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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.

September 23 - September 30, 2004
The big news this week is the opening of INFERNAL AFFAIRS from Miramax. From what we've heard it's a release of the uncut, original language movie and it's an amazing gangster film. America hasn't produced a decent crime flick since 1999, so thank goodness for Hong Kong.

And congratulations to the 15 readers of this blog who've won passes for two to the film. You guys are so cool. Really. You are.

October 1 - 17 brings us a great Asian line-up in the New York Film Festival.
For details:

October 2 sees a Shaw Brothers retrospective at Lincoln Center - part of the New York Film Festival.
For details:

October 18-29 sees a great contemporary Hong Kong retro at Lincoln Center.
For details:

The American Museum of the Moving Image is screening Yasujiro Ozu's 1959 film, FLOATING WEEDS (119 minutes), as part of their Subway Film series (which has nothing to do with us at Subway Cinema, but we're thinking about suing!). It'll play at 6:30PM on Saturday, Oct. 9; and Sunday, Oct. 10 at 6:30PM as well.

November 12 sees a contemporary Korean Cinema retro at Lincoln Center.

December 3 sees a wide release of Zhang Yimou's HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS.

AMC Empire 25 (42nd Street and 8th Avenue)
Anime fans have been making little puddles on their seats for weeks in anticipation of Mamoru Oshii's follow-up to his ground-breaking GHOST IN THE SHELL. And there's no doubt that this movie is absolutely stunning visually.
Read some reviews:

Angelika Film Center
INFERNAL AFFAIRS (2002, Hong Kong, 101 minutes)
Whammy! American independent crime movies don't aspire to anything more ambitious than remaking PULP FICTION and Hollywood crime films have become special effects-clogged action flicks that can be sold on the international marketplace. So who's making good crime movies these days? Everyone else. INFERNAL AFFAIRS is the most gripping and ambitious gangster flick to hit movie screens since...well, since a long time. Head down to Chinatown (or to the New York Film Festival) and check out INFERNAL AFFAIRS 2, and 3 after you've watched IA 1. It rivals the three GODFATHER flicks in terms of epic scope (and, true to form, Kelly Chen is the "in over her head' equivalent of Sofia Coppola, and part 3 is a bit of a disappointment). Action flicks don't get any smarter than this.
Read a review:

Anthology Film Archives
BLISSFULLY YOURS (2001, Thailand, 125 minutes)
It won "Un Certain Regard" at Cannes, and smarty-pants film people can't say enough good things about this enigmatic, sultry, sweaty Thai art film by director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. People go on a picnic, and there's lots of ants and sensuality. Apichatpong is being hailed as the great new arthouse director, on a par with Wong Kar-wai, so if you consider yourself a cinema-lover, you owe it to yourself to check him out.
Read a review:

Broadway Theater (Broadway and 53rd)
The hit British musical, BOMBAY DREAMS is chuffing along. But even a score by A.R. Rahman (including "Chaiya Chaiya" from DIL SE, and "Shakalaka Baby" from NAYAK), a role for Madhur Jaffrey, the biggest Indian cookbook writer in the West, and inflatable Ganesh statues (plus a big fountain) haven't saved it from almost unanimous critical slams. Yikes! I liked it, but I like Bollywood, and if you don't know Bollywood you probably won't like it, and who in the US knows much about Bollywood? Bolly-bummer.
Ticket info:212-239-6200

Cinema Village
Taiwan's arthouse director (does Taiwan produce anything else, these days?) Tsai Ming-liang brings his trademark silences, Buster Keaton deadpan, and drip-drip-drip constant water leakage to the world of movie love. It's the last days in the life of the Fu'Ho theater and they're screening King Hu's masterpiece, DRAGON INN. While the movie runs, lonely people meet and try to connect in the theater, the bathrooms and the ticket booths. The theater is haunted, and actors Miao Tien and Chun Shih are in the audience, watching themselves perform in the movie they made almost 40 years earlier. Some people hate this movie, but a lot of Tsai Ming-liang fans are calling it amazing.
read a review:

Crown New York Twin (Second Avenue and 66th Street)
INFERNAL AFFAIRS (2002, Hong Kong, 101 minutes)

ImaginAsian Theater
239 East 59th Street (at Second Avenue)
Daily at 12PM, 2PM, 4PM, 6PM, 8PM and 10PM

Korean Cultural Service
Thursday, Sept. 23 @ 6:30PM
Adapted from a hit theatrical musical all about "kut" shaman ritual, where people escort the souls of the departed to the next world when they die. It's the directorial debut for famed Korean stage director, Lee Youn-Taek.

Landmark Sunshine (Houston Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

Loew's State
Salman Khan stars with Preity Zinta in this Bollywood knock-off of RETURN TO ME. Directed by Salman's brother-in-law, it's being derided as soppy and sentimental. How so? Let's just say it's about a businessman who loses the love of his life and doesn't know how to move on when he meets another lady, later.
Read a review:

34th Street Loews (between 8 and 9 Avenues)
TAEGUKGI (2004, Korea, 145 minutes)
Saving Private Ryan for Korea, this epic war flick replicates the strengths and weaknesses of Spielberg's flick. But somehow TAEGUKGI feels more like an old time Hollywood epic, along the lines of GONE WITH THE WIND or DR. ZHIVAGO, only with more amputated limbs. The promotional effort for this movie doesn't let you know that it's not just the highest grossing movie of all time, but it made TWICE as much money in Korea as its nearest competition (the Lord of the Rings movies). That would be like an American movie making $500 million dollars, instead of leveling out at the $200 million mark which seems to be where our super-blockbusters hover these days. Searing and brutal. Well worth your $10.
Read a review:

New York Film Festival
October 1 - 17 at Lincoln Center
Tickets went on sale September 12
This year's festival features a pretty strong Asian line-up. Most of these are already sold out but here's a rundown anyway:

Cafe Lumiere - Hou Hsia-hsien's latest

House of Flying Daggers - the latest martial romper stomper from Zhang Yimou, who's rapidly turning into the action director to beat. By the way, Zhang Yimou and Zhang Ziyi will be making an appearance at the screenings.

Tropical Malady - Apichatpong Weerasethakul's latest brain-boggler

Woman is the Future of Man - Hong Sang-Soo's latest Korean art film

The World - from Jia Zhangke, director of Platform

All three INFERNAL AFFAIRS movies (do not miss a chance to watch 1 and 2 back-to-back)

"Elegance, Passion and Cold, Hard Steel," a tribute to the Shaw Brothers Studios. The legendary Ivy Ling Bo, star of THE LOVE ETERNE, will be at the opening of this special retro.

more info:
and better even more good info:

Union Square 14 (and other theaters)
HERO (2002, China, 98 minutes)
Right outta the New York Asian Film Festival comes Zhang Yimou's HERO, his eye-popping martial epic starring Jet Li, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung and Donnie Yen. It's about two years since this movie was released everywhere else in the world, but better late than never. With cornea-blistering visuals by long-time Wong Kar-wai collaborator, Christopher Doyle, this flick is not the Second Coming, as many would have you believe, but it is an awe-inspiring spectacle on the big screen. It took a lot of behind-the-scenes maneuvering and pressure to get this movie released in the US at all, but bless 'em for finally doing it.

Village East
ZATOICHI (2003, Japan, 116 minutes)
Japanese auteur, Takeshi Kitano, directs and stars in this modern installment in the classic Japanese ZATOICHI series. Zato-who? Zatoichi, the blind masseur who roams Japan killing jerks when he's not relieving head and neck tension. Kitano adds in tap dancing, digital blood spray, and his own, patented deadpan morbid humor.
read a review:

WARRIORS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH (2003, Japan, 114 minutes)
Released to compete with HERO, this mainland Chinese epic Western (set in old timey time China) is a pretty drab affair. There's a certain amount of "let's go on an epic quest" feel to it, and the performances are generally good, but after HERO, well, where's the pretty colors?
read a review:

Super Special Notes!!!
You can show off how smart you are by going to book readings too! Books are those things made of paper that they sell in those Barnes and Noble stores around the coffee shops. They are very flammable, and hurt if they hit you in the head, but apart from that they aren't dangerous.

Ease yourself in slowly by going to the Barnes and Noble store at 6th Avenue and 22nd Street on October 27th @ 7PM to see Koji Suzuki read from his books. He's the guy who wrote THE RING and SPIRAL that the movies are based on.

You can practice for that experience by going to the reading by Ami Sakurai on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 6:30PM at Bluestocking (172 Allen St. - 212-777-6028). Her book, INNOCENT WORLD, is about a high school girl who has sex with her handicapped brother then joins a prostitution ring. Mary Kate Olsen is already developing it into a feature film for herself to star in.

Regular Special Note:
We don't just cover New York!

Look! It's proof!
TAE GUK GI is also playing at the Movieworld at Douglaston in Queens (718-423-9200) and the Mayfair Triplex in New Jersey (865-2010), the Brandon Cinemas in Forest Hills and the College Point Multiplex Cinemas in Queens.

And more proof!
Korean Cultural Center presents:

Traveling Korean Film Series
September 2 - 30
at Schenectady County Public Library
(99 Clinton St.)
My Sassy Girl (Sept. 23 @ 7PM)
Il Mare (Sept. 30 @ 7PM)
call 518-388-4543 for more info

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