The Playlist

NYAFF Reviews: 'Warriors of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale,' 'Monsters Club' & 'Nasi Lemak 2.0'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 9, 2012 5:34 PM
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Earlier this year, audiences experienced “Warriors Of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale,” a pulse-pounding, action-heavy epic that told the story of tensions between rural Taiwanese and invading Japanese soldiers. What some audience members didn’t know is that the two-and-a-half hour epic wasn’t even close to the full story, and now NY Asian Film Festival-goers have had a chance to experience the full four and a half hour version of director Wei Te-Sheng’s sprawling epic.
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New York Asian Film Festival Reviews: 'Couples,' 'You Are The Apple Of My Eye,' and 'Honey Pupu'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • July 6, 2012 1:04 PM
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Based on the 2005 Japanese hit “A Stranger of Mine” (directed by Kenji Uchida), “Couples” is kind of like those Rube Goldberg sequences from Jean-Pierre Jeunet (or maybe the “how Cate Blanchett got injured” sequence from “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), except for an entire feature-length running time. The results are both exhilarating and (at 110 minutes) exhausting.
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New York Asian Film Fest Reviews: 'Vulgaria,' 'The King Of Pigs' & 'Dead Bite'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 5, 2012 5:04 PM
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Usually the New York Asian Film Festival opens with a film that carries name recognition in the West, either by those involved, or by a familiar genre or trope. In the case of this year’s opener, “Vulgaria,” it’s an increasingly familiar genre, that being the hyper-indulgent, semi-improvisational, low budget indie. From the filmmakers behind China’s mega-hit “Sex And Zen 3D” comes this show business satire that shares DNA less with French New Wave auteurist pictures, and more with Steven Soderbergh’s bizarre, sexually ersatz “Full Frontal” in its views on the small cogs in a big filmmaking machine.
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NYAFF '11 Reviews: 'Vengeance Can Wait,' 'Love And Treachery' & 'Raw Force'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 15, 2011 11:05 AM
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"Vengeance Can Wait"You may be fooled into thinking “Vengeance Can Wait” is another hardcore Korean revenge drama where the end features someone sobbing over another man’s corpse, both of them overcome with the loss of their souls. But no, thankfully, it’s a Japanese farce, where two roommates pretend to be brother and sister only to find themselves romantically entangled with an old school classmate, with the male roommate still nursing a crush.
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NYAFF Reviews: 'Milocrorze', 'Love And Loathing And Lulu And Ayano' & 'The Seaside Motel'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 13, 2011 3:20 AM
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“Milocrorze: A Love Story”Yoshimasa Ishibashi’s hyperactive ode to the destructive power of romance is all things at once -- focused on three narratives, “Milocrorze” attempts to encapsulate the crushing defeat of male romance as if it was exclusive to one sex. The picture is book-ended with a boy’s (later a man’s) crush on the immaculate Milocrorze, a woman of no discerning traits who appears to have storybook beauty and, for the sake of his fantasies, might as well walk on water. The tone is set for the rest of the film by making her an object of pursuit with no particular personality -- whether you’ll accept the film or not relies on how much you’re willing to accept this. Given that 90% of all Hollywood films are guilty of the same crime, it’s a bitter pill but one that we’ve all swallowed at one point.
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