Thursday, June 24, 2010

New York Asian Film Festival 2010: Dispatch Two

“Annyong Yumika,” making its North American premiere at this year's New York Asian Film Festival, takes its name from legendary Japanese porn starlet Yumika Hayashi, who also had a big career in Korea. But perhaps most intriguing about this odd nonfiction look at the woman who took top honors at the Pink Grand Prix for the softcore Japanese flick “Lunchbox”—and who met an untimely death in 2005—is that it's truly not made for Western eyes. Practically experimental in his whimsical collage approach, director Tetsuaki Matsue takes as his jumping off point the discovery of his subject's previously lost film, “Junko: The Tokyo Housewife.” That softcore Korean production, which cast Korean actors speaking Japanese, becomes the catalyst for not only retracing Yumika's life (through old home movie footage and bizarre reenactments at actual locations), but also for exploring, to use the title of one talking head professor's book, "the Japanese as seen in Korea."

To read the rest visit The House Next Door at Slant Magazine.