The New York Asian Film Festival is celebrating its fifth birthday this year with its largest-ever slate of films: 25 features on just two screens, most of which are making their New York or US debuts. The festival is dedicated to exploring "the latest and greatest movies from Asia," and the 2006 line-up includes works from Japan, China, Korea, India, Thailand, and Malaysia. The festival runs from June 15 to July 1; watch the official website for ticket and showtime information.
With its mix of serious documentary-style footage and outrageous CGI, Ski Jumping Pairs: Road to Torino 2006 is nothing if not unusual. The film, co-directed by Riichiro Mashima and Masaki Kobayashi, grew out of a CGI short about people ski jumping together (not side-by-side, mind you -- on the same set of skis) made by Mashima in 2002; Kobayashi directs the live-action sequences. The idea of pairs ski jumping is a very funny one and, indeed, parts of the movie are hilarious. But it bogs down in the middle, and so frequently derails itself that audiences are left wondering what might have been.