The New York Asian Film Festival, a blissful mix of the arty and the dorky (and one of our favorites), has just announced a few of this year’s titles (the complete line-up will be announced in late April). Descriptions are theirs:
"Funky Forest: First Contact": (Japan, 2005) – The follow-up film from the director and cast of "The Taste of Tea," last year’s Audience Award Winner. A sci-fi film starring Tadanobu Asano, a fat white kid, space amoebas with long nose-hairs, armpit fleshapods, and the constant demand to "Show me your dancing!"
"Linda Linda Linda" (Japan, 2005) – Korean actress Bae Doo-Na ("Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance") plays a Korean high school exchange student who joins a power punk, all-girl band intent on shredding the school talent show. A tribute to the gawkiness and the glory that are being a teenager, plus a soundtrack that worms its way into your brain and refuses to leave.
"Cromartie High School" (Japan, 2005) – Based on the best-selling manga, this is the other Japanese high school movie in our line-up. Come watch the saga of filthy, lousy Cromartie High, a school so sucky that they even enroll gorillas, robots, and Freddie Mercury. Only an invasion of space monkeys can bring this warring student body together.
"Peacock" (China, 2005) – Gu Chang-wei is China’s premiere cinematographer, having worked on the greatest films of Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige before working for Robert Altman. His directorial debut is a poetic film about small town life in China during the 1970s, but before you dismiss it as just another Chinese art film, watch it. Totally unexpected, absolutely glorious, and downright thrilling, it’s no surprise that it won the Grand Jury prize at Berlin last year.
While on the festival front, La Manohla picks through New Directors/New Films, which started yesterday, at the New York Times. And at the LA Times, Kevin Crust does the same for the Silver Lake Film Festival.
+ NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL (SubwayCinema.com)
+ New Directors/New Films: A World Tour of Cinema for Adults (NY Times)
+ Silver Lake to get politically active (LA Times)