NYAFF 2007 Round 1

Saw these three so far at the fest. And two come highly recommended…

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So far the festival has been great. It’s really nice to be able to see these films projected in 35mm.

Death Note

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A lot of fun. A lot. I think many of you would enjoy
this… especially Cybergosh. I’m excited about catching the sequel
which is also playing here at the fest. Based on a very popular
manga… the film co-stars a CGI God of Death who is reminiscent
of a Tim Burton character… very cartoonish…but totally appropriate
being that it stems from a manga. You guys will like this one.

Light, a college student studying law, finds a notebook that kills the
person who’s name you write in it. He begins using the notebook to
kill off criminals, taking the law in to his own hands while the
God of Death, looks on. Nobody knows his identity yet he becomes
known to the public as Kira, the vigilante praised by some, condemned
by others. A mastermind detective known as “L”, helps the authorities
take down Kira. It becomes an interesting battle of the wits thriller/fantasy/horror flic.

Shot on HD but you wouldn’t know unless you’re looking hard for it.

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I’m a Cyborg but That’s OK

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I was very excited to see this film.  Park Chan-wook directed two of
the greatest films of the  decade… “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” and
“Oldboy.”  I actually went to the screening the other day and had to
stand for the 109 minutes because IFC over-sold the show.  But I
didn’t mind… could have seen this film on DVD but knowing Park’s
visual style, had to see it projected.

That being said, I was a little disappointed.  The film definitely does
not live up to his others..however it’s still 10 times better than
most films out there.

The plot is about a teenage girl who believes she is a cyborg and is
checked in to a mental ward.  Comedy and drama ensues.  Cyborg’s lead is
Su-jeong Lim (Tale of Two Sisters)…she’s 27 but looks 17.  Great
look…great actor. Rain, the Korean pop star, co-stars as the love
interest and is EXCELLENT!!!  If only American pop-stars had the same
talent.

The effects are excellent and like “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” has
moments that are truly moving and perfectly realized.  Anti-climactic
ending unfortunately that I’m still trying to figure out so when
someone sees it, please let me know what you think.  Altogether
though… better than “JSA”, better than “Lady Vengeance” but not close to
“Old Boy” or “Mr. Vengeance.” I have to recommend it though.
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MISE-EN-SCENE’s GENRE FILM FESTIVAL SHORT FILM THROWDOWN!

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I was curious… 6 of the most important and talented Korean
filmmakers working today recommended these 6 shorts. Bong Joon-Ho
(The Host), Kim Ji-Woon (A Bittersweet Life), Ryu Seung-Wan (The City
of Violence), Jang Joon-Hwan (Save the Green Planet), E J-Yong (Dasepo
Naughty Girls), and Park Chan-Wook (I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK).
Unfortuanatly it played like a bad student film festival. Boring and
full of gratuitous violence. Some nice twists but really not worth
spending anymore time on this than I already did. The last film
however, recommended by Park, “A Freaking Family”, is worth seeking
out though. In this short, missiles are flying toward South Korea.
In the 30 minutes till doomsday, an already disfunctional family
completely falls apart. Very funny.

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