Posted by Michael Gibbons on 5.5.2011
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER and SUBWAY CINEMA announce 14 selections for
THE 2011 NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL
July 1 - 14
Highlights will include a return to the festival by Hong Kong legend Tsui Hark, as well as appearances by The Unjust’s Ryoo Seung-wan and Yakuza Weapon’s Tak Saguguchi
New York, NY, May 5, 2011 - The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema announce fourteen official selections today for the 2011 New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) which will screen July 1 -14. Presented in partnership between the two organizations with programming support from the Japan Society, the popular film festival previewed its 10th outing with choices from Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
In 2001, the NYAFF held the first major retrospective of Hong Kong directing legend, Tsui Hark, and so it’s with great pride that the festival will host Tsui Hark himself, ten years later to headline the programming section, Wu Xia: Hong Kong’s Flying Swordsmen. Presented with the support of the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office New York, NYAFF will screen new and old classics of the wu xia genre. Swordplay films with a touch of fantasy, Wu xia films are visual marvels, teeming with flying swordsmen, magical blades and glowering female steel-slingers. The line-up will include Tsui Hark’s mega-hit, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (an Indomina release), and several retrospective titles like Tsui’s astonishing, feral masterpiece, The Blade.
From Korea comes Sea of Revenge: New Korean Thrillers, presented in association with the Korean Cultural Service in New York. The series will feature the new school of hardcore action movies that have been setting the Korean box office, and Cannes, on fire. Special guest, director Ryoo Seung-wan (City of Violence), will be here to present his film, The Unjust, a sprawling epic corruption saga. Also screening will be The Yellow Sea from director Na Hong-Jin whose previous thriller, The Chaser, was Korea's word-of-mouth box office smash of 2008. The Yellow Sea will be screening at the NYAFF fresh off of its Cannes screening as part of Un Certain Regard. The Yellow Sea is a 20th Century Fox release.
The first selections announced to feature Japan include pink film director Takahisa Zeze’s Heaven's Story. The four-and-a-half-hour epic follows the grief, pain and redemption that spills out over the decades from two random acts of violence. In addition, Tak Sakaguchi, Japan’s number one stuntman/actor /director and all-around two-fisted renaissance man will attend the film fest with his new film, Yakuza Weapon. Also screening will be Noboru Iguchi’s biggest-budgeted movie to date, Karate-Robo Zaborgar, a tongue-in-cheek feature film based on a popular 70’s series about a robot that can turn into a motorcycle…and do karate.
Exploitation cinema from the Philippines will get its due with a screening of Mark Hartley’s documentary Machete Maidens Unleashed. Following his similar entertaining treatment of Ozploitation (Not Quite Hollywood), the film will be paired with Edward D. Murphy’s jaw-dropping 1980’s Filipino exploitation mind-blower, Raw Force.
There’ll be a special focus on Taiwan’s great genre director, writer and producer, Su Chao-pin, presented with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York. NYAFF will screen his new movie, the wu xia blockbuster, Reign of Assassins, starring Michelle Yeoh and Korean star Jung Woo-Sung, and co-directed by John Woo. Also screening will be Su Chao-pin classics like Better Than Sex (2002) an adrenaline-propelled comedy about first love, hand amputations and addictions to porn.
Additional titles announced include movies about punk rock Buddhist monks (Yuji Sadai’s Abraxas), bone-breaking, stuntman destroying Thai action extravaganzas (Panna Rittikrai’s Bangkok Knockout) and brain-frying Japanese whatzits (Yoshimasa Ishibashi’s Milocrorze: A Love Story) – all promising to give this tenth anniversary edition of the New York Asian Film Festival enough marvels to turn your mind into a blazing inferno of fun.
The full line-up and Star Asia Awards recipients will be announced May 26.
About the Film Society of Lincoln Center
Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, currently planning its 49th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award—now named “The Chaplin Award” —to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, opening June 2011. The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from 42BELOW, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the National Endowment for the Arts, WNET New York Public Media, Royal Bank of Canada and the New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit: www.FilmLinc.com
Subway Cinema is a New York-based film programming, exhibition, and marketing collective, committed to increasing exposure and appreciation for Asia's popular cinema with year-round events and screenings. Its flagship event is the New York Asian Film Festival (June 25 - July 8) which the New York Times has called "...one of the city's most valuable events..." Launched in 2002, the NYAFF is America's leading and most influential showcase for popular Asian cinema. Each year, the Festival selects over 40 feature films, and only the best, the strangest, and the most entertaining make the cut.
The NYAFF was the first North American film festival to put a spotlight on Johnnie To, Bong Joon-Ho and Park Chan-Wook and it also held the largest retrospective of Tsui Hark's work outside of Hong Kong. It is widely considered invincible.
The NYAFF is made possible through the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York, the Korean Cultural Service New York, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, Japan Foundation and the Kitano Hotel.