Sometimes a film is put on a pedestal by its fans since the day it comes out and for some reason you don’t get a chance to see it. Then 16 years pass on by and you get a moment to sit down in a beautiful theater and watch this film. You worry that after all this build up throughout the years that it might not live up to the praise it’s gotten in the close to 2 decades since it was released. Sitting down and relaxing in your chair, you await the screen to showcase this film and now your heart is beating faster because the credits are rolling and you don’t want to be letdown because your friends will probably think you’re crazy. Luckily the film I’m speaking about is Tsui Hark’s mind bending 1995 action/martial arts epic The Blade, a loose remake of Chang Cheh’s seminal The One-Armed Swordsman. And boy does this film take what the original gave us and gives us an in your face attitude that never lets up until the closing credits.
Archives For NYAFF ’11
Ryu Seung-wan is my favorite Korean filmmaker. Since his feature film debut with Die Bad in 2000, which was a collection of four short films shot on 16mm, he has consistently made fun and engaging films that largely escape the maudlin melodramatics and overlong running times of his contemporaries. His films are kinetic explosions of the joys of action and movement, as well as the damage that the body in movement can inflict. In his short but intense career he has made a neo-noir starring two strong women (No Blood, No Tears 2002), an urban wuxia action fantasy (Arahan, 2004), a boxing film where we want both characters to win (Crying Fist, 2005), a kung-fu done by way of taekwondo revenge film (City of Violence, 2006-covered on VCinema episode 12-), and a cartoonish send-up of Korea’s propagantastic 70s action films (Dachimawa Lee, 2008). Many of which star his younger brother Ryu Seung-beom, and sometimes even himself, kicking ass and taking names. Where could he possibly go next? Well The Unjust (2010) shows that the answer is a dark and rather mature meditation on corruption, revenge, and the quest for power. Continue Reading…
Sometimes a film comes along, shoves insanity right into your eyeballs and you accept it right from the start. This is one of those films and it continues the line of craziness that Noboru Iguchi has given Japan and the world since departing his formidable pornography years. Karate-Robo Zaborgar is a love letter to the 1970′s and in particular the tokusatsu TV series Denjin Zaborgar. Most people, on the outside appearance of this film, will just think this is another kitschy film that will appeal to hipsters who seek out ‘so bad, it’s good’ films but in this case, Iguchi injects the film with this frenetic energy throughout and a beating heart as well.
Rufus and James tell you what to watch (which is pretty much everything) at the New York Asian Film Festival as well as discussing upcoming films The Guard and Attack the Block. The great Irish end of the world film One Hundred Mornings is also briefly discussed before your intrepid hosts look at the schedule for the 10th year of NYAFF and try to cover as much as they can. Also you get a sneak peak at whats coming up next in cineAWESOME! land. As always thanks for listening and keep spreading the word! The cineAWESOME! gospel is for everybody (well everyone who doesn’t mind a little cursing in their podcast).
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Takashi Miike has had a busy year. Scratch that. Miike is always busy. By far one of the most prolific filmmakers of our time Miike directed both13 Assassins (the director’s cut of which is playing at the NYAFF this Saturday) and Zebraman 2 just last year. If anyone thinks he has slowed down he recently showed his 3D remake of Masaki Kobayashi’s 1962 film Harakiri (Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai aka IchimeiPhoenix Wright video games as well as a film based off of the ninja manga Takeru. Tired yet? Neither is Miike because Japan Cuts, in one of their ten co-presentations with the NYAFF, is bringing you the world premiere of Miike’s other ninja movie: Ninja Kids!!!, a title that must be shouted with a fist in the air lest you forget the excitement that not one, not two but three exclamation points gives you. This is a kids film by way of Miike and if you have ever seen The Great Yokai War you may know what to expect. Based off of the long running anime and manga series Rantaro: The Ninja Boy (1,471 episodes) the movie follows Rantaro as he leaves his poor farming ninja family in order to go to ninja school and hopefully restore his family’s standing in the ninja world. Rantaro bonds with his class, which is full of more ninja misfits than you could shake a boken at, and begins the adventure of life. Continue Reading…
Co-presented by Japan Society’s Japan Cuts is one of the festival’s most anticipated films, at least in my opinion. Director Yoshimasa Ishibashi (of The Fuccons TV series fame) brings us a fever dream of colors, self help, violence, love, pain, destruction, revenge and slow motion action that is a behold to watch and not easily forgotten. But does it live up to the hype of style over substance or does it fall flat on its pretty head?
Rufus sits down, or skypes down, with Grady Hendrix the pink-suited man who along with a crack team of insane film ninjas runs Subway Cinema and brings the New York Asian Film Festival to the Big Apple. Listen now to find out which 7 movies you absolutely have to see this year and why if you want a crappy hamburger Grady is your guy.
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Troubleshooter(Kwon Hyeok-Jae, 2010) pulls you in right from the beginning and doesn’t let you go, and that sort of becomes a problem as the plot lingers towards the lengthy climax of the film. Sol Kyung-Gu is Kang Tae-sik, a man working as a “problem solver” who finds himself framed for murder and caught in the middle of a kidnapping plot with serious political entanglements. In a fast-paced game of cat and mouse, Kang Tae-sik fights off corrupt bureaucrats, police, and henchmen in a 24-hour chase leading him to discover a dark truth of political corruption. He does this all while trying to return to his sharp-tongued daughter (Kim Hyang-ki). It is also written and produced by cineAWESOME! favorite Ryoo Seung-Wan (who will be gracing these pages with an interview within the next couple of weeks). Continue Reading…
Going into this film, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Three carefree young slackers who aren’t sure where their lives are going move into an older lady’s apartment. She’s strict, doesn’t want ‘boy/girl’ mingling and sings opera at 6 in the morning. Comic hijinks ensues but as we progress through the story, Li Yu gives us a raw look at these people, how they relate to one another and ultimately do need one another in their lives.
We and our friends over at VCinema are not only going to bring you coverage of the New York Asian Film Festival, we’re also going to send a couple of you to see the films themselves. In conjunction with NYAFF and Variance Films, we’re proud to be able to give away a pair of tickets to one lucky person and a guest to the midnight, Friday, July 8th screening of Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991) at the Walter Reade Theater in the Film Society Lincoln Center.
To enter this contest, send an email to email@example.com with the subject line “Send me to Ricky!” and include your name and an answer to the following trivia question:
What is the name of the two-part martial arts epic that Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky star Siu-Wong Fan starred in recently?
All entries must be received by 11:59PST on Sunday, June 28th. One winner will be chosen randomly from all completed entries and their information will be sent to the folks at NYAFF. Only one entry per email address, please.
NYAFF’s synopsis of Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky:
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.
Our synopsis is come on, this RICKY-frickin’ OH, the baddest of the badass movies!!!! VCinema wouldn’t dedicate the very first episode of their podcast to this film if they didn’t love it to death as we do. We’re going to be jealous that the lucky schmuck winner of this contest is going to be able to see this on the big screen!
Want a chance to win tickets to see Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha at NYAFF too? Click here
For more information about the New York Asian Film Festival, check out Subway Cinema’s blog here.