For the last ten years, at around this time, the place to be was at the New York Asian Film Festival. Now, in its eleventh year, the place to be is still the New York Asian Film Festival, at its super plush and cuddly home in the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center and the Japan Society.
Every year, the super-friendly team of Grady Hendrix, Goran Topalovic, Paul Kazee, Daniel Craft, and Kyungmi Kim put together a mind-blowing, eye-bulging exhibition of old and new classics from all over the East, complete with parties, sponsors, giveaways, and guest stars.
This year is no exception, and it all starts June 29th, 2012, with the suitably psycho Hong Kong comedy Vulgaria, followed at midnight by the seminal maggots-apopin’ Shaw Brothers Studio horror phantasmagorical Boxer’s Omen!
I won’t be able to make it into town for those, as much as I want to, nor will I be able to attend the June 30th screening of King Boxer (aka Five Fingers of Death) — after which its legendary director Chung Chang-wha will be there in person to receive a special fest award.
But I am coming in on July 1st, for a double feature of the new Sword Identity and then enjoy Chung Chang-wha’s presence at a screening of his other 1972 classic The Swift Knight.
And that’s just the tip of the NYAFF 2012 iceberg. The fest rocks, rolls, kicks, and chops on through July 15th (unfortunately wrapping up its final days parallel to the earlier-than-usual San Diego Comic Con — so I will also miss Donnie Yen’s award ceremony on July 9th, as well as a mini Donnie fest including Iron Monkey, The Lost Bladesman, and Wu Xia [in its Weinstein-ized Americanization as Dragon]).
In addition, I’ll miss the new Vietnam “heroic chivalry flying sword persons” epic Blood Letter (screened on the same day as my 15th Annual San Diego Comic Con Superhero Kung Fu Extravaganza — 7/12/12).
But that doesn’t mean you have to. If you’re in New York, or can get there, go right to www.subwaycinema.com to see what you don’t have to, and shouldn’t, miss!