Thursday, June 23, 2011

NYAFF 2011: Top Movies to Check Out

Summer is upon us and I know you want to head outdoors and enjoy the sun and the grass but starting next month you may want to head indoors to see some awesome Asian flicks courtesy of the New York Asian Film Festival.

They've just released their schedule and it's packed full of choice flicks from love stories to horror flicks to plain old crazy WTF films. Check out the full schedule. Also head over to the official site for more info.

I've perused the list and here are the top flicks that you really need to check out. I haven't seen them all but I've been itching to see the one's below. There are plenty of other flicks on the schedule, so be sure to check out all of them.

Ticket prices this year will be:
  • $13 general / $9 students & seniors / $8 members for Lincoln Center
  • $12 general / $9 members, students & seniors for Japan Society
  • Japan Society will be running a special “buy 5, save $2 off each ticket” deal (in-person or telephone purchases only).
  • Lincoln Center will again offer their Ten Film Pass for $99 general / $79 students & seniors / $69 members.


BUDDHA MOUNTAIN (China, 2010, North American Premiere, 105 minutes) - gobbling up festival awards around the world, Sylvia Chang stars as a suicidal landlady who rents an apartment to three irritating young hipsters in this transcendent drama from Li Yu (LOST IN BEIJING) one of the only female directors working in China. Popular actress, Fan Bingbing (SHAOLIN), stars as one of the hipsters, but it¹s Sylvia Chang, the most important woman in Chinese show business in the 70¹s and 80¹s, who owns this movie.

PUNISHED (Hong Kong, 2011, International Premiere, 94 minutes) - the latest movie produced by Johnnie To, this is a hardcore revenge drama featuring a powerhouse turn by Anthony Wong as a real estate billonaire whose wild child daughter has been kidnapped. Bullet-to-the-head action the way Hong Kong used to do it.

RIKI-OH: THE STORY OF RICKY (Hong Kong, 1991, 91 minutes) - the classic HongKong midnight action movie about prison privatization and monsters who strangle you with their guts. Rarely seen on the big screen, this is a full-on, ridiculously crazy mind-melter full of crucifixion, flaying, classic kung fu combat and prison wardens who keep breath mints in their glass eyeballs.


13 ASSASSINS: DIRECTOR'S CUT (Japan, 2010, 141 minutes, New York Premiere) -
the complete UNCUT version of Takashi Miike¹s samurai masterpiece. With 17 minutes of original footage restored.
***One of the movie¹s stars, Takayuki Yamada, will be at the screening

BATTLE ROYALE (Japan, 2000, 114 minutes) - a celebratory screening of Kinji Fukasaku¹s masterpiece now that it finally - after 10 years!!!! - has a new distributor who wants people to actually see it. Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema

KARATE-ROBO ZABORGAR (Japan, 2011, New York Premiere, 106 minutes) ­ Noboru
Iguchi (Robo Geisha) makes his best film yet. Not just that, but this is the best-looking flick from label, Sushi Typhoon, yet. Slick, big budget and almost family friendly, it¹s based on an obscure TV show from the 70¹s about a young, bright-eyed police officer and his karate robot (who transforms into a motorcycle) fighting crime. But in Iguchi¹s version, the two split up and have to reunite years later after middle-age has taken its toll.

NINJA KIDS!!! (Japan, 2011, World Premiere, 100 minutes) -
Centerpiece Presentation. Takashi Miike's latest flick.

Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema

VERSUS (Japan, 2000, 120 minutes) - a tenth-anniversary celebration of the Japanese zombie action film that launched a thousand horror/splatter/action flicks.
***Star and action choreographer, Tak Sakaguchi, and writer, Yudai
Yamaguchi, will be at the screening.

YAKUZA WEAPON (Japan, 2011, New York Premiere, 105 minutes) - stuntman-turned-director, Tak Sakaguchi, turns in a high calibre, action-heavy riff on Robocop all about a robot yakuza out to put his fist through the skulls of the bad guys. From Sushi Typhoon, purveyor of movies like Alien vs. Ninja.
***The movie¹s director and star, Tak Sakaguchi, and co-director and writer,
Yudai Yamaguchi, will be at the screening

Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema


BEDEVILLED (Korea, 2010, New York Premiere, 115 minutes) - part of Sea of
Revenge focus.


MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED (Australia, 2010, New York Premiere, 84 minutes) -
from the people who made Not Quite Hollywood, comes this definitive documentary about the Filipino exploitation film bonanza that erupted in the 70s and 80s.



BKO: BANGKOK KNOCKOUT (Thailand, 2010, New York Premiere, 105 minutes) -
Tony Jaa¹s mentor, Panna Rittikrai, will school you now. This exploitation stunt-tacular features all his best stuntmen and women unleashing muay thai, capoeira, dirt bike fu, shovel beatdowns, fights on fire, fights in the water, fights under trucks, fights in mid-air, and two back-to-back
climactic smackdowns that have to be seen to be believed.


Ninja Kids and Machete Maidens Unleashed are my top priority. Once I check em out, you'll see my reviews here starting next week.

Are you psyched yet?

Then check out the trailer.


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