NYAFF 2010: the Japanese line-up

Posted: under New York Asian Film Festival.

This year’s Japanese line-up is stuffed with more guests than Hostess cup cakes are stuffed with delicious chocolaty flavor!



We’re at Lincoln Center from June 25 – July 8, presenting the festival with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, but from July 1 – 4 we’ll simultaneously be at Japan Society, co-presenting a bunch of Japanese titles that are also part of their festival, Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film. But don’t worry, we promise it won’t be confusing at all.


Japanese Movies Ahoy!



8000 MILES (2009, North American Premiere) – a funnier version of Eminem’s 8 MILE about rappers dying on the vine in the boring suburbs. This was Japan’s surprise sleeper hit of 2009. (watch the trailer)
Director Yu Irie will be at the screenings.


8000 MILES 2: GIRL RAPPERS (2010, North American Premiere) – the same premise (rappers in the sticks, dreaming of Tokyo) only this time they’re all women, and the result is a movie that’s not quite as laugh-out-loud funny as 8000 MILES, but it hits harder. By the time Ayumu is clenching her fists and spitting out rhyme in the finale’ you’ll either be crying your eyes out, or you’re a robot. (watch the trailer)
Director Yu Irie will be at the screening.


ALIEN VS NINJA (2010, World Premiere) – the first movie from Nikkatsu’s Sushi Typhoon label, it’s about an alien that comes to Earth to hunt humans. It is unstoppable. Unkillable. Insatiable. But it made one mistake: it forgot to make itself ninja–proof.
Lead actor Masanori Mimoto will be at the Japan Society screening. (watch the trailer)
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film


ANNYONG YUMIKA (2009, North American Premiere) – part documentary, part personal odyssey, part porn movie, this flick’s about the late, legendary adult film actress Yumika Hayashi’s career in Korea. Far stranger and more moving than it has any right to be, but that’s to be expected from director Matsue, who also made LIVE TAPE. (watch the trailer)
Director Tetsuaki Matsue will be at the screenings.



THE BLOOD OF REBIRTH (2009, New York Premiere) – director Toshiaki Toyoda (BLUE SPRING, HANGING GARDEN) makes a triumphant return to filmmaking with this trippy revenge saga that sticks its throbbing soundtrack deep inside your ears, while its shimmering visuals fry your eyes. (watch the trailer)
Director Toshiaki Toyoda will be at the screenings.
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film


BOYS ON THE RUN (2010, North American Premiere) – a movie that will warm the heart of the serial mastrubator inside everyone, this sex comedy starts with the borrowing of a bestiality DVD and ends with a Travis Bickle-style fist fight and in between it’s humiliating and hilarious in equal measures. (watch the trailer)
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film



CONFESSIONS (2010, US Premiere) – Tetsuya Nakashima (MEMORIES OF MATSUKO, KAMIKAZE GIRLS) returns to the NYAFF with his brand new movie about a school teacher who is convinced that her daughter was murdered by two of her seventh-grade students. (watch the trailer)
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film


DEAR DOCTOR (2009, New York Premiere) – Miwa Nishikawa’s (SWAY) deceptively simple movie about a small town doctor who is both more and less than he appears, won every major Japanese film award (21 of them and counting) and it’s one of the smartest, and most twisted movies in our line-up. (watch the trailer)
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film



DOMAN SEMAN (2010, World Premiere) – Go Shibata (LATE BLOOMER) has made a rocking thrash anthem about pretty boys bashing the homeless, occult conspiracies, mental emissions, magic mushrooms and massive zombie attacks. It’ll kick down your doors of perception like a psychedelic SWAT team. Imagine a Richard Lester movie, reconfigured as a magikal ritual to stave off the apocalypse. (A version of this movie already screened one time in Japan, but this will be the world premiere of a brand new cut of the film)
(watch the trailer)
Director Go Shibata will be at the screenings.



GOLDEN SLUMBER (2009, New York Premiere) – Yoshihiro Nakamura, the director of last year’s festival favorite, FISH STORY, returns with this twisty riff on NORTH BY NORTHWEST that takes Hitchcock’s “wrong man” movies and makes them bigger, deeper and more. It’s a conspiracy thriller about a simple delivery man who’s framed for the assassination of the Prime Minister, and the only way to save him lies with a counter-conspiracy that seems to stretch all the way back to his college days. (watch the trailer)
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film


LIVE TAPE (2010, North American Premiere) – on New Year’s Day, 2009, director Tetsuaki Matsue (ANNYONG YUMIKA) and singer/songwriter Kenta Maeno made this amazing concert film: a single 74 minute shot of Kenta performing in the streets of Tokyo before joining up with his band to give a down and dirty concert in a park. More than the sum of its parts, it is raw and liberating, a small, lo-fi miracle. (watch the trailer)
Director Matsue Tetsuaki will be present.
Singer/songwriter Kenta Maeno and his drummer POP Suzuki will perform live after each screening.



MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD (2010, International Premiere) – at last year’s NYAFF, directors Tak Sakaguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura and Noboru Iguchi got drunk and vowed to make a movie together. Now they have, and their twisted take on the X-Men is here to upset pretty much everyone. (watch the trailer)
Directors Yoshihiro Nishimura and Noboru Iguchi will be at the screenings.
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film



SAWAKO DECIDES (2010, New York Premiere) – Sawako (Hikari Mitsushima, LOVE EXPOSURE) is on her fifth job, her fifth boyfriend and her fifth year in Tokyo. But it’s not until she returns to her family’s freshwater clam-packing plant that she learns it’s okay to be a loser. A rousing anthem to mediocrity, it’s a chick flick on acid that trades SEX & THE CITY vapidity for deadpan hilarity.  Musical numbers, horrible toys and the world’s worst boyfriend (he knits and is committed to a green lifestyle) all come together to teach you that you should always save a seat on the bus for the watermelon of hope. (watch the trailer)
Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film



SYMBOL (2009, New York Premiere) – Japan’s #1 comedian, Hitoshi Matsumoto (director and star of DAI NIPPONJIN, aka BIG MAN JAPAN) directs and stars in this flick that’s the 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY of J-quirk cinema. The only movie you’ll see this year that features President Obama, Mexican wrestlers and five million angel penises. (marvel at the trailer)



YATTERMAN (2009) – Takashi Miike’s biggest box office hit of all time, this slyly hilarious send-up of kiddie show, Yatterman, is like a self-aware, satirical update of “Scooby-Doo” only with giant robots, leather-bondage-clad femme fatales and a pile of all the schoolgirls in Japan. Hilariously stupid, but insanely smart, it’s exactly the giant robot movie you thought Miike would make. We hosted the world premiere of it last year, but we wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to see this on the big screen, where it belongs. (watch the trailer)


Tomorrow….we’ll reveal our Korean, Thai and Indonesian line-ups!



  1. Paul Says:

    Nice work, fellas!

  2. gaminette Says:

    I have to be in France for week on the exact dates of the NYAFF and will miss everything. This line-up is amazing – and proof that god hates me. *cries*

  3. Earl Says:

    Great Choices! Alien Vs Ninja looks like a lot of fun

  4. grady Says:

    Saying that Alien vs. Ninja is fun is like saying that Mad Dog will get you drunk. It’s fun, but in a dirty, sordid slightly stained way that makes you feel like a hobo.
    Dirty Hobo Fun = DiFubo?

    And, Gaminette, we run for about two weeks. Will you really be in France the entire time?

  5. gaminette Says:

    Grady – Yep. I’ll be in France from June 24-July 8 (just noticed the typo – oops) I’m really crushed that I’ll miss Yatterman!!! I love Miike and Yman was playing in theaters in when I was in Tokyo last year, but my Japanese isn’t good enough to watch it sans subtitles. If you need me, I’ll be over there, consoling myself with some Mad Dog in a paper cup.

  6. REAL6 Says:

    Does anyone know what movie Asami will be at?

  7. Chiba Says:

    Yatterman!!! Thankyouthankyouthankyoutakashimiikerules!

  8. Frank Sanders Says:

    Ive never been to any film festival. I have been getting into Asian films alot lately and have spent hundreds at Yesasia. My favorites are Phobia 1&2, Hard Revenge Milly, Tokyo Gore Police, Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein girl……. And many others.

    I would love to see mutant girls squad in the theater but this blog isnt very helpful. When is it playing? What day? How do i get tickets?

  9. grady Says:

    Hey Frank,

    Oddly enough – almost every single movie you named (except PHOBIA 1 & 2) have played or premiered at our festival, so you came to the right place.

    Tickets go on sale June 10 and we’re going to release the schedule early next week – hopefully by June 7. There’s been some shuffling so we want to make sure it’s locked before releasing it.

  10. Joseph Says:

    Tokyo Gore Night was a riot last year. I’ll definitely be hitting up Mutant Girls Squad. Actually, I’ll have to hit up quite a few of these flicks.

  11. Frank Sanders Says:

    Thanks for the reply i have a few more questions that are giving me a panic attack..

    1. When you buy tickets do you buy just for the movie or for the movie and for the festival?

    2. What is the average range for a ticket to a movie.. am i looking at 10-15 bucks or 50-100? I really have no clue.

    3. Is it hard to get tickets? Ill buy first day but im worried it will be like ticketmaster where they sell out in 2 minutes.. :)

    4. It may be a stupid question but would Yoshihiro Nishimura sign dvd covers or take pictures? If so do you line up or just try to catch him??? LOL. His movies are amazing.

    On a side note I watched ICHI yesterday and it blew me away.

  12. Frank Sanders Says:

    OOppps one more question.

    As im not good at judging movies by their titles or countries (I do have an affinity for Thailand), could you recommend some supernatural horror that will be playing at the festival?

    Sorry to be a bother. Its just that stumbling upon your festival was like finding out there’s such a thing as Christmas but you only have a few weeks before it hits.


  13. grady Says:

    Hi Frank,

    You buy a ticket to each individual film. Some shows do sell out quickly so if there’s something you definitely want to see I recommend buying tickets in advance. They’ll go on sale June 10 and you can buy advance tickets at the box offices or online.

    Here’s all the pricing:
    Walter Reade Tickets:
    Single Screening Tickets:
    $12 general public
    $8 students & seniors
    $7 Film Society members

    Weekday Matinee Screenings @ WR
    (Mon-Fri shows starting before 6pm)
    $9 general public
    $6 students & seniors
    $5 Film Society members

    Subway Ten Pack @ WR
    (admits one person to any ten films screening at the Walter Reade as part of the NYAFF, certain restrictions apply)
    $99 general public
    $69 students & seniors
    $59 Film Society members

    Japan Society Tickets:
    $11 general public
    $7 Japan Society members, students & seniors

    IFC Center Tickets
    $12.50 general public
    $7.50 IFC members

    As for horror – we’re really not showing any this year. Most of our horror movies are monster flicks like CHAW and DEATH KAPPA. The closest thing to supernatural horror we have is DOMAN SEMAN but that’s more of a weird occult freak show than a horror flick.

    Hope that helps!

  14. Frank Sanders Says:

    Thats does help. ALOT. thanks.

    Any word on if Yoshihiro Nishimura will sign or take pics?

  15. grady Says:

    We’re not doing any special signing sessions, but all of our guests are pretty relaxed. If you approach one of them after a screening or when they’re not busy and are polite and non-pushy I’m sure they’ll sign something or take a picture with you.

  16. Frank Sanders Says:

    Thanks.. Im so looking forward to this.

  17. Steven Says:

    I can’t wait to see IP Man. Is it in Cantonese, Mandarin or English?

  18. Eric Says:

    I heard about this from my Japanese friend, it’s been out for awhile now but I still want to see it. I’m into foreign films a lot more now.

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