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Subway Cinema Coming Attractions:
NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL - Asian Films Are Go!!! (June 16 - July 1)

Visit our archive for previous editions of the NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL:
and 2005.

March 4 - March 11
Welcome to the weekly Subway Cinema News - a guide to Asian entertainment in New York.

This past Sunday saw the first INCREDIBLE SUBWAY SUNDAY screening of the hard-hitting RIGHTING WRONGS - a movie in which every single actor dies by the time the credits roll. Next up:

MARCH 28 - 2:00PM
TAOISM DRUNKARD (1983, Hong Kong, 91 minutes)
Yuen Wo-ping (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON; THE MATRIX; IRON MONKEY) has a family and they make the weirdest kung fu movies you've ever seen. This one features the butt-munching Watermelon Monster! Lord Ruthless and his flying balls! And the Little Mouse Car! Freak out!
Read our review:

So Sofia Coppola name-checked Wong Kar-wai in her Oscar acceptance speech. That still doesn't change the fact that the current state of Asian films in NYC is an embarrassment. The only movie in general release is Greg Pak's ROBOT STORIES, and he's distributing it himself. Everything else is a repertory screening, and the best ones are in Brooklyn. Is this the end of the world? Hang in there -- it can only get better. Right? RIGHT??!??!

Anthology Film Archives
March 6 @ 8PM (video) & March 7 @ 8PM (film)
Lines recited from Derrida! Phrases repeated in order to create an effect of estrangement between speech and meaning! Ooooh Nooooo! It's avant garde video art! Takahiko Iimura is an unjustly neglected experimental filmmaker from the 70's. Stop neglecting him at these rare screenings of his work.
more info:
or visit Iimura's own website:

Asia Society
ANONYMOUSLY YOURS (2002, USA, 90 minutes)
Thursday, March 4 @ 6:30PM
Shot in Myanmar (formerly Burma) this is one of those documentaries about sex trafficking in Southeast Asia that follows four women's stories from the back rooms of tea shops to five star hotels as it paints an ugly picture of the "...the routine merchandising of women for the sexual escape and pleasure of men from all cultures."
After the screening you can discuss this with the filmmaker, Gayle Ferraro.
For tickets, call Box Office: (212) 517-ASIA
More info:

Brooklyn Academy of Music
LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES (UK/Hong Kong, 1974, 89 minutes)
Monday, March 8 @ 4:30PM, 6:50PM & 9:10PM
Part of: "Bloody Hell: British Horror, March 1-April 6"
A landmark in horror. Hammer Studios in the UK knew that their style of horror was over in the 70's; Hong Kong's Shaw Studios knew they needed a new gimmick. The two came together in this wild film starring Peter Cushing (who looks to be on his last legs), Shaw stalwart David Chiang, . Dracula is alive! And he's in China! Relentlessly brutal, featuring plenty of action, blood-sucking, and nubile victims, it’s kept modern due to the existential bleakness that suffuses every frame. Considered the best Hammer film of the 70's, it sparked a horror wave from Shaw.
We're told that BAM has gone to the trouble of importing the full, uncut version of this movie from the British Film Institute (Subway Cinema has only ever shown the deeply-cut American version). See it!
Read our review of the cut version:
Read this exhaustive review of the full version:

March 6 & 7
Almost fifty short and feature-length children's films from 22 countries. The Asian ones (as many as I could identify) are listed below. All films are in English. If there are subtitles, actors will read them aloud. How come no one did this for me during THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST?
Full info at:

March 6 @ 10AM & Noon
March 7 @ 10AM & Noon
Short films for ages 2-5. Only 76 minutes

"Cute Bunny" (2002, India, 3 minutes)
An animated movie about a hungry bunny who carelessly tosses a banana peel on the ground and learns a lesson about littering. Stupid bunny.

"Naccio and Pomm: Music" (2002, Japan, 5 minutes)
An animated short about shape-shifting aliens who explore Earth while making music. Later, they enslave the population and force them to work in their methane mines. Just kidding.

March 6 @ 2:10PM
March 7 @ 2:10PM
Short films for ages 5-8. The whole thing only runs 90 minutes.

"Bert" (2002, USA, 5 minutes)Animation, Moonsung Lee, 5min, USA, no dialogue
An animated film by Lee Moon-Sung. This one's about a vegetable named Bert who looks different. His family rejects him and he goes on a quest to find a family that accepts him for who he is. Sometimes, I feel like Bert.

"On the Road for Christmas" (2002, USA, 5 minutes)
Let's give props to Asian-American animator, Daniel Kanemoto, who made this short about a snowman truck driver who makes the long drive home for Christmas. We can only assume he's a cute, cuddly truck driver, and not a hairy and obese truck driver who hangs out at truck stops and lives on No-Doz.

"Open a Door: Taiwan" (2002, Taiwan, 6 minutes)
Live action thriller about a grandfather who forgets the star puppet from his show. It's up to his grandson to find the puppet ... or die trying!

March 6 @ 2:30PM
March 7 @ 2:30PM
For the older child (8-13) comes this 84 minute program of shorts.

"Mother Tongue" (2002, Australia, 6 minutes)
An animated look at love and long distance families. In Korean with English subtitles.

March 10-14 , 2004
A program of animated films from Japan. Not part of the previously-mentioned Kids' Festival, but a third, fascinating film series at BAM. They're outdoing themselves this month and hey, that's a great title! Didn't some yahoos named Subway Cinema do a festival back in 2001 called WHEN KOREAN CINEMA ATTACKS? Oh, well. The movies in this line-up are still pretty good.

SPACE FIREBIRD 2772 (1980, Japan, 116 minuts)
Wednesday, March 10 @ 7:15PM & 9:30PM
Not for kids! Osamu Tezuka, Japan's best-loved and most influential animator and manga artist, turns in a dystopian future tale about a space pilot, sterile childhoods, a female robot, and lots of political allegory. Fondly remembered, this movie has a dated, retro look and is rarely screened.
Read a review:

JIN ROH: THE WOLF BRIGADE (1998, Japan, 102 minutes)
Thursday, March 11 @ 4:30PM, 6:50PM, & 9:10PM
Strikingly visual, dark retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" set in an alternate future where Japan lost WWII to the Nazis and is patrolled by a fascistic Department of Homeland Security. Dark and twisted. Ashcroftian in fact.
Read reviews:

METROPOLIS (2001, Japan, 107 minutes)
Friday, March 12 @ 2PM, 4:30PM, 6:50PM & 9:10PM
Stunning anime based on Osamu Tezuka's manga, METROPOLIS. Beautiful and heartfelt. It enjoyed rave reviews on its theatrical release in 2001.
Read reviews:

SPIRITED AWAY (2002, Japan, 125 minutes)
Saturday, March 13 @ 3PM, 6PM & 9PM
Hayao Miyazaki's blockbuster is one of the most endlessly re-watchable animes ever made. Deep focus mise en scene, inventive character design, and a dead-on story make this a high water mark for animation.
Read reviews:

KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE (1989, Japan, 103 minutes)
Sunday, March 14 @ 2PM, 4:30PM, 6:50PM & 9:10PM
Hayao Miyazaki's beautiful story of adolescence. Kiki is a witch who has to move away from home and get a job. A castle of a story built on a foundation of small details and everyday life, it lives in the same territory as artsy "coming of age" films, but is more beautiful, engaging and powerful than any of them. Anyone who wants to make a movie should have to view Hayao Miyazaki's films first. Most of them will go home, realizing that there's nothing left to say.
Read reviews:

Cantor Film Center (36 East 8th Street)
SPRING IN MY HOMETOWN (1998, Korea, 113 minutes)
Sunday, March 7 @ 2 p.m.
Scads of critics chose it as the best Korean film of 1998, and this drama about two boys living in a rural village during the Korean War is a gorgeously shot picture that won any number of awards. There will also be an introduction by Choi Jung-Bong, asst. professor at the University of California Santa Barbara.
Read a review of the movie: info:

Cinema Village
ROBOT STORIES (2003, USA, 85 minutes)
General Release
Greg Pak's self-distributed arthouse, sci-fi anthology film keeps on trucking. It's all about robots: androids who need love, mechanical babies, toy robot collections, and digital consciousness. Robots are cool, critics like it, and it's won a slew of film festival awards. Plus, it's the only Asian film in general release.
Read more at:

Japan Society
MR. POO (1953, Japan, 98 min)
Part of "From Manga to Eiga: Japanese comic books live on screen"
Friday, March 5 @ 6:30PM (for the lecture) and 7:30PM (for the movie)
It's a movie and a lecture! The Japan Society's Spring series "From Manga to Eiga: Japanese Comic Books Live on Screen" kicks off with a screening of the funny and incisive MR. POO, directed by Kon Ichikawa, one of Japan's greatest directors. See how the working class lives in postwar Japan as a math teacher nurses a secret crush on his neighbor then loses his job.
Critic and video maker, Reina Higashitani, will lecture on the influence of manga on film, and vice versa. Can you keep from giggling while she says "Mr. Poo" over and over again? The only way to find out is to buy a ticket.
more info:

New York International Children's Film Festival 2004
One movie left of interest at this festival:
HAMMERBOY (2003, South Korea, 73 minutes)
Sunday, March 7 @ 10:30AM (Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway @ 95th Street)
Sunday, March 14 @ 1:00PM (Regal Union Square Theater)
A world premiere of the English dub of this South Korean animated film which showed in its original language version at last year's Big Apple Anime Fest. Dateline: the future. Plot: a princess meets a young boy and they look for treasure while running away from from an evil General. Sounds like a knock-off of Hayao Miyazaki's CASTLE IN THE SKY, but maybe I'm just being cynical.
All tickets $8.00
Full details here:

(Galapagos Performance Space, 70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn)
Sunday, March 7 @ 7PM
Oh no! Yoko Ono! Come on - she's a cultural icon. Check out four of her experimental works.
RAPE (1968, 75 minutes) - a camera harasses its subject.
ERECTION (1970, 19 minutes) time lapse study of a skyscraper going up.
FLY (1970, 19 minutes) a woman's body becomes an endless landscape.
FREEDOM (1971, 1 minute) psychedelic light show.
more info:

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