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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.

October 21 - October 28, 2004

What are YOU going to be doing on October 28th? There's a screening of ONG BAK and there's a free screening of OLD BOY. Two movies that will split your head open. Both are getting US theatrical releases, but much later. What are you going to do? Split yourself in half? Grow a clone? Find your Doppelganger? Or just cop out and go to the free video projection of the animated Korean film OSEAM at the Korean Cultural Service?

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

November 12-December 7 sees "The Newest Tiger: 60 Years of South Korean Cinema" kick off at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. It features things like Im Kwon-Taek's latest film LOW LIFE (his 99th movie), Lee Myung-Se's NOWHERE TO HIDE (the most beautiful action movie ever made), Lee Myung-Se's FIRST LOVE (a much-loved Korean romance), Kim Ki-Young's twisted and sick 1960 THE HOUSEMAID and a ton of others.

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 AMC Empire 25, UA Union Square (see below).

THE GRUDGE is playing all over town. You can't miss it. This is the Hollywood remake of Japan's creepfest, JU-ON, and it's directed by the original director, Takashi Shimizu, and it's set in Japan, and it features the poster from THE RING. So how bad can it be?

AMC Empire 25 (42nd Street and 8th Avenue)
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.
Also playing at:
UA Union Square 14

American Museum of the Moving Image
Thursday, October 28 @ 7PM
Do not miss this movie. I repeat, do not miss this movie. One more time for the dumb kids in the back: do not miss this movie. The best martial arts movie since Jackie Chan's 1994 DRUNKEN MASTER 2, this is a Thai film starring the newest action maniac, Tony Jaa. The stunts show a total disregard for human life. Kewl.
read a review:

Angelika Film Center
INFERNAL AFFAIRS (2002, Hong Kong, 101 minutes)
on 10/22 INFERNAL AFFAIRS moves to Village East
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
BROTHERS AND OTHERS: the Impact of Sept. 11 on Muslims, Arabs and South Asians in America (2002, USA, 54 minutes)
October 27 @ 6:30PM
A documentary by Nicholas Rossier about, well, you can read the title.
$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.

The other day I noticed that it was on sale at half price at Tickets Tickets - so go on by some day and have some fun.

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:

Daily at 1:45, 3:45, 5:45, 7:45; Noon on Friday and Saturday
A Mainland Chinese movie about, well, postmen. And their routes are in, well, the mountains. It's all about a postman taking a kid on his three day route through the mountains with lots of bonding on the side. If you're a sucker for father/son movies, this one will get you. Bring hankies.
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 DANEROUS 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?

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. Oh wait, 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.

HIMATSURI (Japan, 1985, 126 minutes)
Friday December 14 at 6:30pm
HIMATSURI means "Fire Festival", so you just know this one has gotta be HOT!

For more info. on the entire series, visit:

Korean Cultural Service
OSEAM (2003, Korea)
Thursday, October 28 @ 6:30PM
A free screening of this Korean animated film about a Buddhist parable. Well, more like a little story. Kilson is a kid who's achieved enlightenment. And that's sort of it. But it's a classically animated, good-looking movie.
read a review:

NYU Cantor Film Center (8th Street between Broadway and University Place)
OLD BOY (2003, Korea)
Thursday, October 28 at 7PM
A free screening of OLD BOY, the latest film from Park Chan-wook earned raves at Cannes and won lots of awards. It's a free screening and the producer will be present. This is an eye-opening (with a razor blade) movie from the director of JSA and SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE. With incest! Do you see this on the 28th or ONG BAK? The only thing we don't know is whether it's a 35mm print or a video projection.
read a review:

UNTOLD SCANDAL (2003, Korea)

Union Square 14 (and other theaters)
HERO (2002, China, 98 minutes)

Village East
INFERNAL AFFAIRS (2002, Hong Kong, 101 minutes)

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 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 opened on October 15 at the Kew Gardens Cinema in Queens, and the Cinema Arts Center in Huntington, NY.

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