Nomad, Days of Being Wild, Ashes of Time

George Lin
Associate Festival Director, San Diego Asian Film Festival,

To anyone familiar with the Hong Kong New Wave cinema of the '80s, Patrick Tam needs no introduction. His 1982 classic Nomad confronted realistic topics of sex and violence with unflinching brutality, sending a seismic shockwave throughout the film industry. He's also widely regarded as Wong Kar-wai's teacher and as the editor of the infamous scene with Tony Leung Chiu-wai at the end of Wong's Days of Being Wild. But after his award-winning 1989 film, My Heart Is That Eternal Rose, Tam stopped directing and turned to film editing on select projects, one of them being Wong Kar-wai's Ashes of Time. Nearly 17 years later, he has returned to directing. You can see his latest -- After This Our Exile -- starring Aaron Kwok and Charlie Yeung, at this week's 2007 San Diego Asian Film Festival.

Nomad (Hong Kong) 1982, Mei Ah

Days of Being Wild
(Hong Kong) 1991, Kino Video

My Heart Is That Eternal Rose (Remastered Edition) DDV
(Hong Kong) 1989, Mei Ah

Ashes of Time
(Hong Kong) 1994, CAV Distribution

Mye Hoang
Associate Director, San Diego Asian Film Foundation

No prior knowledge of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky is needed to appreciate this fascinating documentary about his lifework producing large-scale photographs depicting man's destructive alteration of nature: Manufactured Landscapes follows Burtynsky through Asia as he creates images of the shocking realities of China's industrial revolution and the effects on the global environment. Wisely, the film never lectures; the visual evidence says it all.South Korean director Park Chan-wook is best known in the U.S. for his ultraviolent Oldboy. Yet, prior to that film's cult sensation, he made Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, a violent film about a brother's desperate attempt to get a kidney transplant for his sister and the consequences of revenge. The film offers fully developed characters that do both wrong and right, then builds empathy for each until it explodes in a shocking finale that can only be described as an emotional punch to the stomach.

Manufactured Landscapes (US Edition)
(Canada) 2006, Zeitgeist

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
(South Korea) 2002, Tartan Asia Extreme

Lee Ann Kim
KGTV anchor and executive director, San Diego Asian Film Foundation

Tokyo Drift, the third installment of the Fast and Furious series, offers amazing sequences of "drifting," a fascinating sport that originated in Japan, and the exciting subculture surrounding it. Lots of eye candy. Extras include commentary by director Justin Lin (whose Finishing the Game opens this year's SDAFF). He gives candid insights about casting and aesthetic decisions. Bonus features show fun footage of cast wiping out and an explanation of the real-life sport and Japanese culture. Eve and the Fire Horse won Best Narrative Feature at the 2006 SDAFF. This is a magical film about life, death, and faith through the eyes of a nine-year-old Chinese girl. Starring Vivian Wu, it's an engaging story about the nuances of childhood, with some great acting, humor, and heartfelt moments. First-time feature director Julia Kwan gained critical acclaim with this film at Sundance. It's a story most can only see on DVD.

The Fast and the Furious - Tokyo Drift (Widescreen Edition)
(USA) 2006, Universal

Eve and the Fire Horse
(Canada) 2005, Mongrel Media

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