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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.

November 4 - November 11, 2004

Nov. 17 will see author Chang-Rae Lee do a reading at Symphony Space.

November 18 brings puppets to the Japan Society as Basil Twist (who's New York's best puppeteer) stages Dogugaeshi, a puppet theater play inspired by Japan's puppet traditions. Twist's last show, SYMPHONY FANTASTIQUE, is still running in NYC and is an abstract puppet show that takes place entirely underwater.

Nov. 19 brings us PING PONG screening at the Asia Society. We had two sold-out screenings of this amazing movie back at the 2003 New York Asian Film Festival and you can read a review here:

It's amazing to me that no one in the US has picked this movie up for distribution. Oh, wait, it's not violent, has no action scenes, and isn't a boring art movie that exoticizes Asian culture. Sorry, I must have lost my mind for a minute. Of course no one has picked it up for a US release.

Friday, Nov. 26th sees a screening of last year's Korean epic limb-hacker, SWORD IN THE MOON at the American Museum of the Moving Image. It was at Cannes, and while it's not the greatest movie ever made, it's a pretty darn effective period swordplay movie with lots of spookiness and great carnage.
There'll also be some more Ozu movies at the AMMI in November.

December 3rd 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.

December 4th (Saturday) from 9:30AM - 5:30PM there's a Godzilla Symposium at the Altschul Auditorium in the International Affairs Building at Columbia U (that's 118th St. and Amsterdam Avenue). A Godzilla symposium? I can die happy!

December 17 sees the release of the stunning Korean horror movie, A TALE OF TWO SISTERS. A big hit when it was released, there's going to be a number of free screenings before it comes out and you're going to get into some of them.


THE GRUDGE is playing all over town. Don't miss it. This is the Hollywood remake of Japan's creepfest, JU-ON, and it's directed by the original director, it stars both of the original's creepiest stars, and it's set in the same scary Japanese house in the same scary Japan! Plus, it features the poster from THE RING. And it's actually very faithful to the original and very, very good.

AMC Empire 25 (42nd Street and 8th Avenue)
HERO (2002, China, 98 minutes)

Broadway Theater (Broadway and 53rd)
Ticket info:212-239-6200

Cinema Village
BRIGHT FUTURE (2003, Japan)
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's critically acclaimed flick about jellyfish, and alienation.
Read a review:

Columbia University
GODZILLA CONQUERS THE GLOBE: Japanese Movie Monsters in International Film Art
C.V. Starr East Asian Library
Through December 2004
It's back!!! We had no idea this was running through December, but you can see it now.
A big exhibition of GODZILLA film materials from around the globe. For exhibit times and how to get to the library and find the exhibit please go to the website listed below. Check out the website anyways, because if you can ignore the goofy picture of Godzilla (who looks more like the Loch Ness Monster here) you can also see a map and a case by case listing of every single object in the exhibit. And, apparently, the exhibit is BYOED (Bring Your Own Exhibit Descriptions) so make sure you print out the website as there's almost no signage at the library.
The exhibit extends through three rooms on two different floors; part of it is in the Main Reading Room of the Starr Library, which is open all day during the academic term, but the other two rooms are open only M-F 9AM - 1PM. Curated by Prof. Gregory M. Pflugfelder, who deserves a Nobel prize for his Godzilla scholarship, it'll run through May 15, and the good Prof. Pflugfelder (is that a made-up name?) is organizing a Godzilla symposium on December 4th. A Godzilla symposium?!? Could we possibly live in a better world?
more info:

ImaginAsian Theater
(239 East 59th Street, btwn 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
VEER ZAARA (India, 2004)
The big New Year's Bollywood film from India's master of mass entertainment, Yash Chopra, is exactly what we've come to expect: big, glossy, unchallenging entertainment that markets in middle-brow sentimentality. Shah Rukh Khan plays an Indian Air Force captain (who spends much of his military duty dangling from the bottom of a helicopter like a dope) who falls in love with Pakistani cutie pie, Preity Zinta. But wait, that's all a flashback. Currently he's being held prisoner for 22 years in a Pakistani prison and Rani Mukherjee is his lawyer. The middle section of this movie has some real power, it's nice to see Bollywood treat Pakistanis as brothers and neighbors rather than as enemies, and it manipulates your emotions shamelessly. The movie's trumpeted as Yash Chopra's return to directing after a retirement, and the message is that it's time for the old generation to step aside and let youth take over and lead the way into the future. He should have heeded his own advice. VEER ZAARA is fun, unironic entertainment, but it makes the most raw silent films look sophisticated and subtle.

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?

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.

Loew's State
VEER ZAARA (India, 2004)

Village East
New York Independent Film and Video Festival
THE NEIGHBOUR (Japan, 30 mins)
Friday, Nov. 12th @ 2:10PM
A digital video short from Japan, starring stage actress Makiko Tomimoto in her screen debut, this is a romantic alienation movie from Tokyo that's gotten some good reviews from the likes of the folks over at and from Mark Schilling. You can read more about the movie over at the festival's website which gets an award from me for being incredibly difficult to navigate.
Read more:

Walter Reade Theater (at Lincoln Center)
November 12-December 7
Lincoln Center goes for the gold with a retrospective of new and used Korean film. It's artsier than some would like, but there's a ton of flicks worth your while.
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, and a total change of pace for the director whom Americans know as an action director), Kim Ki-Young's twisted and sick 1960 THE HOUSEMAID that's a mondo psychotronic, rarely-screened movie that's had a huge influence on Korean cinema and a ton of others. Geez, it's like Lincoln Center is on Asian steroids these days.
More info:

Special Notes!!!
There's a special series at Columbia University of lectures on aspects of Japanese art and literature. They're the Donald Keene Center Special Lecture series and you can find updates at:

And Urban Stages presents "Comfort Women" a play about the Korean comfort women (duh) with a special appearance by Soon Gwan Hong, a radio announcer and actor who's done many benefits for comfort women in Japan and Korea. It's playing at Urban Stages Theatre, 259 West 30th Street, betw. 7 & 8 Ave.
More info:

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