Cooking for a busy lifestyle, weekend arts events and FilmOut
S1: It's time for Midday Edition on Kpbs. Today , we are talking about the food that connects us and San Diego's arts and culture scene for the weekend. I'm Jade Hindman. Here's the conversations that keep you informed and inspired and make you think. A new cookbook shows us how to overcome and on the go lifestyle with simple yet delicious recipes.
S2: No matter how busy it is , you can have a delicious and healthy meal.
S3: Plus , Film.
S1: Out opens today. We'll tell you what's showing. And you can find an art exhibit that takes you into nature and much more in your weekend preview. That's ahead on Midday Edition. When you're living a busy on the go lifestyle , it can be hard to whip up something good in the kitchen. Often we'll go for the quick and convenient option. Think of your favorite microwavable meal , for example. Or maybe you're tired of the same old dish you've been eating on for the past week. Well , one local author is hoping to help people overcome their busy lifestyles through simple recipes that are not only efficient but delicious. I'm joined now by Ellen C Lee. She's the author of the cookbook Food That Anchors. And Ellen , welcome to Midday Edition.
S2: Thank you for having me , Jade.
S1: Glad to have you here. So I want to start with your background. You grew up in Taiwan , then later immigrated to the US.
S2: It was everything. It was our foundation. It was our love language. It was the way we express our gratitude for each other. We eat our feelings. We we celebrate with food. So pretty much food replaced words. Yeah.
S1: Yeah. Yeah. I feel that. It certainly does in many cases. You know , you're. You're also a professional organizer.
S2: You know , the I've always been a fairly organized child because I gravitate toward efficiency. I don't know if that's a competitive nature of our culture that , you know , there's always room for improvement. So you're always looking for ways to do things better , faster and just more efficiently. So from that standpoint , as I grew up , my love of food , you know , definitely never wavered. And it just kind of become natural for me to step into the kitchen , to cook through the lens of an organizer , seeing things in terms of categories and in terms of efficiency and of course , minimizing the , you know , the time that that delays you from actually eating the food was always a plus. Indeed.
S2: But our meal times are also very structured , so there's only a small window of time for you to prepare meals. You know , everyone , the family sit down and eat. And in Taiwan , I don't know if people know this. Our business hours actually go into the evenings. So your dinner becomes just break time. And so my dad would go back to work after. So dinner isn't just a leisure thing. It's a break in the middle of the , you know. Right. So for us , again , that that sense of efficiency kind of just comes with our lifestyle. Well , it was actually in college. I have five jobs and a different point in my career before I became a professional organizer. I also have very demanding roles in those companies. So for me , it was just important to to make sure that I'm eating well and really maximize the window of time that I had to prepare food.
S1: Yeah , and you write about it a bit , but there was actually a specific moment that inspired you to write this cookbook. Tell me more about that.
S2: Yes , it was at a time when I had a business called Organize Your Busy Life. It was a collaboration with another with a business partner where we would do in-person workshops to literally organize your busy life. And in these workshops we we highlight other local services that that we believe would , you know , eliminate some of the chaos from from your busy schedule. And usually they're tailor around wellness and even services like meal prep and meal delivery and there was this one workshop we couldn't find sponsor to cover for breakfast and lunch. So last minute I just thought , how hard could that be ? I could just do it. I cook fairly efficiently. So on top of the , you know , taking on the programming , preparing the content , I actually was pretty stressed myself. Felt like I bit more than I could chew , so I just decided to keep it simple , literally use my own model and just keep things simple. But flavor was never , you know , was a non-negotiable that that things have to be delicious , otherwise why bother ? So I just kept the recipes super simple. We had a couple rolled sandwiches and two salads. I just figure things that are light , flavorful that won't , you know , cause them to fall asleep after the lunch break. You know , those are the only criteria. So that was what I did. And at the end of the workshop , we always gather video testimonies , and most people raved about the food. My partner and I were just so surprised and slightly offended because we felt like we put on a pretty helpful workshop on organizing your life. Yet people were talking about how good the food was. So I thought there was something there and also just heard a distinct nudge feel like God was saying , Hey , write a cookbook.
S1: I mean , so with that said , please tell me about the flavors and the texture and the kind of dishes that you really enjoy out of this book.
S2: Oh , I love variety. I believe like a food just can't be one dimensional. So if you are for example , one of those dishes was the fresh figs and goat cheese salad , which felt like it's a fairly common thing. But for me , it's it's essential to highlight what's seasonal , what's fresh and what's also accessible. So that salad , I believe , just has simple components like shallots. At every store you can get shallots and red bell peppers , spring salad , fresh figs , because it was around fall. Actually , it was like now this season , you could you could get fresh figs from the store and goat cheese. So that creaminess from the from the goat cheese , which also adds a little tanginess and the sweetness from the fresh figs and the crispness of the bell peppers and shallots are a little bit sweeter too , but also adds an aroma. And it's paired with a lemony salad dressing which adds a brightness. So I'm thinking of all these different dimensions that actually marry really well together to create this this mouthfeel , but also super accessible and budget friendly.
S1: All of that sounds so delightful. And you also have a lot of Asian inspired dishes. Can you tell me about that ? Oh.
S2: Oh , that's hard. It depends on how much time I have. Even though all these recipes can be cooked in 60 minutes or less. But sometimes I literally have 15 minutes. So when I have 15 minutes , I go for my mom's favorite tomato eggs , which I add a spin to it. It's called spicy tomato eggs in the cookbook , because I do like a little heat in my food. There's something about that dish is so simple and actually dates back generations back. It's it's one of those like farmer's food were back in the days. Everybody had access to tomatoes and eggs and scallions , which is green onions. When you saute green onions , they become sweet. And when you caramelize the tomatoes , just let it kind of render down to almost like a sauce. It becomes sweet as well. And then adding that the eggs is just those three components just come together so beautifully and it's super satisfying. That's one of my favorite go to lunch , low carb , high in protein and just super easy to execute. Sometimes I honestly eat it straight out of the frying pan because then I don't have to wash a dish.
S1: Yeah , it's a good dish.
S2: I've seen my mom do this , and I actually asked her because she doesn't scramble eggs on the side. I don't know if that's because you have to wash an additional dish or what it was , but there's a textural technique where you just crack the egg straight into it , into the pan , and then you use your spatula to break the yolk in it and just kind of let it let it fry at medium heat. So it's not frying super fast , but at a slower speed that way , everything kind of clumped together. The egg yolk and the egg y kind of melt together but not scrambled. And then you gently flip them so they remain moist and not hard.
S1: You're listening to Kpbs Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. I'm speaking with Ellen C about her cookbook Food that anchors. And Ellen , like you mentioned , food really is a great connector for many cultures.
S2: We think of I mean , think a lot of people have heard of meal trains , especially after someone had a baby or gone through a hard time. Sometimes , you know , their friends or family who would put on a meal train for people to deliver meals to them. This is really just an extension of that , making it more of an everyday. A habit , if you will , that you don't have to wait till , you know , a significant life event to use food as a way to build connections. If you think about a lot of people would ask each other out for coffee. I think there's also something intimate about having people over to your house for a meal , even if you're just doing coffee and snacks. I have those recipes in the cookbook too. When you just build relationships under under that hospitality umbrella. It's different than going out to share a meal. I mean , there's nothing wrong with that. But I think there is just something extra special and intimate about having people over to your home and and and sharing a meal together. Think the conversation can go a little deeper. And it's just it's set that added touch.
S1: Yeah , that's a good way to look at that.
S2: Even when it comes to entertaining , it's not always about the food , even though it is about the food. So keep it simple. Whatever you have in the fridge , that's one of my golden rules. Always check your pantry , check your fridge , see what you have. A lot of times we have more than we think we do. Just take that extra five minutes to check what you already have on hand before you go to the store and keep the ingredients. Five or less. That's you can whip up a pretty delicious meal as long as they have fresh ingredients. It's really not about how much you spend on it or how much time you spend cooking it. It is about just bringing fresh ingredients together. And don't be afraid to just if you like certain things , tailor a dish around that.
S1: Yeah , no , that's great advice because I know me personally , every time I have people over , I go through this big deal of trying to make a fancy dinner , you know , where's the lobster ? Where's the crab legs ? Knowing full well that a typical dinner at my house is just , you know , it's baked chicken , steamed vegetables and a starch. And so therefore , I rarely do dinners. But , you know , if you keep it simple , then. Then that goes a long way. Yeah.
S2: If you've been in a rut in a season of kind of doing the same thing over and over again and want to feel inspired , I hope this book would inspire you to try something different , whether it's in the kitchen or outside the kitchen. I mean , in my organization career , I've helped people overcome some life challenges by changing up their space. It's similar motivation here with a cookbook , you know , people maybe who you've lost a loved one and you're ready to date again. I hope this cookbook will inspire you to create a delicious meal and invite that that date over for you for dinner. Or if you know , you've been wanting to create more family traditions and memories , I hope this cookbook would inspire you to create some , you know , new tradition for you to leave a legacy in your family , maybe even inspire your your children to cook and and think about what memory you want to leave in your family. It's just like my parents did for me that I always know dinner's at 6:00. That's just the way it is. And that's something that's connected our family together , no matter how busy our day was. And also just to empower people to think , hey , if there's something that you think is hard in your life , chances are is not as hard as you think. Just give it a go. Keep things simple. And who knows , maybe you'll become the next top chef.
S1: Wouldn't that be nice ? So , you know , you'll be having an author of the Month event next week at the San Diego Public Library's downtown branch. And I hear you're going to be bringing some treats. Yes.
S2: Yes. I'm so excited about this. I love sharing my cookbook. You know , through an interactive experience. I call it Taste My Cookbook , because you don't you don't come and just touch it and flip through the pages. You will eat it. And I will be bringing some of my favorite grab and go recipes and treats so you can actually literally grab and. It's a very efficient event from 6 to 730. So if you can't make it on time at six , feel free to come and grab and go. Want you to experience that. No matter how busy it is , you can have a delicious and healthy meal just by preparing a little bit ahead of time so everything will be in the grab and go container. So feel free to just come on by.
S1: Sounds like a great event. I've been speaking with Ellen C Li , author of the cookbook Food that Anchors. And Ellen , thanks so much for joining us.
S2: Thank you , Jade. It was a pleasure.
S1: Coming up , we'll tell you about all of the arts happenings this weekend and tell you about an art exhibition that takes you into the canyons of Southern California.
S4: He really wants to bring attention and bring us closer to observe and to look at nature all around us. And so I hope that people come and see this exhibit.
S1: You're listening to Kpbs Midday Edition. Welcome back to Midday Edition. I'm Jade Heinemann for our weekend arts preview. We have a special guest. Alessandra Moctezuma is a professor of fine art and museum studies at San Diego Mesa College , and she also runs the Mesa College Art Gallery. She's here to discuss the current exhibition on View at the gallery , and she'll also tell us about some more arts events you can find this weekend. Alessandra , welcome.
S4: Thank you so much for having me here. I'm very excited to tell you about what we're doing.
S1: Oh , I'm excited to hear about it. So , Alessandra , the first exhibit of this school year just opened last week , and it's a solo exhibit by Francisco Emeigh.
S4: So he is a sound artist but also works in different media. And during the pandemic , he decided to go out into the canyon in the back of his house and start cleaning it out and and cleaning out of the invasive species and bringing back the native plants. And he started recording the sounds of some of the animals. So he started recording the coyotes , then recording the birds and the crickets. And then he expanded from that to setting up a thermal camera , and he started getting video of the night life and all the creatures that come out in the canyons. And this exhibition basically features a lot of this documentation of his canyon. It's called the Eco Resistance Resistencia del Eco. And as you come into this space , you are really surrounded by the sounds of this animals and these creatures. And then you are seeing this large projections of the animals at night. And so he really wants to bring attention and bring us closer to observe and to look at nature all around us. And so I hope that people will come and see this exhibit. It really is really beautiful and just meditative and it makes us think a lot about also what's happening with with climate change and our destruction of of of our of our landscape and natural landscape. So , so I think that people will really enjoy it. You can come and see the exhibit. We are open Monday through Thursday from 12 to 5. Or if you want to come and meet the artist , then come next Thursday evening from 5 to 7. Wow.
S1: Wow. Sounds like a real sensory rich exhibit and it's always amazing when exhibits can take you to a place that you may not have otherwise seen. Let's talk more about this unique museum studies program at Mesa College. It seems like it's one of a kind.
S4: It is a really unique program out of a community college. So we offer both an associate of arts in museum studies , which which means you do the two years , taking all of the general education classes and also art history and studio art. Or you can also do the certificate , which is three courses. And I have a variety of students that take the classes. Some of them are students that are starting out in their path , educational path , and are doing the the two years of the museum studies. Some students have heard about this program and already have their bachelor's from universities and have come to take the class. And I've even had people with master's degrees and even three PhDs that came and took the certificate program. And I envision this program as a way to provide all of the skills that are necessary to succeed in the arts museum world. So I myself started out as an artist , but I worked for many nonprofit arts organizations and I worked with museums. And I realized that in our schools we teach a lot about the important side of academics. Of course , art history , contemporary art theory. But what was lacking from a lot of my education is that we don't really reinforce or teach the the skills that are necessary for for jobs in the field. We bring experts from the field to teach students about lighting and fabrication , and we bring curators to talk about the curatorial process. And we bring arts journalists to talk about how to write a good press release and reach out to the audience. So I really cover everything from conceptualizing an exhibit , you know , to to actually Hands-On work as a team in the gallery space , you know , getting your your hands dirty and well , clean because we are in a clean space for the gallery. But so it's really an invaluable experience. And I'm really proud to see so many of the graduates from our program working here in the. And even beyond , you know , San Diego. Right.
S1: Well , that that brings me to my next question then. You know , because there's there's all this training and there's all this , you know , great artwork and a citywide initiative even called Creative City to keep artists here , You know , how do you how do you think we could do a better job of that ? I mean , whether it's affordable housing or spaces to show their work or perform , you know , I mean , many artists find themselves leaving and going other places.
S4: It's such an expensive city to live. And so if you think about it , having to find a place to live that's affordable but then find a studio that's affordable , I think that's one of the key issues for a lot of artists that the fact that is so expensive and there have been movement even at the state level to find ways to support housing on studio space for artists. So that's one of the ways that that we could definitely help out. There are also opportunities for artists to , you know , to utilize spaces that maybe are vacant. And , you know , we have buildings that are owned by the city or the county that sometimes lay kind of vacant and dormant. And so so artists could activate those spaces. I also think that we have to create a support system that is more fair for our smaller arts organizations. So I think some of the processes that we have are very complex. And it's it's not the same when an organization has two grants writers , right , and a big organization , and you have a small organization where you have a director that has to do everything. So how can we streamline those processes , those funding processes , so that it's easier for for us to support everybody and consider at the level they're at and provide the best support for them.
S1: You're listening to Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman and I'm here with Alessandro Moctezuma. She's a professor of Fine art and museum studies at San Diego Mesa College. She also runs the Campus Art Gallery. And Alessandro , let's take a look at some other arts and culture happenings on your radar. We've been talking about emerging artists and the challenges we face as a city. So tell me more about this exhibit called Next Gen.
S4: So Next Generation is a very exciting exhibition that is going to open at ICA , San Diego , the location in Balboa Park , which is a fantastic location because it's with all of the different museums and our next generation was a way for them to support emerging artists. So they put together a jury of local curators and they had a call and they had them review artwork by graduate students from our schools. So this exhibit features seven artists from UCSD and San Diego State , and they gave them the whole space to present their artwork. And it's varied in terms of the themes on the topics. So it's really a wonderful way for an organization of kind of this high visibility to bring the work of students who are just ready to go out into the world and just finish , you know , 2 or 3 years of works and in in their universities , in their galleries. And now given the opportunity to showcase those works to a larger audience. And and I'm actually super excited because one of our alumni from Mesa College , um , Lila , said she is actually one of the artists that is being featured. She was my student in museum studies years ago and she is a young woman who immigrated here from Iran , a lot of her work and her painting has to deal with issues of identity as a woman on the body. And I saw her as she continued in her path , and now she just is finishing up her master's in fine Arts at Sdsu. So this is the kind of thing that's a , you know , to see how we can support our student from our students coming out as emerging artists and then on their path to being established. So I see a is doing this exhibit. I also want to comment that ICA in their North campus has another exhibition that is opening this Saturday and that is artist Sasha Stein and she's also a professor in ceramics and her work is just gorgeous. She creates the sculptures out of clay that look like. Um , coral reefs. They have this very organic feel to them. They are also have metallic finishes , iridescent finishes. They're truly magical. They're like this jewels. And she's actually made them now large. Really , really , really large. She showed a few of them years ago at Quint. But this exhibit is her first museum exhibition where she's going to be showcasing all of all new works. And I believe there's also a series of workshops that she's doing for people to come and learn from her at ICA. So that's going to happen this Saturday from 12 to 2 at their Encinitas location.
S1: And also the barrio art crawl is happening.
S4: And this Saturday , there's a couple of events that are happening. One is that the Athenaeum Art Center and that's going to be a talk by artisanal cane. And she has an exhibit in that space that deals with storytelling , juxtaposing objects and images in her work. She grew up in the South. So the idea of that storytelling is very important to to her , like culturally And but but the exhibit is also very interesting because the juxtaposition of these elements is is somewhat quirky. So I think the viewer has to engage with the pieces and make an effort to decipher some of these things. And I had a lot of fun when viewed that. So she's going to be talking about her work. And then , um , they also have an artist residency at at Bread and Salt and they have an artist , Aqua Miller , and he's actually a dancer and choreographer and he's , he's doing his artist residency , which means that they offer a space for him to work and , and show and , and he has a series of Polaroids that he said are about his grandmother who passed away in 2019. And that's kind of like what they used in the announcement. It's titled Light in the Darkest Shadows of My Mind. And I just thought , that's a beautiful , poetic title. But he's like gathering all of this personal information and then he's creating he's going to be creating some dance choreography. So he will be there present on Saturday. And then there's several other art exhibits in that space that you can view. So you can go to bread and salt and you'll be able to see several things. And then you can go down to Barrio Logan and go , I was going to solo because she has great , beautiful , you know , clothes that she fashions out of different types of fabrics and remnants. And and then there's a lot of galleries down that in Barrio Logan that people can check out. And it's it's it's a fun place to go eat and and just spend the the Saturday.
S1: Wow sounds like there are so many things to see and experience this weekend. I've been speaking with Alessandra Moctezuma. She's a professor of fine art and museum studies at San Diego Mesa College. She also runs the Campus Art Gallery. And Alessandra , thank you so much for joining us.
S4: Oh , thank you so much. It was a pleasure.
S1: Coming up , we'll tell you what you can see at this year's Film Out festival.
S6: Chasing Amy was that lightning rod for me , but also a life raft when I really needed it. Struggling in school as a kid , as a queer kid who everybody else figured out was queer before I did.
S1: You're listening to Kpbs Midday Edition. You're listening to Kpbs Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. Tonight , Film Out launches its 23rd year as San Diego's LGBTQ film festival. One of the films screening is the documentary Chasing Chasing Amy. Queer filmmaker Sav Rogers documents his obsession with Kevin Smith's movie Chasing Amy , which was about a straight guy falling for a lesbian. But what begins as a documentary morphs into a very personal story of Rogers own transition. Kpbs arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with the director. We start with a trailer for Smith's Chasing Amy.
S7: Miramax Films presents a comedy that tells it like it feels.
S8: She's been around and seen things we've only read about in books. What'd you do last night ? I got lucky chasing Amy.
S9: So , Sav , you have had something of a long history with Kevin Smith's film Chasing Amy.
S6: And , you know , my mom indulged me in this in this hobby , as I would , you know , methodically kind of go through an actor's filmography. One day I was kind of raiding her physical media collection , and I saw Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy and I saw Ben Affleck's face on the box. And I was like , Hey , can I watch this ? And , you know , my life changed from there because not only was I so moved by the grand romanticism in Kevin's work , but also I saw queer people getting to have full , realized lives for the first time in my life. In this cinematic foray into that , it was also the first thing that made me realize that , well , someone had to write the movie that you're watching. That's a job somewhere. And I learned more about filmmaking , and it kind of sparked my interest in filmmaking. I was already writing stories all the time as a kid and , you know , trying to make big ideas come to life to varying degrees of failure. And Chasing Amy was that lightning rod for me , but also a life raft when I really needed it. Struggling in school as a kid , as a queer kid who everybody else figured out was queer before I did. And I didn't really understand why I didn't fit in. And so as I learned more about myself and was dealing with a lot of heinous stuff at school , I was able to really identify with this movie that kind of kept me anchored to this world.
S9: And your documentary , Chasing Chasing Amy began kind of as a fan film.
S10: I'm directing a project about the legacy of Chasing Amy as an LGBTQ film. You find the film to be authentic to the LGBTQ community.
S11: I find it authentic to the straight dude who fall for a queer woman community no longer being a lesbian by meeting the right man.
S12: That's going to be controversial.
S13: Ben Affleck's goatee was a bad idea.
S6: What I did not have the foresight to see was that it was going to literally be my personal story with Chasing Amy that would really anchor the film emotionally. And that insight was brought into my life pretty early on by my collaborators. What I never anticipated was becoming the main character of chasing Chasing Amy. I always thought that there was something special there. What I didn't know was how we would discover what that special thing is. I mean , you don't dedicate five years of your life to something , you know , on a whim. You've got to have that gut feeling about it. And I also listen to the great people around me who said , Sav , you got to be in it. And it made the movie. I think what it is now , which is something that that feels special.
S6: The first interview I remember doing it for was for Kevin's Talking Head. I was like , Well , we might need a reaction shot of me if I'm going to be in it a little bit. Yeah. As it continued on , it became increasingly personal and it was something that I was generally uncomfortable with because I wasn't good with myself yet. Change , transition , all of these themes that are in the movie coming of age , they're lifelong processes. You know , I'm still coming of age in many ways , you know , even after the credits roll , right ? That was a really big point of consideration as we were cutting the movie was how much am I comfortable being in it versus my collaborators who don't have my same hang ups for myself. They're like , Sav , we really think you're the protagonist of this movie and you should just fully lean in. And at a certain point , me not wanting to lean in was becoming detrimental. Not in like a dramatic way. It was just like holding up progress on the edit. And so I was like , okay , if I'm going to do this , we got to really do it. It's really easy for a documentarian to , you know , put themselves in a movie and it become this self-aggrandizing thing. And it was something I was really sensitive to. And also I was surrounded by incredible , loving , wonderful collaborators , friends who promised to not let me fall. And I'm so thankful for them because I don't feel like I fallen. There are vulnerable moments where I'm like , Oh geez , I wish this wasn't in the movie , but I'm like , It's part of the story. It's part of growing up. It's part of all of these themes that are part of it. And the movie wouldn't be the same without them.
S9: Now you're a young filmmaker , even younger , when you started this whole project , and it seems like it takes a lot of maturity to pivot the way you did in terms of kind of refocusing the documentary.
S6: It's really challenging to have any kind of self-awareness about how you exist in the world , and it's also really difficult , as you're finding out in real time , that the way that you think you present to the world is not actually what people see. It's not , you know , whether it's transition or as a filmmaker or whatever. For me in particular , the painful parts were exploring my transition because as you can imagine , I was not terribly interested in preserving a part of myself that I wish that people generally wouldn't remember. But it's the story and it's what happened. And so I always had two minds about everything as we were making it. One was as a filmmaker , as a filmmaker , Oh my gosh , this is great. This is terrific stuff. And then me as a person , I was like , This is mortifying. I don't really want this , so I'm not really interested in this. And you kind of have to meet somewhere in the middle of like , Well , how can I make the best movie possible that I can retain my sanity in the process of making and also not destroy my my self-esteem in the process ? It was really challenging in that way. There were a lot of growing pains on camera and a lot of growing pains off camera in terms of the edits and how uncomfortable I was watching myself. But at a certain point it's kind of sink or swim and we decided to swim and and I'm really glad we did.
S9: And Joey , Lauren Adams is very key to the documentary. She played the lead in Chasing Amy , and her interview was great. And I'm curious , I mean , documentaries , you never know what you're going to get. And a lot of it is created in the editing room. And I really appreciated how you put this together in the sense that first we get to see her with Kevin Smith kind of in this jovial , lighthearted kind of interview between the two of them. And then you give us her interview where she really bares her soul. And I was just curious , how was that process like for you , putting that together ? Did you do her interview alone first and then the two of them or the two of them first ? I'm just curious what that process was like and how that kind of came to be for you.
S6: Well , I'm so glad that that worked for you , first of all. And second , what you see in the movie is what happened. I did a joint interview with Joey and Kevin the day before , and then the next day was Joey's solo interview.
S14: The movie's amazing.
S15: But whatever moved you ? It's a dark side , too.
S6: And it was I mean , you can see it on my face in the moment that it's a surprising and it was challenging. And I'm so thankful that she chose to share her truth with me and the rest of the team who was there that day in the edit. The question on my mind was always like , How do we balance everybody's truths to where we're presenting everything without judgment and we're presenting everything from everybody's point of view so that all of these truths can coexist at the same time in the way that these truths coexist at the same time. In Chasing Amy , it's one of the things that resonated so deeply with me as a filmmaker and as a person was this idea of multiple things true at once , Right ? And that's something that's certainly true of our documentary. But again , it all goes back to the fact that these are all real people and these are their real stories. And how do you honor those things and how do you take the gift of these people's truths ? How do you present them all in a responsible way and then leave it there ? Because their stories aren't about me. You know , their stories are about their life. And this movie , every scene is about my relationship changing to chasing Amy. Right ? It was all challenging , but it was all great at the same time where it's like , Oh my gosh , like this is my dream movie in so many ways. And I get the thing that I didn't know that I wanted , which is this kind of forward push to really think deeper about my fandom with Chasing Amy and also like , who do I want to be ? Do I want to just live in this moment from when I was 12 , or do I want to move forward ? And the answer was I wanted to move forward.
S6: We reached out to a lot of people who were varying degrees of busy and , you know , very. Kind. You know , we reached out to LGBTQ media critics , journalists , actors who were in Chasing Amy.
S16: It's a well-crafted film that came out in that great 90s era of indie filmmaking. Kevin Smith.
S17: Definitely was one of the young kings of independent film.
S6: But I'm really glad with the talking head interviews that we have. They were so engaged in ways that were completely unexpected. And then you have hundreds of hours of footage at the end and you're like , Oh , now I have to do something with this. But the discovery process was really fun.
S9: You had your film screened at Tribeca and you are now going to have it at film out here in San Diego.
S6: Great to see how different audiences react to the movie. I think the difference between like a broader audience though , and a queer audience is a queer audience. Like gets a lot more of the jokes. Sometimes it's a very queer movie that is also , I think , commercially accessible to anybody. But we played Closing Night at Outfest in July , and it was the most uproarious laughter , clap breaks , gasps , sobbing that I have experienced so far with the movie. And so I love seeing the movie with a queer audience because they just they react. They get it. It's their lives being reflected back in them , at them in some ways because , you know , there are so many universal things that come with being queer , you know , feeling discounted , the struggle of coming out sometimes , I mean , not every queer person has the same experience , but there are many things that kind of bond us together in terms of our life experience. And so it's fun to go on that ride with them. So I am hoping to be able to sit in with the film out audience and just , you know , sit in the back and be like , okay , do the one of your Turner jokes land in this one ? I bet they will.
S12: I know how documentaries work , and they always do this thing where while the cameras rolling before you're actually asked the question , they just like do this thing of , like , me being uncomfortable.
S10: I'm just gonna let you keep talking.
S9: She's great. And she and Joey Lauren Adams were amazing in the film and their comments were just so sharp and insightful and I think just brought a lot to the movie.
S19: I think the things that they're pointing out.
S6: In the movie point to systemic inequity , right ? Things that people have been talking about for years. They're just talking about it in the specific context of their lives in the 90s so much empathy just pours out anytime you see them talk in this movie and it's not unique to their specific lives , unfortunately , it's pointing to to issues that women and gender nonconforming people , trans people , people of any kind of underrepresented community at all of the intersections have been experiencing for years within entertainment , but also pretty much every other industry out there. And so what do we do with this information ? What do we do with this knowledge and acknowledgement of hurt ? And I'm always really curious about how people move forward with with knowing these things. You know , maybe it is the first time somebody will realize , oh , entertainment isn't super nice to women or queer people.
S9: Now , you don't make him look bad in the film , but there are moments when he seems maybe a little not quite as aware of things as maybe he should be.
S19: Generous with his time.
S6: With his support of the movie. You know , we had like a 56 minute FaceTime conversation after he saw it and before I could open my mouth , he went , I loved it , you know , And that moment where we're on Zoom and he's like , You gave me my movie back. I mean , like , I get emotional just thinking about it. I mean , the person that made you want to do the things that you do loves the Ted talk you gave or loves the movie you made. It's quite touching. And so again , it's multiple things is existing at once. But Kevin's been a really good sport about everything and been very supportive of the movie and I couldn't really ask for more on that front.
S1: That was Beth Accomando speaking with filmmaker Steve Rogers. He'll be presenting his film Chasing Chasing Amy at Film out on Sunday at the Museum of Photographic Arts. That does it for today's show. Don't forget to watch Evening Edition tonight at five for in-depth reporting on San Diego issues. The roundtable is here tomorrow at noon. And of course , we'll be back Monday to join you for lunch. And if you ever miss a show , you can find the Midday Edition podcast on all platforms. Before we go , I want to thank the Midday Edition team producers Giuliana Domingo , Andrew Bracken and Brooke Ruth. Producing assistants are Ariana Clay and Laura McCaffrey. Art segment contributors are Beth Accomando and Julia Dixon Evans and our technical producers are Adrian Villalobos and Rebecca Chacon. The music you're hearing right now is from San Diego's own surefire soul ensemble. I'm Jade Hindman. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend , everyone.
We’re back with another show about San Diego’s arts and culture scene.
One San Diego author blends her love for cooking and her love for organizing in the cookbook, "Food That Anchors," which offers practical and tasty recipes to help people balance their busy lifestyles.
Also, the Mesa College Art Gallery recently opened a new exhibit featuring work by artist Francisco Eme — plus, we talk about other arts and culture events to check out this weekend.
And finally, San Diego's LGBTQ+ film festival FilmOut is back for its 23rd year. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando spoke with filmmaker Sav Rodgers about his documentary, which will be showing at the festival.
Ellen C. Lee, author of “Food That Anchors”
Alessandra Moctezuma, professor of fine art and museum studies at San Diego Mesa College
Beth Accomando, KPBS arts reporter