Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL at Lincoln Center JUNE 28 - JULY 14, 2019

The Films.
(These are short descriptions. For longer ones click on the individual films on the Film Lincoln Center site.) The times are for the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center.

China

Co-presented with Confucius Institute Headquarters and China Institute

A First Farewell
Wang Lina 2018 China 87 minutes
This bittersweet narrative-documentary hybrid offers a precious glimpse into China’s Uighur minority through the story of a young boy. Debut director Wang Lina’s charming ode to her own hometown speaks volumes about this marginalized community.
Showtimes
July 11
6:00 PM

If You Are Happy
Chen Xiaoming 2019 China 99 minutes
Q&A with actress Fu Miao
Through striking mise en scène and a vitriolic script built on cruel twists of fate, Chen Xiaoming’s film about a professor desperate to live in a school district that will guarantee a good education for his daughter, delivers a surprisingly suspenseful critique of modern society.
Showtimes
July 3
7:30 PM

Jinpa
Pema Tseden 2018 China 103 minutes
U.S. Premiere
Dream and reality meld in this stark tale, produced by Wong Kar Wai, in which a stoic truck driver picks up a silver-dagger-wearing hitchhiker in the desolate Kekexili plateau and later goes looking for him, ostensibly to prevent further bloodshed.
Showtimes
June 29
3:30 PM

Push and Shove
Wu Nan 2019 China 91 minutes
North American Premiere · Q&A with Wu Nan
Well-off screenwriter Yu Feng’s cute little dog is viciously attacked by the hefty Tibetan Mastiff from next door. Perturbed and undeterred by both the police’s apathy and the neighbor’s reluctance to settle the matter properly, Yu Feng and his family embark on a complex war of attrition in a literal dog-eat-dog tale.
Showtimes
July 10
9:15 PM

The Rib
Wei Zhang 2018 China 85 minutes
North American Premiere
This breakthrough film, about a 32-year-old man trying to undergo reassignment surgery, illustrates the intense stigma and obstacles that the LGBT community must face in China, offering an inside look at both the marginalized and those who condemn them.
Showtimes
July 5
1:00 PM

Savage
Cui Siwei 2018 China 112 minutes
Chang Chen plays the courageous cop to Liao Fan’s callous criminal, in a viscerally thrilling showdown between good and evil… and man and blizzard, which unfolds atop Mount Baekdu on the China/North Korea border, as the snowfall of a lifetime rolls in.
Showtimes
July 4
7:30 PM

Winter After Winter
Xing Jian 2019 China 110 minutes
North American Premiere
During the Japanese occupation of Manchuria circa 1944, an aging father’s attempts to maintain his family line, stopping at nothing to ensure that his daughter-in-law produces a male heir. This sets the stage for an elaborate plot of subterfuge, encapsulating the struggle to persevere against oppression
Showtimes
July 5
3:00 PM

White Snake
Amp Wong, Ji Zhao 2019 China 95 minutes
North American Premiere
A young woman who has lost her memory is helped by a snake catcher. In their quest to find her identity, they gradually develop feelings for each other, but just as the truth comes close, disaster looms... Embarking on a journey into the fantasy world of wuxia romance, the huge box-office success White Snake surely sets a new golden age for animated Chinese cinema.
Showtimes
July 7
1:30 PM

Wushu Orphan
Huang Huang 2018 China 121 minutes
North American Premiere · Q&A with Huang Huang and actor Liu Zhihan
Wet-behind-the-ears Lu Youhong takes a job teaching Chinese at a remote martial-arts academy, where he meets Zhang Cuishan, the only student who cares about academics. Huang Huang’s film is a beautifully poetic paean to the bittersweet pangs of growing up at any age.
Showtimes
June 30
8:30 PM
Hong Kong Panorama
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York

The Attorney
Wong Kwok Fai 2019 Hong Kong 102 minutes
International Premiere
Alex Fong shines as a lawyer who agrees to take the case of a young man accused of killing the daughter of Hong Kong’s richest tycoon and in the process unearths a conspiracy that may not only expose the truth behind the crime but also unravel a web of corruption.
Showtimes
June 29
5:30 PM

The Fatal Raid
Jacky Lee 2019 Hong Kong 96 minutes
North American Premiere
With bad-ass modern women warriors at the forefront, director Jacky Lee effortlessly exudes the hyperbolic stylings of classic Hong Kong action, bringing back the irrepressible "girls with guns" subgenre with full bombastic force.
Showtimes
July 5
8:15 PM

G Affairs
Lee Cheuk Pan 2018 Hong Kong 105 minutes
North American Premiere · Q&A with Lee Cheuk Pan and actress Hanna Chan
An intertwining menagerie of odd souls, including a bad cop and his teenage daughter, their lovers, a cellist, and an autistic man, reflect the darker chasms of Hong Kong society in Lee Cheuk-pan’s bold and shocking debut.
Showtimes
July 9
6:30 PM

Iron Monkey

Yuen Woo-ping 1993 Hong Kong 35mm 90 minutes
Tribute to Master Yuen Woo-ping, with Master Yuen in attendance
Yuen Woo-ping outdid himself with taut direction and revolutionary fight choreography for this classic from the early ’90s “New Wave” of old-school kung-fu films, featuring Donnie Yen as a man who is first mistaken for, then sent to track down and fight, the Robin Hood–style hero known as the Iron Monkey.
Showtimes
July 3
10:00 PM

Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy
Yuen Woo-ping 2018 Hong Kong/China 108 minutes
Q&A with Yuen Woo-ping, who will also receive the Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award
Legendary action director Yuen Woo-Ping’s star-studded addition to the Ip Man universe centers on Cheung Tin Chi (Max Zhang), who after being defeated by Mater Ip tries to make an honest life with his young son in Hong Kong—but it’s not long before a mix of foreigners, money, and triad leaders draw him once again to the fight.
Showtimes
July 1
8:15 PM

The Miracle Fighters
Yuen Woo-ping 1982 Hong Kong 95 minutes
Introduction by Yuen Woo-ping

Kung-fu comedy master Yuen Woo-ping started added fantasy elements to the mix with this absolutely batshit-crazy cult classic. The wild and loose plot involves a Qing dynasty official in conflict with the emperor, resulting in the deaths of both his wife and the prince—and nonstop martial-arts zaniness.
Showtimes
July 2
9:00 PM

Missbehavior
Pang Ho-cheung 2019 Hong Kong 88 minutes
Singular auteur Pang Ho-cheung strikes again with his brilliant combination of uproarious lowbrow gags and insightful humanism, for this freewheeling tale that’s both a wild comedy built around a desperate scavenger hunt for breast milk and a look at the profundity of true friendship
Showtimes
July 4
5:30 PM

See You Tomorrow
Zhang Jiajia 2016 China/Hong Kong 128 minutes
North American Premiere
This unrepentant cinematic celebration of bar culture and the emotional wreckage that goes with it plays like a drunk version of Wong Kar Wai’s classics, but set in his birthplace of Shanghai, instead of Hong Kong. A stunningly bizarre journey that defies meaning, where lost souls never quite find themselves or each other.
Showtimes
July 5
5:30 PM

Japan

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LYING TO MOM

The Fable
Kan Eguchi 2019 Japan 122 minutes
Centerpiece Selection · North American Premiere · Q&A with Kan Eguchi
An unequaled yakuza hit man known as The Fable is ordered to lay low and live a “normal life,” but while undercover is forced into action to protect a woman, in this picture-perfect antihero-comedy manga adaptation.
Showtimes
July 2
6:00 PM

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Complicity
Kei Chikaura 2018 Japan 116 minutes
As a Chinese man working illegally in Japan acclimates to his new life with a new identity, he forms a strong bond with his mentor, while a quiet romance develops with a local woman. However, the threat of deportation always lurks around the corner...
Showtimes
June 29
1:00 PM

Dare to Stop Us
Kazuya Shiraishi 2018 Japan 118 minutes
Kazuya Shiraishi, who cut his teeth making exploitation pictures at Wakamatsu Productions, has now directed this rambunctious, fact-based account of one young dreamer who joins Wakamatsu in 1969 to make pinku eiga, struggling to fit into the testosterone-heavy “family” and find her own voice.
Showtimes
July 4
3:00 PM

The Gun

Take Masaharu 2018 Japan 97 minutes
North American Premiere
Adapted from a prizewinning novel, this noir-tinged tale stars Nijiro Murakami as an aimless college student who stumbles upon the aftermath of a murder scene one night, and without thinking, grabs the titular weapon and keeps it safely hidden away at home. When a detective turns up at his apartment, a dangerous cat-and-mouse game ensues.
Showtimes
June 30
6:15 PM

Hard-Core

Nobuhiro Yamashita 2018 Japan 124 minutes
North American Premiere
Nobuhiro Yamashita’s first sci-fi-inflected outing about sad-sack Ukon and his only friend, Ushiyama, a kindhearted oddball, who revive a rusty old robot, is also a mirthful drama about loneliness, male bonding, female lust, and doing the right thing.
Showtimes
June 29
7:30 PM

Jam
SABU 2018 Japan 102 minutes
North American Premiere · Q&A with SABU
Cult director SABU’s latest feature is an absurdist dramedy driven by random chance and fateful encounters, as three disparate characters inch closer to crossing paths.
Showtimes
July 8
6:30 PM

Lying to Mom
Katsumi Nojiri 2018 Japan 133 minutes
North American Premiere · Q&A with Katsumi Nojiri
When a doting mother learns that her son has killed himself, the shock is so great she loses consciousness and her memory of that day. Worried that the truth might prompt a relapse, her husband and daughter lie to her—and the fabrications just keep snowballing... until the family begins imploding with unspoken secrets.
Showtimes
July 10
6:00 PM

Mr. Long
SABU 2017 Japan/Hong Kong/Taiwan 129 minutes
Q&A with SABU
When a job goes wrong in Tokyo, a legendary hit man takes refuge in a rundown neighborhood and is soon putting his knife to use cutting up food rather than people. But the mob is never far behind in this hitting actioner and self-actualization tale that masterfully combines punishing violence with poignant humanity.
Showtimes
July 8
9:15 PM

Samurai Marathon

Bernard Rose 2019 Japan/UK 100 minutes
Opening Night · North American Premiere · Q&A with Bernard Rose and Nana Komatsu
British director Bernard Rose brings 1850s Japanese history to exhilarating life with this lavish jidaigeki, in which a feudal lord prepares his samurai troops for the onslaught of modernization by having them compete in a marathon—which his independent-minded daughter secretly joins in on.
Showtimes
June 28
7:00 PM

Malaysia

Walk with Me
Ryon Lee 2019 Malaysia 91 minutes
North American Premiere
Melding tragic melodrama with startling supernatural and psychological elements, this dynamic Malaysian horror film starts as a story of a bullied young female factory worker and gradually escalates into a feverish nightmare involving an evil boss, an abusive father, a sibling’s mysterious death, creepy dolls, and ghost children.
Showtimes
July 4
10:00 PM
Philippines

MA
Kenneth Lim Dagatan 2018 Philippines 72 minutes
North American Premiere
Two tragic stories of motherhood converge in Kenneth Lim Dagatan’s chilling feature debut, a phantasmagorically macabre tale of loss, sacrifice, and evil.
Showtimes
July 7
9:15 PM

Signal Rock
Chito S. Roño 2018 Philippines 127 minutes
North American Premiere
What starts as a small slice of island life expands into a moving depiction of perseverance as Intoy works to help his sister win custody of her daughter from her abusive husband in a place where the only hope for women is to work in a bar or marry a rich foreigner.
Showtimes
July 7
3:45 PM

South Korea

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MAGGIE

Another Child
Kim Yoon-seok 2019 South Korea 96 minutes
North American Premiere · Q&A with Kim Yoon-seok
In actor extraordinaire Kim Yoon-seok’s riveting directorial debut about family dysfunction, amour fou, and coming-of-age under the oddest of circumstances, a teenage girl discovers that her father is having an affair with a classmate’s mother.
Showtimes
July 11
8:30 PM

Dark Figure of Crime
Kim Tae-gyoon 2018 South Korea 109 minutes
A psychological game of cat and mouse plays out between a purported murderer and an agitated policeman in this fascinating police procedural, inspired by true events, that explores the dark side of human nature.
Showtimes
July 6
9:00 PM

Kokdu: A Story of Guardian Angels
Tae-yong Kim Korean with English Subtitles 90 minutes
U.S. Premiere
The event features live traditional accompaniment performed by a 20-member ensemble from the National Gugak Center, the representative headquarters of Korean traditional performing arts, who will be playing the score for the first time in the US.
Showtimes
June 29
7:00 PM

Money
Park Noo-ri 2018 South Korea 115 minutes
Built around a devious scheme that serves as an indictment of avarice and materialism, the thrilling Money features rising star Ryu Jeon-yeol as a young aspiring stockbroker reaching for the golden ring, only to be shoved off his horse by an unscrupulous sociopath (Yoo Ji-tae, Oldboy).
Showtimes
July 6
6:00 PM

Move the Grave
Jeong Seung-o 2018 South Korea 95 minutes
International Premiere
In this candid critique of modern society as funny as it is cruel, four bickering sisters and one nightmarish problem child take a road trip from hell after learning they have to move their father’s grave due to construction.
Showtimes
July 6
4:00 PM

The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale
Lee Min-jae 2019 South Korea 112 minutes
North American Premiere
When the opportunistic Park family patriarch regains youthful vitality after a zombie bite, the get-rich-quick light bulbs go off. As the plague spreads, the more than eccentric Parks rely on outrageous feats of ingenuity to conquer the undead in hopes of turning a profit in Lee Min-jae’s action-packed and self-referential directorial debut.
Showtimes
July 9
9:15 PM

A Resistance
Joe Min-ho 2019 South Korea 105 minutes
North American Premiere
In 1919, 17-year-old schoolgirl Yu Gwan-sun is thrown in jail. But Yu isn’t just any girl; she’s a fierce, independence fighter and a leading figure of the March 1st Independence Movement. This is the story of her captivity in Seodaemun Prison in Japan-ruled Seoul, where she inspires the female inmates of Prison Cell #8 never to lose hope.
Showtimes
June 30
1:00 PM

Sub-Zero Wind
Kim Yuri 2018 South Korea 110 minutes
North American Premiere
Kim Yuri’s ambitious and incredibly moving feature debut follows two girls’ tumultuous lives from ages 12 to 19: Young-ha, whose father abandons her, and Mi-jin, her cousin and best friend. The two form an inseparable bond as they navigate the challenges of growing up with less-than-reliable adults as their caregivers.
Showtimes
July 6
1:30 PM

Taiwan

Han Dan
Huang Chao-liang 2019 Taiwan 125 minutes
North American Premiere · Q&A with Huang Chao-liang
Set against the tradition where men seek atonement by submitting themselves to ritualized firecracker attacks (as effigies of the deity Han Dan), this eye-opening moral tale about an upstanding young man who commits a reckless act that ends in life-changing tragedy not only reveals unique aspects of Taiwanese culture but its complex psyche as well.
Showtimes
June 30
3:30 PM

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Show
Hsieh Nien Tsu 2019 Taiwan 103 minutes
North American Premiere
The unscrupulous owner of Crazy TV sets out to lower the channel’s ratings; viewership surprisingly grows, but he has something else up his sleeve. And then things get really crazy in this madcap farce, a glorious tribute to the spirit of creativity.
Showtimes
July 4
12:30 PM

The Scoundrels
Hung Tzu-Hsuan 2018 Taiwan 104 minutes
A former basketball star barely getting by working shady part-time jobs falls into a downward spiral of crime, treachery, and violence after he is hijacked and framed for robbery in this taut, action-packed thriller.
Showtimes
July 1
6:00 PM

Vietnam

Song Lang
Leon Le 2018 Vietman 102 minutes
Q&A with Leon Le
In this mesmerizing, beautifully performed musical melodramas set in 1980s Saigon, the paths of a gangster and as singer cross, and they gradually discover they are kindred spirits.
Showtimes
July 7
6:30 PM

Free Talks & Special Events


Masterclass with Yuen Woo-ping
Presented by HBO
Hong Kong action choreographer and director extraordinaire Yuen Woo-ping, perhaps best known to Western audiences for his work on The Matrix; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; and Kill Bill, will discuss his art and career in Asia and America. The recipient of this year’s Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award, he is also the subject of a tribute, with three of his films screening at the festival.
Showtimes
July 7
7:30 PM

The Terror: Infamy
Josef Kubota Wladyka 2019 USA 50 minutes
World Premiere
The haunting second season of the horror-infused anthology centers on a series of bizarre deaths that haunt a Japanese-American community during World War II. Starring Derek Mio, Kiki Sukezane, Shingo Usami, and the renowned George Takei.
Showtimes
July 3
6:00

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©Chris Knipp. Blog: http://chrisknipp.blogspot.com/.


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