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SM: This guy is a natural. You didn’t have to do much aside from showing up and pressing “record.”

ZL: (Laughing) Well, there’s a little more to it than that.

SM: I’m being facetious. There is a tremendous amount of thought put into the manner in which this is put together. You can sense a mind at work behind every shot and edit. I’m reluctant to use the word manipulative. It has more to do with what you choose to show us.

ZL: A lot of documentary filmmak- ers tend to avoid that, but I want you to know that there is someone involved in showing you what to see and what not to see. It’s not a security camera capturing what exists. I hope that my hand is never so heavy where it comes off as this is the only way this film can be seen. I want the audience to experience it as if they were there to make their own choices.


sausages. For vegetarians, there are sotto aceti, or Italian-style pick- led vegetables, and Middle Eastern falafel fritters tucked in mini-pitas with tomatoes, onion, tahini and su- mac powder. From the Philippines, chicharon manok pairs “cracklings” of crisply fried chicken skin with a spicy, garlicky vinegar dip. Tapas are similarly alluring, es- pecially the Thai “oyster shooters,” in this case served on half-shells brimming with a spiced coconut milk sauce that has a delayed fuse that doesn’t start burning until it hits the back of the throat. They’re plenty hot, but not overwhelming. Piquillo peppers, crimson but mild, are filled with a very savory mixture of pulled pork and barbecue sauce and go well with a crisp white wine. Much richer and definitely off-the- beaten track, roasted bone marrow is roasted with thyme and served with grilled, lemon-flavored pugliese bread, over which it spreads like a most elegant form of butter. Some entrees are very much in the “comfort food” tradition, like chicken with baby vegetables and buttermilk dumplings. There is a twist, however, since Here- dia makes the dish with chicken


underwriting for events such as the SoNo Park Holiday Fest and the Va- riety Show, as well as sponsoring a spelling bee on campus.” Previous events include a Jog-a-thon, which raised more than $12,000 for the school’s programs and was underwritten by a generous contribution from Thrifty Gas Station on Univer- sity, the SoNo Park Holiday Fest last December on the corner of 32nd and Thorn Streets, which featured a cookie decorating area provided by Albertsons on University, a Beer Garden spon- sored by Stone, Ballast Point, Pizza Port and Karl Strauss Breweries, San Diego Ceram- ics Connection’s 16th Annual “Chilipalooza” hosted by Kouta Shimazaki (more than 900 ce- ramic bowls sold in six hours!), and 18 local restaurants in their own Chili Cook-off with celeb-

SM: Stan is Jake LaMotta; he doesn’t change from fade in to fade out. He’s not as big a jerk as Jake, but the way in which he treats his wife is abominable at times. She’s the one that you feel for. There’s the scene where she’s in the front seat of a pickup trapped between a belligerent Stan and his crack- smoking brother. It took place close enough to the film’s ending where it pretty much quashed any prospects of cheering him on before the curtain falls.

ZL: No question about it, there is a lot of Stan which is “Raging Bull.” At times he can be a gentle three- year old. There is an innocence to him like a young person, but there are also these elements to him that are darker and far more complex.

SM: This is everything “The Fight- er” should have been and wasn’t.

ZL: I didn’t see “The Fighter,” but it raises my eyebrows. How will it affect people seeing my film? If all that sort of adds to the atten- tion to give “Strongman” an entry point, that’s great.

prepared in the confit style the French use to preserve goose and duck. Long-cooked lamb shank is served with saffron couscous, flat- iron steak with zesty chimichurri sauce, and fresh fettuccine with a particularly rich carbonara sauce made with pork belly. Compared to this, the pan-roasted ruby trout with lemon and olive oil sounds like a miracle of lightness. It’s served over a bed of caramel- ized Brussels Sprouts, the hip veggie of 2011, and sprinkled with sunflower seeds. After such

WHAT'S UP!/PUZZLES SM: What’s next?

ZL: The future is sort of the present for me right now. I’m out promoting and booking “Strong- man.” It’s been a really long road, and I am finally at the point where I feel the film gaining momentum and recognition. I spent so much time and energy on this film that I want to make sure it gets out there. At that point I realized that I needed to make a film for myself. I listed something like 15 ideas on a piece of paper, ripped them into strips and put them in a hat. I don’t remember which one I picked, but it didn’t really mat- ter. I was going to pick one and do it as an exercise, just to show that I can make a feature film. A week or two later, I met Stan. Suddenly the exercise became something that I needed to make. That’s what happens when my brain is free enough, and I’m at a place now where something will happen and I know it will be something that I need to do.u

San Diego Uptown News | Mar. 18–31, 2011 Uptown Games Uptown’s



dishes, the “Three Scoops” dessert of Bourbon-flavored pecan gelato goes down easily. Richer and more complex, the amusingly named “coffee, donuts and a cigarette” garnishes a coffee cup of mocha crème brulee with two delicious miniature doughnuts (a dozen wouldn’t be too many) and a phyllo dough-wrapped chocolate cigar. This one costs eight bucks and is worth every penny, especially if your dinner partner doesn’t want to share – but inevitably, you’ll have to part with some of it.u

Answer key, page 23

Uptown Crossword

rity judges. Local arts and crafts vendors and seven local bands on the stage sponsored by Bar Pink provided entertainment. The event, hosted by Party Pro- duction Rentals, raised close to $8,000 for the ceramics and mu- sic programs at McKinley. The Student Variety Show on Feb. 24 at the Birch North Park Theatre, sponsored by Ascent Real Estate and many other businesses and families brought in some funds but mostly gave 143 stu- dents the chance to shine. From Flamenco dancing, to magic tricks and poems, the kids were able to express themselves and get rous- ing ovations from the 400 McKin- ley families, friends and neighbors in attendance. More funds are needed to keep

the current arts programs going. Everyone is invited to attend and support the 2011 night out and silent auction “Casino Royale” at Coronado Yacht Club on April 23. Please visit: for more information.u


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Answer key, page 23

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