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The New York Asian Film Festival (June 18 - July 15, 2013) is back at Lincoln Center’s Film Society and is enjoying one of its strongest years. Considered by The New York Times to be “one of the city's most valuable cultural events,” the NYAFF assembles films from Hong Kong, Thailand, China, and Japan, and features classics along with new films. Along with the NYAFF, it's sister festival at the Japan Society, Japan Cuts (July 11 - 21, 2013), is bringing over some of the freshest and most innovative films from Japan today.
Some of the films garnering special attention at the NYAFF and Japan Cuts festival include:
A Thai Goodfellas-like tale, Gangster details the short life of a legendary thug in this fact-based film interspersed with doc-like segments in which old-timers talk about the young outlaws of 1950s and ’60s Thailand. Jod, a handsome young bad boy with both a heart and cutting blade, rises in rank until he’s jailed following the military coup which brings order to the streets. Police officer Neung rules and is a frequent thorn in the side of the gangs, particularly Jod’s. Once he emerges from prison, Jod changes his criminal ways, determined to set things right. But, knowing no other life, he returns to his old ways and crew with spectacularly fatal results. Like a Greek tragedy, this film neither glorifies not sermonizes but cleanly tells a woeful tale.
With the craze for Ip Man kung fu films in play, director Herman Yau again teams up with actor Anthony Wong (Untold Story, Ebola Syndrome) for this final film in the series but instead of a fight fest he deliver a slyly philosophical treatise on kung fu intellectual underpinnings and the character of this man who was Bruce Lee’s master. Packed with some of Hong Kong’s best stars of the 80s and 90’s including Eric Tsang, Ken Lo (Drunken Master), and Xiong Xin-xin (The Blade, Once Upon a Time in China 3), this movie riffs on the zeitgeist of the times and serves as a paean to Hong Kong’s volatile history of political protest. If any film transcends the traditional martial arts movie while still employing all the entertaining tropes of the genre this one is it. It deserves accolades and awards.
Director Herman Yau and screenwriter Erica Li will attend the screening.
After being banned for almost five years, acclaimed art house director Lou Ye makes a comeback in the Chinese film industry with a genre-esque tale of love, obsession and death. Structured around an imploding middle class marriage, Mystery transforms from a tale of infidelity into a murderous mystery and perverse obsession that results imprisons husband, wives, lovers and children in an every swirling gyre. A brilliantly construction latticework of story and concept , here’s a film that update the classic family crime drama with a uniquely Asian twist. Winner of Best Film at the Asian Film Awards.New York Premiere
Top Japanese photographer Mika Ninagawa and controversial star Erika Sawajiri deliver a plastic surgery horror story that’s both skin crawling and a meditation on Japan’s obsession with ideal beauty. A monstrous Lady Gaga-esque model/singer/actress in love with her own young body, Lilico (Sawajiri) psychologically devours employees, fans and industry supporters. But she hides an horrible and devastating secret: she requires ever-more frequent hormonal injections to sustain the delicate plastic surgery that has turned her workaday whore to star. but this illegally developed serum isn’t working anymore and her face and body are developing slowly blackening blotches that reveal her reality is as rotten as bruised fruit. Quite the morality play.
To learn more, go to: http://subwaycinema.com/nyaff13/ & http://www.japansociety.org/japan-cuts-2013
The New York Asian Film FestivalJune 18 - July 15, 2013
The Film Society of Lincoln Center70 Lincoln Square #4, New York, NY 10023
Japan CutsJuly 11 - 21, 2013
The Japan Society333 E 47th StNew York, NY 10017
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