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New York Asian Film Festival Charges Into Town


Monday, June 25-------New Yorkers have long had a love affair with Asian cinema, so this year's New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which began on Friday at the IFC Center in downtown Manhattan, is sure to cause some waves. While other film societies may concentrate on emotionally aloof dramas or historical pagaents from the Far East, the NYAFF has become one of the city's most exciting film events by celebrating excess: innovative genre films, cutting-edge animation spectaculars and technology-infused Asian pop that expands the visual parameters of filmmaking.

This year's line up features some 30 from 8 countries, including such filmmaking centers as China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, The Phillipines and Thailand. The series runs from June 22 to July 5 at the IFC Center and then for an additional weekend at the Japan Society. In all, the Festival is a seventeen day orgy of new films from such Asian auteurs as Park Chan-Wook, Johnnie To, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Takashi Miike, while introducing intrepid audiences to buffalo-busting action flicks from Thailand, cartilage-cracking gangster films from Korea, and the first gore flick ever made in Pakistan!

HELL'S GROUNDHELL'S GROUNDAATCHI & SSIPAKAATCHI & SSIPAKSome of the gross-out extravangazas that cultists will not want to miss include: AATCHI & SSIPAK, a post-apocalyptic Korean 'toon version of Urinetown; DEATH NOTE, a Japanese manga animation that will surely blow one's mind while it cleanses one's soul; and the latest from vengeance-obsessed director Park Chan-wook (OLDBOY), the hilariously creepy I'M A CYBORG, BUT THAT'S OK. Another unmissable highlight is a special evening devoted dubbed FROM LAHORE WITH GORE, a one-night-only celebration of the wildest world cinema you've never dreamed of: Pakistani exploitation movies, courtesy of the madmen behind the Mondo Macabro DVD label. The evening also includes the US Premiere of HELL'S GROUND, Pakistan's first gore film, which plays like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre meets the Taliban, as well as presenting a clip reel showcasing the mondo madness of Pakistan's exploitation flicks from the 70s and 80s.

For more information on the series, log on to the film websites of the IFC Center: and the Japan Society:

Sandy Mandelberger, Film New York Editor


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Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

The Ultimate Guide to the New York Film, Video and New Media Scene.

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