First Films Announced for New York Asian Film Festival

 New York Asian Film Festival (click for larger image)While The Tribeca Film Festival draws to a close, we bid farewell to the onslaught of indie film makers and fans of such things who flew in for the event. While the show was spectacular as always, you don’t exactly attend it to see things that will freak you out … on purpose.

For that reaction, we’ve got the New York Asian Film Festival, June 19 – July 2, the show takes over the IFC center and July 1 – 5, they raid Japan Society. The first movies have been announced for the fest and we’d be bad, bad horror fiends if we didn’t single out the bloody best of the bunch.

Start your check list with these…

THE FORBIDDEN DOOR (Indonesia, 2009, Joko Anwar) – the director of last year’s festival favorite, KALA, is back and boy is this one twisted. Like a 19th century gothic novel adapted by Alfred Hitchcock and directed by David Lynch, this movie about a sculptor and the horrible things he does to become successful

MONSTER X STRIKES BACK: ATTACK THE G8 SUMMIT (Japan, 2008, Minoru Kawasaki) Preceded by – GEHARA: THE LONG-HAIRED GIANT MONSTER (Japan, 2009, Kiyotaka Taguchi, short film) – preceded by a lovingly made short film about giant monsters, MONSTER X is from Minoru Kawasaki (CALAMARI WRESTLER and EXECUTIVE KOALA) and it’s a remake/sequel to 1967’s THE X FROM OUTER SPACE featuring the hideous space chicken, Guilala. Here, in a tribute to classic giant monster films, Kawasaki turns the “stupid” dial up to 11 and loads the film with old school special effects as Guilala attacks the G-8 summit and the world’s leaders have to kick its kaiju butt.

20TH CENTURY BOYS (Japan, 2008, Yukihiko Tsutsumi) 20TH CENTURY BOYS: CHAPTER TWO – THE LAST HOPE (Japan, 2009, Yukihiko Tsutsumi) – these two movies are our DEATH NOTE films for this year. Based on a best-selling manga series (now coming out in the US from Viz) which is titled after the T.Rex song “20th Century Boy” this is like Stephen King’s IT crossed with a giant robot movie. A bunch of kids form a club and write their own illustrated science fiction book about the end of the world at the hands of giant robots, unstoppable viruses and nuclear bombs. Fast forward years later and they’re all grown-up, disappointed adults who work in convenience stores and offices, and life holds no more joy for them. But the book they wrote as kids is suddenly coming true and they’re the only ones who can stop it.

WHEN THE FULL MOON RISES (Malaysia, 2008, Mamat Khalid) – the best way to describe this movie is Guy Maddin taking on the history of Malaysian cinema. Most of the older Malaysian movies have been destroyed by the ravages of time, so director Mamat Khalid makes a “lost” black-and-white thriller from the 60’s, that’s part loving homage and part sharp-eyed send-up. Full of secret communist cults, werewolves, were-tigers, ghosts, private eyes, midgets and eerie secrets it’s so deadpan you don’t know if you should be laughing or crying.

Keep it glued to Dread as we find out the rest of the NYAFF lineup!


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