May 24, 2005


New York Asian Film Festival 2005

Subway Cinema's NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL (June 17 - 30) has announced its line-up. I'm one of the programmers of the festival (and all five of us tear tickets, clean out trash, schmooze directors, and program the movies - along with our loyal army of volunteers) so this is pretty shameless. But I remember when we started out doing this in 1999 and no one cared about Asian film that much. Now, programming a festival is like going to war: you race into the smoke and screams and hope to emerge on the other side, intact, with a few films gripped in your hands.

- Spotlight on Tartan's Asian Extreme Line - Kim Ki-Duk's award-winning SAMARITAN GIRL; Takeshi Shimizu's follow-up to "Ju-On", MAREBITO; two Shinya Tsukamoto films; and Korea's 2004 horror hit about Vietnam, R-POINT.
- HANA AND ALICE - the latest movie from Asia's great neglected director, Shunji Iwai.
- PRINCESS RACCOON - the latest from Seijun Suzuki is a musical starring Zhang Ziyi.
- THREE...EXTREMES - the three-part horror flick from Park Chan-Wook, Takeshi Miike and Fruit Chan.

-KEKEXILI - this isn't a movie, it's an endurance challenge. A movie that actually inspires awe.
- ONE NIGHT IN MONGKOK - Hong Kong's best film of 2004, it beat Stephen Chow's "Kung Fu Hustle" for "Best Director" and "Best Screenplay" and it should have beaten him for "Best Film".
- LATE BLOOMER - a handicapped version of "Taxi Driver". You've never seen anything like this.
- UNIVERSITY OF LAUGHS - Koji Yakusho ("Shall We Dance", "Doppelganger") in a two-character movie about political censorship and bad comedy during wartime. It's the funniest and sharpest movie about post-9/11 politics and it comes from Japan.
- P - this is one to make your head spin. A Thai horror movie about a young woman who becomes a bar girl and uses black magic to seduce her clients. Things, of course, get out of hand. But the cultural whiplash starts with the fact that the director, Paul Spurrier (former child actor), is a white British guy, who spent years in Thailand learning the language in order to make this movie, and he even casts himself as a sleazy white guy looking for sex in one scene. It's about as unacceptable as you can get, but the result is one of the best horror movies of last year, and certainly one of the most heartfelt.

May 24, 2005 at 08:39 AM in News | Permalink


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What an excellent lineup. I am so jealous that I'm living here in Arizona so that I cannot go see this. I'd LOVE to be able to see GODZILLA and SAMARITAN GIRL on the big screen. And HANA AND ALICE is such a precious movie and the R3 DVD seems of only mediocre quality; that would be great to see in the theatre. And I'm so totally intrigued by the trailer to PRINCESS RACCOON that I can barely contain myself. WoW. Hope that you guys have a great turnout as it really deserves it.

Posted by: goro | May 25, 2005 7:40:02 AM

Looks like another killer lineup. It be worth going to if only to see "Kekexili" and "One Night in Mongkok" Too bad I live in Ohio. I also want to thank Grady. Because of him and SubwayCinema.com, I own "The Longest Nite", "Expect The Unexpected," "The Mission", "Running Out Of Time", "Nowhere To Hide", "A Chinese Ghost Story 2", “A Hero Never Dies”, and "Peking Opera Blues".

Posted by: Mike | May 30, 2005 7:42:18 PM

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