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The Always Amazing New York Film Asian Festival Returns This Summer



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Column by Scott Green


Whether it's anime, martial arts, comedy, something new or something uniqe, the 2012 New York Asian Film Festival looks like it'll offer the thrills and marvels that have come to be expected from the top notch event.


In terms of AICN Anime type material, I'll point Gyo, an OVA adaptation of the disturbingly absurd manga.


Based on the horror work of influential genre talent Junji Ito (Tomie, Uzumaki), Gyo is the tale of a young couple visiting the beaches of Okinawa in time to be victims of a land invasion by a plague of scurrying dead fish that attack people both bodily and with their smell.



The live-action adaptation of Smuggler, a one-volume manga that had been localized by Tokyopop. The 2011 movie brought together Katsuhito Ishii, maker of the remarkably warped comedy Funky Forest, with an equally strange story by Shohei Manabe.


Takashi Miike's Ace Attorney  adaptation of the Phoenix Wright games.


Keiichi Satou's (Tiger & Bunny) adaptation of George Akiyama's dark 1970-1971 manga Ashura.



The 11th New York Asian Film Festival is here!

June 29 - July 15, 2012


Co-presented with The Film Society of Lincoln Center!

In association with Japan Society


All screenings at the Walter Reade Theater

and JapanSociety!



The New York Asian Film Festival (June 29 - July 15) returns - and this year we're bringing crazy back!


The opening night film is Pang Ho-cheung's astonishingly filthy, extremely hilarious VULGARIA, a movie about making movies, shot in just 12 days, all about gangsters named Brother Tyrannosaur, sleazy lawyers, the sex film industry, and men who love donkeys a little too much. The Hollywood Reporter calls it a "...laugh-out-loud, aptly titled comedy." Pang himself, Hong Kong's hottest young director, will be a guest of the festival and we'll be presenting his new romantic comedy, LOVE IN THE BUFF, about a couple who meet in the smoke break alley outside their office building and try to make their romance work despite cell phones dropped in toilets, friends who have the death touch, and corporate moves to Beijing.


We'll also be giving a Lifetime Achievement Award to Chung Chang-Wha, the great Korean action director whose 1972 movie for Hong Kong's Shaw Brothers studio, FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH, was the first international martial arts hit to break through in the West. It launched the kung-fu craze over here, and we'll have him in the house for a screening of a gorgeous print of FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH.


We are super-psyched to be bringing the man who is widely regarded as Korea's greatest actor, Choi Min-Sik (star of OLDBOY and I SAW THE DEVIL), here as our guest and we'll be screening his latest film, NAMELESS GANGSTER (TIME Magazine calls it "The Korean mob film Scorsese would be proud of.") as well as a fistful of his classics, including OLDBOY and his underseen and heartbreaking boxing film, CRYING FIST.


Over the last few years, Taiwan's film industry has experienced a major revitalization, producing some of the biggest blockbusters in Asia after a brief lull in the late 90's and early 2000's. We'll be hosting a special focus on Taiwanese films, including a Fourth of July presentation of the humongous, uncut, four-and-a-half-hour SEEDIQ BALE, which is that country's exhilarating, decapitation-filled version of BRAVEHEART, all about its indigenous people fighting for their freedom in 1930. We'll also be screening the hit romantic comedy, YOU ARE THE APPLE OF MY EYE, which set box office records in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mainland China.


We've also got a brand new movie from Takashi Miike (PHOENIX WRIGHT: ACE ATTORNEY), a 30-minute short film from Korea's Park Chan-Wook and his brother Park Chan-Kyung (NIGHT FISHING), NASI LEMAK 2.0, a Malaysian food movie directed by and starring controversial rapper, Namewee, which is one of the most delicious, hyperkinetic, totally redonkulous comedies we've ever seen, the brutal animated feature, KING OF PIGS fresh out of Cannes, SCABBARD SAMURAI, the latest film from Hitoshi Matsumoto (director and star of SYMBOL), and more, more, more!!!


The New York Asian Film Festival is deeply grateful for the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York (which is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region this year), the Korean Cultural Service New York, and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York.




Now in its 11th year, the New York Asian Film Festival is North America's leading festival of popular Asian cinema, which the New York Times has called " of the city's most valuable events...".  Launched in 2002 by Subway Cinema, the Festival selects only the best, strangest, and most entertaining movies to screen for New York audiences, ranging from mainstream blockbusters and art-house eccentricities to genre and cult classics. It was the first North American film festival to champion the works of Johnnie To, Bong Joon-Ho, Park Chan-Wook, Takashi Miike, and other auteurs of contemporary Asian cinema. The Festival has been produced in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center since 2010.


For all festival news and updates:

twitter: @subwaycinema, #NYAFF12                                                                                    (currently under construction)




Subway Cinema is America's leading non-profit organization dedicated to increasing exposure and appreciation for Asian popular film culture in all its forms. As the main arbiter of trends and discoveries in Asian cinema for more than a decade, the organization was the first in America to recognize the works of directors Johnnie To and Tsui Hark with retrospectives, and to bring attention to New Korean Cinema with the first New York Korean Film Festival. It also organized several notable programs of classic Hong Kong martial arts and horror films. In 2002, Subway Cinema launched its flagship annual event, the New York Asian Film Festival. It is widely considered invincible.




Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, theFilm Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, currently planning its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award--now named "The Chaplin Award"--to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.


The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit




A - G H - R S - #
​Ace Attorney​ ​Hard Romanticker​ Sacrifice​
​All About My Wife​ ​​​Honey Pupu​ Scabbard Samurai​
​Asura​ Infernal Affairs 1 & 2 - Tenth Anniversary​ Secret Love​
The Atrocity Exhibition: Let’s Make the Teacher Have a Miscarriage Club / Henge / The Big Gun​ ​​​Killzone (aka SPL: Sha Po Lang)​ Simple Life
​Blood Letter​ ​​​The King of Pigs​ Smuggler​
​Bloody Fight in Iron-Rock Valley​ Korean Short Film Madness​ Starry Starry Night​
Boxer’s Omen​ ​The Lost Bladesman​ The Swift Knight​
Couples​ ​​Love in the Buff​ The Sword Identity​
Crying Fist​ ​​Love Strikes!​ Tokyo Playboy Club
Dead Bite​ ​Make Up​ Tormented​
Din Tao: Leader of the Parade​ ​The Miami Connection​ Vulgaria​
Doomsday Book​ ​​Monsters Club​ War of the Arrows​
​Dragon (aka. Wu Xia)​ ​Nameless Gangster​ Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale 1 & 2​
​East Meets West 2011​ ​Nasi Lemak 2.0​ You Are the Apple of My Eye
Failan​ ​Oldboy​ Zero Man vs. the Half Virgin​
Five Fingers of Death​ Pang Ho-cheung’s First Attempt​ 10+10​
​Goke, Bodysnatcher from Hell​ ​​Potechi Chips​  
​Golden Slumbers​ ​Red Vacance, Black Wedding​  
Guns N’Roses​    

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Readers Talkback
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  • June 1, 2012, 7:40 p.m. CST


    by DrMorbius

  • June 1, 2012, 7:41 p.m. CST

    ^That was for gotilk.

    by DrMorbius

  • Please tell me it is actually "The New York Asian Film Festival," because I love Asian films, but filming random Asian people without purpose makes me feel a little more racist than I deserve.

  • I hate tpyos.

  • June 1, 2012, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Scott, where are all my hot Asian chicks?

    by CodeName

  • June 1, 2012, 8:33 p.m. CST

    J/K.. Good coverage. I'll go back and read it.

    by CodeName

  • June 1, 2012, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Asian Festival in New York?

    by Gus Van Rant

    Me love it long time!

  • June 1, 2012, 9:27 p.m. CST


    by Nice Marmot

    Boy does THAT sound like a fun one . . .

  • June 1, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Mark Zuckerberg will be there???

    by Kid Dynamite

    He loves Asian pussy!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyways, Smuggler looks badass, might have to attend this year, can't wait!!!!

  • June 2, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST

    i've been going to this festival every year for the last 8

    by circletimesquare

    it is pure cinema gold. nothing else compares in the world of cinema, i love this festival with all my heart. you see movies there so far out there it leaves you giddy. and then a few duds. and then one that makes you think about it every day for a month. you have to go to this festival if you can

  • June 2, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    i like the pink movies

    by ajit maholtra

    Those are nice ones.

  • And doing it on a far smaller budget. sure, they may not always have the best effects, but who needs effects when you can have awesome fights a la "Wheels on Meals" (Jackie vs Benny the Jet)? I hope to see more out of Hayao Miyazaki in the vein of Howl's Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke, as well. Even Ponyo was quite charming. My only issue is with the term "Asian" films....since technically any film from Russian or Indian cultures could fit into that category as well but are never included. For whatever reason.

  • 3 years ago they showed the film Quick Gun Murugun from India. It's soooo funny movie. You should watch it. So they do sometimes show India movies. They have also shown some Indonesian movies by a director Joko Anwar that have been great, like The Forbidden Door. But Russia is Eastern Europe and not Asia.

  • June 2, 2012, 6:39 p.m. CST

    I'd go for Ace Attorney alone!

    by The Dwayne

    Love the series and the trailer looks amazing!

  • June 2, 2012, 9:24 p.m. CST


    by wcolbert

    Do they? Perhaps I just never see the advertising for them. As for Russia...I don't know where you get the idea that it's Eastern European - it is mostly not on the European continent - not Europe by any definition - I'd know, they were in control of my family's home country of Estonia for years - it is by and large part of the Asian continent geographically, and considering its boarders extend to and are shared with Eastern countries like China and Mongolia, you can't really say that's Europe. The natural boarder between the European and Asian continents is considered to be the Ural mountains - so PART of Russia is in Europe however, the VAST majority of Russia (almost 4/5ths) is part of the Asian continent (any list of Asian countries that is comprehensive WILL include Russia). But yeah. Geographically it can be considered both Asian and European (i.e. Eurasian). Even ethnically it is not entirely European - there has been a good deal of mixing with Eastern peoples including Chinese and Mongolians, so a mix of the features is not at all uncommon in some parts of the country. Just saying :)