November 6, 2019

By Dr. Craig D. Reid

Wow, the 20th Anniversary of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, it is like a trip to the North Pole…cool. Yet there’s a smashing collection of hot films that are being served up this year to feed the hungry appetites of all filmgoers that only adds to the scrumptiousness of this epic festive occasion. Thus in keeping with the spirit of festivities and this 20th year grand celebration, I will again visit this holiday bloggiday with a version of “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Reid…I mean Moore. Oh, that sort of ties in with the North Pole motif.

“Twas the night before the festival, when all through San Diego,
Every film fan was stirring, including those in a winnebago.

The HD hard drives were nestled in the machines with care,
In hopes that Asian celebrities would soon be there.

The Asian communities were snug in their beds,
While visions of  No Mercy fighting in their heads;

The SDAFF staff in their jammies, and I in my Vivalachi cap,
Had just settled down from the summer’s Hollywood trap,

When out at the Ultrastar Mission Valley there arose a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the Hazard, I drove like a flash,
Rolled down the windows and tossed out some cash

The neon on the breast of the SRO,
Gave the luster of full audiences filled in each row,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
170 films in 40 spoken languages up to the ear.

With a courteous nod and welcoming cheer,
I knew in a moment Pac-Arts leader Kent Lee was here.

More rapid than eagles did the fans unite,
They whistled, and shouted, many films they did cite.

“Now, Love Boat: Taiwan! now Refugee! now Wild Sparrow and Can’t Stop Dancing
On, Paradise We’re Looking For! on Driveways! on Fagara and Chinatown Uprising!

To the top of the floor! To the top of the screen!
Now project away, project away, let all be seen!”

As celluloid rattles that before the focus is view,
When they meet on the screen, the image is new,

So up to the theatre-top the pictures did grow,
With a room full of patrons, and feet in each row.

And then, in a twinkling, I saw the projector light,
The strobe and the flickering were such a great sight.

As my eyes widened, with childlike awe,
The images before me, is all that I saw.

The color, the sound, from head to foot,
The audiences clapped, they gave a hoot;

A bundle of posters, and lobby cards to go,
We looked like filmgoers from head to toe.

Our eyes — how they twinkled! Our laughter so cheerful!
Our cheeks were like roses, our postures so blissful!

Our ear perked up, our mouths agape,
The films were rolling the happiness we could not escape
The shorts, the documentaries, the martial arts as well,
The mysteries, drama, and action would all be swell,

But don’t forget the LGBT and non fiction,
All the genres are here for our depiction;

Fear, hate, sadness and love,
The emotions of film comes not from above,

But from the hearts and souls of filmmakers anew
Their true passion for art is really but a few.

And I laughed and cried, in spite of myself;
Seeing these films, no dust on the shelf

A table for Chi in the corner I see,
Will help us fight bad health for all eternity.

We’ll all endure for life in sound and sight,
Happy movie watching to all, and to all a good-night.”

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