Filmgoers guide to Asian Film Festival/Japan Cuts
Two festivals are bringing the best of Asian film to New York City, today through July 13th.
Subway Cinema is up first with the 7th annual Asian Film Festival, at the IFC Center today through July 2.
After that the festival finishes its run through July 6 at Japan Society--which is copresenting several films as part of its own Japan Cuts festival, July 2 through July 13th.
There are a lot of films on the schedule, which you can find here (with tickets and other information too).
So I asked a trusty friend, who runs one of the big West Coast film festivals, to give me his personal list of must-see films from the festivals, below.
I've got a pile of screeners at home, and along with a couple of coworkers will be attending several of the films at the fests, so we'll have more coverage to come.Note: All film descriptions are from Subway Cinema.
Adrift in Tokyo (Japan Cuts)
Joe Odagiri (Japans Johnny Depp) is a broke student forced to take walks around Tokyo with a middle-aged gangster in this bizarre comedy kaleidoscope of cos-playing superheroes, the power of character actor Ittoku Kishibe (Kishibe Power!), the taste of dirty socks and the plight of the pygmy hippopotamus.
Dainipponjin (Japan Cuts)
Why is a middle-aged loser the subject of this documentary? Because when giant monsters attack Japan he turns into a 500 foot tall superhero and beats them with a stick. The movie CLOVERFIELD should have been, starring and directed by Japans most famous comedian.
Thailands number one and number two box office hits of all time, these massive epics tell the saga of the warrior king Naresuan. Sets drip gold, political intrigue simmers and swashbuckling action scenes explode with war elephants, nine-foot-long rifles and warrior princesses.
An old time Republic serial, pumped up on politics and super-charged with ONG BAK style action scenes, THE REBEL is Vietnams biggest box office hit ever. Set in the 1920s, its a bloody knuckled ode to Vietnamese freedom. Starring Dustin Nguyen from 21 Jump Street!
Sukiyaki Western Django
Takashi Miikes English-language spaghetti western is bigger! Louder! Faster! More! Wild shoot-outs, female gunslingers and Quentin Tarantino in a supporting role pure maniac movie overload orgasm!
Johnnie To woke up in love one morning, because this sparkling caper about a gang of pickpockets working old Hong Kong feels like having your soul dipped in a glass of sparkling champagne for 87 minutes.
Yasukuni (Japan Cuts)
This documentary about Japans Yasukuni shrine to its war dead set off a firestorm of controversy in Japan and cinemas showing the film were threatened with bombings. A hair-raising look at the protestors, nationalists, thugs, patriots and misguided Americans who use the Yasukuni shrine to rage against the world.