"Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die": The New York Asian Film Festival survives and thrives to an adult age 18 this year. The festival takes place in NYC from June 28–July 11 at Film at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, and then at SVA Theater from July 11–14. NYAFF brings to the U.S. a film survey of the best of East Asia’s breadth of cultures. Their film industries in the global market are vibrant and growing in 2019: China ranks as No. 2; Japan as No. 4; and South Korea as No. 7. Films will be organized by regions along these tracks: Hong Kong Panorama, Mainland China, New Cinema from Japan, South Korean Cinema, Taiwan, and Southeast Asian Vanguard.
NYAFF opened on June 28 with Samurai Marathon, a jidaigeki or period piece set in the 1850s during the arrival of the U.S. Commodore Perry in feudal Japan. The film was scored by Philip Glass. Q&A with Director Bernard Rose followed the film screening, along with The Rising Star Asia Award presentation for Komatsu Nana, and the annual Night Market reception.
Also on opening weekend at Alice Tully Hall, NYAFF presented a very special screening with a live score accompaniment of Kokdu: A Story of Guardian Angels by director Kim Tae-yong. With the full orchestra from the National Gugak Center of traditional performing arts, classical Korean instruments played alongside the film melding fantasy, Korean folklore and the netherworld of guardian angels. Composer Bang Jun-seok was in attendance.
On Sunday night, June 30, while the rest of NYC was celebrating Pride month, Walter Reade Theater was hosting a packed audience who came out for the Taiwanese film, Han Dan. Director Huang Chao Liang and actor George Hu (both, center front in photo) in a Q&A discussed the Taiwanese firecracker ritual of the god, Han Dan, and the tragic story of two young men caught in a cycle of revenge and atonement.
Fight choreographer Grandmaster Yuen Woo-ping (The Matrix; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; and Kill Bill) will be honored tonight at NYAFF 2019 on July 1 with the Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award. Classic kung-fu films will be screened at the festival in tribute to him. He will give a free masterclass on July 2nd to the public. (Register on filmlinc.org.)
The Centerpiece is the North American premiere of The Fable, directed by Kan Eguchi, who will attend the festival. The Closing Night will be announced later in the festival. On July 13 at SVA, the Secret Screening is a Hong Kong classic given a live-music treatment by the hip-hop collective Shaolin Jazz.
The festival continues on through Sunday, July 14th.
To learn more and buy tickets:
18TH NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL
Jun 28 - Jul 14, 2019
165 West 65th Street
333 West 23rd Street