Directed by Dean Yamada
Free screening for Pac-Arts members! Show your membership card at the UltraStar box office to pick up free tickets.
Best Narrative Feature, 2014 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Every summer, the cicada comes to the surface to make its mating call and shed its shell. In Japan, the cicada thus stands for reincarnation and rebirth. It’s also a running metaphor in CICADA, in which shy teacher Jumpei (Yugo Saso) is told by a doctor that he is infertile. The news sparks feelings of confusion and embarrassment, which don’t bode well for his already-shaky relationship with his family and girlfriend. But then there’s the bullied nephew Ryota that Jumpei begins to mentor, as if Ryota were a student or son, and Jumpei gains an assertiveness previously unseen.
With light comedic tones, CICADA surrounds Jumpei with a lively crew of offbeat characters: an overbearing sister, a slacker brother-in-law, and an extroverted rocker girlfriend. In his first feature film, director Dean Yamada draws from his own experiences as a teacher, not just in the thoughtful story of an educator, but also on the level of filmmaking. CICADA was produced as a project with Yamada’s current and former film students at Biola University. As Yamada is reborn as a feature film director, his students too come to the surface as filmmakers of their own. –Eric Lallana
Co-presented by: USC Alumni Association
Raymond C. Lai / USA / 2014 / 5 minsA portrait of the USC film professor who taught sound design to Hollywood legends like George Lucas.