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.

December 9 - December 16, 2004


January 12 will bring the 2003 Hong Kong film, MEN SUDDENLY IN BLACK to Cinema Village for one screening only. A sex comedy send-up of US and Hong Kong action (victims include INFERNAL AFFAIRS and SE7EN) this local comedy is like PORKY'S or MEATBALLS only done with more class and technical polish, and in Cantonese. Plus, it might make you cry if you're a softie.

February 2005 looks like the US release for the rocking Thai action movie, ONG BAK.

The Korean anime SKY BLUE (previously known as WONDERFUL DAYS) will get a theatrical release in February 2005 as well.


HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS is the latest in Zhang Yimou's candy-colored fast-flying empire of fun. This time, see Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau mix it up over a totally superfluous plot. Story? Who cares! It's pretty, the action rocks, the actors glow and everyone fountains blood at the end. Hooray!

THE GRUDGE is playing at the Loew's 42nd Street Ewalk and this is your last chance to see it in the theater. 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.


American Museum of the Moving Image
WARRIORS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH (2003, China, 114 minutes)
Friday, December 17 @ 7:30PM
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? However, check out the funky "we are all spacemen now" ending. Psychedelic!
read a review:

Anthology Film Archives
JPEX: Japanese Experimental Film and Video, 1955 - Now
December 8 - December 12
No one brings over experimental Japanese film that doesn't feature Yoko Ono. But here's a bunch of it at the Anthology Film Archives! In five programs! Expanded Visions! Exploded States! Sex Underground! Narrative Transgressions! Contemporary Film Video and Animation! There's the 1970 EMPEROR TOMATO KETCHUP! And what about the transsexual 1969 spelunking of FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES? Only at the Anthology, kids. Only at the Anthology.
read the program:

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

China Institute
More gorgeous and rare silent films from China.

SONG OF CHINA (China, 1935, 75 minutes)
Friday, December 10 @ 6:30PM
A family patriarch moves his clan to the countryside to save them from the corrupting forces of modernity. One of the only Chinese silent films to be distributed in the US.
$5 for members/$7 for non-members

THE GODDESS (China, 1934, 75 minutes)
Tuesday, December 14 @ 6:30PM
Ruan Ling-yu's most famous film, THE GODDESS finds her playing a prostitute who uses her earnings to support her son and make sure he gets a good education. If you want to taste the heady potion that is the dazzling aura of Ruan Ling-yu, this is where you go to drink. The print has been newly restored with a new soundtrack.
$5 for members/$7 for non-members

Cinema Village
starts December 17
Everyone's calling this a "horror movie" but don't be fooled. Director Kim Ji-Won (THE FOUL KING, THE QUIET FAMILY) takes all the cliches of Asian horror (the dead wet girls, the weird noises, the burlap bags with something bloody inside, the heavy art direction) and actually says something with them. The movie itself sounds (and looks) like a Bavarian fairy tale (and it's based on a Korean folktale). Two little girls are sent into the woods to live with their wicked stepmother, and things get very weird, very fast. But Director Kim is not trying to scare you with this flick, he's trying to turn your heart inside out. Absolutely wrenching.
read reviews:
for more info:

Le You's follow-up to SUZHOU RIVER (his VERTIGO remix) is this twisted tale of resistance fighters in WWII China. Zhang Ziyi (without make-up and looking so plain) stars as a revolutionary, and various men and women cross her path, most getting turned into bloody targets. Action setpieces and melodrama mix it up with a narrative that's much more oblique and hard-to-follow than it needs to be. It could have been a beautiful masterpiece, instead it's a fascinating lost opportunity.
read reviews:
more info:

HUNTER AND THE HUNTED (2004, Japan, 110 minutes)
December 12 - one show only
Directorial debut by Izuru Narushima is a slow, funny, Ozu-paced cops and robbers flick. A small town cop (Koji Yakusho, DOPPLEGANGER) and a cat burglar match wits. Variety calls it "lovingly and leisurely observed" and "haunting". I'll stop now before I sound like a publicity shill.
more info:

DOLLS (2002, Japan, 113 minutes)
opens December 10
Takeshi Kitano's movie before ZATOICHI is virtually unseen in the West. This famously fractitious collaboration with fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto is bafflingly, weird, beautiful and very, very sadistic. It's like a Punch and Judy show staged for Satan. If Kitano is channeling the spirit of Shintaro Katsu to do his ZATOICHI remake, then he's channeling some of the flamboyance of Suzuki Seijun in DOLLS. Only meaner.
read reviews:^Dolls+(2002)

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:

Film Forum
DAYS OF BEING WILD (Hong Kong, 1990, 93 minutes)
Daily at 2:40PM, 6:15PM and 9:40PM
The movie has been held over due to popular demand. Keep going! Keep buying tickets! You can do it!
Set your mind on trance and go see what all the sultry, wet fuss is about in this new 35mm print of Wong Kar-wai's classic sultry look at Hong Kong in the early 1960's - with new subtitles.
read a review:

December 8 - December 21
A documentary about kids growing up in the Calcutta brothels, this film is saved from a myriad of sins by the fact that the director gave cameras to the kids and let them shoot photos of their own lives. Sure - they'd probably be better off with full tuition to a boarding school, but apparently they love it and some of them are even ace photographers.
read reviews:

ImaginAsian Theater
(239 East 59th Street, btwn 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
SHWAAS (India, 2004, 107 minutes)
For an Indian movie, SHWAAS has a tin ear for music, but it hails from the Marathi film industry, not from the song and dance capital of Bollywood. India's 2004 submission to the Oscars, SHWAAS is a quiet, humble movie about a granddad who brings his grandson to the big city to get a consultation on the kid's eye problems. The doctor diagnoses a rare form of cancer that requires the immediate removal of the kid's now what? Wringing subtle comedy from an accumulation of small details, and sporting some impassioned performances this movie ends without any big messages. By the time the credits roll, forms have been filled out, decisions have been made, and consequences have been accepted. The characters meet an uncertain future with as much dignity as they can muster, not because they're heroes, but because they have no choice. A great holiday film.
read a review:

SWADES (India, 2004, 180 minutes)
starts December 17
One of this year's much-anticipated Bollywood blockbusters. From the director of LAGAAN and starring ShahRukh Khan.

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?

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.

HIMATSURI (Japan, 1985, 126 minutes)
Friday, December 17 @ 6:30PM
A woodcutter resists commercialization creeping into his village. There's also a fire festival.
read more:

Thursday, December 9 @ 7:30PM
Friday, December 10 @ 7:30PM
A recreation of the Noh and Kyogen performance held, 130 years ago, for an American audience. The cast is led by Umewaka Rokuro, the great-grandson of the lead performer from that performance. It's like a shamanistic ritual designed to make Manhattan fly!
read more:

Loew's State
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. Shahrukh 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.

HULCHUL (India, 2004)
This Bollywood remake of the Malayalam hit, THE GODFATHER, is a flat-out, unrepentant comedy about two feuding families. Starring Ashaye Khanna, Jackie Shroff, Amrish Puri and Kareena Kapoor it's being alternately blasted and praised. Here's some hating: "Every actor's mouth is subjected to scatological humour repeatedly. Jokes about nature's calls, unclean bums and spittle litter the narrative..." Unclean bums?!? Yikes! Read more reviews, then you can be the judge. Do you like unclean bums?
This movie has unclean bums:
But I like this movie:

Museum of Modern Art
They're back! MOMA has come back from Australia (or was it Queens?) and they're now in Manhattan, in a beautiful new building, and charging about $5000 per ticket to get in their front doors. Oh well - that's the way life is: the pretty people always get more money. To celebrate their new HQ, Team MOMA - World Art Police, are showing a bunch of movies. Here's what's coming:

HIGH HILL (Korea, 2003, 103 minutes)
Friday, December 10 @ 6PM
Saturday, December 18 @ 8PM
I do not understand this movie. Has anyone heard of it? Here's the write-up from MOMA's website:
"Directed by Choiha Dongha. In 2002 a Turkish teenage girls's soccer team achieved fame at the World Cup championships for competing in their everyday baggy pants and rubber shoes. South Korean filmmakers visit their village, where unemployed men sit in cafes and girls pick beans, gather wood, and find time for soccer practice." Documentary? Drama?

NEW TALES OF THE TAIRA CLAN (Japan, 1955, 107 minutes)
Wednesday, January 5 @ 6PM
Sunday, January 9 @ 2:30PM
Kenji Mizoguchi's samurai movie slashes its way into MOMA in a newly restored print.

I'M BOBBY (USA, 2004, 32 minutes)
Wednesday, January 5 @ 7:30
Saturday, January 8 @ 2:30
An animated send-up/homage to Raj Kapoor's evergreen Bollywood classic, BOBBY. Featuring "nonprofessional child actors who wear false moustaches and lip-synch Kapoor dialogue) and imaginative animated sequences." Hmmm...who has a moustache in BOBBY besides the fathers? The catalogue entry also refers to BOBBY as "Bollywood's scandalous answer to ROMEO AND JULIET." Um, scandalous to whom? Okay, so the lead actor wears jump suits - I thought we were mature and didn't think of that as scandalous anymore? Do yourself a favor, there's a great DVD of BOBBY out there that's easily accessible. Buy it, watch it, and be "scandalized" all over again.

NOBODY KNOWS (2004, Japan, 141 minutes)
Thursday, January 6 @ 8:30PM
Kore-eda directs this story about four kids, abandoned by their mother in an apartment in the city. Child actor Yuya Yagira won Best Actor at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival for his performance here, and critics have been raving about this movie the way they tend to rave.

Friday, January 14 @ 8PM
Yoko Ono is back to "break down traditional boundaries and fracture entrenched narrative structures." Thank god someone is. This time she's experimenting with "digital" technology in her latest work called ONOCHORD. Whoa - a performance artist with a digital video camera? I've never heard of such a thing! Unique! Smashing!

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:

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?