An Idiot’s Guide to NYAFF, Part 1


Kim Go-Eun in Eungyo (A Muse).

Today marks the start of the ever-popular New York Asian Film Festival! The 12th edition of North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema is chock full of exciting offerings, with spotlights on the Philippines with Manila Chronicles: The New Filipino Cinema, the early-80s exploitation cinema of Taiwanese “Black Movies,” and the work of the Korean actor Ryoo Seung-Beom. NYAFF will also be giving special focus shout-outs to two of the festival’s oldest friends, Well Go USA (the champion of Asian film among U.S. distributors) and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York on the occasion of their 30th birthday.

With over 60 films and appearances by more than a few actors and filmmakers, keeping track of all of the festival’s great offerings can be a daunting prospect. With that in mind, we've broken down the first week of the fest for you so you won't miss a thing.


Opening Night film Tales From the Dark Pt. 1

On Friday, don't miss the U.S. Premiere of mega-meta Korean comedy Behind the Camera: Why Mr. E Went to Hollywood. The film will be preceded by the short Jury and will feature a Q&A with director E J-Yong. Stick around for the official Opening Night selection, the World Premiere of horror omnibus Tales From the Dark Part 1!

Saturday serves up a screening of the scandalously successful Korean film Eungyo (A Muse), based on the novel of the same name by Park Bum-shin. The film, which has received numerous awards in South Korea, chronicles the sexual relationship between a 17 year old girl and a 70 year old poet laureate. Director Jung Ji-Woo and star Kim Go-Eun will be in person for a Q&A, and Kim Go-Eun will receive the 2013 Star Asia Rising Star Award. Saturday will also see the beginning of a three day spotlight on the work of Ryoo Seung-Beom with his film The Berlin File, featuring an in person Q&A with the actor.


Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon.

Sunday is for martial arts buffs, with a screening of Bruce Lee classic Enter the Dragon and new film Ip Man: The Final Fight. Enter the Dragon will include a panel discussion on the relationship between Kung Fu and hip hop culture, featuring Hong Kong’s MC Yan (LMF) and hip hop pioneer and fine artist Fab 5 Freddy. Also coinciding with the screening is the North American debut and opening of a body of work recently exhibited in Hong Kong and Shanghai, “Kung Fu Wild Style”, featuring Bruce Lee inspired post-graffiti painting by the two artists in the Film Society’s Furman Gallery. Rounding out the weekend is Ip Man: The Final Fight, a send up of the current craze for Ip Man movies, a North American premiere featuring a Q&A with director Herman Yau and screenwriter Erica Li.

Tuesday brings a special Gala Presentation of the Director’s Cut of Yan Yan Mak’s The Great War. The film, making its World Premiere, is a surprisingly personal and revealing documentary about the concert battle between the legendary Cantopop band Grasshopper and the hip hop duo Softhard. Mak makes use of interviews and performance footage, as well as views of the concert from the point of view of the audience members, to broaden the film’s scope.

It may seem like a lot, but this is just the tip of the NYAFF iceberg. Tons of other great films will be screening over the first half of the festival. For more information, head to the series page, and stay tuned to FilmLinc Daily for our preview of the second half of the festival next week! 

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