Friday, November 1, 2013

4th New York Chinese Film Festival Serves Up Hits

IN “So Young,” the joys and angst of college life are played out mainly in the dorms of a college somewhere in China. Then the story turns to life after college with its angst, striving and innocence lost.

The film opens the 4th New York Chinese Film Festival on Tuesday night (6 Nov.). It is also the directorial debut of popular Chinese actress Vicky Zhao Wei. “So Young is based on the novel, "To Our Youth that is Fading Away" by Xin YiwuIt and the title is taken from a song title on Suede's debut album.

Why New York needs another film festival is anybody’s guess, but NYCFF sponsors the Chinese American Arts Council (CAAC) and Chinese Movie Channel CCTV-6, have again signed on for this cultural experiment that was spawned by a United Nations book club.

Organizers have been very open about the fact that they hope the festival will prompt U.S. audiences to become consumers of Chinese cinema and gain a better understanding of Chinese culture. China, whose film industry was born in 1905, has supplanted Japan as the world's second most lucrative. The United Sates is No. 1

NYCFF is small compared to others based in New York such as the New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Film Festival, South Asian International Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival. Only seven films will be shown over three days at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and the newly Chinese-owned AMC Empire 25. A common thread is that they were all blockbusters in China.

Also on the roster is Xue Xiaolu’s “Finding Mr. Wright.” In Chinese, the title translates to “Beijing Meets Seattle.” The pregnant heroine sets out from Beijing to capture her unwilling man and to make their child a U.S. citizen, encountering mishaps in her pursuit.

Kung Fu at NYCFF is represented by IP Man, Wilson Yip’s first tribute to the martial artist. (He directed a sequel, IP Man 2 in 2010). Set in 1930’s China during the Japanese invasion, the film chronicles the Kung Fu master who taught Bruce Lee as he popularizes the marital art, Wing Chun and resists teaching it to Japanese soldiers.

The schedule of the NYCFF:
Tuesday, 5 Nov. Opening Night, Alice Tully Hall
8 p.m. - "So Young"

Wednesday, 6 Nov., AMC Empire 25
11 a.m. - "Sorry, I Love You"
2 p.m. - "Finding Mr. Right"
4:30 p.m. - "Love Undercover"
7:30 p.m. - "Love in the Buff"

Thursday, 7 Nov., AMC Empire 25
11 a.m. - "IP Man"
2 p.m. - "Special ID"
4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closing Night and Awards at Capitale

Visit to learn more about the festival, including tickets and venues.

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VEVLYN'S PEN: The Wright take on life by Vevlyn Wright is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License .
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