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10:00 AM on 12.10.2014

Trailer for White God features the dogpocalypse

Remember those awesome Homeward Bound movies? White God is nothing like that. Imagine the worst possible outcome for that film (and throw in Lady and the Tramp for good measure) and you've got what looks and sounds like a gr...

Nick Valdez

12:30 PM on 11.23.2014

SAIFF Review: Killa (The Fort)

I never moved when I was growing up. I knew people who moved once or twice, and then I knew others in military families and the like who would come and go almost annually. In a small town with a small school, that made a diff...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

4:00 PM on 11.21.2014

SAIFF Review: Dukhtar

Most of the modern foreign films that I watch are from countries that are reasonably similar to the United States. People live in apartments and drive sleek cars. They use smartphones and credit cards. They have the internet....

Alec Kubas-Meyer

2:00 PM on 11.20.2014

NYKFF Review: A Hard Day

Every so often, I see a film and think that the title is a perfect encapsulation of its very existence. If I were to name the film, those are exactly the words I would have chosen. A Hard Day is that exactly, in par...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

4:00 PM on 11.19.2014

NYKFF Review: The Attorney

If you look up stills from The Attorney, you're going to have a wildly inaccurate perception of what the film is supposed to be. Look at the poster. They're happy, right? Below you'll find another image of people being h...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

4:00 PM on 11.14.2014

Here comes the South Asian International Film Festival

As is often the case, it's a festival of festivals here in New York. And if you're particularly fond of Indian and/or Pakistani films, this is probably the one you've been waiting for. The South Asian International Film Festi...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

3:00 PM on 11.11.2014

Here comes the 12th Annual New York Korean Film Festival

When February came and went with no mention of the New York Korean Film Festival, I was disheartened. With all of the far-less-deserving festivals in this fine city, I couldn't accept that this one had gone away. Fortunately,...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

3:00 PM on 09.18.2014

Trailer for Force Majeure creates avalanche of family drama

Force Majeure is a Swedish film that premiered at Cannes and it examines a seemingly perfect Swedish family (husband and businessman Tomas, refined wife Ebba and their two lovely children) as it unravels when their trip to t...

Liz Rugg

11:00 AM on 09.14.2014

Review: The Pirates

Every so often, a film comes along that completely shatters your expectations. You think you've got it figured out and then it throws a curveball. Then another. Then five more. Soon you realize you can't figure the film out a...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

3:00 PM on 09.09.2014

First trailer for boy scout horror film Cub

I really don't know what to expect from Cub. It premiered during the Toronto International Film Festival, and has a unique premise (cub scouts are attacked by a feral child) but the trailer doesn't look too appealing. Then again, we rarely get a chance to promote a Belgian horror film.  There's no domestic release date yet, but we'll keep an eye out for one. The poster's neat though.

Nick Valdez

4:00 PM on 09.05.2014

Trailer for final Rurouni Kenshin film, The Legend Ends

Although we'll never get a proper release here in the states, I can't stop covering the Rurouni Kenshin films. After seeing the first one, I read through the manga it's based off of and I can't wait to see it in action someh...

Nick Valdez

1:00 PM on 08.31.2014

Review: Kundo: Age of the Rampant

When I decide to watch a movie, it is usually based on two thing: Whether or not the press picture implies some kind of action. The runtime. While there's obviously some leeway on the first one, once a movie pushes past the...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

7:00 PM on 07.11.2014

NYAFF Review: Cold Eyes

Some of my favorite movies are ones that make me want to go and do something after the lights come up. Some films make me want to travel the world or shave my head or something. Others take professions and make them seem so m...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

6:00 PM on 07.10.2014

NYAFF Review: Silent Witness

Before the screening of Silent Witness, it was introduced as an example of what mainstream Chinese filmmaking is like in the modern era. Many of the films that play at the New York Asian Film Festival fit into some sort of ni...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

4:00 PM on 07.07.2014

NYAFF Review: R100

Thanks to R100, we know the proper recipe for a shirt: 24 hours in a slow-cooker, with red wine sauce, celery and carrots. Not because the film involves shirt eating (not directly at least), but because it forced Twitch found...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

8:00 AM on 07.07.2014

Japan Cuts 2014 continues where NYAFF leaves off

With our NYAFF coverage still running strong, it seems an appropriate time to let you know that there's much, much more where that came from. Starting this Thursday, July 10th, the Japan Society kicks off their NYAFF crossove...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

12:00 PM on 07.05.2014

NYAFF Review: The Eternal Zero

The Eternal Zero is one of the biggest blockbusters ever released in Japan. A tale of the World War II from the viewpoint of the fighter pilots who took on the American forces. An ostensibly epic tale celebrating... some...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

12:00 PM on 07.04.2014

NYAFF Review: The White Storm

Before the screening of As the Light Goes Out, NYAFF co-founder/the world’s greatest salesman Grady Hendrix made a pitch for people to stay for The White Storm, the film that was playing immediately afterward. He descri...

Alec Kubas-Meyer



NYAFF Review: As the Light Goes Out photo
NYAFF Review: As the Light Goes Out
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

There’s something uniquely fascinating about firefighters. When they arrive on a scene, they aren’t armed to the teeth and ready to take down some villain; they are there to save lives. That’s pretty much their entire job. Whether that is by putting out fires so they don’t spread, running into burning buildings to find people trapped in the blaze, or bringing kittens down from high up branches so little old ladies don’t die from loneliness, they are there for the sole purpose of minimizing body count.

This doesn’t make them better than police officers or soldiers or other armed forces, but when the bad guy is thick smoke, no one is going to think about its family when it is ultimately taken down. No one feels bad for a fire. There is only the heroism of the people who stop it.

As the Light Goes Out taps into that heroism, although its portrayal of the people beneath the helmets isn’t always the most sympathetic.

[For the next month, we will be covering the 2014 New York Asian Film Festival and the Japan-centric Japan Cuts. Click here for more information, and check back here and here for all of the Asian film coverage you can shake a stick at.]

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NYAFF Review: Top Star photo
NYAFF Review: Top Star
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

When one of NYAFF's programmers introduced Top Star, he said that it was surprising that this was Park Joong-hoon's directorial debut. Park has worked as an actor in the Korean film industry for 28 years, but this is his first time behind the camera. Over the years, he has starred in around 40 films, and has clearly amassed a wealth of knowledge about both the life of an actor and also what goes into the production of a film. The programmer called its style impressive and confident, the kind of thing you only see after a filmmaker has hit their stride.

Written as a combination of fiction and fact from his own experiences and those of friends, it definitely feels like a project from a more established director. But Park himself prefaced the film by saying he's not really a fan. He says there are problems with it and he sees many places where it could have been improved.

While I think I liked it more than he did, I tend to agree.

[For the next month, we will be covering the 2014 New York Asian Film Festival and the Japan-centric Japan Cuts. Click here for more information, and check back here and here for all of the Asian film coverage you can shake a stick at.]

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NYAFF Recommendation: Han Gong-Ju photo
NYAFF Recommendation: Han Gong-Ju
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Han Gong-Ju is incredible. It's easily the best film I've seen at the New York Asian Film Festival thus far and among the best I've seen in a long time.

It's also extremely depressing, to the point where I'm not sure I can really write about it. But I can't in good conscience not give it my sincerest recommendation. If you're in New York, it's playing at MoMA for the next week. Tickets can be bought here.

Whether we end up with a full review or not, go see Han Gong-Ju.

[For the next month, we will be covering the 2014 New York Asian Film Festival and the Japan-centric Japan Cuts. Click here for more information, and check back here and here for all of the Asian film coverage you can shake a stick at.]

view full story + comments