60 Films Set for 13th New York Asian Film Festival Opening June 27

Posted by Brian Brooks on 5.30.2014


New York Asian Film Festival opening film Overheard 3 by Alan Mak and Felix Chong.

The international premiere of Alan Mak and Felix Chong's crime thriller Overheard 3 will open the New York Asian Film Festival on June 27. The 13th edition of the festival will showcase 60 features, including 20 North American, six U.S., and 11 New York premieres, in addition to filmmaker and celebrity guests from Asia and Australia, announced the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema, in association with the Japan Society, on Friday.

The North American premiere of Umin Boya's period baseball epic Kano will screen as NYAFF's Centerpiece, as previously announced, while the North American debut of Park Chan-kyong's documentary Manshin: Ten Thousand Spirits will close the festival, which will be held at the Film Society, the Japan Society, and the Asia Society from June 27 through July 14.

Overheard 3 is the anticipated finale to the popular Hong Kong franchise. The stand-alone story of loyalty and morality graced with a star-studded cast and geared with heart-busting action, is the ultimate episode of the epic saga. After tackling insider trading and stock market manipulation, writers-directors Alan Mak and Felix Chong—the creators of the Infernal Affairs trilogy—turning to real estate conspiracies in Hong Kong's New Territories area.

Park Chan-kyung’s NYAFF closing-night feature Manshin: Ten Thousand Spirits, meanwhile, is a thought-provoking mystical journey into the psyche of Korea and its modern history through the life story of Korea’s most famous living shaman, Kim Keum-hwa. Both the story of Kim—who was born in 1931 and became a shaman at 17—and significant moments of modern Korea are chronicled through rare archival footage, performances of shamanistic gut rituals, dramatic reenactment of real stories (actress Moon So-ri portrays Kim in the 1970s), and even animation and fantasy sequences.

Centerpiece Kano by Umin Boya centers on baseball and is produced and co-written by Taiwan's hit maker director Wei Te-Sheng (Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale). Kano is one of the highest-grossing local films of all time.

Other NYAFF 13 highlights include Lou Ye’s Berlinale Golden Bear contender Blind Massage, considered a masterpiece by critics, and Japanese director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s My Man, a quietly disturbing tale of two lost souls fatefully brought together by a natural disaster. The film will screen in competition at the 36th Moscow International Film Festival in June.   

In addition to screenings, NYAFF will honor a host of actors from various Asian countries. Chinese director Jimmy Wang Yu will receive the 2014 Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award. He has set the template for modern kung-fu movies with The Chinese Boxer (1970), and was instrumental in kicking off the swordfighting (wuxia) movie craze with his star-making performance in Chang Cheh’s The One Armed-Swordsman (1967). His recent roles include Peter Chan’s Wu Xia (aka Dragon, 2011) and Chung Mong-hong’s art-house slasher Soul (2013).

This year's Star Asia Award recipients will include Hong Kong’s award-winning Queen of Comedy and most bankable actress Sandra Ng, who has starred in over 100 movies, as well as Korea’s Sol Kyung-gu, whose career career has spanned both high art (Oasis) and mass-appeal blockbusters (Cold Eyes). The inaugural The Celebrity Award will be presented to Park Joong-hoon, who’s been Korea’s top leading man since the 1980s (Lee Myung-se’s Nowhere to Hide), and has recently taken the director's chair with Top Star (2013).


NYAFF Centerpiece Kano by Umin Boya.

Fumi Nikaido will be the first Screen International Rising Star Award honoree. At 20 years old, her career has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent years with roles in Sion Sono’s Himizu and Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, as well as Koji Fukada’s summer-at-the-beach drama Au revoir l’été and the disturbing My Man by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri.

NYAFF's Korean Actor in Focus will be Lee Jung-Jae. Discovered while working at a café in the trendy Seoul neighborhood of Apgujeong, Lee Jung-jae began his career as a model. He made the transition to television in 1993 with Dinosaur Teacher instantly making him a star. He earned his first film role in 1994 in The Young Man, but that same year the TV drama Feelings cemented Lee as a household name. Lee was a heartthrob and went on to appear in several more dramas before a starring role in E J-yong’s 1998 romantic drama An Affair turned him into a full-fledged movie star. Recently he has had a string of hits with films like the international crime caper The Thieves, the political gangster film New World, and the Joseon-era courtroom drama The Face Reader—the latest two films in particular have demonstrated Lee’s maturation as a character actor, where he has delivered some of his best dramatic performances to date. This focus will include The Face Reader, New World, and Il Mare.

NYAFF will also feature three focus programs of popular Asian cinema: Hong Kong Forever!, Korean Actor in Focus: Lee Jung-jae, and Sir Run Run Shaw Tribute. In addition to the main selection, these programs highlight the film legacy of East Asia.

The 13th NYAFF lineup with film desciptions and details follow:

International Premiere (Opening Film)
OVERHEARD 3 (2014)
Country: Hong Kong
Directors: Alan Mak & Felix Chong
After tackling insider trading and stock market manipulation, writers-directors Alan Mak and Felix Chong—the minds behind Infernal Affairs—turn to the real estate conspiracies in the Hong Kong New Territories in the third and reportedly final installment of the hugely popular Overheard series. Recently released from prison, Jau (Louis Koo) leads an intricate plan to take down the Luk Brothers, a group of bullies who rule the villages with an iron grip, and Uncle To (Kenneth Tsang), the self-proclaimed godfather of the New Territories. Featuring an all-star cast—including Mainland China’s Zhou Xun—and a story ripped from the headlines, Overheard 3 is an epic saga of loyalty and morality that Sergio Leone might have made had he been working in Hong Kong.
Directors Alan Mak and Felix Chong will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

North American Premiere (Centerpiece Presentation)
KANO (2014)
Country: Taiwan
Language: Japanese, Taiwanese, Hakka, and Taiwan Aboriginal with English subtitles
Director: Umin Boya
The star of Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale and already an award-winning television director, Umin Boya, makes his feature-film directorial debut with the true story of Kagi Agriculture and Forestry Public School’s baseball team. Known as the pioneers of Taiwanese baseball in the 1930s, this ragtag group of young players—made up of both Japanese and Taiwanese students—went from holding a losing record to playing in the finals of Japan’s high-school baseball tournament in one year under the leadership of their new Japanese coach (Nagase Masatoshi). A love letter to the sport of baseball and imbued with the never-give-up spirit, this three-hour crowd-pleasing sports epic is a triumph of Taiwan cinema and one of the highest-grossing local films of all time.
Director Umin Boya will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York.

North American Premiere (Closing Film)
MANSHIN: TEN THOUSAND SPIRITS (2013)
Country: South Korea
Director: Park Chan-kyong
Directed by visual artist Park Chan-kyong (Day Trip and Night Fishing, both co-directed with his brother Park Chan-wook), Manshin is a cinematic feast for the mind and the senses, a thought-provoking mystical journey into the psyche of Korea and its modern history through a life story of Korea’s most famous living shaman, Kim Keum-hwa. Both the life of Kim—who was born in 1931 and became a shaman at 17—and significant moments of modern Korea are chronicled through rare archival footage, performances of shamanistic “gut” rituals, dramatic reenactment of real stories (Moon So-ri portrays Kim in the 1970s), and even animation and fantasy sequences. Featuring original music by Korean indie band UhUhBoo Project (Night Fishing), Manshin transports viewers beyond the borders of past and present, South and North Korea, life and afterlife, reality and fantasy. It is unlike any other film you’ll see at NYAFF this year.
Moon So-ri will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Service in New York.


NYAFF Closing film Manshin: Ten Thousand Spirits by 
Park Chan-kyong.

North American Premiere
3D NAKED AMBITION (2014)
Director: Lee Kung-lok
Country: Hong Kong
This hilarious sex comedy follows Chapman To (Vulgaria) as he leaves Hong Kong for Japan in hopes of becoming a porn producer. The film feels like a throwback to some of the best Hong Kong Cat III comedies, with tons of innuendo, a bit of social comedy and rapid-fire wit, and fun (if a bit sticky) uses of 3-D.  
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

ABERDEEN (2014)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Pang Ho-cheung
A beautifully composed, imaginative, and finely observed dramedy that examines relationships across three generations of a Hong Kong family. Pang Ho-cheung’s magic-realist touch gives the story grace notes like whale sightings, kaiju rampages, and unexploded WWII bombs found in the center of downtown Hong Kong.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

U.S. Premiere
AIM HIGH IN CREATION! (2013)
Country: Australia
Director: Anna Broinowski
In this revolutionary comedy documentary about the cinematic genius of North Korea’s late Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, Anna Broinowski visits North Korea with a goal to learn first hand how to make a propaganda film, according to the rules of his 1987 Manifesto “The Cinema and Directing.”
Director Anna Broinowski will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of American Australian Association’s Dame Joan Sutherland Fund.

North American Premiere
ALL-AROUND APPRAISER Q: THE EYES OF MONA LISA (2014)
Country: Japan
Director: Shinsuke Sato
In this adaptation of the popular eponymous mystery novel by Keisuke Matsuoka, Paris provides the gorgeous backdrop for a grand intrigue involving the world’s most iconic artistic treasure: the Mona Lisa. Minds will be blown, puzzles will be solved, but will a 500-year-old curse be removed? From the director who gave you the blockbusters Gantz and Library Wars.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

New York Premiere
APOLITICAL ROMANCE (2012)
Country: Taiwan
Director: Hsieh Chun-yi
A China-Taiwan cross-cultural rom-com with an excellent, unforced chemistry between its leads, Apolitical Romance follows Mainland girl (Huang Lu) as she visits Taiwan and gets involved with a local guy (Bryan Chang) who helps her track down her grandmother’s first love from 60-odd years ago.
Presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York.

North American Premiere
AS THE LIGHT GOES OUT (2014)
Country: Hong Kong/China
Director: Derek Kwok
Hong Kong stars Simon Yam, Shawn Yue, Nic Tse, and Hu Jun (Firestorm, Drug War) play a squad of firefighters trapped in a testosterone-fueled soap opera. If you aren’t wiping away Man Tears by the end of this movie, then it’s only because you’re running out of the theater to file your application to join the fire department.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

U.S. Premiere
AU REVOIR L’ÉTÉ (2013)
Country: Japan
Director: Koji Fukada
A light comedy of manners played out during 10 days in a seaside town, Au revoir l’été is a nicely played Eric Rohm, with its teenage central character Sakuko (a strikingly assured Fumi Nikaido) philosophically observing the small hypocrisies and lies by the adults around her, as well as going through a small learning experience of her own.
Fumi Nikaido will attend the screening.

North American Premiere
BLIND MASSAGE (2014)
Country: China/France
Director: Lou Ye
Easily the most powerful and innovative Asian film of this year, Blind Massage consolidates the rebirth of Mainland director Lou Ye (NYAFF 2013 selection Mystery) as a world-class talent. By following the lives of the blind and partially sighted masseurs and masseuses of Sha Zonqi Massage Centre in Nanjing, Lou creates a true ensemble movie and a powerful ride through a parallel world of metaphysical cinema.


Lou Ye's Blind Massage.

THE CHINESE BOXER (1970)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Jimmy Wong Yu
When you talk about movies that changed the world, The Chinese Boxer unquestionably has to take its place among them. Jimmy Wang Yu was already an established superstar in Hong Kong and Asia, but The Chinese Boxer, his first film as director, wasn’t just the first open-handed martial-arts film from Hong Kong to become a worldwide blockbuster, but its influence on all martial-arts films since, especially Bruce Lee’s, cannot be understated.
Jimmy Wong Yu will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York and Celestial Pictures.

New York Premiere
COLD EYES (2013)
Country: South Korea
Director: Choi Eui-seok
A splashy and gripping remake of Johnnie To’s Hong Kong hit thriller Eye in the Sky (2007), which became a surprise box-office smash last summer in Korea, Cold Eyes is anchored by Sol Kyung-gu’s performance as a rumpled middle-aged surveillance guru. Watch for a cameo by Eye in the Sky star, Simon Yam, right before the credits roll.
Sol Kyung-gu will attend the screening on July 7, and will be presented with Star Asia Award.
Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Service in New York.

North American Premiere
CONTROL (2013)
Country: Hong Kong/China/Taiwan
Director: Kenneth Bi
Writer-director Kenneth Bi (Rice Rhapsody, The Drummer) delivers his most ambitious movie to date, the futuristic thriller Control, a big-budget, noirish mystery with multiple twists, set in an unnamed Asian metropolis. The film follows an insurance salesman, played by Daniel Wu, as he is coerced to commit criminal acts by an unseen villain, who sends instructions over the phone and has control of the city’s surveillance cameras.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

THE DELINQUENT (1973)
Country: Hong Kong
Directors: Chan Cheh & Kuei Chih-Hung
In one of the most aggressively experimental action movies ever to come out of Shaw Brothers, Wang Chung plays an angry young man sweating to death in the grotty ghetto of modern-day Hong Kong, who gets recruited by a local gang. Raw and feral.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York and Celestial Pictures.

New York Premiere
THE DEVIL’S PATH (2013)
Country: Japan
Director: Shiraishi Kazuya
An ambitious, brooding character study that intelligently tackles heavy issues like press ethics, the nature and causes of crime, the throes of guilt, the (im)possibility of redemption, and, at the deepest level, the banality of evil, The Devil’s Path is a slow burn that shows the hellish torment of a guilty conscience as it chronicles the case of a condemned yakuza played by actor-singer Pierre Taki.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

U.S. Premiere
THE ETERNAL ZERO (2013)
Country: Japan
Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Japan’s biggest hit last year, and one of the 10 top-grossing Japanese films of all time, The Eternal Zero will no doubt provide the most extreme film experience of the NYAFF/Japan Cuts 2014 lineup. Infuriating in its ideological and political black holes as it is exhilarating in its superb visual artistry and emotional intensity, it’s a film that will leave no one indifferent.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

THE FACE READER (2013)
Country: South Korea
Director: Han Jae-rim
The Face Reader, which beat Iron Man 3 at the Korean box office last year, is a lavish period drama with high-level cast at the top of its game, witty dialogue, and a smooth mixture of low comedy and high drama. The film spins on the contradictions between outward appearances and inner feelings as it follows a professional physiognomist, hired to weed out corrupt officials at Joseon dynasty court, who becomes entangled in a power struggle for the throne.
Lee Jung-jae will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Service in New York.

New York Premiere
FIRESTORM 3D (2013)
Country: Hong Kong/China/Malaysia
Director: Alan Yuen
Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau plays Lui, a prissy police detective who’s getting his butt handed to him by flashy thief Nam (Hu Jun, Drug War and As the Light Goes Out), an insanely competent career criminal who knocks over armored cars like dominos. What follows is an action movie turned up to 11, in which everything goes to hell hard and fast and by the time the end credits roll, pretty much everyone in Hong Kong has been murdered in an epic shootout.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

New York Premiere
FROM VEGAS TO MACAU (2014)
Country: Hong Kong/China
Director: Wong Jing
A semi-sequel to God of Gamblers (1989), one of the most iconic Hong Kong movies of all time, this flick is a showcase for Chow Yun-fat, the Godzilla of Hong Kong movies: a massive megastar who towers over the landscape. A charmer who oozes so much debonair sexiness that he makes Don Draper look drab, Chow is firing on all cylinders in this no-holds-barred gambling movie, directed by Wong Jing, who will do absolutely anything to entertain an audience.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

North American Premiere
FUKU-CHAN OF FUKUFUKU FLATS (2014)
Country: Japan
Director: Yosuke Fujita
An irresistibly quirky comedy about love, losers, loners, and life in a run-down apartment complex called FukuFuku Flats, Fuku-chan offers laughs aplenty, sweet and bitter, in the expert hands of helmer Yosuke Fujita (Fine, Totally Fine, winner of the 2008 Audience Award at NYAFF) and his lead actress, comedienne Miyuki Oshima (Gu Gu the Cat, The Handsome Suit, Miss Kurosawa), who’s cast here in the improbable role of a Japanese everyman (sort of) rich in friends and poor in romance.


Samson Chiu's Golden Chicken.

GOLDEN CHICKEN (2002)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Samson Chiu
Sandra Ng plays Kum, a hooker with a heart of gold and a brain of bubblegum who takes us on a tour of Hong Kong history, as seen from the bedroom. Kum started turning tricks in high school, then moved on to an upscale nightclub where she overcame her lack of good looks by developing a never-say-die personality. She goes independent, weathers Tiananmen Square, a couple of financial crises, the 1997 handover, and everything else that life throws at her, never losing hope that there will always be a better tomorrow.
Sandra Ng will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

North American Premiere
GOLDEN CHICKENSSS (2014)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Matt Chow
This bawdy comedy, featuring veteran comedienne Sandra Ng as a mama-san with a calculator for a soul, is a celebration of Hong Kong, and a real treat for the fans of HK cinema. Shambolic, reckless, and defiantly un-PC, Golden Chickensss celebrates hard work, hard weiners, big hearts, and big boobs. One of the most loving, high-spirited movies about sex workers you’ll ever see, the whole thing even ends with the cast bursting into song for no good reason other than they’re having a blast.
Sandra Ng will attend the screening on June 27, and will be presented with Star Asia Award.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

New York Premiere
THE GREAT PASSAGE (2013)
Country: Japan
Director: Yuya Ishii
Cult arthouse director Yuya Ishii (Sawako Decides) has racked up all the top honors at the Japan Academy Awards earlier this year with this deceptively simple yet immensely captivating, existential comedy/drama about a charmingly nerdy editor, Majime Mitsuya (Ryuhei Matsuda), who spends decades dutifully writing and compiling definitions for a “living language” dictionary entitled The Great Passage.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

New York Premiere
HAN GONG-JU (2014)
Country: South Korea
Director: Lee Su-jin
This supremely beautiful social and psychological drama follows a high-school girl, as she seeks anonymity and escape from the horror of an unnamed past experience. Praised by Martin Scorsese, who presented it with the Golden Star for Best Film at the Marrakech International Film Festival last year, the feature debut from writer-director Lee Su-jin is a devastating portrait of South Korea’s blame culture, embedded cronyism, and destructive family pressures.
Director Lee Su-jin will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of The Korea Society.

North American Premiere
HOPE (2014)
Country: South Korea
Director: Lee Joon-ik
Inspired by a horrifying case of child rape some five years ago in South Korea, Hope brings a fresh approach to a difficult subject matter, and by focusing on the victim’s recovery, ultimately delivers technically flawless feel-good human drama, guided by the steady hand of producer-director Lee Joon-ik (King and the Clown), and anchored by veteran actors Sol Kyung-gu and Uhm Ji-won as the child’s parents.
Sol Kyung-gu will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Service in New York.

IL MARE (2000)
Country: South Korea
Director: Lee Hyun-seung
Two enormous Korean stars (Lee Jung-jae and Jun Ji-hyun), a magical time-portal mailbox, and a house by the lake were all mixed into the Korean melodrama pot in 2000 and out came Il Mare. The performances of the leads along with the brilliant production design by Kim Ki-cheol and beautiful cinematography by Alex Hong have since cemented this in the canon of Korean romantic dramas.
Lee Jung-jae will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Service in New York.

KILLER CONSTABLE (aka KARATE EXTERMINATORS) (1980)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Kuei Chih-hung
Shaw Brothers legend Chen Kuan-tai out-grims the Grim Reaper playing a Qing Dynasty constable assigned by the Empress to track down a stolen shipment of gold. Probably Kuei Chih-hung’s masterpiece, Killer Constable is a classic martial-arts film, served bleaker and angrier than ever before. Coming at the end of the new wuxia cycle that kicked off in 1967 with The One-Armed Swordsman, it is a movie in which everyone is exhausted to the depths of their souls, every swordsman is a sadist, and every blade has to be bathed in blood before it’s put away.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York and Celestial Pictures.


Lisa Takeba's The Pinkie.


KILLERS ON WHEELS (aka MADBOYS IN HONG KONG) (1976)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Kuei Chih-hung
Kuei Chih-hung loves his exploitation tropes, and with this movie he gives the world his very own, very bloody take on the biker picture (known more evocatively as Madboys in Hong Kong). Motorcycles jump through houses! Stuntmen on fire get thrown off rooftops! Boiling oil scorches faces! Biker gals strip naked! Spearguns will be used! By the end of this movie, everyone under the age of 21 has been run over, pierced, chopped, slashed, burned to death, or just bludgeoned into submission with a big old hog.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York and Celestial Pictures.

THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES (1974)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Shaw Brothers wanted to rule the world in 1974, and stage one in their plan for global domination was to team up with Hammer Studios, England’s House of Horror, and make a kung-fu vampire movie. Starring Peter Cushing as Van Helsing the vampire hunter, and Shaw Brothers icon David Chiang as his Chinese counterpart, this Saturday matinee horror hybrid was co-directed by Chang Cheh (uncredited; The One-Armed Swordsman) and Roy Ward Baker (Quatermass and the Pit).
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York and Celestial Pictures.

THE MAGIC BLADE (1976)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Chor Yuen
One of the finest wuxia films ever made (#85 on Time Out Hong Kong’s list of the Greatest Hong Kong Films of All Time), The Magic Blade (adapted from Gu Long’s celebrated novel) is a perfect mixture of swordplay, fantasy, martial arts, heroic bloodshed (and we do mean bloodshed), and more Ti Lung greatness that any moviegoer could ever ask for. It remains one of the true classics of the entire Shaw Brothers library.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York and Celestial Pictures.

New York Premiere
MARUYAMA, THE MIDDLE SCHOOLER (2013)
Country: Japan
Director: Kankuro Kudo
The sole spine-cracking ambition in life of sex-crazed 14-year-old Maruyama (Takuma Hiraoka) is to lick his own weenie. Described by acclaimed actor/screenwriter/director Kankuro Kudo (writer of Ping Pong and Zebraman) as a “self-fellatio” comedy, Maruyama is actually a deeply moving coming-of-age story, an exploration of the liberating possibilities of the human imagination, and a study of what it means to live with other people.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

North American Premiere
MAY WE CHAT (2013)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Philip Yung
A teen slice-of-life drama that suddenly transforms into a gangland noir, it’s a modern-day version of the kind of hard-hitting juvenile-delinquent drama that Hong Kong used to be the master of, only updated to the 2.0 version. The film is anchored and elevated by three electric performances from three first-time actresses: there’s Rainky Wai as deaf-mute Chiu (who earns cash with “compensated dating”), Kabby Hui as shallow rich girl Li, and Heidi Lee as Wai-wai (who’s dealing with a junkie mom).
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

New York Premiere
MISS ZOMBIE (2013)
Country: Japan
Director: Sabu
Carefully blending horror tropes and thriller elements into a formally restrained, razor-sharp social satire that lovingly melds the humdrum and the deranged, Sabu’s Miss Zombie is a movie so dense it could bend light. Set in a futuristic Japan where zombies are domesticated as house pets and servants, it’s a work of compact beauty, predominantly monochrome and largely free of dialogue.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

New York Premiere
MOEBIUS (2013)
Country: South Korea
Director: Kim Ki-duk
A playfully twisted black comedy with no dialogue, Moebius is an everyday tale of penectomy, rape, sadomasochistic sex, and incestuous love. It continues maverick writer-director Kim Ki-duk’s journey into the madness of the Korean soul—though in a much more in-your-face way than last year’s Pietà. It is a quintessentially Kim Ki-duk movie in its risk-taking and outsider feel, and could have been made by no other filmmaker currently working in the country.
Presented with the support of The Korea Society.

U.S. Premiere
THE MOLE SONG: UNDERCOVER AGENT REIJI (2014)
Country: Japan
Director: Takashi Miike
Japan’s most prolific and most popular gonzo director Takashi Miike offers two irresistibly frantic hours of undiluted insanity. An out-and-out balls-to-the-wall cops vs. yazuka farce, based on a popular manga series about a cop infiltrating a powerful yakuza clan, the film leaves respectability, restraint, and decency at the door. The Mole Song is a monument erected to pop madness and perhaps, in more ways than one, an apotheosis of post-cinema cinema.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

North American Premiere
MONSTERZ (2014)
Country: Japan
Director: Hideo Nakata
Japanese horror master Hideo Nakata (Ring and Dark Water) returns with the remake of the 2010 South Korean film Haunters (NYAFF 2011 selection, directed by Kim Min-seok), a somber paranormal thriller that offers an original, exciting variation of the tale of two men with supernatural abilities, locked in a duel to the death.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

MR. VAMPIRE (1985)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Ricky Lau
Bouncing through the moonlight like demented, bloodthirsty pogo sticks, hopping vampires are one of Hong Kong cinema’s most absurd and unique sights, and this is the movie that launched the craze that spawned hundreds of films. An avalanche of Canto comedy, genuine horror, and slam-bang stunts, this is probably the movie people are talking about when they say how awesome and insane Hong Kong cinema is.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York and Fortune Star.

North American Premiere
MY MAN (2014)
Country: Japan
Director: Kazuyoshi Kumakiri
A poignant, powerful, erotic drama about an adolescent girl (Fumi Nikaido) who is raised by her distant relative (Tadanobu Asano) after she loses her family in a tsunami. Based on Kazuki Sakuraba's controversial best seller, and directed by the award-winning Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (Sketches of Kaitan City), My Man is the quietly disturbing tale of two lost souls, fatefully brought together by a natural disaster, in Hokkaido, the northernmost part of the Japanese archipelago.
Fumi Nikaido will attend the screening and will be presented with the Screen International Rising Star Award.

NEW WORLD (2013)
Country: Korea
Director: Park Hoon-jung
Park Hoon-jung took what could have been another run-of-the-mill Korean gangster film and turned it into an absolutely fascinating, harrowing, and dizzying look at the power structures and politics of a criminal organization, anchored by phenomenal performances by Lee Jung-jae, Hwang Jeong-min, and Choi Min-sik.
Lee Jung-jae will attend the screening. 
Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Service in New York.

North American Premiere
NO MAN’S LAND (2009)
Country: China
Director: Ning Hao
One part The Road Warrior and one part The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, this spaghetti Western via the Coen Brothers is a black comedy of errors from the director who brought us festival favorite Crazy Racer a couple of years ago. A savage, cynical satire, the film is a savvy indictment of the dog-eat-dog capitalism that’s currently eating China (and America) alive.

THE ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN (1967)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Chang Cheh
The movie that changed everything. Chang Cheh’s breakthrough film, with action by the legendary Lau Kar-leung (Drunken Master II) and Tong Kai and starring Jimmy Wang Yu, a man who can convey an entire encyclopedia’s worth of badassery with one glower, The One-Armed Swordsman still has the power to kick over the establishment and drop a blade right through its skull.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York and Celestial Pictures.

THE PINKIE (2014)
Country: Japan
Director: Lisa Takeba
Ryosuke is drifting through life, but when he seduces a yakuza’s mistress, the gangsters rough him up and chop off his pinkie. It comes into the possession of Momoko, a girl who has been stalking him. She gets herself a cloning kit and grows her own Ryosuke-clone. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 24th Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, Lisa Takeba’s debut feature is a hyper-imaginative crazytown sci-fi drama that’s flashy, funky, and filled to the brim with genre influences of all kinds.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

PORTLAND STREET BLUES (1998)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Yip Wai Man
Hong Kong’s mighty Young & Dangerous film series about young gangsters were huge hits that spawned numerous sequels and spin-off films, the best of which is this one, a stand-alone flick about Sister 13 (Sandra Ng), a lesbian pimp who sports a spiky ’do and boss suits. Shot in the streets at a breakneck pace, it’s a gutsy entertainer about the fluidity of sexuality, gangster feminism, and hardcore street fighting.
Sandra Ng will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.


Wong Jing's From Vegas to Macau.

PUBLIC ENEMY (2002)
Country: South Korea
Director: Kang Woo-suk
In one of his career-defining roles, Sol Kyung-gu is fantastic as a corrupt detective relentlessly pursuing a murderer (Lee Sung-jae). In addition to all of the graphic violence are equally graphic jokes, and the audience comes away with one of the grittiest social satires to come out of Korea. Both characters are the titular “public enemy,” and the dedicated performances by the two lead actors carry this fiercely intelligent, darkly funny, and well-crafted film into classic territory.

Sol Kyung-gu will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Service in New York.

Manhattan Premiere
R100 (2013)
Country: Japan
Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto
Hitoshi Matsumoto is Japan’s most famous comedian, but even if you’ve seen his absurdist movies like Big Man Japan and Symbol you’ll barely be prepared for the bizarro S&M antics of this straight-faced send-up of every single genre in Japanese cinema. This is one of the funniest movies of the year, with something profound to say about the pursuit of pleasure, girl gangs, dominatrix armies, and total bondage warfare.

RIGOR MORTIS (2013)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Juno Mak
A spiritual sequel to Mr. Vampire, this moody flick is a gothic reinvention of Hong Kong’s classic hopping-vampire movies that turbo-charges the tired old formula with modern filmmaking chops. Crammed with a gallery of old-school greats, from Shaw Brothers vet Kara Hui, to famed Eighties comedian Richard Ng, this cast is a blast from Hong Kong’s creepy old past.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

North American Premiere
ROUGH PLAY (2013)
Country: South Korea
Director: Shin Yeon-shick
Rough. Raw. Real. From the Kim Ki-duk school of filmmaking comes this hard-edged drama about the pains of being an actor, featuring Korean heartthrob Lee Joon in a breakthrough role. Lee is absolutely captivating in a performance all about the destruction that narcissism and rampant ego can bring. A darker than dark take on the Korean film industry, Rough Play rails against the apathy of a business wholly concerned with appearance and that gives no long-term thought to the future.
Director Shin Yeon-shick will attend the screening.
Presented with the support of the Korea Society.

SEEDING OF A GHOST (1983)
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Chuan Yang
In this outrageous exploitation horror film from Shaw Brothers, a taxi driver enlists the help of a sorcerer to avenge the brutal murder of his wife. If you’ve got any personal rules about not watching movies featuring necrophilia, worm eating, or mutant births, then you should probably stay home. If you want to see tentacled hell beasts issuing from poisoned wombs and chowing down on yuppies, then you should definitely come on down.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York and Celestial Pictures.

North American Premiere
SEVENTH CODE (2013)
Country: Japan
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Putting aside his J-horror roots after the Cannes award-winning Tokyo Sonata (2008) and the widely praised TV serial/movie Penance (2012), Kurosawa offers a surprising, radical break from an already broad oeuvre with this freewheeling fast-track thriller full of twists and turns. The film follows a kooky, pretty girl (Atsuko Maeda, a hugely popular idol/singer in Japan) as she wanders the mean streets of bleak, post-Soviet Vladivostok. Preceded by Kurosawa’s 29-minute Beautiful New Bay Area Project.

North American Premiere
SILENT WITNESS (2013)
Country: China
Director: Fei Xing
This superbly crafted crime/courtroom procedural follows the trial of a millionaire’s daughter for the murder of her future stepmother. With a script that doesn’t ever loosen its grip, a big-name cast at the top of its game, and an atmospheric production package that’s all in service of the drama, Silent Witness is mesmerizing entertainment, and a game-changer in Mainland genre cinema.
Director Fei Xing will attend the screening.

U.S. Premiere
THE SNOW WHITE MURDER CASE (2014)
Country: Japan
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Powered by a complicated Chinese puzzle box of a murder plot, The Snow White Murder Case was helmed by the director of Fish Story and Golden Slumbers (both NYAFF/Japan Cuts favorites), and it’s one of the best brainteasers of the year. Based on a novel by best-selling author Kanae Minato (who wrote Confessions), the film dissects the odd goings-on behind the grim discovery of a burned-to-the-crisp corpse found in a national park near Tokyo.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

New York Premiere
SOUL (2013)
Country: Taiwan
Director: Chung Mong-hong
Taiwan’s official submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2013 Oscars is a dark, art-house slasher-psychodrama set in the backwoods of Taiwan, starring legendary actor Jimmy Wong Yu.
Jimmy Wong Yu will attend the screening on July 5, and will be presented with the Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award.
Presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York.

THE TERROR LIVE (2013)
Country: South Korea
Director: Kim Byeong-woo
Unfolding in real time, and set mostly in the claustrophobic radio studio, this film is a showcase for Ha Jung-woo (The Chaser, Nameless Gangster), who plays a call-in-show host who manipulates, bullies, cajoles, cowers, lies, and unleashes righteous anger as he goes up against an unseen terrorist who threatens to blow up a bridge on the Han River.
Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Service in New York.

North American Premiere
TOP STAR (2013)
Country: South Korea
Director: Park Joong-hoon
The directorial debut of veteran actor Park Joong-hoon (Nowhere to Hide, Two Cops) is a perfect study of the ephemeral nature of fame and success, set in the cutthroat world that is the Korean film industry. Park relies on his 28 years of acting experience working on films with major Korean directors to confidently deliver a stylish and compelling tale of the rise, fall, and redemption of an actor.
Director Park Joong-hoon will attend the screening on June 28, and will be presented with The Celebrity Award.
Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Service in New York.

North American Premiere
UZUMASA LIMELIGHT (2014)
Country: Japan
Director: Ken Ochiai
A moving, nostalgic portrait of the men behind the golden age of chanbara (sword-fighting dramas and films) that goes behind the scenes of the distinctive film genre for which Japan is most famous, with dominant performance by real-life kirare-yaku Seizo Fukumoto.
Director Ken Ochiai, Chihiro Yamamoto, and Seizo Fukumoto will attend the screening.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

North American Premiere
THE WHITE STORM (2013)
Country: Hong Kong/China
One part Reefer Madness, one part John Woo–level action bromance (with Louis Koo, Nick Cheung, and Sean Lau in the leads), The White Storm is an all-you-can eat buffet that piles its plate high with gunfights, male bonding, car crashes, snappy action, super melodrama, handsome cops, and intense style.
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

Manhattan Premiere
WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL? (2013)
Country: Japan
Director: Sion Sono
A delirious back-to-bloody-basics film that pays tribute to old-school yakuza cinema and low-budget amateur filmmaking, Why Don’t You Play in Hell is based on a screenplay bad-boy director Sion Sono (a NYAFF/Japan Cuts guest in 2009) wrote 17 years ago. The director himself describes it as “an action film about the love of 35mm.”
Fumi Nikaido will attend the screening.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

North American Premiere
WOOD JOB! (2014)
Country: Japan
Director: Shinobu Yaguchi
The new film from the director of Water Boys is based on Miura Shion’s bestseller, a bittersweet coming-of-age novel dealing with forestry (the “wood job” of the title… nothing dirty here!), and has earned praise from Studio Ghibli's very own Hayao Miyazaki.
Presented with Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

New York Premiere
ZONE PRO SITE: THE MOVEABLE FEAST (2013)
Country: Taiwan
Director: Chen Yu-hsun
Failed actress Chan runs away to her hometown trying to stay a step ahead of debt collectors. While there, she discovers that the only way to raise the cash she needs is to start catering out of her stepmother’s hole-in-the-wall restaurant. As colorful as a bowl full of hard candies, Zone Pro Site is a delightful foodie comedy feast that will have you gnawing on the stuffing from your seat cushion in hunger.
Presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York.

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