With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

ACF 040: NYAFF 2007

Paul Kazee (left) and Grady Hendrix, two of the founders of Subway Cinema, in front of Japan Society

Big time thanks are due to Paul, Grady, the other members of Subway Cinema, and everyone who came out to make this year's NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL so incredibly fantastic.

I felt that one reason for the unprecedented success of this year's festival was having the IFC Center (formerly the venerable Waverly Theater) in Greenwich Village as the main venue. It's extremely convenient no matter which side of the city you're coming from, and its proximity to New York University no doubt helped draw the big - and appreciative - crowds. I'm certainly hoping that next year's festival will return there.

Secondly, it was mutually beneficial that the NYAFF 2007 and Japan Society (as part of its JAPAN CUTS film series) co-presented a number of films. Hopefully it made some people who tend to patronize only one organization aware of and appreciative of the other. Some Asian cinematic cross-fertilization, if you will.

Here, in quotes and green text color, are some paraphrased items about the festival from Subway Cinema News July 13 - 20, 2007:

"The shows were sold-out, the audiences were rowdy, there were surprises a-plenty. Who woulda thought that Pakistan's Hell's Ground would be sold out with a waiting list of close to 40 people? It was beautiful chaos that night!"

Hell's Ground

"Each year the audience votes the Subway Cinema Audience Award. Winning films in the past have included, Ping Pong, The Taste Of Tea, and Please Teach Me English. This year, the winner was:

Over half the audience gave it a "10" on a scale of 1-10, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house!"

"Second place went to the amazingly fun HULA GIRLS [See ACF 023 and ACF 035 for my thoughts on this great film - Dr G]. People came out of the NYAFF screening of this movie thanking the Subway Cinema crew for showing it, and it's no surprise that it swept the Japanese Academy Awards. Critics have treated it sniffily because it's not cold and ironic, but audiences know the score."

"Third place went to Johnnie To's EXILED (which Magnolia has plans for later this summer), and then came the two Death Note movies (Death Note and Death Note: The Last Name) which landed in the 4th and 5th places."

Yours truly got to see about fourteen films, and there were many more that I wish I could have gotten to. My day job and the heat and humidity of summer in New York have kept me from posting reviews as often as I would have liked, but I'll be getting more up as best I can.

Meanwhile, don't forget about the upcoming New York Korean Film Festival. See ACF 039.

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