“Japanese Girls Never Say Die” (dir. Daigo Matsui)
“Love and Other Cults” (dir. Eiji Uchida)
“The Road to Mandalay” (dir. Midi Z)
“Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight” (dir. Alan Lo)
“Dawn of the Felines” (dir. Kazuya Shiraishi)
“The Truth Beneath” (dir. Lee Kyoung-mi)
“Bad Genius” (dir. Nattawut Poonpiriya)
The films in this gallery are all screening as part of the 2017 New York Asian Film Festival, which runs from June 30th to July 16th. Plot descriptions are courtesy of the Film Society of Lincoln Center website, where you can find a full line-up for this year’s fest, including information about tickets, special guests, and surprise screenings.
Trained as an assassin from a very young age, Sook-hee has only ever known a life of killing. After single-handedly dispatching an entire gang, she’s given the chance to use her deadly skills for good. This is not just another twisted Korean revenge thriller—it’s a reinvention of action cinema.
Ninko, a devout monk in Edo-period Japan, is tormented by his condition as the object of every woman’s sexual desire. His dilemma is personified by a forest-dwelling seductress who forces him to choose his final destiny. The Suffering of Ninko is a wild, jaw-dropping fever dream of a film that must be seen to be believed.
After discovering a sacred stone in the mouth of a slain deer, young Tibetan wanderer Taibei embarks on a mission to bring the divine artifact back to its rightful home, the holy mountain of Buddha. Danger and treachery lurk at every step, as black market traders and two brothers in search of vengeance stand in his path.
Andrew Wong’s film about juvenile delinquents follows the misfortunes of young gang leader Fan (Neo Yau) after he is sentenced to three months of detention for a scuffle with a drunken cop who was publicly abusing his girlfriend. Little does he know he has entered into a world of trouble, where youths are dehumanized and routinely beaten.
Aroused by Gymnopedies follows the dwindling fortunes of Shinji (played by Itsuji Itao), a once-celebrated filmmaker whose star has waned so far he is reduced to shooting porno quickies to make ends meet. But when his lead actress (Izumi Okamura) quits mid-shoot, Shinji wanders from one misjudged sexual encounter to the next.
After naïve freshman Sun-Wha is unexpectedly cast as Juliet against her all-girls’ high school heartthrob Hanam as Romeo, she learns about first love and more in this disarming tale of first love.
After getting into trouble with a local bully, teenage Shaowu is sent to Taipei to live with her estranged gangster father, Keiko. He quickly takes to being a father and sets out go straight, but soon he is dragged back into the criminal world by corruption and a quest for vengeance that will decide both of their fates.
A sadsack would-be criminal pairs up with an eccentric over-the-hill cabbie for the cross-country delivery of a mysterious package to southern gangsters in this dark and irreverently comedic take on the road movie. Featuring Mr. Boo himself Michael Hui in a wonderfully wry star turn.
A vibrant protest against the oppression of women, a provocative pop-art manifesto, and the improbably touching story of a gone girl whose life gains new meaning after her disappearance. Director Daigo Matsui’s agenda is ambitious, and “Japanese Girls Never Die” is one of the past year’s most audacious pieces of cinema.
A wild black comedy about gangs, cult religion, and love in backwater Japan. Marginalized teen Ryota falls in love with fellow dropout Ai and follows her down ever deeper and seedier paths. Real delinquents acted alongside Sion Sono’s regular such that the film had to be shot under police supervision.
An exquisite yet heart-wrenching portrait of vulnerable and marginalized characters at odds with their surroundings and even each other as they strive to make it at any cost. It starts when a romance develops between a couple on the small truck that smuggles them over the Burmese border into Thailand.
Produced by Clement Cheng (“Gallants”), NYAFF 2010), this riotous crowd-pleaser is developed from director Alan Lo’s debut short “Zombie Guillotines” (2012), a do-it-yourself guide to weaponing up for Z-Day with everyday objects in a hair salon. Fans of “The Walking Dead” may think they’ve witnessed every trick in the zombie playbook. They’re wrong.
A sin-deep chronicle tracing the daily lives of three Tokyo call girls from the director of “The Devil’s Path” and “Twisted Justice.” Paying tribute to the rich vein of Japanese genre classics set in the sex trade, Kazuya Shiraishi also has a statement to make about contemporary Japanese morality.
In Lee Kyoung-mi’s taut political thriller, co-written by Park Chan-wook, a mother takes a stand against the deceit and hypocrisy of men. Son Ye-jin gives a career-best performance as the wife of an aspiring politician on a lonely, desperate search for their missing teenage daughter during a crucial campaign.
Nattawut Poonpiriya (“Countdown”), NYAFF 2013) places the heist thriller in a high school milieu for a nerve-racking joyride that plays on Thailand’s Confucian-like obsession with academic achievement. After losing a scholarship, high-school students stage a heist that will undermine the U.S. university entrance examination system and make them baht millionaires.