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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.

February 14 – 21, 2008

Welcome to Subway Cinema News, your guide to Asian entertainment in NYC and beyond.

We’re running a little behind as we switch servers and revamp the Subway Cinema website and design a whole new Subway Cinema News. A new Subway Cinema News? That’s right, and if you squint at it just right and it’s sort of dark and you’re very far away it might even look professional by the time we’re done with it.

March 7th the amazing, the inimitable, the unforgettable FUNKY FOREST: THE FIRST CONTACT appears at the ImaginAsian and it’ll run in repertory with its director’s previous movie, A TASTE OF TEA. You will never experience joy in a theater the way you will during A TASTE OF TEA and FUNKY FOREST: THE FIRST CONTACT. Weird, surreal, hopeful, disjointed, bizarre...treat yourself to something different.

March 12 sees Film Forum present BLIND MOUNTAIN, Li Yang’s moving Chinese film that’s his follow-up to the harrowing BLIND SHAFT which was about coal miners running an insurance scam in China’s super-unsafe mines. This time out it’s the critically acclaimed story of a young girl who gets caught up in human trafficking in rural China. Expect to be so shocked and upset your fingernails fall off.

Anthology Film Archives
February 15 – 21 with the filmmaker
This Taiwanese director is considered part of the same generation as Ang Lee and Tsai Ming-liang but his moving dramas haven’t given him the same international profile as his contemporaries. Now’s your chance to see everything he’s done, with the filmmaker present to explain all the complicated bits.

A DRIFTING LIFE1996, 123 minutes, 35mm. In Mandarin with English subtitles. With Lee Kang-sheng, Vicky Wei, Grace Chen.After his wife dies during childbirth, Ku-cheng (Lee) leaves his children behind in their rural village while he finds work on a construction site in the city. He develops a relationship with a widow but despite their intimacy, he refuses to remarry. Lin’s moving, multi-generational debut feature is anchored by a strong performance from Tsai Ming-liang alter-ego Lee Kang-sheng.–Friday, February 15 at 6:30, Sunday, February 17 at 9:00, and Wednesday, February 20 at 7:00.MURMUR OF YOUTH1997, 106 minutes, 35mm. In Mandarin with English subtitles. With René Liu, Tseng Jing, Tsai Chin-hsin.Two teenage girls from opposite sides of town work together as cashiers at a movie theater. One lives with her wealthy but distant parents in a Taipei high-rise while the other lives in an older rundown house where her grandmother provides moral support. They become close friends and eventually lovers, sharing intimate details about their lives that cannot be revealed to their respective families.–Friday, February 15 at 9:15, Monday, February 18 at 7:00, and Wednesday, February 20 at 9:30.SWEET DEGENERATION1998, 118 minutes, 35mm. In Mandarin with English subtitles. With Chen Shiang-chyi, Lee Kang-sheng, Chen Shi-huang.Lee Kang-sheng stars as Chun-sheng, a directionless young man who returns from military service troubled by his deep emotional attachment to his sister. He steals money from his father and travels to Taipei where he falls in love with a prostitute who ultimately challenges the fragile relationship between the two siblings. Lin drew on his own life story in constructing the character of the wayward son who dreams of a better life as a musician.–Saturday, February 16 at 4:30 and Monday, February 18 at 9:15.MARCH OF HAPPINESS1999, 93 minutes, 35mm. In Mandarin and Japanese with English subtitles. With Hsiao Hsu-shen and Lim Giong.Set between the end of the Japanese occupation of Taiwan in 1945 and the massacre of Taiwanese natives by Nationalist Chinese forces in 1947, this film follows two lovers as they attempt to build a life together. A-Yu meets a kindred spirit in A-Jin, but they are separated when the Allied forces begin bombing Taiwan. Upon their return, the lovers, in order to avoid an arranged marriage orchestrated by A-Yu’s father, plan to elope on February 28, 1947, the very date of the Chinese massacre.–Saturday, February 16 at 7:00 and Tuesday, February 19 at 9:15.BETELNUT BEAUTY2001, 106 minutes, 35mm. In Mandarin and Hokkien with English subtitles. With Chen Chang and Angelica Lee.In Taipei, Feng and Fei-fei meet in a sudden thunderstorm. Feng, fresh out of the army, is eager to start a new life. Fei-fei has also recently turned a new page in her young life, having just run away from home. Fei-fei and her friend Yili become ‘betelnut beauties’, hawking their fare from a roadside stall of glass and neon. Betelnut, a legally sold chewing pepper that produces an effect not unlike marijuana, is a favorite among the working class men. Feng and Fei-fei quickly fall in love, two clueless souls clinging desperately to each other as they try to withstand the punishing rush of city life.–Saturday, February 16 at 9:15 and Tuesday, February 19 at 7:00.ROBINSON’S CRUSOE2002, 90 minutes, 35mm. In Mandarin with English subtitles. With Leon Dai, Chen Shiang-chyi, Yang Kuei-mei.Real estate mogul Robinson is so successful that he “could fill streets with all the places” he’s sold. His emotional life, however, is more complicated and the handsome, aloof Robinson withdraws when his loved ones start making demands on his precious time. To avoid his aging mother and clinging girlfriend Vicky, he moves into a luxury hotel with his pet fish and secretly shops for a Caribbean island on the internet. Once his escape plans start to materialize, Robinson decides to jettison his personal relationships.–Sunday, February 17 at 4:30 and Thursday, February 21 at 7:00.THE MOON ALSO RISES2005, 113 minutes, 35mm. In Hokkien, Mandarin and Japanese with English subtitles. With Lin Jia-Yu, Yang Kuei-mei.Set in the seaside town of Taidong in the early 1960s, THE MOON ALSO RISES follows the lives of a deeply religious divorcée and her schoolteacher daughter, who wishes to marry her cousin. The film was adapted from a popular story by writer Li Ang and earned actress Yang Kuei-mei a Golden Horse Award.–Sunday, February 17 at 6:30 and Thursday, February 21 at 9:00.

Cinema Village
SUMMER PALACE (China, 2007, 140 minutes)
Daily @ 3:25pm, 8:20pm
Lou Ye’s lush flick about a young woman moving to the big city and falling in love is set against the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 earned the acclaimed director a five year ban from filmmaking. Was it worth it? See the film and decide for yourself. Lou’s previous films include the Zhang Ziyi spy film, PURPLE BUTTERFLY and the elliptical VERTIGO-esque SUZHOU RIVER.
read reviews:

STILL LIFE (China, 2007, 108 mintues)
Daily @ 3:20pm, 7:25ppm
Jia Zhangke is not a director you can easily warm to. Chilly, distant, slow and methodical his movies often feel more like abstractions than movies and more like thesis statements than stories. But STILL LIFE has won over even the most diehard Jia Zhangke haters. Taking place in a city that’s being demolished for scrap after it was abandoned for the massive Three Gorges dam-building project, a woman arrives looking for her husband who left her. Beautiful and surreal with a slight touch of sci-fi, it’s impossible to describe this movie. Just give yourself over to it and you’ll most likely come out happy. Plus, the critics lurve it!
read reviews:

The ImaginAsian
JODHA AKBAR (India, 2008, 215 minutes)
Daily @ 2pm, 10:45pm
Starring two of Bollywood’s brightest stars – Hrithik Roshan, the triple-thumbed, dancing stud with washboard abs and Aishwarya Rai the “Most Beautiful Woman in the World” - and directed by Oscar-nomiated Ashutosh Gowarikar (LAGAAAN) this is a lush, huge, ginormous period film that has been getting raves all over India. It opens this weekend and reportedly blow you away.
read the first look review:

Japan Society
NO BORDERS, NO LIMITS: 1960’s Nikkatsu Action Cinema
This retrospective screens a film a month from the Nikkatsu vaults and it’s not to be missed. The movies have had subtitles made by Subway Cinema’s very own Marc Walkow who will painstakingly run them BY HAND during the screening (we whipped him until he got the timing perfect). This is the genius period of Nikkatsu when they were turning out stylish, jet set, visually jaw-dropping films from directors like Suzuki Seijun (PRINCESS RACCOON) and you really shouldn’t miss this opportunity to see these flicks.

GANGSTER VIP (Japan, 1968, 93 minutes)
Friday, Feb. 22 @ 7:30pm
Tetsuya Watari from Suzuki Seijun’s eye-popping TOKYO DRIFTER stars in this downbeat, “mature” Nikkatsu Action flick. Watari plays a yakuza who comes out of prison where he’s been doing time for stabbing a guy and rather than embrace his old gang buddies he’s sick of his life of crime. His old buddies are miffed and, this being a yakuza flick, they eschew heart-to-heart conversations over steaming mugs of herbal tea and decide to settle their differences by punching each other in the face, instead. Also, long, wicked looking knives.
read details:

watch the abbreviated trailer (ie, 30 seconds of it):

Korea Society
TO THE STARRY ISLAND (Japan, 1993, 101 minutes)
Thursday, February 21 @ 6:30pm
This beautiful looking film flits back and forth through time to tell the story of Kwisong Island and the events that have scarred its history as two friends return to bury the body of one of their fathers and the islanders won’t let them bring the coffin ashore.
read a review:

more info:

Landmark Sunshine
LUST, CAUTION (Taiwan, 2007)
Daily @ 11:45pm, 2:45pm, 6:00pm, 9:00pm
Ang Lee’s dirty movie is moody, repressed and features lots of scenes of Tony Leung naked. It’s also about 500 hours long. Still: Tony Leung naked.
read reviews:

Rubin Museum of Art (150 West 17th Street)
ICHI THE KILLER (Japan, 2001)
Friday, February 15th @ 9:30pm
Part of the “Mind Over Matter” film series, Takashi Miike’s most notorious film in the West gets a nice big screen presentation for folks who need to wallow in the filthy, inspired stink of his big, humming brain once more. Starring Shinya Tsukamoto (director of TETSUO THE IRON MAN) and Tadanobu Asano (THE TASTE OF TEA) movies don’t get much better than this.
read reviews:

Walter Reade
February 15 – 28 at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center
Film Comment Selects is the punky little brother to the New York Film Festival and, frankly, the movies are a lot more fun. Tons of Euro-horror and other good stuff this year but the two Asian films are:

FLASH POINT (Hong Kong, 2007, 88 minutes)
Sunday, February 17 @ 9pm
Tuesday, February 19 @ 1:30pm
Friday, February 22 @ 4pm
Wilson Yip and Donnie Yen team up after their SHA PO LANG to bring you the trashiest and flashiest Hong Kong movie of the year. The ridiculous plot with all its angst and undercover cops is paper thin and super-lame, but the action is, well, the action is some of the most unique and most intense stuff ever put onscreen. There’s one or two brief flickers near the beginning and then, starting at about the one hour mark, things get fast and furious. You really shouldn’t miss seeing the final half hour throwdown on the big screen.

read a review:

DARK MATTER (USA, 2007, 90 minutes)
Wednesday, February 27 @ 8:15pm
Thursday, February 28 @ 1pm
Aidan Quinn, Meryl Streep and Liu Ye star in this flick by opera director Chen Shi-zheng that was abandoned in distribution limbo after the University of Virginia shootings. Why? Because it tells the highly stylized tale of a Chinese PhD candidate at the University of Iowa who slowly comes unhinged and runs amock. It played Sundance and has split audiences: some folks think it’s overly-sylized and mannered while others find it intelligent and upsetting. See it yourself and then you, too, can have an opinion.
read a review:

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