Memorial for Designer Sue Wong’s Beloved Mother

We at the Hollywood Press Corps want to convey our condolences to renowned fashion designer Sue Wong for the loss of her dear mother.

Sue's touching eulogy to hear beloved mother. Photo courtesy of Sheri Determan photography
Sue’s touching eulogy to hear beloved mother. Photo courtesy of Sheri Determan photography

The memorial for her mom was a lovely tribute to an amazing lady. We think Sue said it best when honoring her dear mother, so we have posted her moving eulogy for her dearly departed below…

EULOGY FOR MY BELOVED MOTHER
A long time ago, seemingly in another lifetime, I was born into humble circumstances in a remote rural countryside in southern China.  At the age of five, I was spirited away from Maoist China by the courageous leap of my mother, who risked all to be reunited with my father–the one love of her life. She courageously bribed a border guard with her wedding jewelry sewn into a small pillow, who released us to our freedom in free British Hong Kong…
My beloved Mother has transitioned into the realm of Spirit, and is now an Angel of Light. She succumbed to the congestive heart failure that had plagued her for the last three years, as well as to the dementia that had tragically ravaged her memory. I am relieved that she is finally at peace and and has joined the ranks of Angels. I know that she was greeted by all those who loved her and that she is now reunited with my father and my two brothers for all Eternity…Losing one’s Mother is a major rite of passage and a huge milestone in our lives. Ultimately, I am deeply consoled by the comforting knowledge that Flesh corrupts but Love and Spirit are forever imperishable and eternal–LOVE NEVER DIES…In the end, we are returned back to the stardust Source from whence we came. We are all passing through this temporal and transitory realm of human existence only. We are here to live, to love, to learn our lessons and then we move onward to continue our cosmic journey of soul progression. I am grieving but also releasing my Mother’s spirit back to the Stars, the Galaxies, the Cosmos and beyond. I hope for her soul to be set free so that she can soar in her spirit’s flight and odyssey of self-evolution.

My Mother was truly the most generous, magnanimous, loving spirit, and a huge guiding force and presence in my life–I am eternally indebted for the immense and immeasurable love that she so unconditionally gave to me and to all whom she embraced. As well, my Mother was my most important teacher of Truth and Light… I will miss her most profoundly, deeply–more than words can ever describe…
My recent casting in the film adaptation of THE JADE PENDANT came to me at a propitious time. I  am sensitively aware of the dual nature of existence, when messages from the sub-conscious filter to the surface and manifest themselves in REAL time. We never quite understand the profundity of life, until we observe its entire panoramic tapestry. I felt drawn to the story when I saw the obvious strong connections between the characters that originated from the Taishan region, the land of our ancestry. The Taishan region of southern China where my parents and I came from produced the first Chinese settlers in America. My own Great, Great-Grandfather worked on the railroads near Sacramento in the 1800’s and directly contributed the building of America. This resonates profoundly with my parent’s story of sacrifice and determination–the migration to America being the very core focus for opportunities and economic success that were promised on Gold Mountain. The film is a very timely and compelling film adaptation of the celebrated novel, THE JADE PENDANT. It is an epic love story that takes place in the United States circa 1871 between two Chinese immigrants in Los Angeles. The novel was written by L.P. Leung nearly forty years ago, and the film is directed by Po Chih Leong, and we are blessed with both of their presence at my Mother’s memorial today.
As the fates would conspire in profound ways, proving that there is always a much higher power that guides us, my Mother wore a jade pendant for sixty years which she held very close to her heart. It carried an insurmountable significance of making her immigrant dream a manifest reality–an incomparable reminder in my life of what she and my Father accomplished through sacrifice and tenacity. Jade carries powerful significance in the Chinese culture, not only because of its beauty, but more importantly its meaning and humanity.I now hold my Mother’s jade pendant in my hands and her immeasurable generosity of spirit, her virtue, wisdom, and unending loyalty and devotion sing the anthem of her enormous and courageous soul that will resonate forever in my heart. Everything I am today and have accomplished, I owe to my Mother. She IS the beauty of my Jade Pendant in a most powerful, multi-dimensional, sacred way–my priceless jewel that reflects everything I stand for—characteristics that are a prerequisite to integrity, honor and excellence. …I am honored that she was my Mother, the strong Goddess-Nurturer who gave me the gift of LIFE…

Last week, I journeyed to the set of THE JADE PENDANT, filming my scenes in the movie and understood that my Mother’s spirit was at the core of my involvement in this project. The timing of recent events – in conjunction with this fine quality film adaptation–were indeed a message from the Universe. My Mother will always be my most sacred teacher and I am honored to cast the Light of my sacred gem (from her life journey and trajectory of her Jade Pendant) as an inspiration to this fine movie project, THE JADE PENDANT… And so the noble truths and the profound teachings of Beauty, Love and Light–all that which inspires and uplifts the Human Spirit is continued in perpetuity…My Mother and her sacred Jade Pendant will live in my heart forever.

Thank you to all my dearest friends and members of my clan—-who so generously gave of your kindness and heart to my sweet Mother.  For those who have been kind enough to send your lovely thoughts, flowers, and to attend this service, my family and I thank you a THOUSAND folds for your thoughtfulness and care. May her spirit now in full radiance return all your love and may she bestow upon you all her blessings in reciprocity so that the precious gift of Love is now complete–in an eternal full circle of hope, love and compassion.
In the final analysis, when all is said and done, it is one thing alone that conquers all and that which immortalizes our existence here on earth: LOVE. Love transcends all, aspires to all things and unites even loved-ones divided by the physical boundaries of mortal existence. I still vibrantly feel my Mother’s  love all around me–she is transcendently everywhere and I am so blessed to know the greatest blessing she gifted me with–LOVE; then, now and forever…
Vida G.

Vida G.

Vida is an actress and journalist who lives in Los Angeles, California. She is the co-founder of the Hollywood Press Corps.

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Michael Douglas with philanthropist, actress and recording artist Ha Phuong at The Tibet Fund’s 6th Annual Gala, co-chaired by Richard Gere

HP, along with long-time supporters Gere and Douglas, are committed advocates of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his mission to preserve the distinct cultural and national identity of the Tibetan people. Visit tibetfund.org to learn how you too can support the Tibetan people and His Holiness.
On this special occasion in New York, The Tibet Fund honored Shep E. Gordon, an American talent manager, Hollywood film agent, and producer; Gelek Rinpoche, a spiritual teacher and Founder and President of Jewel Heart; and Philip Glass, a renowned music composer, for their long-standing support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people.
“I was very honored to be a part of this ceremony recognizing these distinguished guests for their dedicated service to The Tibet Fund and helping the Tibetan people,” said Ha Phuong.

Philanthropist, actress and recording artist Ha Phuong joined by Michael Douglas on the red carpet in New York City. All photos courtesy Winston Burris
Philanthropist, actress and recording artist Ha Phuong joined by Michael Douglas on the red carpet in New York City. All photos courtesy Winston Burris

“After personally meeting with the Dalai Lama several years ago, I was deeply moved by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and I made the commitment to help bring awareness about The Tibet Fund that provides housing and infrastructure, health care and education to the Tibetan community, in exile and in Tibet. I urge everyone to offer their support to the Tibetan community and visittibetfund.org to learn more.”
About Michael Douglas
Michael Kirk Douglas is an American actor and producer. His career includes a diverse range of films in both independent and blockbuster genres, for which he has received a number of accolades both competitive and honorary; these include the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for “outstanding contribution to the world of entertainment” and the AFI Life Achievement Award which “honor[s] an individual whose career in motion pictures or television has greatly contributed to the enrichment of American culture.”
About The Tibet Fund
The Tibet Fund’s mission is to preserve the distinct cultural and national identity of the Tibetan people. Since 1981, under the patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Tibet Fund has been the primary funding organization for health care, education, refugee rehabilitation, religious and cultural preservation, elder care and community and economic development programs serving more than 140,000 Tibetan refugees living in India, Nepal and Bhutan.
‘I would like to express my gratitude to all the friends who have generously contributed to The Tibet Fund over the years, with the hope that you will continue to support us until our difficulties have been finally and justly resolved.’
—His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
To view this message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, please visit tibetfund.org

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance at AFM

The much buzzed about Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance was the made its mark on a global scale at the popular American Film Market (AFM) with a standing room only screening and meet and greet with the film’s stars. They also had an epic, star-studded party at the 310 Lounge in Santa Monica.

The film's stars from left to right: Mel Novak, Tommy Wiseau, Laurene Landon, Mathew Karedas and Kristine DeBell. Photo courtesy of Albert L. Ortega/Gettyimages
The film’s stars from left to right: Mel Novak, Tommy Wiseau, Laurene Landon, Mathew Karedas and Kristine DeBell. Photo courtesy of Albert L. Ortega/Gettyimages

“We are delighted to present this film to the worldwide audience at AFM and hope that people around the world can experience Samurai Cop 2,” said award-winning writer-director-producer Gregory Hatanaka.

 Filmmakers Bert I. Gordon and Gregory Hatanaka with actress Laurene Landon. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos
Filmmakers Bert I. Gordon and Gregory Hatanaka with actress Laurene Landon. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos

This much anticipated sequel to the legendary cult classic, Samurai Cop (1991), explores the dynamic duo of Detective Frank Washington (Mark Frazier) and Joe Marshall (MathewKaredas), who are teaming up once again in this action-packed tour de force. This time their mission is to solve a series of assassinations being committed by a secret group of sexy female vigilante killers.

Actor Tommy Wiseau and writer-director-producer Gregory Hatanaka give their thumbs up. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos
Actor Tommy Wiseau and writer-director-producer Gregory Hatanaka give their thumbs up. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos

Alongside the original cast, the film also stars iconic actors such as Mel Novak (Bruce Lee’s Game of Death, Black Belt Jones), Bai Ling (The Crow, Crank: High Voltage), Tommy Wiseau (The Room), Laurene Landon (Maniac Cop, Airplane II: The Sequel), Thomas J. Churchill (Lazarus: Apocalypse, Checkpoint), Joe Estevez (Dexter), Dawna Lee Heising (Slink, Ten Violent Women: Part 2), Gerald Okamura (G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra) , Kayden Kross (Street Smart), Yuka Sano (Paranormal Activity Security Squad), Lisa London (Darling Nikki, Divorce Texas Style) , Ramzi Abed (Noirland), Naoyuki Ikeda (Blue Dream), Lexi Belle (Sisterhood), Kristine De Bell (Darling Nikki, Meatballs) and Joycelyne Lew (Mad Cowgirl, Ride With the Devil), who were both leads in Jackie Chan’s The Big Brawl and countless others.

Actress Bai Ling strikes a pose in a racy leopard print. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos
Actress Bai Ling strikes a pose in a racy leopard print. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos

Other celebrities and VIPs in attendance were the film’s producers Joseph Kelbie Williamson, Rich Mallery, as well as filmmaker Bert I. Gordon (Secrets of a Psychopath), actors Hank Garrett (Three Days of the Condor), Jamie Bernadette (Darling Nikki), Magda Marcella (Hunter) Vida Ghaffari (The Mindy Project), journalists Maryam Morrison and Mathew Morrison of Eden Magazine, Tyrone Tann of Stauros Entertainment, Jesse Torrero of AV Entertainment Live, celebrity photographers Albert L. Ortega, Bob Delgadillo, Billy Bennight – and many more!

Writer-director-producer Gregory Hatanaka with actors Mathew Karedas and Mel Novak. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos
Writer-director-producer Gregory Hatanaka with actors Mathew Karedas and Mel Novak. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos

Founded in 1981, the AFM quickly became the premiere global marketplace where Hollywood’s decision-makers and trendsetters all gather under one roof. Unlike a film festival, the AFM is a marketplace where production and distribution deals are closed. In just eight days, more than $1 billion in deals will be sealed — on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production — making AFM the must-attend industry event where Samurai Cop 2 was highlighted on a grand scale.

Filmmakers and actors Tyrone Tann and Thomas J. Churchill. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos
Filmmakers and actors Tyrone Tann and Thomas J. Churchill. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos
Actor Mel Novak looks sharp in his suit from Rocky's Custom Clothes. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos
Actor Mel Novak looks sharp in his suit from Rocky’s Custom Clothes. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos
Yours truly getting interviewed by Jesse Torrero of AV Entertainment Live. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos
Yours truly getting interviewed by Jesse Torrero of AV Entertainment Live. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos
With two filmmakers I admire, Thomas J. Churchill and Gregory Hatanaka. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos
With two filmmakers I admire, Thomas J. Churchill and Gregory Hatanaka. Photo courtesy of Billy Bennight/PR Photos

More info at https://www.facebook.com/SamuraiCop2

Vida G.

Vida G.

Vida is an actress and journalist who lives in Los Angeles, California. She is the co-founder of the Hollywood Press Corps.

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Forgotten Heroes Honors Our Brave Vets

This Veteran’s Day I want to highlight a filmmaker, Jack Marino, Producer/Director Jack Marino who honors all the Vietnam era veterans in his independent feature film called “Forgotten Heroes.” This moving film is about a Russian General, played by veteran character actor William Smith, that defects for freedom during the Vietnam War. He is joined by a wonderful ensemble cast.

Award-winning filmmaker Thomas J. Churchill guests on the Jack Marino Warriorfilmmaker Show on LA Talk Radio
Award-winning filmmaker Thomas J. Churchill guests on the Jack Marino Warriorfilmmaker Show on LA Talk Radio

Marino has an interesting backstory. A student of the Boston Catholic school system his early life, he eventually went to Northeastern University in Boston and graduated with a BA in Criminal Justice.  This was his first massive exposure to the 60s radical malcontent mindset.  It was at Northeastern that he started doing theater in the round.  His first Shakespearean role was Ross in Macbeth.  After two years of fencing and acting in plays he wanted to get into Repertory Theater.  Once he was out of Northeastern, his former teacher/director cast him as Cyrano de Bergerac in that ambitious play she was directing.  Four weeks into rehearsal the play was shut down for lack of funds. Sounds familiar? This would be a way of life in the world of independent filmmaking once he got to Hollywood.

Poster for Forgotten Heroes
Poster for Forgotten Heroes

After the play shut down he got into his 1971 Dodge Charger and headed for Hollywood for six months.  While out here he met a lot of film stars, old prize fighters who knew everyone from the old days of Hollywood.  His plan was to get a feel for the place. He worked in a couple of films and then returned home to marry his high school sweetheart. Back in Everett, they both worked for another two years. By mid ’80 they were back living in Los Angeles.

During the next four years he formed two production companies, had a couple of scripts and was taking them around to all the studios.  In ’83 he raised private funds to produce his first independent film “KILLZONE”. It was one of the biggest hits of the 1985AFM and it changed the entire film market to low budget action films.  In Jan. of ’86 he was asked by his DP on KILLZONE to put together the film, “Hell’s Outlaw” and borrowing a friend’s credit card he made the film. By the fall of ’86 he began putting together the film project called “FORGOTTEN HEROES”. Little would he know that this film would end up becoming his Calypso in this twenty-year odyssey.

“FORGOTTEN HEROES” is a well produced indie film and a very touching and gritty story about the Vietnam War. William Smith gives a phenomenal performance as the defecting Soviet General. David Campbell also gave a winning performance. Marino is a true patriot for creating this amazing film that will have viewers of the edge of their seats.

What I really liked was that it was a positive portrayal of our brave troops, who really don’t get enough appreciation for sacrificing their lives for our freedom.

Jack has been married now for thirty-two years to a green-eyed Irish girl he met in 1969.  Their daughter, now married, recently gave birth to “Identical twin girls”. Their son is in the Army and recently finished his tour of duty with the 25th INF DIV in a Striker Brigade in Baghdad, Iraq and is now with the Army Reserves here in Los Angeles.

By the way, he still has that ’71 Dodge Charger,  still has that same girl, and when the world was young, they went everywhere in that car.  He would tell her of his dreams, making films in Hollywood, living up on Mulholland Farm, having fat kids and watching their vineyards grow!  Now that their kids are out on their own, he is with his girl again, only he can remember when.

More info about the film at  http://www.forgottenheroesthemovie.com/

Vida G.

Vida G.

Vida is an actress and journalist who lives in Los Angeles, California. She is the co-founder of the Hollywood Press Corps.

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