With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Imamura's THE BALLAD OF NARAYAMA coming to Japan Society NY next Friday, February 8th, 2019

Japan Society NY
Presents
The Ballad of Narayama © 1983 Imamura Production/Toei Co., Ltd
The Ballad of Narayama / Narayama bushikô
Directed by Shôhei Imamura
With With Ken Ogata, Sumiko Sakamoto,
Tonpei Hidari, and Takejo Aki
Japan, 1983, 131 minutes
DCP, color, in Japanese with English subtitles

When: Friday, February 8th at 7:00 PM
Where: Japan Society NY
333 East 47th Street, NYC
Tickets: $14/$11 seniors & students/$5 members

Shohei Imamura's Palme d'Or-winning masterpiece is set in a remote mountain village in 19th-century Japan wherein tradition dictates that those who reach the age of 70 must be carried to the top of Mount Narayama and left to die. Despite her hardscrabble surroundings, Orin (Sumiko Sakamoto) is still sprightly at 69, working the fields and managing her family's affairs. Even so, when winter returns to the valley, she demands that her eldest son (Ken Ogata) carry out her fate. A film full of mud, lust, sweat and death, Narayama is a grand culmination of Imamura's career-long interest in "the lower part of the human body and lower part of the social structure," presented in a brand-new 4K restoration.

Friday, February 01, 2019

South Korean zombie horror film RAMPANT to debut on February 26th

Well Go USA
Presents
Rampant / Chang-gwol
Directed by Kim Sung-Hoon
South Korea, 2018, 127 minutes

From the creators of Train to Busan, comes a fresh new take on the zombie-horror genre when Rampant debuts on digital, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD February 26th from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Set in ancient Korea, the story follows Prince Ganglim, who after returning from a long imprisonment, discovers a bloody rampage spreading across the nation by murderous creatures known as Night Demons. He soon realizes that it will take the strength of his fellow countrymen to stop the Night Demons from overrunning the kingdom. Rampant was directed by Kim Sung-Hoon (Confidential Assignment) and stars Hyun-Bin (The Swinders), Jang Dong-Gun (The Warriors Way), Jo Woo-Jin (Inside Men), Man-Sik (Man of Will) and Kim Eui-Sung (Train to Busan). Bonus features include making-of and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Synopsis:
A darkness looms over ancient Korea: murderous creatures known as Night Demons have overrun the country. Returning from a long imprisonment abroad, Prince Ganglim discovers that it will take the strength of his entire kingdom to stop the bloody rampage spreading across the nation in this fresh new take on zombie horror from the studios that brought you Train to Busan.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

SHAW BROTHERS’ KUNG FU MOVIE MARATHON to stream exclusively on TWITCH

GAMMARAY AND CELESTIAL PICTURES TO STREAM
SHAW BROTHERS’ KUNG FU MOVIE MARATHON
EXCLUSIVELY ON TWITCH

44 Full-Length Classic Kung Fu Features Make Their
Twitch Debut to Global Interactive Audience

GammaRay and Celestial Pictures have announced they will stream a Shaw Brothers movie marathon on Twitch (twitch.tv/gammaray_tv) from February 4th to February 8th, 2019. The marathon will include 44 full-length features from the Shaw Brothers’ extensive library of kung fu titles, including iconic films such as King Boxer, Crippled Avengers, and Five Deadly Venoms. This viewing event will be streamed globally and exclusively on Twitch, the leading service and community for multiplayer entertainment, and marks the first time Twitch has featured kung fu films.

After the marathon airs from February 4-8, there will be double feature movie nights on Thursdays and Fridays at 5:00 pm PT for four weeks. The marathon is also the first time GammaRay has hosted full-length features on Twitch.

“We’re excited to introduce cult classic movies from the 70s and 80s to our fans on Twitch for the first time,” said GammaRay COO Do Duong. “Kung fu has influenced filmmaking, hip hop music, and pop culture, so we’re thankful to Celestial Pictures for access to their Shaw Brothers action titles, and to Twitch for using their service to introduce a larger audience to the kung fu phenomenon.”

"The Twitch community has lots of interests, with martial arts and film-based marathons among them," said Jane Weedon, Director of Business Development at Twitch. "We've seen it in the games they play, their cosplay outfits, and the programming they watch, with the Shaw Brothers' kung fu films being the perfect pop culture combo of these fandoms. Thanks to GammaRay, we get to livestream over 40 of the Shaw Brothers' seminal movies with an interactive global audience."

Celestial Pictures is the owner of the Shaw Brothers library of over 760 digitally remastered classics. The custodian of the Shaw Brothers legacy, Celestial Pictures continues to keep the love for peak kung fu cinema alive by presenting it to loyal enthusiasts and new-found audiences across the globe.

“We’re thrilled to bring the quintessential Shaw Brothers films to a new generation of fans through this collaboration with GammaRay,” said Agnes Cheung, Executive Vice President of Celestial Pictures. “Interactive streaming will open up a new horizon for the passionate fandom of kung fu cinema. The marathon will allow the audience to be immersed without interruption in the everlasting Shaw Brothers magic.”

44 titles will be featured during the Twitch livestream including the following kung fu classics:

King Boxer (1972): A student (Lieh Lo) of kung fu meets resistance on his way to a major Chinese tournament.

Crippled Avengers (1978): After the death of his wife, warlord Dao Tian-du (Kuan Tai Chen) turns evil and holds a town in thrall to his reign of fear with the help of his sadistic son. Four of the villain's victims -- a blind man, an amputee, a deaf-mute, and an insane fighter -- seek the help of a wise kung fu master as they train to eliminate the tyrant for good.

Five Deadly Venoms (1978): A dying master sends his last student to check up on five former pupils, who each know a special style of kung fu.

Twitch streamers will also be able to co-stream the marathon. Co-streaming is a feature unique to Twitch which allows a streamer to share another channel’s video feed, but with their own commentary and community. The result is a more personalized, social experience.

For more information including the full marathon schedule and movie times, visit GammaRay’s Twitch channel page and follow them on Twitter.

Monday, January 28, 2019

ICEMAN: THE TIME TRAVELER debuts on February 19th, 2019

Well Go USA
Presents
Iceman: The Time Traveler / Bing feng: Yong heng zhi men
Directed by Raymond Yip
Hong Kong/China, 2018, 88 minutes

Iconic action star Donnie Yen (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, IP Man franchise) gets defrosted for the sequel to the fantasy-adventure Iceman when Iceman: The Time Traveler debuts on digital, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD February 19 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Iceman: The Time Traveler tells the story of warriors from imperial China who after being buried alive and kept frozen in time for 400 years, are defrosted and must continue the battle they left behind. Directed by Raymond Yip (Bruce Lee My Brother) Iceman: The Time Traveler features a returning cast including Baoqiang Wang (Kung Fu Jungle), Shengyi Huang (Kung Fu Hustle), Kang Yu (Ip Man 3) and Simon Yam (Operation Red Sea) with the legendary Yasuaki Kurata (God of War) joining the sequel.

Synopsis:
During the Ming Dynasty, a palace guard, Ying (Donnie Yen), is buried and frozen in time by an avalanche during a fierce battle. Brought back to life in the present day, Ying embarks on a quest for the only thing that can correct the wrongs of history – The Golden Wheel of Time. Ying sets out on his dangerous journey, never knowing every step he takes is leading him closer to a deadly trap.

Friday, January 25, 2019

LEE Chang-dong's BURNING coming to digital on January 29th, Blu-ray Combo and DVD on March 5th

Well Go USA
Presents
Burning / Beoning
Directed by Lee Chang-dong
Starring Steven Yeun
South Korea, 2018, 148 minutes

One of the year’s most acclaimed films and South Korea’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2019 Academy Awards®, Burning debuts on digital January 29 and on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD March 5 from Well Go USA Entertainment. (Burning was the first Korean film to make it to the Foreign Language Film shortlist, although it sadly did not make the final cut of five contenders.)

Based on the short story "Barn Burning" by Haruki Murakami, Burning is a psychological tale of all-consuming jealousy that tells the story of three individuals and a mystery that shows no one is truly as they seem. The film is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with an impressive score of 95% and an average score of 8.7 from over 100 outlets. A special bonus is the behind-the-scenes featurette “About the Characters” where viewers will take a deep dive into the characters in Burning and the actors who portray them.

The film stars Steven Yeun (Okja, “The Walking Dead”), Ah-in Yoo (“Six Flying Dragons”) and Jong-seo Jun, making her big screen debut.

Synopsis:
Burning is the searing examination of an alienated young man, Jongsu (Ah-in Yoo), a frustrated introvert whose already difficult life is complicated by the appearance of two people into his orbit: first, Haemi (newcomer Jong-seo Jun), a spirited woman who offers romantic possibilities, and Ben (Steven Yeun, “The Walking Dead,” Sorry To Bother You), a wealthy and sophisticated young man who returns with her from a recent trip. When Jongsu learns of Ben’s mysterious hobby and Haemi suddenly disappears, his confusion and obsessions begin to mount, culminating in a stunning finale.

Addendum, January 31, 2019 - Burning, like each of LEE's previous films, has received several award wins and nominations. It received the Best Foreign Language Film Award from the French Union of Film Critics earlier this month. Info here.