#New York Asian Film Festival 2013

Ip Man Final Fight Review photo

Review: Ip Man: The Final Fight

In the review for The Legend Is Born: Ip Man, I mentioned how the character of Yip Man seems to be turning into the new Wong Fei-Hung. Here's a real-life historical figure who's suddenly become an idealized version of the real-life historic...

NYAFF/Japan Cuts Recap photo

NYAFF and Japan Cuts 2013 Flixist Awards and Recap

So here we are, the culmination of the past month of our Asian obsession. We did thirty reviews, three interviews, and a whole lot of other stuff. It was certainly a crazy time, but it was a lot of fun. Above is a video of Hubert and me on...

Bad Film Non-Review photo

NYAFF Non-Review: Sion Sono's Bad Film is a masterpiece

Sion Sono's Bad Film is truly a movie that should not exist. Shot in the mid 90s on Hi8 video, the film ran out of money and lay unfinished for well over a decade. If it were anybody else's project, it would likely have stayed that way fore...

The Warped Forest Review photo

Japan Cuts Review: The Warped Forest

When I explained to a friend that I had just seen a film that featured trees that are actually women with skin colored "branches" that are watered by a woman putting water into her mouth and kissing it into theirs and bear fruit with a...

Lee Won-Suk Interview photo

Interview: Lee Won-Suk (How to Use Guys with Secret Tips)

The best film I saw at this year's New York Asian Film Festival (our recap of which will be up late next week) was director Lee Won-Suk's film How to Use Guys with Secret Tips. About halfway through the film, I knew that I had to meet the m...


Audience votes Hentai Kamen as best film of NYAFF 2013

At the beginning of every screening at the New York Asian Film Festival, the good folks at Subway Cinema handed out little slips of paper with ratings of 1-5 on them, ranging from "Worst Film Ever" to "Awesome." At the end, those who hadn't...

Dada Chan Interview photo

Dada Chan Interview (Tales from the Dark/Hardcore Comedy)

Dada Chan doesn't want to be seen as a sex icon. That was clear to me as soon as I walked into the room. Wearing a too-large crew neck t-shirt and a floor-length skirt, the Hong Kong actress renowned for her bust was the most mode...

Jung Ji-Woo Interview photo

NYAFF Interview: Jung Ji-Woo (Director of Eungyo/A Muse)

One of the more interesting films I saw at this year's New York Asian Film Festival was Eungyo, also known as A Muse, a film about an aged poet who falls in love with a young girl. I got a chance to sit down with director Jung Ji-Woo and ta...

Rurouni Kenshin Review photo

Japan Cuts Review: Rurouni Kenshin

I have all 28 volumes of the Rurouni Kenshin manga. When I hear the first few notes of "Freckles," I am suddenly returned to my childhood and I stay there until I've finish singing along. It's a special series to me, but for some reason I w...

Lesson of the Evil Review photo

NYAFF Review: Lesson of the Evil

Takashi Miike, who makes at least a dozen films a year, has been off making Samurai films and videogame adaptations instead of the blood-drenched thrillers he's known for, and people have been waiting for his return to that space. Well...

The Complex Review photo

NYAFF Review: The Complex

Director Hideo Nakata is best known for 1998's Ringu (The Ring), the film that kicked off a wave of international interest in J-horror at the turn of the century. In a lot of ways he's still been living in the shadow of that film, whic...

Secretly Greatly Review photo

NYAFF Review: Secretly Greatly

Before the NYAFF screening of Secretly Greatly, director Jang Cheol-Soo (the man behind the oft-mentioned-by-me Bedevilled), came out and said a few words. He specifically said that fans of his previous film might be surprised by how commer...

NYAFF's Korean Rom-Coms photo

After the Credits: The Korean Rom-Coms of NYAFF 2013

I very seriously considered doing a dual review of How to Use Guys with Secret Tips and Very Ordinary Couple. I've only ever written a double review once, back at Tribeca, because I felt like Whitewash and Big Bad Wolve...

How to Use Guys Review photo

NYAFF Review: How to Use Guys with Secret Tips

At last year's NYAFF, it seemed like every other film I saw blew me away. Looking back at the roundup, almost half of the non-Japan Cuts crossover films received Editor's Choice awards from either Hubert or myself, and looking back at that ...

Very Ordinary Couple photo

NYAFF Review: Very Ordinary Couple

When most non-Koreans think of Korean films, they think of deeply disturbed violence and bleak, depressing dramas (I know I used to). What they don't think of is comedy, certainly not romantic comedy. It's not as though there haven't been e...

Thermae Romae Review photo

Japan Cuts Review: Thermae Romae

The plot of Thermae Romae sounds like it was born from a drunken night of playing Mad Libs: a bath house architect from Ancient Rome time travels to modern-day Japan where he becomes enthralled by the designs of contemporary bath houses, ba...

Harcore Comedy Review photo

NYAFF Review: Hardcore Comedy

I'm willing to forgive occasional errors in subtitle translations. It's a tedious job and mistakes happen, whatever. I see them, and it makes me sad and takes me out of the experience, but I move on. I'm not going to mention it in a review ...

Story of Yonosuke Review photo

Japan Cuts Review: A Story of Yonosuke

A Story of Yonosuke clocks in at 160 minutes, which is a good chunk of time to spend with the title character and his friends. I stared that number down for a while and finally decided it was worth a go. I've sat through much, much longer m...

Double Xposure Discussion photo

Flixist Discusses Review: Double Xposure

Whenever News Editor Hubert Vigilla and I see a film together, we follow it up with a discussion about what we just saw, what we thought, what it means, whatever. Sometimes, those discussions play out in miniature with our system of reviews...

Wolf Falls in Love Review photo

NYAFF Review: When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep

When people use the word "cute" to describe a movie, it's usually dismissive. "It was cute," as if there was an unstated "Eh" at the beginning of the sentence; as if cuteness was all it achieves and it makes no deeper impression than that. ...

Comrade Kim Review photo

NYAFF Review: Comrade Kim Goes Flying

The strangest thing about Comrade Kim Goes Flying is the nationality of its directors. When I first heard that there was a collaboration between the UK, Belgium, and North Korea, and a romantic comedy no less, I knew that I had to...

Black Movies Review photo

NYAFF Review: Taiwan Black Movies

Sometimes it's difficult for documentaries to convey all they hope to convey, especially when the documentary is about a film genre or a culture's film output. The filmmaker may have his or her own aims, for instance, and sometimes those ai...

Bullet Vanishes Review photo

NYAFF Review: The Bullet Vanishes

There's an observation in This Is Spinal Tap that sums up the dilemma of many detective stories: there's a fine line between clever and stupid. Successful detective stories provide satisfying solutions to mysteries, no matter how improbable...

Helter Skelter Review photo

NYAFF Review: Helter Skelter

It would seem to me that being a supermodel might actually be one of the most difficult jobs out there. It's not the photo shoots or the runway walks, both of which are probably harder than people give them credit for but not more difficult...

Catnip Review photo

NYAFF Review: Catnip

I think it was George Saunders who said that the worst comment a writer can receive about his or her work is that it's merely interesting. "I love this" is gratifying. "I want to sleep with you now" is what writers are actually gunning for....

Eungyo Review photo

NYAFF Review: Eungyo (A Muse)

I have a tendency to forget, and I doubt that I'm the only one, that pedophilia does not refer to teenagers. In fact, there are three different categories of so-called "chronophiles": pedophilia, which refers to prepubescent children; hebep...

Confession of Murder  photo

NYAFF Review: Confession of Murder

It's interesting to see the way other cultures portray their media. I'm not talking about the television pundits that get across important plot points in so many films; I mean real portrayals of the way the media reacts in extreme situation...

Behind the Camera Review photo

Review: Behind the Camera: Why Mr. E Went to Hollywood

As a reviewer, there's only so many, there is a constant cloud hanging over my head questioning whether or not I am just deluding myself into thinking I can about a film. I'm always asking myself if I have the knowledge or the context or ev...

Tales from Dark 1 Review photo

NYAFF Review: Tales from the Dark Part 1

Tales from the Dark Part 1 had its world premiere last Friday at the New York Asian Film Festival. It's an anthology horror movie containing three shorts films, all of which are adaptations of stories by Lilian Lee. Think less The ABCs of D...

Ip Man Legend Born Review photo

NYAFF Review: The Legend Is Born: Ip Man

Ip Man starring Donnie Yen and directed by Wilson Yip is one of the best martial arts films of the last 10 years. It cemented Yen's reputation as a major star, and it began a craze for Yip Man films. Wong Kar-Wai has been trying to mak...

New York Asian Film Fest photo

New York Asian Film Festival makes a triumphant return

Two years ago, the New York Asian Film Festival changed my life just a little bit. It was my first serious introduction into the world of Asian cinema, something I'd dabbled in over the years but never really considered. Fast forward to now...


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Reviews   filter by...

Blood Quantum"Blood, gore, zombies... social commentary"


Capone"The Fonz freaks out"


Tribeca Asia"Boring me to death"


Tribeca Banksy Most Wanted"The real invisible man"


Tribeca 12 Hour Shift"A real night shift from hell"


Tribeca Ainu Mosir"Kuma killer"


The Willoughbys"Of mustaches and murder"


Extraction"It's all we got"


The Midnight Gospel"Duuuuuuuuuuuude"


Agent Toby Barks"That's the ticket"


For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close"A look behind the comedy curtain"


Trolls World Tour"Sing it again, Sam... but not as good"


Tigertail"A stroll down memory lane"


Butt Boy"Solid"


We Summon the Darkness"Attack of the evil church girls"


Why Don't You Just Die!"Drain-licking good"


Coffee & Kareem"No thank you, I'll have tea"


Tiger King"Quarantine with Joe Exotic"


Slay the Dragon"A powerful piece on political activism and the impact an individual can have"


The Platform"As above, so below"


SXSW Critical Thinking"What's your next move?"


Bloodshot"A bloody mess (not the good kind)"


SXSW Drunk Bus"Going round in circles"