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#NYAFF Reviews — THE WHISTLEBLOWER and THE LAST REEL

Guest commentator and cinemaphile-at-large Tanimaru brings infinite technique and wisdom to review several titles for this year’s NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL held at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the SVA Theatre with the fine folks at Subway Cinema.

NYAFF2015poster

Here is the first!

THE WHISTLEBLOWER begins as a powerhouse thriller with a very compelling opening scene but due to writing that seems more in common with an American evening soap opera than ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN or THE INSIDER, the good efforts of director Yim Soon-rye and a fine cast of actors become prisoners to a very predictable and melodramatic script. Stylishly lensed with elegant production design and a multitude of locations, all the production elements are in place for a great film, but the writing keeps getting in the way as after a while no scene is allowed to really play out providing the tension and raw drama that an audience expects from a story about stem cells and cloning.What I found interesting is the slight twist at the end where the Korean public is manipulated to blame the reporter and his network for their investigation. The Korean public is depicted as easily swayed believing that despite whatever wrongs the lead villan may have done – he should be allowed to continue because his efforts are a boost to the image of the Korean people and the economy. In other words, do not embarrass someone supported by the government. This harkens to the recent news that this year’s Busan Festival was under government attack (cut in budget) for screening a film about the boat disaster.

I don’t know WAIKIKI BROTHERS, but my sense is that with great writing, this is a filmmaker who can deliver.

The WHISTLEBLOWER and THE WAIKIKI BROTHERS both screen at the NYAFF in NYC on July 7th, 2015 at 8:45pm and 6:30pm, respectively.

Here is the review for NYAFF title THE LAST REEL:

THE LAST REEL

Some films just move you. THE LAST REEL is one of those films. Set in Cambodia today with flashbacks to the dark day of the Khmer Rouge. we trace the story of a young woman learning her Mother’s past as an actress in Cambodia and, along the way, a cruel history. The performances are at times uneven – with many of the actors probably in their first acting roles – but that is what brings power to the film. Their first hand experience/knowledge adds depth even to the smallest roles; the look and feel of Cambodia today is compelling. (Spoiler Alert) – The final titles are a homage to all the actors and filmmakers executed by the Khmer Rouge – the real once living and breathing and now sadly departed Cambodians whose spirits surge in this wonderfully touching and moving film.

THE LAST REEL screens Sunday, July 5, 2015 at 8:15pm.

Our deepest thanks to Tanimaru.

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July 3, 2015 - Posted by | CULTURE, FILM, opportunity, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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