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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.

June 17 - June 24, 2005

Tickets for a number of shows are going quickly - so buy now or forever hold your peace!

Here are a few comments from the Time Out review on the fest:

"Paradise is found at the New York Asian Film Festival"

For Princess Raccoon - "there's delirious fun in trying to keep up with this fantastic voyage"

For Late Bloomer - "the movie's no-future despair gets under your skin, then immediately starts eating away at your internal organs"

For The Taste of Tea - " a brilliant piss-take on Yasujiro Ozu's seasonal family films" "Iishi's masterpeice"

For Kekexili - "gorgeous, brutal Tibetan true story"

And from the Village Voice review:

"Count our blessings. No sooner does the screaming summer-movie emptiness begin to envelop the city than Subway Cinema's annual fest of new East Asian pop cinema uncorks a refreshing cataract of psychotic invention, genre excess, and meditative derangement."

For Kekexili - "director Lu Chuan has an unerring eye and a knack for remorseless realism, and it's one of the most harrowing movies about landscape ever made. "

For Mind Game - "Masaaki Yuasa's anti-anime Mind Game— a crazed, psychedelic odyssey to the embrace of an irreverent God and back again—chop-shops virtually every animated style you can think of into a feverish gout."

For The Taste of Tea - "Ishii, best known here for his anime segment in Kill Bill Vol. 1, has the live-action patience and light touch of Rohmer, garlicked up with a buoying sense of acceptable absurdity. "

For Green Chair - "with a rapturous, sexually exhaustive romance. Oozing with integrity, ambivalence, and hold-your-breath character creation by Jung, it might be the most gratifying love story I've seen in any language this decade."

The New York Post says "THE New York Asian Film Festival — always one of the high points of the movie year — has grown so big it needs two theaters." And his favorite pick is A SNAKE IN JUNE.

A Consumers Guide to the New York Asian Film Festival:

So you were made redundant and the unemployment checks haven't kicked in but you still want to see some of these films - so how do you choose. Here are some easy helpful categories.

Films that make you feel better about the whole darn human race:

Crazy N' the City - a title so bad that we almost didn't go after it but we all liked its cheery nature so much that we had no choice. One is a jaded veteran beat cop, the other his perky new female partner - he wants to avoid trouble, she wants to be the best she can be - you expect romance but instead you get a tingling ode to duty and redemption with a final 20-minutes that is pure Hong Kong.

Princess Raccoon - Seijun Suzuki's latest brain twister - he is a Prince and she is a beautiful Princess and they fall in love as only royalty can - what could go wrong - well he is a human, she is a Tanuki (raccoon) and the two don't mix - but true love can overcome everything can't it - especially if this raccoon looks a lot like Zhang Ziyi.

Kamikaze Girls - my bet for audience award winner this year - it is an explosive pop gem of colors and bad fashions that will hook you like a hyper-active milkshake. Two girls in nowheresville bond over pachinko and embroidery - one a nutty Lolita Bo-Peep drone and the other a biker gang chick. This is just pure fun.

University of Laughs - its war time Japan and the whole country needs to be aimed at the war effort - even comedy writers. He just wants to make people laugh in the theater, the censor doesn't think its funny or patriotic - the two enter into a battle of verbal wits that brings out the best in them both - and manages to be very funny and moving.

Hana and Alice - two best school buddies who share everything until a cute boy comes along - but in the end it's your friends who pull you through life. A "Ghost World" like look at friendship and those adolescent years that is at times so poetically sublime you want it to go on forever.

Green Chair - sexy, sexy sexy. An older woman, a young boy on the edge of manhood seems ripe for melodrama and excess, but in the hands of this director there is no guilt, no punishment - just damn good sex that is so romantic it could start a trend.

Marathon - a huge hit in Korea where they love their melodrama served like a full course meal. This one is almost guaranteed to have you pulling out the kleenex and there isn't a romance in sight. Just the true story of a young man who overcomes his autistic condition to run like the wind. One of the Subway guys watched it twice and admits he cried both times!

The Taste of Tea - this is such a hard film to sell - it's nearly plotless - a series of oddball vignettes around an eccentric wonderful family that builds into an astonishing slow-build look at the power of the family and the magic that surrounds all of us in our daily lives if we could only catch it and bottle it. This film does it for us.

Someone Special - every year we have to have at least one great romantic comedy - last year it was PLEASE TEACH ME ENGLISH, the year before it was JUST ONE LOOK, before that the legendary MY SASSY GIRL. This year it is this film - goofy, funny, playful and incredibly feel good sweet.

Josee, The Tiger and The Fish - pure unadulterated magic that humorously details the friendship between a woman with cerebral palsy and a man she meets. Sappy? Not in the least bit - it's just plain fabulous.

For the little kid in all of us:

Gagamboy - all he really wants to do is make time with the girl he loves but when he gains spider powers he knows he must protect his barrio, fight Cockroachman (hiss!) and still win the heart of the girl. Not a moment of seriousness in this crazy big hearted comedy. Gagamboy forever.

Tetsujin 28 - all of us wanted to be a hero when we were small - then the real world intruded and we ended up at dull jobs marking time - here again is that magic of childhood as its up to a small boy to save Japan from a giant robot!

Godzilla Final Wars - he is back one more time to take on every one of his foes - Godzilla, the human race needs you one last time!

Horror for those that like their skin to crawl a little bit:

Marebito - from the director of Juon - do we need to say anything more? Instead of a haunted house he goes right into Hell!

P - she is a good girl from the provinces who comes to Bangkok and gets sucked into the bar life. Thankfully grandmom taught her some black magic to protect herself. Sex tourists beware. A film that the Thai government wants to stop being shown - are they afraid it will hurt tourism?

Three Extremes - pick your favorite afterwards - everyone seems to have a different one. Dumplings isn't a traditional horror film - instead it looks at our obsession wth staying young in a throwaway society and finds the true horror that lies in all of us. Box isn't a typical Miike gore fest - instead he creates a surrealistically dreamy tone poem that is mystifying and twisted. Cut - as in in the cutting off of your fingers in this beautiful nod to Italian giallo films.

R-Point - Korea goes to fight America's war in Vietnam and finds the ghosts of its colonial past waiting for them - leave our country alone or die.

Films that are for the pessimist in you:

Kekexili - antelopes are being killed by the thousands in the stark outlands of Tibet by men who just want to feed their families. A brave band of men risk their lives to protect their heritage - the world stands by and watches. Epic in its sweeping landscapes and heroism. Based on a true story.

One Nite in Mongkok - A humane picture of desperate people looking for something good in their lives to latch on to - love, community, friendship or simply getting though the night - but they can't escape the violence that crawls along the city streets looking for victims. Emotionally gut wrenching tale of cops and hitmen on the cruel streets of Mongkok.

Samaritan Girl - Kim Ki-Duk's work can often be harsh and uncomfortable - but here he manages somehow to be almost ethereally tragic and emotionally painful. With a plot that might seem to embrace exploitation - teenage prostitution and revenge - he instead explores karma and guilt that feels like a kick in the stomach by the end.

Weird and Wonderful

Survive Style 5+ - This is an absolutely zany film that crosses over often and joyfully into total absurdity. The film just zips around like an out of control rubber ball with a conclusion that is so sublime and perfect that you want to believe in happy endings again.

Karaoke Terror - why didn't anyone think of this before. Droog like teenagers vs. middle aged karaoke divorcees. They kill one, the women return the favor - escalation ensues. Black humor in spades, knives and missiles.

Vital - Can there be a happy ending between a medical student and his cadaver who just happens to be his girlfriend. Come find out.

Arahan - he is just a wimpy cop who gets pushed around by gangsters - but he only needs to have his chi unblocked to find his true potential - to save the world!

Mind Game - the best anime out of Japan since Ghost in the Shell, this is no giant robot geekfest. It's an animated masterpiece about space flight, first kisses, life inside a whale, bad debts, disco, time travel, soccer, meeting God and what to do after college. Life is a miracle. And so is MIND GAME.

Cool Black and White:

Late Bloomer - let me quote our good friend Nick Rucka at Midnight Eye as he says it better than I can "To best describe the film, one can say that it has the best elements of Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Battles Without Honor and Humanity, Taxi Driver, Freaks, and Psycho. There are elements of directors Wakamatsu Koji, Werner Herzog, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Herschell Gordon Lewis in the film too. At times Late Bloomer has a Japanese New Wave quality to it in its immediacy and penchant for hand held camera work and at other times the film spins off towards pure music video territory. Late Bloomer is without question one of the best films that has come out of Japan recently."

A Snake in June - an astonishingly shot and edited whiplash of a film that will hit you over the head with its imagery and silently rip out your heart with its brazen sexuality.

Pure Old Fashioned Drama:

A Family - She gets out of prison and wants to get away from her psychotic old crime partners so she goes home to a father who is coldly distant - but this is his daughter and he can't help but still love her - even when the bad guys come looking for her - she is family and you protect them no matter what.

Electric Shadows - a mom only has her daughter and the movies to get through the Cultural Revolution - a loving tribute to old glorious Chinese films and to the powerful bonds between mother and daughter - a hankie film and simply wonderful.

My Brother Nikhil - HIV and AIDS may seem old hat to American audiences but in India talking about it is still nearly taboo - this film courageously tracks one true powerful story of a man who confronts society and fights to survive. An emotional left hook.

Crying Fist - the director of Arahan and Choi Min-Shik (Oldboy) team up for a boxing movie about two men who've hit the gutter. Both are in need of redemption and they'll find it by bruising their knuckles on each others' face. Straight outta Cannes, welcome to the North American premiere of Crying Fist.

That's it folks - choose your poison here.

And also going on in June is a fabulous retrospective of Studio Ghibli films at MOMA. From June 3 through June 30 they are showing most of their classics.


Taiwanese arthouse darling, Hou Hsiao-hsien, crafted this beautiful ode to Japan's master of quiet lyricism, Yasujiro Ozu, that will play a run at the Anthology Film Archives

Hayao Miyazaki's epic animated film is slated for a US release. You know what to expect, and you know it'll be good.

It's back at the Asia Society and this year rumor has it that they're inviting Maggie Cheung as the guest of honor.


Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, Bob Hoskins - isn't that all you need to hear? It's Jet Li's best performance pretty much ever, and it's got great action by Yuen Wo-ping, but more than that it's the most serious, emotional action movie to come along in a long, long time and as over-the-top as it gets it never stops telling its bizarrely compelling story.
Read reviews:

KUNG FU HUSTLE (2005, Hong Kong)
read a review:


Anthology Film Archive
CAFE LUMIERE (2003, Taiwan, 103 minutes)
June 10 - 19 @ 7PM and 9:15PM

Asia Society
Friday, June 3 @ 6:30PM
A three-art documentary series about Indonesia that kicks off with a program of shorts.

Friday, June 17 @ 6:30PM
It sounds like a horror movie, but it's actually about the last members of a sect of pre-Islamic transvestite priests and a young guy who is possessed by the spirit of the high priest and is trying to revive their traditions.

RASINAH: THE ENCHANTED MASK (Indonesia, 2005, 57 minutes)
Friday, June 24 @ 6:30PM
Don't know a thing about this one.

Village Voice Best of 2004
June 1 - 29th
Voice critics pick the best movies, and the best undistributed and undiscovered flicks of 2004. Which was last year.

CAFE LUMIERE (2004, Taiwan/Japan, 108 minutes)
Saturday, June 4 @ 7PM

THE BIG DURIAN (2003, Malaysia, 75 minutes)
Tuesday, June 14 @ 7:30PM
Amir Muhammed has been lauded as the best thing to happen to Asian film in a long time and here's your chance to check out the first feature from this fresh n'funky Malaysian funkmaster. It's a mockumentary about an episode in recent Malay history when a soldier ran amuck at rush hour in a city.

THE WORLD (2004, China, 139 minutes)
Friday, June 17 @ 7PM
One show only of Zhang Jiake's latest movie that played last year's New York Film Festival. Zhang looks at modern day China through the prefabricated kaleidoscope of actors at an Epcot "It's a Small World After All" style theme park.

GOODBYE DRAGON INN (2003, Taiwan, 82 minutes)
Monday, June 20 @ 4:30, 6:50 and 9:15PM
Tsai Ming-liang, the other director from Taiwan, sets his latest, water-logged movie in a decaying, haunted cinema screening its last film: King Hu's DRAGON INN.

GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE (2004, Japan, 99 minutes)
Tuesday, June 21 @ 4:30, 6:50 and 9:15PM
The sequel to the ground-breaking anime, GHOST IN THE SHELL, isn't a patch on its predecessor but everyone agreed: it's gorgeous. See it in a movie theater, the way you should.

WOMAN IS THE FUTURE OF MAN (2004, Korea, 88 minutes)
Thursday, June 23 @ 7PM
Hong Sang-Soo is an acquired taste, but if you love this Korean director, then you REALLY love him. His latest flick is a stone-faced, subtle comedy about two guys looking for the girl they lost a long time ago.

INFERNAL AFFAIRS (2002, Hong Kong, 100 minutes)
Saturday, June 26 @ 2, 4:30, 6:50 and 9:15PM
Hong Kong's gobstopping thriller is the tautest, tightest, most tension-filled 100 minutes you'll experience in a theater: and hardly a single bullet gets fired. The story of a cop who goes undercover in the triads, while a triad member goes undercover in the cops, was from 2002, but it didn't open stateside until 2004. And now Martin Scorsese's remaking it with Leonardo DiCaprio (currently shooting). Forget about it. See the original.

ImaginAsian Theater
(239 East 59th Street, btwn 2nd and 3rd Ave)

THE JUDGEMENT (Thailand, 2004, 110 minutes)
Daily at 2:15PM, 4:45PM and 10:40PM (starts Friday)
This Thai film is the feel-bad movie of the year. A young Buddhist monk gives up the monastery to go home and take care of his elderly dad. When he arrives he finds that his dad has married a much younger woman who's not all there in the brains department. Then things get hairy.
Read a pungent review:

June 10 - 16
No one knows much about Filipino film, but that's all going to change: this rare, week-long celebration brings contemporary hits and great classics, as well as documentaries and shorts to NYC.
Go here for more info on this extraordinary event:

Japan Society

MUSUMEDOJOJI (2004, Japan, 110 minutes)
Friday, June 10 @ 6:30PM
A love story between two kabuki artists: a master who plays female roles and his female student who falls in love with him. It all ends in suicide, and it's left to her sister to pick up the pieces.

Loew's Lincoln Square (Broadway @ 68th St)
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (2004, Japan, 119 minutes)
Exclusive engagement starts June 10. This is Miyazaki's most surreal, ethereal, and strange movies. It's like watching a dream...a wet one. Literally, since it's filled with flowing rivers of slime, sweat, oil, mud and just plain old goop.
Read a review:

Loew's State Theater
BUNTY AUR BABLI (2005, India, 170 minutes)
Read some opinions:

Museum of Modern Art
June 3 - 30, 2005
A long, long, long retrospective of the two big cheeses from Studio Ghibli.

NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (1984, Japan, 116 minutes)
Thursday, June 16 @ 7PM
The first film of any note from Studio Ghibli, this is Miyazaki's epic eco-fable adapted from his award-winning sci fi manga.

PRINCESS MONONOKE (1997, Japan, 133 minutes)
Friday, June 17 @ 7PM
Thursday, June 30 @ 8:30PM
Miyazaki's darkest and most war-torn movie is a gorgeous apocalyptic showdown between man and animal. Maybe the best thing he's ever done.

HEIDI - A GIRL OF THE ALPS (1974, Japan, 92 minutes)
Sunday, June 19 @ 1PM
Saturday, June 25 @ 6PM
An early TV series directed by Takahata, this is an adaptation of the beloved children's classic.

SPIRITED AWAY (2001, Japan, 124 minutes)
Sunday, June 19 @ 2:45PM
Saturday, June 25 @ 8:15PM
The Academy Award-winning movie from Miyazaki is the visually stunning story of a girl whose parents are turned into pigs and she is forced to take a job in a bathhouse for the gods.

PORCO ROSSO (1992, Japan, 93 minutes)
Thursday, June 23 @ 6PM
The elegiac, tragedy-haunted, and thrilling two-fisted tale of a rogue bi-plane pilot on the eve of WW I who happens to be a pig.

KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE (1989, Japan, 102 minutes)
Thursday, June 23 @ 8:15PM
The deceptively simple story of a young witch spreading her wings and moving to a new town is a gorgeous tale about growing up, and it's one of the subtlest of the Miyazaki movies.

ONLY YESTERDAY (1991, Japan, 119 minutes)
Friday, June 24 @ 5:15PM
Directed by Takahata, this is a change of pace for Ghibli. The story of a young woman who works in an office in Tokyo and who returns to her childhood farm, this is like the most delicate soap opera ever made, and it's a cartoon.

LAPUTA: CASTLE IN THE SKY (1986, Japan, 124 minutes)
Saturday, June 25 @ 2PM
The greatest and grandest boy's own adventure story ever put on film. Lost princesses, flying cities, ancient robots, sky pirates...Indiana Jones has nothing on this one.

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (1988, Japan, 88 minutes)
Saturday, June 25 @ 4PM
Do not miss a chance to see MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, one of the great animated masterpieces of all times. If you haven't seen it in a theater before, drop everything and get over here for this screening. It's worth it.

POM POKO (1994, Japan, 118 minutes)
Wednesday, June 29 @ 6PM
Takahata directs this rambunctious, earthy tale of tanuki (spirit raccoons) whose forest homeland is threatened by human development.

MY NEIGHBORS THE YAMADAS (1999, Japan, 104 minutes)
Wednesday, June 29 @ 8:15PM
Takahata's family comedy is adapted from a long-running newspaper cartoon. Its superflat style, and rough humor make it unlike anything else in the Ghibli canon.

Museum of the Moving Image

UNKNOWN PLEASURES (2002, China, 113 minutes)
Saturday, June 11 @ 1:30PM
Zhang Jiake's first feature is all about restless youth in modern day China. And boy are they restless.

THE WORLD (2004, China, 139 minutes)
Saturday, June 11 4PM

FALLEN ANGELS (1995, Hong Kong, 95 minutes)
Sunday, June 12 @ 2PM
A much-loved and long-neglected movie by Wong Kar-wai, back when he made films that were pop-fast, and neon-furious, FALLEN ANGELS stars a bunch of Hong Kong heartthrobs (including HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGER's Takeshi Kaneshiro). Heartbreak and hitmen.

MILLENIUM MAMBO (2001, Taiwan, 105 minutes)
Sunday, June 12 @ 4PM
Hou Hsiao-hsien's movie about...who cares? It stars Shu Qi, one of the most beautiful actresses in all of Asia.

VIVE L'AMOUR (1994, Taiwan, 118 minutes)
Sunday, June 19 @ 2PM
The movie from Taiwan's Tsai Ming-liang that critics accuse Kim Ki-Duk of ripping off in 3-IRON. Young guy, moves into someone's apartment, acts restless and alienated.

THE MISSING (2003, Taiwan, 82 minutes)
Sunday, June 19 @ 4:30PM
An unnoticed, but much-commented-upon movie from Taiwan about a teenager looking for his missing granddad while a woman looks desperately for her missing grandson.

YI YI (2000, Taiwan, 173 minutes)
Saturday, June 25 @ 1PM
Edward Pang's family epic from Taiwan was a classic when it was released, and it's still darn good.

CAFE LUMIERE (2004, Japan/Taiwan, 104 minutes)
Saturday, June 25 @ 4:30PM
Sunday, June 26 @ 2PM
Hou Hsiao-hsien's homage to Yasujiro Ozu.

PTU (2003, Hong Kong, 87 minutes)
Sunday, June 26 @ 4:30PM
Hong Kong action film unfolds during one long dark night as a cop tears the city apart looking for his missing gun. Beautifully stylish and unforgivably fascist.

SUZHOU RIVER (2001, China, 83 minutes)
Saturday, July 2 @ 2PM
The Shanghai riff on Hitchcock's VERTIGO is dizzy, new and brand new beautiful.

Saturday, July 2 @ 4PM
A digital video sci fi art film that makes art with a capital "A".

LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE (Thailand, 2003, 112 minutes)
Sunday, July 3 @ 2PM

BRIGHT FUTURE (2003, Japan, 92 minutes)
Sunday, July 3 @ 4:30PM

OCCULARIS (70 North 6th St, Brooklyn)
THE EMPEROR'S NAKED ARMY MARCHES ON (1987, Japan, 122 minutes)
A documentary (supervised by Shohei Imamura) about Kenzo Okuzaki, a WWII veteran who is trying to figure out why his fellow soldiers were frequently executed by their superior officers. A borderline psychotic documentary.

Two Boots Pioneer Theater

Starts June 4!
The Korean cult flick comes back to NYC for another round of UFOs, abduction, torture, baby monkies, tightrope walkers and telepathic hair. If you missed it at Film Forum, this is one of the best movies that no one saw.
See the trailer:

Village East
read a review:

read reviews:

Read reviews:

KUNG FU HUSTLE (2005, Hong Kong)
read a review:

2046 (2005, Hong Kong)
Wednesday, June 15 @ 9PM
Wong Kar-wai's latest flick. It's sold out. You can't get in. But we think its getting a release later in the year.

MARDI GRAS: MADE IN CHINA (2004, US, 60 minutes)
Sunday, June 12 @ 1PM; Monday, June 13 @ 1PM; Tuesday, June 14 @ 8:30PM
Chinese teenagers make mardi gras beads that American teenagers flash their boobs to win in New Orleans. Globalization sucks.
Also playing with:
SEOUL TRAIN (US, 2004, 54 minutes)
There's a secret underground railroad that helps North Koreans escape to South Korea. This is a documentary about it, so I guess it's not a secret anymore.

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