So Here's What Happened

10/15/2021

So Here’s What Happened – September Episode #31

Season 2, Ep. 31
September Episode of So Here’s What Happened! picks up withLaNeysha andCarolyndiscussing andreview everything theywatched and readduring the month. The September episode of the podcast features includeSquid Game, Midnight Mass, Yumi's Cells,andDetention.Featured series for this episode:Squid Game,Midnight Mass,TheTension, andYumi's CellsSquid Gameis aSouth Koreansurvival dramaseries streaming onNetflix. Written and directed byHwang Dong-hyuk, it starsLee Jung-jae,Park Hae-soo,Wi Ha-joon,Jung Ho-yeon,O Yeong-su,Heo Sung-tae,Anupam Tripathi, andKim Joo-ryoung.The series centers on a competition in which 456 players, all of them come from different walks of life, but the one thing they have in common is being deep debt. Desperate to win a ginormous cash prize of ₩45.6 billion (equivalent to $38.5 million USD), the contestants must play a series of children's games with deadly consequences if they lose.Midnight Massis an American supernaturalhorror limited seriesstreaming exclusively on Netflix. The series is created and directed by Mike Flanagan and starring Zach Gilford, Kate Siegel, Hamish Linklater, Samantha Sloyan, Rahul Kohli and Henry Thomas. The series is set on an isolated island whose inhabitants experience a series of supernatural events after the arrival of a mysterious and charismatic priest.Yumi's Cellsis a live action adaptation of the hit Webtoon series of the same name. The series follows Yu-Mi(played byKim Go-Eun) an ordinary single working woman. On the outside, Yu-Mi is not the best at expressing her feelings. Meanwhile on the inside the cells in Yu-Mi's brain represent different emotions like love, violence, rationality, good, and bad. These tiny cells in her brain work actively for her. They deal with her emotions and troubles. Through her romantic and work relationships, she grows as a person and finds happiness.Detentionis a Taiwanese supernatural horror drama streaming series, created for Netflix in collaboration with Public Television Service. The seriesis based on the originalvideo game of the same name developed by Red Candle Games. Thegame and series alike takes place during a period of martial law known as the White Terror in Taiwan.Detentionintertwines the suffocating political situations under martial law and heart-stopping legends of local deities, revealing a labyrinth of unspeakable oppression.The featured film on this month's episode is:Shang-ChiShang-Chiand the Legend of the Ten Ringsis a 2021 superhero film, based on the Marvel Comics character of thesame name.Shang-Chiis thesixth installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe'sPhase Four.The film is directed and co-written by Destin Daniel Cretton and stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, Awkwafina as Katy Chen, Meng'er Zhang as Xu Xialing, Fala Chen as Ying Li, Florian Munteanu as Razor Fist, Benedict Wong as Wong, Yuen Wah as Guang Bo, with Michelle Yeoh as Ying Nan. The film follows Shang-Chi as heconfronts the pasthe had left behind when he is drawn into conflict with the mysterious Ten Rings organization.
9/17/2021

TIFF 2021: Carolyn Talks 'Snakehead' with Writer-Director Evan Jackson Leong

Screening at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, Snakehead the crime saga the debut feature film of writer and director by Evan Jackson Leong is as much about the gritty underworld of human trafficking, as it is about the emotional toll being an immigrant takes on the psyche. Through his main female characters Sister Tse (Shuya Chang) and Dai Mah (Jade Wu) audiences see the generational gap of the new and old.Desperate to find and reconnect with her daughter after eight years of separation, Sister Tse puts her life in the hands of Snakeheads - Chinese smugglers to traffic illegal immigrants - to the cost of $57,000. Refusing to repay the debt through sex work, Sister Tse works to get in good with the head of the criminal enterprise, Dai Mah, and earn her way out by using her street smarts, keen observational skills and will. As Sister Tse grows closer to Dai Mah she begins to consider whether the woman who has the power to get her killed is worth trusting, and Dai Mah learns that the way she thinks the way the world works, isn't necessarily true. As these two women get into a power struggle, Dia Mah's son Rambo (Sung Kang) begins to make his own moves, that could put everyone and everything in danger with their community and the law.In my conversation with Leong for Carolyn Talks..., we spoke about these two amazingly complex and relatable female characters played brilliantly by Chang and Mah. Both of their characters posses a ton of personal strength, but display moments of vulnerability and self-awareness that make them admirable and relatable. We discussed the importance of telling different immigrant stories, his use of imagery and the elements to give insight into his characters' emotions and experiences, as with those of Rambo.Snakehead releases into theatres, on Digital and On Demand October 29, 2021.
9/15/2021

TIFF 2021: Carolyn Talks 'Terrorizers' with Director Ho Wi Ding

The 2021 Toronto International Film Festival is one of the most anticipated film fests in the world, providing opportunities for filmmakers - first timers and veterans alike to have their creations seen by journalists, every day citizens, and in the age of streaming platforms, marketers who may take interest in helping their films reach even wider audiences. One of those filmmakers is Taiwanese writer and director Ho Wi Ding who presented his third feature film Terrorizers, to audience.When Yu Fang (Moon Lee) and Xiao Zhang (J.C. Lin) meetcoincidentally see each other five years apart, a cute romance begins to blossom. Gifting Yu Fang with roses, a family heirloom and romantic dates and kisses in phonebooths, Xiao Zhang gives Yu Fang things she's afraid of having; love, trust and hope. But as their romance blossoms, it's put in jeopardy by the danger Min Liang (Austin Lin) - the son of Yu Fang's father's friend - poses to her, Xiao Zhang and Monica (Annie Chen), Yu Fang's friend.In this episode of Carolyn Talks..., I spoke with Ho about using non-linear storytelling co-written by Natasha Sun, and visual cues to spin this fascinating and griping story.With what I would call a truly genre defying story of love, fear of abandonment, loneliness and obsession told trough great nuanced performances and impeccable editing by Ho and co-editor Lee Huey,the cast and creative team have created a film that ingeniously serves as a scathing critique on how the news media, social media and obsessive men can spin the lives of women out of control.Read the full by ButWhyTho EIC Kate Sanchez, here. Terrorizers will be the opening film at the 2021 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, and will serve as the film's Asian premiere. It stars Ding Ning and Pipi Yao in supporting roles.
9/14/2021

So Here's What Happened in August - Episode #30

August Episode of So Here’s What Happened! picks up withLaNeysha and Carolyn diving into discussion andreview everything they watched and read during the month. The August episode of the podcast features Dark Blood #1,Fear the Walking Dead, D.P., Candy Man, Ten Monthsand Raging Fire.Featured books for this episode:Dark Blood #1Dark Blood #1 is one of the newest releases from BOOM! Studios’ eponymous imprint. Thisnew six-issue original series comes from screenwriter LaToya Morgan (AMC’s The Walking Dead, Into The Badlands), artist Walt Barna (The Osiris Path), colorist A.H.G., and letterer AndWorld Design. Set in 1955 Alabama the series centers on a seemingly ordinary man, Avery Aldridge forging a brave new future for himself and his family while dealing with his past. When the wounds of his past come back, he learns that he is definitely anything but ordinary.Featured television shows for this episode:Fear the Walking Dead,D.P.The Devil JudgeFear the Walking Dead starts off set in Los Angeles, California, then Mexico, andlater in Texas. The spin-off Walking Deadseriescenters on a dysfunctional blended family composed of high school counselor Madison Clark, her English teacher fiancé Travis Manawa, her daughter Alicia, her drug addict son Nick, Travis' son from a previous marriage, Chris, Chris' mother Liza Ortiz, and others who join their group following the zombie apocalypse. Now theymust reinvent themselves, learning new skills and adopting new attitudes in order to survive as civilization collapses around them.D.P. is a six episode South Korean mini-series starring Jung Hae-in and Koo Gyo-hwan as members of the Deserter Pursuit team of the military. Newly transferred after his enlistment An Jun-ho (Jung Hae-in) is unprepared for the tragic situations that await him in the army. Struggling with his estrangement from his mother and sister, An Jun-ho is almost overcome with crushing guilt, confusion and rage that he feels when he's faced with the violent bullying, sexual harassment and stress that he, and his partner Han Ho-yeol (Koo Gyo-hwan ) encounter, leading him to see deserters and the institution that in a whole new light.D.P. is available for streaming. Trigger warning for graphic violence, and suicide.In the not to distant future the South Korean setting of The Devil Judge, political and judicial systems have become more about protecting those with power, and entertaining the masses than being beneficial for them.Determined to expose the corruption and manipulation of the top political figures, Judge Kang Yo-han (Ji Sung) creates a complicated plan to rid society of the people responsible for leading society to its destruction before it's too late, but he faces an unexpected dilemma when Kim Ga-on (Jin Young) his new partner on the televised courtroom show he leads, challenges him with his passionate idealism and stubbornness. The Devil Judge is available for streaming on Viki.comFeatured film shows for this episode: Candy Man, Ten Months, Raging FireCandymanis a direct sequel to the 1992 horror film Candymanthat returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began. Directed by Nia DaCosta, starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo. A chance encounter exposes Anthony to the true story behind the urban legend of Candyman. Anxious to use these macabre details in his studio as fresh grist for paintings, he unknowingly opens a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifying wave of violence.Written and directed by Namkoong Sun,Ten Months,makes its New York Asian Film Festival premiere. Game engineer Mi-rae has a burgeoning career and a doting boyfriend, and it looks like nothing will stop her from achieving her goal to change the world. That is until she discovers she’s pregnant. Namkoong Sun’s feature debut seamlessly blends humor and pathos in this captivating tale about a young woman finding her way forward when her own world’s been turned upside down. Read Carolyn's interview with Namkoong Sun here.Directed by the late Benny Chan, Raging Fire makes its Fantasia Fest and New York Asian Film Festival debuts. Havoc reigns in Hong Kong when a disgraced former cop has returned for vengeance against his former mentor Shan, the decorated hero of the police force. He has assembled a wild bunch of merciless assassins to generate death and destruction till his vendetta is fully satisfied.
8/21/2021

Fantasia Fest 2021: Carolyn Talks 'Indemnity' with Writer and Director Travis Taute, and Actor Jarrid Geduld

Written and directed by Travis Taute, Indemnity is a fast paced South African action thriller that smartly uses its action sequences as a tool to show the vulnerable state it's protagonist Theo Abrams (Jarrid Geduld) is in after suffering a devastating loss. Premiering at the 2021 Fantasia Film International Festival. Indemnity is the debut feature film for Taute, who's known for his work as a series writer and director for Netflix's hit South African youth drama Blood & Water.As a fireman, Theo is used to being in extremely dangerous and high pressure situations, but after a tragic accident that claimed the lives of members of his unit, Theo is left struggling with a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Removed from active duty, he finds himself trying to cope with the strain placed on his relationship with his wife Angela (Nicole Fortuin), and young son Wesley. But one morning his world comes crashing down when Angela is murdered, and Wesley ripped away from him. Suspected of killing his wife Theo goes on the run, and begins to unravel a plot created by some of the most powerful men in the government, and people closest to him.In this episode of Carolyn Talks..., I spoke with Travis and Jarrid about using an action film to center a story about a man of color experiencing PTSD, the importance of showing the healing process, and Jarrid's impressive performance in using his body and breathing to portray the complicated emotions and mental states Theo experienced.Indemnity stars Andre Jacobs, Gail Mabalane, and Tshamano Sebe . The film is produced by Gambit Films, Bradley Joshua and Benjamin Overmeyer.
8/11/2021

Fantasia Fest 2021: Carolyn Talks 'Baby, Don't Cry' with Writer, Cast and Producers

Fantasia Fest 2021 is underway with films of all genres to be seen for the very first time by audiences all around the world thanks to virtual screening, and one of the films making their debut is Baby, Don't Cry, directed by Jesse Dvorak.Written by and starring Zita Bai, Baby' Don't Cry, is a surrealistic coming of age film about Baby, a 17-year-old Chinese immigrant grappling with the disconnect she feels towards her parents and heritage while falling in love with a Vas, a young man who she sees as an enigma.For Carolyn Talks..., I spoke with Bai, lead actor Vas Provatakis who plays Fox, Baby's Love interest, and producers Zeron Zhao, and Qiyou Zhou, about crafting a story about a teenage girl who trying to navigate the various people she encounters in the small Seattle town her family immigrated to from China. Her curiosity about the world around her causes her to see everything through a literal and figurative lens that represents to identity crisis many new immigrants experiences. In her relationship with Fox, Baby sees someone who sees her for the first time, and allows her to step out side the world of fantasy she's created within her own home. Even if he may not be the best influence on her.During out conversation we discussed the various motifs and symbols representative of Chinese culture, familial relationships, love,and the roles each person played in bringing this story to life in their own unique way.Baby, Don't Cry has it'sworld premiere in the Underground lineup of the Fantasia International Film Festival on August 11, 2021. It stars Zita Bai, Vas Provatakis, Helen Sun and Boni Mata.
8/7/2021

So Here's What Happened - July Episode #29

Episode 29 of So Here’s What Happened! has LaNeysha and Carolyndive into discussion and review of all the things they watched and read during the month of July, which includes the manga Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Volume 23, The Owl House, and Black Widow.Featured books for this episode:Demon Slayer Volume 23, Dark Blood Volume 1.Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Volume 23 (Demon Slayer Volume 23)is the final installment to theaction-adventurefantasy manga created by Koyoharu Gotouge and published byVIZ Media.The seriesfollows Tanjiro Kamado, a young man trying to support his family following his father's passing. Suddenly disaster strikes when a demon slaughters Tanjiro’s family and leaves his younger sister Nezuko into a demon. Now Tanjiro and Nezuko must set out to defeat the demon that killed their family and find a cure for Nezuko to regain her humanity.Created by LaToya Morgan (The Walking Dead, Into The Badlands) Dark Blood Volume 1 is an intriguing introduction to Avery Aldridge, a former member of the famed Red Tails - an elite squadron of African-American fighter pilots who conducted missions during the WWII as members of the allied forces. Set in 1955 Alabama, the readers will follow Avery on his scary and revealing journey as he discovers he's no ordinary man who may have been changed more than he through by his experiences in the war. Dark Blood can be purchased through BOOM! Studios.Featured television shows for this episode: The Owl House, Hospital PlaylistThe Owl House is an American animated fantasy series, created by Dana Terrace. The series follows Luz, a self-assured teenage girl who accidentally stumbles upon a portal to a magical world where she befriends a rebellious witch, Eda, and an adorably tiny warrior, King. Despite not having magical abilities, Luz pursues her dream of becoming a witch by serving as Eda's apprentice at the Owl House and ultimately finds a new family in an unlikely setting.Hospital Playlist is a Korean drama that focuses on the hilarious and sweet friendship between five surgeons and the doctors, interns and patients they interact with on a daily basis. Written and created by Lee Woo-jung, the show now in it's second season, is just as hilarious and smartly written as first and definitely worth the watch as they encounter new and complicated procedures, terrified patients, not so great love lives, and the emotional toll this all takes on them.Other Asian dramas recommended by Carolyn: The Devil Judge on Viki, and You Are My Glory on WeTV.Featured film shows for this episode:Black WidowIn the long-awaitedsolo film, Black Widow,featuring the form spy turned Avenger. StarringScarlett Johansson as the titular character and is joined by a stunning cast Florence Pugh as Yelena, David Harbour asAlexei/The Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz as Melina.Directed by Cate Shortland, with a story byJac Schaeffer and Ned Benson, screenplay by Eric Pearson.
7/17/2021

So Here's What Happened in Loki, Season 1

So Here’s What Happenedin Loki is an all-new episode where LaNeysha and Carolyn discuss the first season of Marvel’s hit limited series Loki (2021). Join Join the ladies on this episode as they what happened in Loki. As they dive into a deep discussion to recap the first season of Loki. The ladies get into the things they likes, disliked, theories, and more as they recap Marvel’s latest hit series on Disney+.Loki is an American television series created by Michael Waldron and directed by Kate Heron streaming exclusively on Disney+, based on the comics featuring the god of mischief himself, portrayed by Tom Hiddleston. Loki takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and is canon with other films within the franchise. In addition to Hiddleston the cast of Loki, also features Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, Tara Strong, Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Martino, Sasha Lane, Jack Veal, DeObia Oparei, Richard E. Grant, and Jonathan Majors.Following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), where an alternate version of Loki unwittingly creates a new timeline after stealing the Tesseract during the events of Avengers: Endgame. Thealternate version of Loki is brought to the mysterious andbureaucratic organization, the Time Variance Authority (TVA). The Time Variance Authority is an organization that exists outside of time and space. Members of the TVA monitor and maintain theflow of time in the sacred timeline as the all-powerful Timelords dictate it. Mobious a veteran member of the TVA gives Loki a choice to either be erased from existence due or help fix the timeline and stop a much bigger threat. Ever the god of mischief Loki agrees to work with the TVA, but of course he has a scheme or two up his sleeve.Loki premiered on June 9, 2021, consisting of six episodes. It is part of Phase Four of the MCU. A second season has been announced is in development.
7/8/2021

Carolyn Talks 'For Your Consideration' with Writer and Director Poppy Gordon

For a short film, For Your Consideration tackles many topics that have long been part of the regular discourse for people in marginalized community, but thanks to social media, become "trending topics" to those no part of those communities. To these people, things like racism, accessibility, women's right and the prison industrial complex are just things they can chat about at brunch.Written and directed by Poppy Gordon, the film with its dark humor, contrasted by bright colors and sunny L.A setting, shows the stunning lack of self-awareness a small group of privileged socialites display when they randomly decide to make a they're sure will be worthy of an Oscar. Only interested in getting recognition by the elites, they pick apart and cast aside what trending social justice cause is worth their time and attention. In our discussion for Carolyn Talks..., Poppy and I talk about the perceptions and misconceptions people have of the disenfranchised, and how social media plays a part in the discourse around advocacy, activism and the ways companies and people with power manipulate them to their advantage.For Your Consideration is now available in wide release on Omeleto and Vimeo.butDirector Poppy Gordon is NYC based and excels at visually driven narratives that combine bold cinematic style with pop influenced VFX. Poppy has directed work for brands such as NIKE, WAV, PayPal, Pond’s, TRESemmé, and many more. She is commercially represented by Hey Baby and also leads her own creative studio Feral. For Your Consideration was co-written by Poppy’s longtime collaborator Aldo Arias who is a New York City writer by way of Texas.