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GreenCine Movie Talk
From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.

Second Asian FF in the First City, Nov. 8-18
Topic by: JGereben
Posted: November 4, 2007 - 11:51 AM PST
Last Reply: November 5, 2007 - 7:35 AM PST

author topic: Second Asian FF in the First City, Nov. 8-18
post #1  on November 4, 2007 - 11:51 AM PST  
More Asian Cinema by the Golden Gate

In addition to this year's 25th annual Asian American International Film Festival, The City is about to have another major film fest - the commingling of the 10th annual San Francisco Asian Film Festival and the fifth San Francisco Korean American Film Festival. Running Nov. 8-18 in the 4-Star, Castro, and San Francisco State's August Coppola theaters, "Extraordinary Cinema from Asia" will present seven classic works and 33 recent films. Besides Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Thailand are represented.

Started a decade ago in his own 4-Star Theater by Frank Lee, the festival kept growing, until this year's presentation of a wide variety of genres and topics - thriller to musical, historical epics to bold love stories. Lee is programmer for SFAFF, Adam Hartzell for the Korean festival.

The gala opening event, in the Castro, on Nov. 8, will feature the U.S. premiere of a current super-hit in Japan, Shinichiro Sawai's "Genghis Khan: to the Ends of Earth and Sea," a Mongolian co-production about that nation's best-known historical figure, the story beginning in 1162, the year of the birth of Temujin, the future Genghis Khan.

The closing-day marathon lineup, on Nov. 18, in the Castro, will feature "The Banquet," a historical Chinese adaptation of "Hamlet" (with a touch of "Macbeth"), featuring Ziyi Zhang [see below]; Benny Chan's Hong Kong action film "Invisible Target"; Quanan Wang's just-released "Tuya's Marriage," set in Mongolia, and the winner of a Berlin Film Festival award; U.S. premieres of Wilson Yip's "Flash Point"; and Wai-keung Lau's crime drama "Confession of Pain."

"Grain in the Ear" and "Perhaps Love" are repeated from previous local festivals. From Thailand come two new horror movies: Pakphum Wonjinda's "Video Clip" and Piraphan Laoyont's "Sick Nurses."

Leave the children at home for Kim Ki-young's "Iodo," a 30-year-old film that still carries the warning: "For mature audience only," and Tajiri Yuji's 2005 "The Strange Saga of Hiroshi the Freeloading Sex Machine" (in which fighting crickets have a leading role).

Xiaogang Feng's 2006 "Banquet", with Ziyi (world's busiest actress), is visually superior to Zhang Yimou's "Hero" - which is just about the highest praise I can think of in the wushu genre.

From the time of the Ten Kingdoms, it's a retelling of "Hamlet," but Ziyi's empress is more of a Lady Macbeth... with a very soft spot in her callous heart for the young prince. "Banquet" is *not* scheduled for US release ("Hero" took three years to get here) so Hong Kong DVD sources (such as are your best bet.
post #2  on November 4, 2007 - 3:23 PM PST  
A plethora of great releases. I've got to make some bumps in my schedule so I can attend this :)
post #3  on November 5, 2007 - 7:35 AM PST  
This indeed sounds fab. Thanks for the tip. I'm going to try to go to a couple.

PS: We have too many Batmans on the forums! ;-)

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