This Weekend in NYC: Asian Film Festival Takes the Crazy Reins
Let's say that some minor logistical constraints -- like, oh, living 3,000 miles from California -- will keep you from attending the opening weekend of the Los Angeles Film Festival. Fair enough. You'll be missed, but you don't have to feel alone: The New York Asian Film Festival also launches today, bringing a boatload of rare treats, temptations and otherworldly bafflements to a city in need. True, you won't see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen bowing here. But you can have a first look at Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl -- among other treats noted after the jump.
Dedicated as much to the prolific mass-market exercises of Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, and elsewhere as it is to those nations' underseen dramatic breakthroughs, the eighth annual festival offers its typically sprawling range of pure pop (Fish Story, The Rainbow Troops), weepies (All Around Us, Be Sure to Share), grindhouse fare (Tokyo Gore Police, Hard Revenge Milly), manga adaptations (Be a Man! Samurai School, Antique), and old-school rarities (House, the Groper Train "pink film" two-fer). Filmmakers and other guests are everywhere you look, and the programmers know the material better than just about any Westerners alive. The line-up can be a little overwhelming to the Asian-film novice, but if you trust the organizers (and you should), it's difficult to go wrong.
Just browse the program here (which is a fun Friday read in itself), then come back and let us know what sounds good. Man does not have to survive on Year One alone.