Once upon a time I encountered a tiny group of people who wanted to see more Asian films on screens in Dallas, Texas. Rather than just belly-aching about the shortage, they put up their own money and mounted the Asian Film Festival of Dallas in 2002. The first festival screened 10 films over a weekend; some of the screenings sold out and others drew just a handful. The organizers bravely pressed on and now the sixth edition of a very fine showcase for Asian films is upon us. The festival gets under way tonight with Justin Lin'sFinishing the Game.

Finishing the Game is said to be an affectionate mockumentary about the hilarious search for a stand-in for Bruce Lee after the legendary star died before filming on Game of Death was completed. Cinematical's Scott Weinberg saw it at Sundance and felt it was "a pretty funny little diversion." Check out the film's MySpace page to see more people dressed up in Lee's trademarked yellow track suit., not to mention a plethora of video clips. Lin made the terrific Better Luck Tomorrow before "going Hollywood" and directing Annapolis and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, so it's very nice to see him returning to his roots, as it were. Lin and actors Roger Fan and Sung Kang are scheduled to attend. IFC Films will release Finishing the Game in limited engagements in October.

Other highlights include Thai drama Dorm, Japanese "family portrait" The Taste of Tea and Vietnamese comedy-drama Owl and the Sparrow, which our own Kevin Kelly was very glad he saw at the Los Angeles Film Festival, calling it "a wonderful, character-driven story." Director Stephane Gauger will attend the screening. The program continues through next Thursday, August 30; check out the official site for more information. I hope to write more about the films as the fest continues through the week.
categories Cinematical