Philly Launches

It’s total Asian insanity at the Philadelphia International Film Festival, beginning tomorrow.

I’ve only seen two (highlighted in bold print and illustrated with pictures). Films listed by festival sections. Quotations from the excellent program notes by “Danger After Dark” programmer Travis Crawford.

New Korean Cinema

ROAD
“A quiet, reflective study of aging and distant memories.”

SWEET SIXTIES
Comedy about the “loves and lives of sixty-somethings.”

THIS CHARMING GIRL
Character study from a debut director.

Too Beautiful to Lie - Image courtesy of the Philadelphia International Film FestivalTOO BEAUTIFUL TO LIE
A charming screwball comedy. Recommended.

WOMAN IS THE FUTURE OF MAN
From the director of TURNING GATE and VIRGIN STRIPPED BARE BY HER BACHELORS.

Danger After Dark

ARAHAN (South Korea)
“Adrenaline-pumping contemporary urban martial arts eye-candy.”

CUTIE HONEY (Japan)
“Candy-colored and comedic fantasy-action about a sexy female superhero.”

FLOWER AND SNAKE (Japan)
“An opulent example of Japanese S&M sexploitation at its most politically incorrect.”

IZO (Japan)
Directed by Takeshi Miike. “Radical, indescribably insane.”

KARAOKE TERROR (Japan)
A “savagely satirical Japanese black comedy.”

MAREBITO (Japan)
“Eerie, dreamlike chiller” from the director of the JU-ON films.

OLDBOY (South Korea)
The film that outraged America comes to Philadelphia.

ONE MISSED CALL (Japan)
Takeshi Miike in mainstream thriller mode.

PINK RIBBON (Japan)
“Explicit documentary chronicling the history of the Japanese sex film industry.”

R-POINT (South Korea)
“The year’s big Korean horror hit.”

Spider Forest - Image courtesy of the Philadelphia International Film FestivalSPIDER FOREST (South Korea)
“You may be completely seduced by it, or you may be completely confounded…” Count me in the “completely confounded” camp, but I agree that it’s unlike anything I’ve seen.

SURVIVE STYLE 5+ (Japan)
“Five fantastical tales of crime and mayhem.”

THROW DOWN (Hong Kong)
Johnnie To’s “stylish, slick ode to judo, Akira Kurosawa, and the gorgeous nocturnal streets of Hong Kong.”

International Masters

THE WORLD (China/France/Japan)
“A masterpiece from China’s acclaimed Jia Zhang-ke.”

World Focus

CRYING OUT LOVE, IN THE CENTER OF THE WORLD (Japan)
“The romantic tearjerker melodrama to end them all.”

THE SOUP, ONE MORNING (Japan)
“Extraordinary, multi-festival-award-winning Japanese independent film.”

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