, thanks mainly to Chad Stoops’s playful portrayal of the latter.” Boyle and Nakamura will attend on opening night (Fri 4/1, 8 PM), and the movie screens again later in the week (Mon 4/4, 8 PM). For a complete festival schedule see  Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, 312-846-2800, $10, $7 for students, $5 for Film Center members. —J.R. Jones