Read the full story

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.

October 14 - October 21, 2004

Some people will say anything to get a Wong Kar-wai boxed set. The giveaway is over, the lucky winners have been notified, the response was huge - close to 200 of you emailed us - and we really wish we could give each and every one of you a consolation prize - especially the 42 of who begged and begged, the 28 who pleaded poverty and absolute need, and the 87 who all insisted they were "Wong Kar-wai's biggest fan" - but sadly, the drawing was random, and we can't. Interestingly, however, some of you responded so fast that we managed to get nearly 100 responses before the email notice even went out! How? Because the blog usually goes up a few hours before the email, and that indicates that a whole lot you read the blog before the email, which - of course - is as it should be... and all is good in the world.

The WKW boxed set streets on October 19. Check it out at:

I've watched it and here's the disc report: CHUNGKING EXPRESS is the old Quentin Tarantino disc, same packaging and everything. It looks great, but I'd love for someone to make the original Hong Kong cut available to the world on DVD. I'll hold onto my laserdisc until then. AS TEARS GO BY and DAYS OF BEING WILD look like the HK DVD transfers, ported over and repackaged. TEARS looks terrific, this movie will never look better. DAYS looks as good as it does on LD, and somewhat better. But it does sport plenty of print damage (speckles). HAPPY TOGETHER and FALLEN ANGELS have never looked this good. The transfers are practically radioactive, and HAPPY TOGETHER has "Buenos Aires Zero Degrees" the Making Of doc, that raises the bar for all Making of docs.

Oct. 28 sees a preview screening of the amazing Thai action film ONG BAK at the American Museum of the Moving Image. Missing this movie would be like missing a chance to see Jackie Chan's new film back when he really mattered.
Read some reviews:

Oct. 29th sees the much-hyped Filipino film, MAGNIFICO open at the Imaginasian theater.
Read a review:

November 12-December 2 sees a contemporary Korean Cinema retro at Lincoln Center.

December 3 sees a wide release of Zhang Yimou's HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS. This isn't as good as HERO, but it's worth watching. By any other director it would be a miracle, but it's a bit of a let-down from Zhang Yimou.

HERO is now playing at 42nd Street EWalk, 86th Street East, UA Union Square (see below).

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:

Asia Society
Thursday Oct. 14 @ 6:30PM
A documentary about the rise of radical Islam within Pakistan. Bound to be fun and uplifting. Followed by a panel discussion by Sharmeen Obaid, the filmmaker; Saeed Shafqat, from Columbia University; and Robina Niaz, Sakhi for South Asian Women (moderator). I thought you needed four or more people to be a panel discussion, but no matter. Each of these speakers is a big ball of fun.
Tickets $7 for members, $5 for students, $10 for riff raff
more info:

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
SILENT WATERS (2004, Pakistan)
Daily at 1:20, 3:20, 5:25 and 7:30
This film kicks off as a cross-generational comedy and darkens and chills to become an indictment of genocide. Well-acted, well-shot, and under-reviewed it's worth your time. Since we're fighting a war in Pakistan we owe it to ourselves to watch a couple of Pakistani movies, and this is a great place to start. (I strongly recommend that after you watch this movie, you go to your video store or get online and order ZINDA LASH. It's Pakistan's first horror movie, recently re-issued by Mondo Macabro, and it's a go-go dancing, B&W remake of DRACULA that manages to be crazy, cheap and addictive.)
read a review:

Empire 25
INFERNAL AFFAIRS (2002, Hong Kong, 101 minutes)

ImaginAsian Theater
239 East 59th Street (at Second Avenue)
UNTOLD SCANDAL (Korea, 2003)
One of Korea's big box office hits from last year (and the movie that holds the record for largest opening weekend ever in Korea), UNTOLD SCANDAL is DANGEROUS LIASONS set in 18th Century Korea during the Chosun Dynasty, which was supposed to be orderly, upright and Confucian, but everyone was making the humpy when no one else was looking. Evil, sumptuous, and well-acted this movie is as much fun as the original. It's actually more faithful to the original novel in some ways, and Bae Yong-Jun is much less reptilian than John Malkovich. Worth your time.

Read reviews:
Go to the website:

Japan Society
October 15 - December 17
Curated by brainiac, Susan Sontag, this series of hand-picked (like cherries and apples) Japanese classics features some stand-out films and some of the same-old same-old. The last time she did this it was successful. Will it be a winner again?

A PAGE OF MADNESS (Japan, 1926, 60 minutes)
Friday, October 15 @ 6:30PM
One of Japan's earliest surviving silent movies is a don't-miss-it sudden drop into madness.
Read a full essay and review of this remarkable movie:

STORY OF THE LAST CRYSANTHEMUMS (Japan, 1939, 115 minutes)
Tuesday, October 19 @ 6:30PM
A maid pushes a spoiled, young actor to rise to the top. Set against a detailed backdrop of late 19th Century Kabuki.

LOVE OF SUMAKO THE ACTRESS (Japan, 1947, 96 minutes)
Monday, October 25 @ 6:30 pm
Another Kenji Mizoguchi film about the early theater, focusing on Sumako Matsui, one of the greatest modern theater actresses.

DRUNKEN ANGEL (Japan, 1948, 98 minutes)
Tuesday, November 2 @ 6:30 pm
Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune together again. Mifune is a gangster in post-WW II Japan, dying of tuberculosis.

REPAST (Japan, 1951, 97 minutes)
Monday, November 8 @ 6:30PM
Mikio Naruse directs this movie with two of the biggest stars of the 40's and 50's, Setsuko Hara and Ken Uehara. A domestic drama.

FIRES ON THE PLANE (Japan, 1959, 105 minutes)
Monday, November 29 @ 6:30PM
Kon Ichikawa directs this grueling flick about a starved and exhausted soldier in the Philippines.

WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS (Japan, 1960, 86 minutes)
Wednesday, December 1 @ 6:30PM
A childless widow works as a madam in Ginza trying to be moral while everything around her is steeped in sin.

PIGS AND BATTLESHIPS (Japan, 1961, 108 minutes)
Monday, December 6 @ 6:30PM
The great Shohei Imamura directs this black comedy about a group of gangsters that controls a town dependent on the local US military base.

HIGH AND LOW (Japan, 1963, 144 minutes)
Tuesday, December 14 @ 6:30PM
Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune together again. Kidnappers get the kid of the chauffeur not of his boss, and the boss has to make a moral choice. I just woke up. If you like BAYSIDE SHAKEDOWN you'll recognize the ending of HIGH AND LOW as the source of the final scene.

There's also one more movie but I can't figure out what it is or when it's going to play.
More details (their regular website is currently down):

Loew's State
A period piece, shot in Bengali and based on a classic novel, it's a sumptuous classical tragedy full of musical numbers. And it stars that star of stars, Aishwarya Rai. One of Subway's members saw it last weekend and thought it was a little bit slow and too Merchant Ivoryish to really engage him - still Aishwarya is always worth a watch and is soon hitting the world stage in an Indian/English version of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice called Bride and Prejudice and is directed by the maker of Bend it Like Beckham. So see her before she is famous here. The film is not a typical Bollywood like musical, but is a straight out period drama.
Read a review:

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
This year's festival features a strong Asian line-up as well as appearances by filmmakers, including Zhang Yimou, Here's a rundown:

Info on the festival at:

UNTOLD SCANDAL (2003, Korea)

Union Square 14 (and other theaters)
HERO (2002, China, 98 minutes)
Also playing at:
42nd Street E Walk, 86th Street East

Walter Reade Theater
Recent Films From Hong Kong
October 18-29
Wow, that title really gets your blood pounding, doesn't it. Doesn't matter, this is the best line-up of post-2000 Hong Kong films ever mounted. Sure, there's some notable MIA movies (where's MCDULL? SHAOLIN SOCCER?) but otherwise this is pretty amazing. If you thought HK film died just because Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-fat, Jet Li and John Woo went American, you're so wrong.

THROW DOWN - Johnnie To's latest flick is a judo-crazy epic that is a stunning essay on personal dignity.

GOLDEN CHICKEN - Sandra Ng turns in a thrillingly alive performance as an eager beaver hooker over twenty years of Hong Kong's ups and downs.

INFERNAL AFFAIRS 2 - see IA 1, then see 2. It's worth it.

RUNNING ON KARMA - we showed it at this year's New York Asian Film Festival, but this action/comedy/romance deserves an audience of millions. Johnnie To's best movie.

A CHINESE ODYSSEY - no one makes fun of Wong Kar-wai better than Wong Kar-wai. Watch Tony Leung in IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, then watch him send up Wong Kar-wai in this Wong Kar-wai produced parody of Wong Kar-wai with really hilarious musical numbers.

INNER SENSES and JULY RHAPSODY - the final films for Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui, respectively. Both movies are good (JULY RHAPSODY is close to great) and both actors, who died way too young, are terrific in them.

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.

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

Look! It's proof!
UNTOLD SCANDAL will open on October 15 at the Kew Gardens Cinema in Queens, and the Cinema Arts Center in Huntington, NY.

This is really, really simple, but - as a service to those who like their hand held - we're gonna spell it out...

TO BE NOTIFIED OF UPDATES TO THIS SITE (approx. once per week)

1) Print this page and then Click Here. This will take you to a new page.

2) Enter you email address in the space designated and click ENTER or OK or GO or whatever
the heck the button on that page says.

3) This should result in two things happening.

First, your browser should change to a message reading:

"Thank you! You will receive an email shortly with instructions on how to confirm
and complete your subscription. You will not be subscribed until you click on
the link in that email. Thanks!"

Secondly, as stated above, you should receive an email in your inbox.
It will be from the following address:

4) Open that email and click on the link within (or cut and paste the listed URL into your browser).

5) This will result in your browser opening to the following message:
"Success! You should begin receiving your weekly Subway Cinema News shortly!"

6) That's it!

© 2000-2005 Subway Cinema. All Rights Reserved.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?