PANG Ho-Cheung

PANG Ho-Cheung
With Hong Kong director PANG Ho-cheung after interviewing him in 2012

Monday, March 30, 2015

GUARDIAN reviewed; free screening tomorrow night in New York City

Korean Cultural Service NY
and
Asia Society NY
co-present
Korean Movie Night New York
Series One: Fathers on Screen
 Guardian / Bo-ho-ja
Written and directed by YOO Won-sang
Starring: KIM Su-hyeon, KO Seo-hee
South Korea, 2013, 90 minutes, DCP
In Korean with English subtitles
When: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 6:30 pm
Where: Asia Society’s Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium
725 Park Avenue, between 70th & 71st Streets, NYC
Free admission. First-come, first-served.
International Premiere

Guardian is an intriguing thriller and marks the feature film debut of YOO Won-sang, who both wrote and directed the film. Tomorrow night's screening at Asia Society NY will mark its International Premiere.

LEE Jeon-mo (KIM Su-hyeon) is a retired firefighter who runs the Vitamin Flower Shop with his wife. They have two children. Their daughter Hee-jung is on the cusp of puberty and already concerned about pimples. Their younger child, Jung-sik, is a boy who loves playing video games, an activity in which his father sometimes joins. All in all they are a contented, happy family.

That is, until one evening when Hee-jung is kidnapped. The LEE family's world is turned upside down as the kidnapper calls Jeon-mo and tells him that he should think on a past sin, as the kidnapping is punishment for something LEE did wrong. The abductor demands a rather low ransom, but keeps Jeon-mo moving from one rendezvous point to another, then makes an outrageous demand for the safe return of Hee-jung.


Father, mother, and son each become increasingly unraveled and distraught as the situation becomes more and more bizarre and Hee-jung remains a captive. The denouement is a surprising reveal, although one eventually realizes that YOO has provided some hints along the way.

Guardian was YOO's graduation project at the Korean Academy of Film Arts, and it's a most auspicious beginning for what promises to be a rich career. It's well-paced overall and nicely structured, with good performances by the cast of four adults and three children.

AsianCineFest Rating: 3 out of 4 stars; solidly recommended.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Three events at Japan Society NY today, Saturday, March 28th

Japan Society NY's Globus Film Series The Most Beautiful: The War Films of Shirley Yamaguchi & Setsuko Hara continues today with three events. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Streeet, NYC. Map here.)

An Actress with a Thousand Names: A Lecture by Inuhiko Yomota
Saturday, March 28, 3 PM 

Shirley Yamaguchi, who went by many names in her long, accomplished lifetime, remains one of the most enigmatic figures in Japanese film history. Her multi-faceted legacy will be explored through a lecture and Q&A session by film historian and scholar Inuhiko Yomota.

More information

Bell of Sayon / Sayon no kane
Saturday, March 28, 4:30 PM

In yet another racial transfiguration, Shirley Yamaguchi (Ri Koran) plays an aboriginal Taiwanese woman with fervent patriotic devotion (to Japan) named Sayun Hayun in this adaptation of a hit propaganda song, based on a true story.

Tickets

Toward the Decisive Battle in the Sky /Kessen no Oozora e
Saturday, March 28, 7 PM

This Navy-sponsored film describes the challenging training of young boys in the Yokaren, a program feeding new pilots into the Army and Navy. Setsuko Hara plays the daughter of a family that often entertains recruits on their days off – a surrogate sister to many trainees.

Tickets

Manga author Aya Kanno to be featured guest at TCAF 2015

REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING:
© 2014 AYA KANNO / AKITASHOTEN

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) has announced that international manga superstar Aya Kanno will attend the 2015 Festival as a Featured Guest! Aya Kanno is the author of the Blank Slate, the New York Times bestselling series Otomen, and the newly-released Requiem of the Rose King, all published in English by VIZ Media. Kanno will participate in a variety of programs at the Festival including a feature interview, panel discussion, and book signing sessions. Aya Kanno will attend TCAF 2015 with her editor Yuri Yamamoto of Akita Shoten, and with the support of VIZ Media.

“We’re so happy to be able to welcome Aya Kanno to North America for the first time,” enthused Festival Director Christopher Butcher. “To my mind Kanno’s work really reinforces what TCAF is all about: unique, diverse voices and great comics! Shoujo manga, or ‘girls’ manga, doesn’t really get the respect it deserves in general, and Kanno’s work is specifically great, smartly interrogating the medium and its approach to gender, sexuality, and storytelling.”

Otomen © Aya Kanno 2006/HAKUSENSHA, Inc.

Aya Kanno’s best-known work in North America is the romantic comedy series Otomen, which ran for 18 volumes, frequently appearing on the New York Times bestseller list. The romantic comedy series explores a wide variety of characters that rebel against traditional gender roles in Japanese society, starting with the titular character who is an Otomen (“otome,” Japanese for young girl, combined with the English word “men”). Kanno’s newest work is the just-released Requiem of the Rose King, a dark fantasy retelling of Shakespeare’s Richard III and Henry VI, which continues the manga creator’s exploration of gender, sexuality, and identity, but this time in the context of historical and literary fiction.

Aya Kanno will join a very diverse array of Japanese manga creators already announced for TCAF 2015, including the cartooning duo Gurihiru (Avatar: The Last Airbender), gay manga originator Gengoroh Tagame (The Passion of…), and indy manga creator Ken Niimura (Henshin, I Kill Giants).

A full schedule of Aya Kanno’s appearances at TCAF 2015 will be announced in April, 2015.

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2015 will take place at the Toronto Refernce Library at 789 Yonge Street on Saturday May 9 , 9am-5pm and Sunday May 10, 11am-5pm. Attendance is free.

TCAF 2015 is presented by the Toronto Public Library & The Beguiling.

For further information go to the TCAF 2015 website.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Free screening of GUARDIAN next Tuesday at Asia Society NY

Korean Cultural Service NY
and
Asia Society NY
co-present
Korean Movie Night New York
Series One: Fathers on Screen
Guardian / Bo-ho-ja
Directed by YOO Won-sang
Starring: KIM Su-hyeon, KO Seo-hee
South Korea, 2013, 90 minutes, DCP
In Korean with English subtitles
When: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 6:30 pm
Where: Asia Society’s Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium
725 Park Avenue, between 70th & 71st Streets, NYC
Free admission. First-come, first-served.
International Premiere 


In his first feature film, and also graduation project at the Korean Academy of Film Arts, director YOO Won-sang delivers an interesting take on the thriller genre. A former firefighter, Jeon-mo (KIM Su-hyeon), runs a flower shop and lives happily with his wife and two children. His world is turned upside down after his young daughter gets kidnapped, and he starts receiving instructions to follow from the abductor. One of the instructions is for Jeon-mo to kidnap another child, and then trade him for his daughter. The moral ripple effects of resulting actions will drive the narrative to a dramatic, unexpected conclusion.

Deluxe omnibus edition of Junji Ito's horror manga GYO coming April 21

GYO © 2002 Junji ITO/SHOGAKUKAN
 VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF
DELUXE OMNIBUS EDITION OF
JUNJI ITO’S HORROR SERIES GYO

Death From The Sea Ravages Japan In The Definitive New
Hardcover Edition Of Horror Master’s Celebrated Manga

VIZ Media has announced a lavish new edition of one of the manga (graphic novel) genre’s most seminal horror titles with the publication of the GYO Deluxe Edition on April 21st.

This hardcover version of Junji Ito’s story of an invasion of the Japanese island of Okinawa by mutated sea creatures is presented in a definitive 400 page, 2-in-1 edition that features a new cover design and full-color endpapers. The GYO Deluxe Edition will be published under the VIZ Signature imprint, is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens, and will carry an MSRP of $22.99 U.S. / $26.99 CAN

 In GYO, the floating smell of death hangs over an island. What is it? A strange, legged fish appears on the scene... So begins Tadashi and Kaori's spiral into the horror and stench of the sea. Here is the creepiest masterpiece of horror manga ever from the creator of UZUMAKI, Junji Ito. Hold your breath until all is revealed.

“GYO is a truly unsettling work of horror, and this new Deluxe Edition presents the definitive version of the story in a handsome format,” says Masumi Washington, Senior Editorial Director. “Ito’s art will transform your mind, and like the sea life and human characters in GYO, you will never be the same again.”

Manga creator Junji Ito made his professional debut in 1987 and has gone on to be recognized as one of the greatest contemporary artists working in the horror genre. His critically acclaimed titles include TOMIE and UZUMAKI, which were adapted into critically praised live-action films, while GYO has been adapted into an animated feature film. The UZUMAKI and GYO manga editions are both published in English by VIZ Media in deluxe hardcover editions available under the VIZ Signature imprint. VIZ Media is set to publish Ito’s FRAGMENTS OF HORROR in the Summer of 2015. Junji Ito’s influences include classic horror manga artists Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino, as well as authors Yasutaka Tsutsui and H.P. Lovecraft.

For more information on GYO or other Junji Ito manga titles published by VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.