Remember how psyched I was for the sci-fi exhibit at the MoMA this summer? Well, there’s another exciting film series in the city this summer. The New York Asian Film Festival is coming up at the end of the month, giving those in the city an opportunity to watch all kinds of Asian films on the big screen with appearances from 30 different directors and actors.
There’s definitely something for everyone in these 57 films, as the description states:
“Get wooed by die-hard romantics, unnerved by devil children, and bear witness to the fury of angry young men on paths of destruction in the sweet sixteenth edition of the New York Asian Film Festival. Wild cinematic outings that always have something to say about the human condition, this summer’s crop of titles range from the heartwarming to the desperately dark. Dive headfirst into the raging sea of talent from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and across South East Asia—filmmakers unafraid to take on controversial subjects and explore complex emotions.”
Every image in the trailer alone looks mesmerizing, with images from cult favorite Sabu’s Happiness and Jung Byung-gil’s The Villainess (making its U.S. premiere) in particular standing out to me. I’m also especially curious about the female-centered stories like Daigo Matsui’s Japanese Girls Never Die and Ahn Jung-min’s Fantasy of the Girls, as well as what’s sure to be a compelling watch, Jero Yun’s Mrs. B., A North Korean Woman. While there is definitely a generous amount of action films and thrillers, there’s also wholesome films, like Han Han’s Duckweed, Shinobu Yaguchi’s Survival Family, or Nattawut Poonpiriya’s Bad Genius. Even if you’re not in NYC, NYAFF is a great reference if you’re looking for something to add to your watch-list.
The entire roster is a treasure trove of films that are easy to overlook when you’re more focused on English-speaking films, and a great opportunity to watch something different. For me, I’m definitely curious to check out some of the Taiwanese films since I don’t get an opportunity to watch them on the big screen very often.
NYAFF will take place from June 30 to July 13 at the Film Society and July 14 to 16 at the SVA Theatre. Check out showings and ticket info here.
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