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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.

July 14 - July 21

Grady slipped out of town like a bankrupt circus freakshow in the night without doing this week's Update, so Brian and Paul are taking over in an attempt to let you know what's happening in Asian film here in NYC this week.

To begin with, FilmLinc is giving away free tickets to their upcoming, SCANNERS: THE NEW YORK VIDEO FESTIVAL For details, see info near the bottom of this page.

Playing Now:

Asian American International Film Festival

This terrific festival officially started Friday, and those who missed Maggie Cheung's appearance at the Walter Reade should go to bed without dinner as punishment. It was two hours of film clips and Maggie chatting about her career. Unlike her rather embarrassing (according to Paul) appearance at the Film Forum year's back, she was just as charming and amusing as one could only hope a great actress could be.

The fest has a focus on Maggie, of course, and is showing four of her films: "Clean", directed by her ex-husband Olivier Assayas, who also directed Maggie in Irma Vep; "Heroic Trio" in which Maggie teams up with Michelle Yeoh and Anita Mui to fight an Evil Emperor in this wonderful comic-book like film of super heroes and villains; "Comrades: Almost a Love Story", a wonderously romantic and touching film that begins in Hong Kong and ends up on the streets of New York City with a conclusion that is perfect, and "Song of the Exile" which has replaced the originally announced "Center Stage".

Other highlights are the Malaysian film "Sepet" about a young couple who fall in love over their mutual admiration of Wong Kar-wai films, "Overture" a formal and slow, but fascinating look at the true life of a court musician in Thailand, "Crying Out Love in the Center of the World" a terrific Japanese soapy romantic melodrama that will completely suck you in, "Butterfly" a passionate lesbian romance, nd "Ab-Normal Beauty" the latest horror film from the Pangs ("The Eye") which kind of collapses in the final act but is still quite intriguing.

Check for times and places.

The Warrior:
plays at the Angelika.
This has opened to generally positive reviews. It is an Anglo-Indian film that takes place in the past and is about a killer who suddenly decides to stop and live a life of peace. His colleagues don't agree with this decision and come after him. Don't expect a big action film - much of it unwinds very slowly and beautifully in some gorgeous mountainous vistas - this is really more of a Shane type of film with a long build up to the bloody finale.

Howl's Moving Castle:
plays at the Sunshine, 19th St East, Empire 25, Lincoln Sq.
Miyazaki's latest anime is arguably not on par with his classics, but anything from this director is worth seeing.

Kung Fu Hustle
playing at ImaginAsian, Village East
If there is anyone on this email list who hasn't yet see this you need to rush out immediately - Brian has seen it four times and iss still in need of another joyous fix.

Old Boy
playing at ImaginAsian
This is still out there with its beating heart as well.

Saving Face
playing at Village East
An American-Asian film that has been receiving terrific reviews... and it takes place right here in NYC.

Throwdown (2004, Hong Kong)
playing at the Anthology
Friday, July 22 - Thursday, July 28 @ 7PM & 9PM (plus 3PM & 5PM on weekends)
Masterpiece or not, this Johnnie To flick doesn't need to be talked about, it just needs to be seen.

Read a review:

The World
playing at Cinema Village
Jia Zhangke, China's chronicler of the modern n' mopey set, has been winning praise for THE WORLD. A look at the tolls and triumphs of China's rapid modernization it's set inside the funhouse freakery of a giant EPCOT-type amusement park where the characters all play the fake inhabitants of other countries.

Read a review:

Museum of Modern Art
(July 10 to September)
A three month celebration of anime, including screenings of the big screen blockbusters like AKIRA, GHOST IN THE SHELL and MIND GAME as well as tv episodes like the great FLCL, HIS AND HER CIRCUMSTANCES and the mind-blowing EVANGELION: END OF EVANGELION.
More info:

plays at Museum of the Moving Image
This Sunday at 6:30pm, it's the classic Akira Kurosawa film

The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice
plays at IFC Center
This Ozu film plays Sunday at noon, which leaves you plenty of time to then catch this, a film at the AAIFF, and also get out to Queens for Rashomon.

There are 3 Bollywood films playing The State at 46th Street this week.

Sarkar - with Amitabh and his son Abhishek playing the Corleones in this Ram Gopal Varma ode to one of his favorite films, The Godfather. Grady loved it, but Brian found it merely "interesting".

Dus - with a large young cast of Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty, Abhishek Bachchan, Zayed Khan, Shilpa Shetty, Esha Deol, Dia Mirza. Its an action film in which an elite squad chases after terrorists all the way to Canada.

Maine Pyar Kyon Kiya (Why Did I Fall in Love) - with Salman Khan, Sushmita and Katrina - the big question in any Salman movie is how often does he take his shirt off. This is a romantic comedy I believe.

Nothing to do with Asian films, but three of Subway Brian's favorite films are playing at Moma this weekend - Kieslowski's "Three Colours" - Blue, White and Red - play in succession on Saturday. And then, two of Paul's favorites, Kill Bill I and II, will play on Sunday.

Things to Come:

Scanners: The New York Video Festival

This event presents unique videos from all over the world and it includes some good ones from Asia. In particular we would like to recommend something for those who appreciate the weird and strange - it's called "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai" and is about a female escort who finds Bush's finger that had been cut off and stolen by terrorists so that they could use it to set off the big one. Instead, our heroine finds a much more practical use for his finger which involves . . . well, we'll leave that to your imagination. The director, who came to a number of our recent NYAFF screenings, will be present.

Here's more info about the festival from FilmLinc's press release, including an opportunity to win free tickets:

"In this year's SCANNERS: THE NEW YORK VIDEO FESTIVAL, take a peek - actually a full ogle - at Japanese soft-porn films in PINK RIBBON and THE GLAMOROUS LIFE OF SACHIKO HANAI, in which a sex-role-play call girl catches a bullet to the head and finds herself with super-spy powers. She also finds the finger of the U.S. President in her pocket, the most powerful fingerprint in the world, capable of unleashing a nuclear apocalypse!"

"And while we're on the subject of Japanese media on the edge, check out COP FESTIVAL and COP FESTIVAL-RELOADED, shot-on-the-fly Japanese cops and robbers shorts - a mini industry there with a cult following around the world. Or if China's your thing, a new documentary YANG BAN XI: THE 8 MODEL WORKS explores how propaganda operas from the Cultural Revolution are being co-opted by today's hipsters."

"Enter to win a pair of tickets by answering the following contest: Which acclaimed Japanese auteur is featured in both COP FESTIVAL and PINK RIBBON? The answer (and the full festival schedule) can by found on the SCANNERS website:"

"Email answers to before Thursday, July 21, 6pm. Subject line: "SCANNERS". Six winners will be randomly picked and notified by Friday 12 noon. No refunds on previously purchased tickets.

Just One Look
playing at Two Boots PioneerTheater from 7/27 to 8/2
If you missed this sweetly nostalgic film at our fest a few years ago (and almost everybody did!) do yourself a favor and go see this. It's one of the best most underrated films to come out of Hong Kong in ages - its a love poem to old Hong Kong films and the stars like Brigitte Lin and Bruce Lee and it will make you giddy with pleasure.

playing at the Anthology
NYC's little house of art distributor gets its annual retrospective with lots of Wong Kar-wai and a little John Woo.

DERSU UZALA (1975, Japan, 137 minutes)
Monday, August 8 @ 9:15PM
Akira Kurosawa's comeback project after his suicide attempt in 1971 about good ol' Dersu Uzala, the mystical Russian guide.

THE KILLER (1990, Hong Kong, 119 minutes)
Thursday, August 11 @ 9PM
John Woo's ground-breaking romantic bloodshed flick that opened up the eyes of the West to Hong Kong's considerable charms. Danny Lee and the cha-cha Chow Yun-fat star as a cop and a hitman who don't know whether they want to kill or kiss each other.

DAYS OF BEING WILD (1991, Hong Kong, 94 minutes)
Thursday, August 11 @ 7PM
Wong Kar-wai turned into Wong Kar-wai with his second film that only runs 94 minutes but feels like an eternity of romantic swoons, dripping sweat and sexual torment. Come and get lost in it again in this big purty new print.

FALLEN ANGELS (1995, Hong Kong, 90 minutes)
Friday, August 12 @ 7PM
Wong Kar-wai's pop explosion is every idea he ever had wrapped up in a chewable, neon-streaked package and set to excite every neuron in your brain. Gorgeous to watch, hard to forget.

HAPPY TOGETHER (1997, Hong Kong, 97 minutes)
Friday, August 12 @ 9PM
One of the best romances ever made, HT is more like a scrapbook to all those faded loves of yesterday, giving you a shot of woo with a chaser of loss and longing. Leslie Cheung (RIP) and Tony Leung Chiu-wai go at it, hammer and tongs, whether they're screaming or screwing.

Coming to BAM in August:
Stay tuned for details!

Plus, on a musical note - PUFFY AMIYUMI will be at Irving Plaza on 8/18.

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