Page 2 September 12, 2019
Ms. Purple is a Visually
Stunning Sibling Drama
By Morgan Rojas for Cinemacy
“373 backers pledged $73,634 to help bring
this project to life.” That’s the impressive takeaway
from director Justin Chon’s Kickstarter
page for his third independent feature film,
Ms. Purple. Chon, who stunned audiences
and critics alike with his sophomore film,
Gook, once again brings a heartfelt story of
Asian American cultural identity and the basic
human desire of belonging to the streets of
Los Angeles in Ms. Purple, now playing at
Landmark’s Nuart Theatre.
Ms. Purple centers on 23-year-old Kasie
(Tiffany Chu) who unexpectedly finds herself
the sole caretaker of her bedridden, comatose,
dying father. Abandoned by her mother as
a child, Kasie has always struggled with
isolation and feelings of low self-worth,
as depicted in the film’s beautifully shot
opening montage where she wanders alone
and aimlessly down Koreatown streets. To
make a living, Kasie depends on the seedy
Soop Sok karaoke lounge, a local hotspot
in the K-town pay-for-play market, where
she works as a “hostess” (among other favors
male customers may ask of her). Just
as she feels like the world is caving in on
her, Kasie’s estranged brother Carey (Teddy
Lee) agrees to return home and help with
their father. Here begins the slow process of
bridging the fractured familial gap between
sister, brother and father.
The brother/sister relationship between Carey
and Kasie is an enviable one. They have much
love for each other, and their dynamic reflects
an undeniable sibling bond where things are
often silently understood without the need to
speak. It’s clear throughout the film that the
relationship between Kasie and Carey is very
tight-knit, and I couldn’t help but reflect at
how fortunate I am to have a similarly close
relationship with my own brother.
Visually, Ms. Purple is a dreamy concoction
of Wong Kar-Wai, PT Anderson and
Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight all rolled into one.
The collection of colors, from sharp neon
lights of the karaoke club to the naturalism
of the morning sunrise, is exuberant.
These pitch-perfect surroundings amplify the
powerful performances from the whole cast
--especially Tiffany Chu, whose raw emotions
are felt bubbling to the surface throughout
the entire film.
Ms. Purple is an all-around electrifying
visual experience, from the production design
to the soundtrack (available on Note For Note
Records) and of course, the authentic and
confident directorial choices. Justin Chon has
made another powerhouse film that feels far
bigger than the result of a modest Kickstarter
campaign. Support true independent film by
catching Ms. Purple this weekend. No doubt
you’ll leave the theatre inspired by both the
film’s message and the future of such new,
diverse voices in filmmaking. •
Ms. Purple, Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories
How I Remember 9/11
On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, the
world commemorates the 18th anniversary
of the horrific attacks of 9/11. I moved from
Indonesia to the Unites States in 2008 so it
did not directly impact me. But when I immigrated
here, I could see how Muslims and
other minority groups who look like them were
subjected to hate crimes. Despite of that I am
optimist. There is so much love in this world
that will prevail over hate and prejudice.
Islam teaches me not to create disorder. We
share common values of humanity, love, and
tolerance and we all desire peace. That is why
the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community launched
the campaign Muslims for Life and organized
blood drives across the country to honor the
2977 men, women and children killed in the
attacks at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon,
and aboard Flight 93 over Pennsylvania.
I recognize there are those who claim to
be Muslims but kill innocent people or create
disorder. So you might ask, how can one
Muslim save life while the other take one?
There is a difference between how a person
acts and the true essence of the teachings of
the faith. It will be ignorant if we consider all
whites are racist or KKK represents American
value. Thus I invite you to ask a Muslim about
Islam. After all, we share the common value
of love, unity and peace.
– Khalida Jamilah •
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Council Gets Aye Vote from Ballmer
as Clippers Arena Gears Up
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By Haleemon Anderson
With the council chambers packed at Tuesday’s
meeting, Inglewood City Manager Artie Fields
reported the details of a community investment
plan that is all but signed, sealed and delivered.
Los Angeles Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer
gave his approval late Tuesday evening, leaving
only a formal Inglewood City Council vote to
usher in the largest commitment of funding to
a municipality by a sports team ever.
“Prepare to be wowed,” said Fields, as he
unveiled color renderings of the Clippers arena,
along with the nuts and bolts of a funding
package that includes $75 million to support
affordable housing developments.
“Housing was key,” said Mayor James T.
Butts, who had come under criticism for steering
a development boom that seemed to overlook
the rising housing crisis in a city of 65 percent
renters. Butts said the City spent a good deal
of time and money launching focus groups
and researching other similar developments
to determine what citizens wanted and needed.
And while Ballmer has been very vocal about
his intentions to be a good neighbor, the specifics
of his pledge to invest in Inglewood as a
community were largely unknown until recently.
The announcement of the deal left the
community buzzing and Butts celebrating the
victory in the wee hours Wednesday morning.
“Ballmer affirmed [our proposal],” said Butts.
“It’s something that has never been done, with
no public funds committed.”
The total pledge of $100 million in benefits
to Inglewood residents represents the largest
community investment package of its kind,
according to Fields. “The Clippers organization
plans to be a real game-changer in the city of
Inglewood,” said Fields. “Not only are they
going to build the most magnificent basketball
arena the world has ever seen… but the community
benefits package could end up being
the most generous in sports history.”
Affordable housing is the top focus in the
proposal. “This was a $75 million ask,” said
Butts, explaining the funding plan was not
intended to build affordable housing directly,
but is rather an incentive-driven mechanism
to help facilitate entities that do want to build
affordable housing by providing upfront capital
on a rotating basis.
Other aspects of the City’s ambitious benefits
deal with the Clippers include funding for youth
programs and job training; homeowner and
rental assistance; City use of the arena; grant
support for college advisement and tuition support;
funding for renovation of the Inglewood
library, parks and senior facilities; and a host
of other community engagement projects.
Set-asides have also been written into the
plan, targeting a percentage of construction
contracts for minority and women-owned businesses
based in Inglewood, and guaranteeing
jobs to Inglewood residents. Construction has
not begun on the arena, but the Clippers could
be playing ball in Inglewood by 2024 when
their contract with Staples Center in Downtown
Los Angeles is set to expire.
The development area, known as the Inglewood
Basketball Entertainment Center (IBEC),
borders Century Boulevard at the corner of
Prairie Avenue, with four stand-alone buildings,
including a retail plaza, team offices, a hotel
and a sports medicine clinic.
The main arena, which Fields describes as “an
architectural must-see for anyone visiting Southern
California,” has a capacity of 18,000-plus,
with more than 4,000 on-site parking spaces,
all just across the street from the new NFL
stadium that will house the Rams and Chargers.
“It’s very contemporary in design, with a very
indoor-outdoor feel and takes advantage of the
perfect climate here in Southern California,”
said Fields. “It creates a very dynamic and
open space for visitors.” The Council is set to
formalize the agreement at its next meeting.
The Inglewood City Council meets every
Tuesday, unless otherwise noted, at 2 p.m. in
the council chambers on the 9th floor, Inglewood
City Hall. •