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Lazy Announcement: The 2011 New York Asian Film Festival Line-Up

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NYAFF 2011 schedule is out.

Here’s my imitation of being indiewire:

CHINA
BUDDHA MOUNTAIN (China, 2010, North American Premiere, 105 minutes) –
gobbling up festival awards around the world, Sylvia Chang stars as a
suicidal landlady who rents an apartment to three irritating young hipsters
in this transcendent drama from Li Yu (LOST IN BEIJING) one of the only
female directors working in China. Popular actress, Fan Bingbing (SHAOLIN),
stars as one of the hipsters, but it’s Sylvia Chang, the most important
woman in Chinese show business in the 70’s and 80’s, who owns this movie.

OCEAN HEAVEN (China/Hong Kong, 2010, New York Premiere, 96 minutes) –
directed by another female director, this movie sees Jet Li team up with
cinematographer Christopher Doyle and composer Joe Hisaishi to make a
restrained, heartbreaking movie about a dad (Jet Li) trying to teach his
autistic son how to live on his own. Beautifully shot, scored, acted and
observed, it’s got no action, all heartbreak.

HONG KONG
THE BLADE (Hong Kong, 1995, 100 minutes) – part of Wu Xia focus.
***The movie’s director, Tsui Hark, will be at the screening

DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME (Hong Kong, 2010, 122
minutes) – part of Wu Xia focus.
***The movie’s director, Tsui Hark, will be at the screening

DRAGON INN (Hong Kong, 1992, 109 minutes) – part of Wu Xia focus. Brand new
print!
***The movie’s producer, Tsui Hark, will be at the screening

DUEL TO THE DEATH (Hong Kong, 1983, 83 minutes) – part of Wu Xia focus.

PUNISHED (Hong Kong, 2011, International Premiere, 94 minutes) – the latest
movie produced by Johnnie To, this is a hardcore revenge drama featuring a
powerhouse turn by Anthony Wong as a real estate billonaire whose wild child
daughter has been kidnapped. Bullet-to-the-head action the way Hong Kong
used to do it.

SHAOLIN (Hong Kong/China, 2011, North American Premiere, 131 minutes) –
Centerpiece Presentation
***The movie’s director, Benny Chan, will be at the screening

RIKI-OH: THE STORY OF RICKY (Hong Kong, 1991, 91 minutes) – the classic Hong
Kong midnight action movie about prison privatization and monsters who
strangle you with their guts. Rarely seen on the big screen, this is a
full-on, ridiculously crazy mind-melter full of crucifixion, flaying,
classic kung fu combat and prison wardens who keep breath mints in their
glass eyeballs.

ZU: WARRIORS FROM THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN (Hong Kong, 1983 94 minutes) – part of
Wu Xia focus.
***The movie’s director, Tsui Hark, will be at the screening

JAPAN
13 ASSASSINS: DIRECTOR’S CUT (Japan, 2010, 141 minutes, New York Premiere) –
the complete UNCUT version of Takashi Miike’s samurai masterpiece. With 17
minutes of original footage restored.
***One of the movie’s stars, Takayuki Yamada, will be at the screening

ABRAXAS (Japan, 2010, New York Premiere, 113 minutes) – straight outta
Sundance comes this movie about a punk rocker turned Buddhist monk who still
yearns to rock out.

BATTLE ROYALE (Japan, 2000, 114 minutes) – a celebratory screening of Kinji
Fukasaku’s masterpiece now that it finally – after 10 years!!!! – has a new
distributor who wants people to actually see it.
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema

A BOY AND HIS SAMURAI (Japan, 2010, North American Premiere, 109 minutes) –
the director of FISH STORY and GOLDEN SLUMBER returns to the festival with
this family film about a samurai who winds up in the modern era.
Surprisingly, it then becomes an exceptional food movie! This is the
father-son movie you’ve been looking for.

DARK ON DARK (Japan, 2011, International Premiere, 17 minutes) – this short
film is the directorial debut from Makoto Ohtake, a well-known Japanese
comedian and actor since the 80’s (he’s worked extensively with Takeshi
Kitano and the popular City Boys troupe). It’s all about a two-bit talent
manager and his outrageously endowed adult video talent bringing peace into
the world via their various “gifts.” Screens with HORNY HOUSE OF HORROR.

GANTZ and GANTZ: PERFECT ANSWER (Japan, 2011, 130 minutes & 150 minutes) –
presented back-to-back it’s the uncut, subtitled, live action movies based
on Japan’s existential sci fi action manga. It’s the New York Premiere of
the subtitled GANTZ and the North American Premiere of the subtitled GANTZ:
PERFECT ANSWER.
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema

HEAVENS STORY (Japan, 2010, North American Premiere, 278 minutes) – “King of
Pink Films” Takahisa Zeze spent almost two years shooting this 4 hour movie
about two random murders and the heartbreak, trauma and healing that spills
out from them over the next two decades. Monumental and strange, passionate
and philosophical, this is an epic in every sense of the word and a towering
achievement in film.
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema

HORNY HOUSE OF HORROR (Japan, 2010, North American Premiere, 75 minutes) –
Japan does the violent porno horror thing better than anyone else and this
oddity features butt-walls, wiener-eating and demon hookers. This is the
directorial debut from the writer of MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD, and it’s firmly in
the vein of that film and ROBO GEISHA. Only, you know, set in a horny house
that’s full of horror.
Preceded by: DARK ON DARK (see above, 17 minutes)

KARATE-ROBO ZABORGAR (Japan, 2011, New York Premiere, 106 minutes) – Noboru
Iguchi (Robo Geisha) makes his best film yet. Not just that, but this is the
best-looking flick from label, Sushi Typhoon, yet. Slick, big budget and
almost family friendly, it’s based on an obscure TV show from the 70’s about
a young, bright-eyed police officer and his karate robot (who transforms
into a motorcycle) fighting crime. But in Iguchi’s version, the two split up
and have to reunite years later after middle-age has taken its toll.

THE LAST DAYS OF THE WORLD (Japan, 2011, World Premiere, 96 minutes) – a
return to the trippy, socially-engaged, blackly comic, ridiculously violent
revolutionary movies of Japan’s 60’s. A high school student has a vision
that the world is ending and so, faced with no consequences, he abducts a
fellow student and goes on a crime spree.

LOVE AND LOATHING AND LULU AND AYANO (Japan, 2010, North American Premiere,
105 minutes) – based on a book of interviews with porn film dayworkers, this
exuberant, anime-influenced movie about life on the bottom rungs of the
adult film business treats life in the porno business as a chance for some
actors to escape their humdrum, everyday existences.
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema

MILOCRORZE: A LOVE STORY (Japan, 2011, North American Premiere, 90 minutes)
– Opening Night Movie
***The movie’s director, Yoshimasa Ishibashi, and star, Takayuki Yamada,
will be at the screenings
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema

NINJA KIDS!!! (Japan, 2011, World Premiere, 100 minutes) –
Centerpiece Presentation
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema

OSAMU TEZUKA’S BUDDHA: THE GREAT DEPARTURE (Japan, 2011, North American
Premiere, 111 minutes) – the much-anticipated animated epic based on Osamu
Tezuka’s landmark life of the Buddha.
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film

RINGING IN THEIR EARS (Japan, 2011, International Premiere, 89 minutes) – Yu
Irie (8000 MILES 1 & 2) returns with this ambitious flick about an upcoming
concert by a reclusive rock group and the managers, obsessed fans, shut-ins,
single moms and kindergarten teachers who are affected by it. A true tribute
to the healing power of rock and roll.
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema

VERSUS (Japan, 2000, 120 minutes) – a tenth-anniversary celebration of the
Japanese zombie action film that launched a thousand horror/splatter/action
flicks.
***Star and action choreographer, Tak Sakaguchi, and writer, Yudai
Yamaguchi, will be at the screening.

YAKUZA WEAPON (Japan, 2011, New York Premiere, 105 minutes) –
stuntman-turned-director, Tak Sakaguchi, turns in a high calibre,
action-heavy riff on Robocop all about a robot yakuza out to put his fist
through the skulls of the bad guys. From Sushi Typhoon, purveyor of movies
like Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl.
***The movie’s director and star, Tak Sakaguchi, and co-director and writer,
Yudai Yamaguchi, will be at the screening
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema

KOREA
BATTLEFIELD HEROES (Korea, 2011, New York Premiere, 118 minutes) – an
absurdist satire about war, this movie from Lee Joon-Ik (director of KING
AND CLOWN, the highest-grossing Korean film of all time) is like a Terry
Gilliam movie gone Korean as a farmer too poor to even have a name gets
drafted into one of medieval Korea’s eternal wars.
***The movie’s director, Lee Joon-Ik, will be at the screening.

BEDEVILLED (Korea, 2010, New York Premiere, 115 minutes) – part of Sea of
Revenge focus.

THE CHASER (Korean, 2008, 125 minutes) – part of Sea of Revenge focus.

CITY OF VIOLENCE (Korea, 2006, 92 minutes) – an encore presentation of the
best all-out action film from Ryoo Seung-Wan (THE UNJUST). Like a less
ironic version of KILL BILL.
***The movie’s director, Ryoo Seung-Wan, will be at the screening

FOXY FESTIVAL (Korea, 2010, North American Premiere, 110 minutes) – a
“Making Our Neighborhoods Safe & Happy” festival has the vice cops working
overtime in this multi-character comedy that’s like a Robert Altman flick
about fetishes. Love – and handcuffs, and nipple clamps – all conspire to
save the day from the forces of conformity.

HAUNTERS (Korea, 2010, New York Premiere, 114 minutes) – part of Sea of
Revenge focus.

THE MAN FROM NOWHERE (Korea, 2010, 119 minutes) – part of Sea of Revenge
focus.

MSFF SHORTS (Korea, 2010) – Korea’s best directors assemble two selections
of that country’s best short horror, action and comedy movies just for you.

THE RECIPE (Korea, 2010, New York Premiere, 107 minutes) – a serial killer
escapes from prison but is recaptured when he stops to eat a bowl of stew
that’s so good he loses track of time. What is the secret behind the stew?
Korea finally delivers its best food film with this kitchen romance.

TROUBLESHOOTER (Korea, 2010, New York Premiere, 99 minutes) – part of Sea of
Revenge focus.
***The movie’s producer, Ryoo Seung-Wan, and director, Kwok Hyeok-Jae, will
be at the screening

THE UNJUST (Korea, 2010, New York Premiere, 119 minutes) – part of Sea of
Vengeance focus.
***The movie’s director, Ryoo Seung-Wan, will be at the screening

THE YELLOW SEA (Korea, 2010, New York Premiere, 156 minutes) – Closing Night
Movie
Part of Sea of Revenge focus.
***The movie’s director, Na Hong-Jin, will be at the screening

MALAYSIA
SELL OUT (Malaysia, 2008, New York Premiere, 110 minutes) – one of the best,
smartest and funniest movies ever made in Malaysia finally escapes from the
clutches of its evil distributor and it was worth the wait. A musical about
money, creativity and a reality show focusing on those who are about to die,
this is like nothing else in our line-up except (maybe) MILOCRORZE.

PHILIPPINES
MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED (Australia, 2010, New York Premiere, 84 minutes) –
from the people who made Not Quite Hollywood, comes this definitive
documentary about the Filipino exploitation film bonanza that erupted in the
70’s and 80’s.

RAW FORCE (Philippines/USA, 1982, 86 minutes) – one of the strangest
Filipino/US co-productions from the 80’s, this rarely-screened exploitation
fever dream is better known by its other title Kung Fu Cannibals. With
zombies, ninjas, samurai, kung fu, and evil monks, this is the entire 1980’s
exploitation industry fired into your eyes via firehose.

TAIWAN
BETTER THAN SEX (Taiwan, 2002, 92 minutes) – part of Su Chao-pin focus.
***The movie’s director, Su Chao-pin, will be at the screening

THE CABBIE (Taiwan, 2000, 94 minutes) – part of Su Chao-pin focus
***The movie’s writer, Su Chao-pin, will be at the screening

REIGN OF ASSASSINS (Hong Kong/Taiwan/China, 2010, 117 minutes) – part of Su
Chao-pin focus.
***The movie’s co-director and writer, Su Chao-pin, will be at the screening

THAILAND
BKO: BANGKOK KNOCKOUT (Thailand, 2010, New York Premiere, 105 minutes) –
Tony Jaa’s mentor, Panna Rittikrai, will school you now. This exploitation
stunt-tacular features all his best stuntmen and women unleashing muay thai,
capoeira, dirt bike fu, shovel beatdowns, fights on fire, fights in the
water, fights under trucks, fights in mid-air, and two back-to-back
climactic smackdowns that have to be seen to be believed.
/indiewireimpression.exe

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Written by john lichman

May 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm

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