How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Video: Russia on Sunset Boulevard

In this video from KPCC's Grant Slater, filmmaker Robin Hessman discusses her film "My Perestroika," which tells the stories of five Russians who came of age during the collapse of the Soviet Union. The video follows Hessman, who lived in Moscow in the 1990s, as she promotes the film in Los Angeles' Russian immigrant community.

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In Hollywood today for 'Hispanicize'

Photo by TravelingMan/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Why am I posting a map of the island of Hispaniola? Because today I'll be checking out the Hispanicize 2011 social media and public relations conference in Hollywood, which began yesterday. And while a clichéd photo of the Hollywood sign would have done fine, how often do we see maps of Hispaniola, home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic?

The three-day conference is in second year and is being billed as a Latino blogger-fest: Latino culture bloggers, mami bloggers, tech bloggers, food bloggers, entertainment bloggers, even coupon bloggers, they'll all be there. And so as an immigration blogger who happens to also be Latina, I'll be there too.

I'll be checking out panels and tweeting the occasional observation @Multi_American. Any Twitter followers, if you're there also, feel free to send me a message.

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From 'The Good Earth' to 'Akira:' White actors, non-white roles

Photo by Fotographia Guerilla/Flickr (Creative Commons)


A Hollywood casting controversy has been gathering steam lately, not because there is anything particularly new at its core, but because there isn't. It involves the casting of white actors in non-white roles, something that has been happening for decades and is not, on its face, much of a surprise. The surprising thing is that it's still happening in 2011.

The film in question is an adaptation of the Japanese science-fiction manga series Akira, which was made into an animated film in 1988. Last week, Deadline New York posted a short list of the actors who had received scripts for the live action film project.

For the role one of the lead characters, Tetsuo, on the list were "Twilight" vampire/heartthrob Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, and James McAvoy. Actors receiving scripts for the role of another lead character, Kaneda, were Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix.

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