81-Year-Old Artist Recreates the Chinatown of His Youth in Miniature

Screenshot, “Forever, Chinatown” / Good Medicine Picture Company
Screenshot, “Forever, Chinatown” / Good Medicine Picture Company

Frank Wong’s memories are fading, so he’s creating reminders through art. The 81-year-old San Franciscan recreates San Francisco’s Chinatown as it looked in the '40s and '50s through dioramas, as Hyperallergic reports.

Wong is the subject of the new 32-minute documentary Forever, Chinatown, which highlights his art and process. He uses the detailed dioramas as a way to deal with memory loss, hoping to preserve what he can still recall. “The only way for me to capture my memories is to make them in three-dimension,” he says in the film’s trailer. His miniatures are detailed recreations of the history of his neighborhood, permanent representations of a city that has changed immeasurably in the years since Wong's youth.

The artist worked as a Hollywood prop master at one time, and his painstakingly realistic dioramas include apartments with tiny cups on tiny drying racks; fabric stores with 200 bolts of tiny fabric; and tiny laundromats with tiny plastic-wrapped, newly dry-cleaned shirts and dresses. The pieces are “half wishing, half memory,” Wong says, compilations of real-life scenes laced with details from the past that he acknowledges he might not remember with 100 percent accuracy.

Wong has donated some of his work to the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco, and you can see seven of his dioramas on display there. You can stream the whole film online through PBS until June 7.

Teaser Trailer 1 from Good Medicine Picture Company on Vimeo.

[h/t Hyperallergic]

Harry Potter Cast Remembers the Late Alan Rickman

© 2009 - Warner Bros.
© 2009 - Warner Bros.

The world lost some of its most iconic celebrities in 2016, including ​Carrie Fisher and David Bowie. For ​Harry Potterfans, the January 14, 2016 death of ​Alan Rickman hit hard. Unsurprisingly, his castmates were also deeply impacted by the actor's death and have spoken out several times over the years about the magic he brought to the set.

"Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with," ​Daniel Radcliffe wrote about Rickman a couple months after his death. "He is also, one of the loyalest and most supportive people I've ever met in the film industry."

Over two years later, the cast of Harry Potter is ​remembering Rickman to Entertainment Weekly.

Both ​Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood, and director Chris Columbus remember Rickman for being stoic on the outside, but very sweet on the inside.

"You’re thinking, it’s the guy from Die Hard and going, 'Oh my god.' If he’s in a serious mood, he’s intimidating as hell. But suddenly I had dinner with him ... and when he smiled, he just became the warmest, nicest human being in the world," Columbus said.

"Alan Rickman, pretty much every day of filming, he had a whole troop of little children [visiting]," Lynch remembered. "It was the most bizarre scene to see Snape in this black robe ... surrounded by all these happy little children who were just chatting away to him.”

Oliver Phelps and Warwick Davis recalled Rickman's affinity for iPods.

“I remember once he’d come back from an awards show ... and in the gift box was an iPod, when they’d first come about," Phelps said. "I remember being next to him ... and I ended up showing Alan how to work an iPod, which was not what I thought I’d ever do in my life. He was a very approachable guy once you saw past Snape’s wig."

"I started to wonder, what does Alan Rickman as Professor Snape listen to on his iPod?" Davis stated. "An audiobook? Some Shakespeare? Some classical music? Some techno beats? I don’t know. I never did ask
him, and I wish I had. I’d love to have known.”

​​Rickman's final role was in Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Game of Thrones Star Sean Bean Talks Reprising Ned Stark Role for Prequel Series

Nick Briggs, HBO
Nick Briggs, HBO

Former ​​Game of Thrones star Sean Bean had a brief run on the show before his character, Ned Stark, literally lost his head.

During a recent interview with ​The Hollywood Reporter, Bean shared his take on whether he'd be willing to reprise his role for the Game of Thrones prequel series. Since next year's eighth season will also be the ​series' final season, fans are eager to get their fix through the prequel series, which is set to start filming next year.

When Bean was asked if he'd consider being a part of the prequel, he said, "I don't know how we can be ... I don't know how anyone can be, since they're going backwards, I'd be younger. Now, we all look a little bit older."

Before you get your hopes up and put all of your faith in the magic of digital editing, which could potentially make Bean appear younger, the actor appears to have doubts about reprising his role in general. He shared:

"I'm always a bit reluctant to go back to shows under a different format or guise ... But you never know with something like this, it just depends on the time frames ... I think if the quality was maintained. You know, the kind of thought behind it, if it didn't look as though it was an add-on just to capitalize on earlier success."

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