Filmasia will be at Lucerna

A horror film night is the highlight of the 12th Asian film festival

The Filmasia festival is now in its 12th year, with films at Lucerna cinema from Dec. 7 to 10. Films from Korea will once again be a big focus. There will also be films from Taiwan, China and a co-productions from Japan. The festival is relatively short, with nine films spread out over four days. Most of the films have English subtitles as well as Czech ones.

The festival opens Dec. 7 with the South Korean drama The Age of Shadows from director Kim Jae-woon. The film takes place during the time that Korea was occupied, and a policeman realizes he will have to either side with his pro-independence friends or with the government that employs him. The film was a success in South Korea and was selected as the South Korean candidate for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

The next day features the Taiwan-China-Hong Kong co-production The Assassin, set in the ninth century. In the film from director Hsiao-Hsien Hou, a female assassin is sent back to her home region to kill a man she was once betrothed to, and who is now an important figure. This film is shown only with Czech subtitles.

Also on Dec. 8 is the Chinese film Back to 1942, directed by Xiaogang Feng. It features Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins among the Asian cast members. The film tells the story of a famine in China’s Henan province during the winter of 1942.

A festival highlight will be the Dec. 9 horror night with three zombie-style films. The fun starts with The Wailing, a South Korean film by Hong-jin Na. A strange disease breaks out in a suburb of Seoul, with family members suddenly killing one another, and the police find themselves overwhelmed.

Another South Korean film, Train to Busan by director Sang-ho Yeon, has a moving train afflicted by an outbreak of a zombie epidemic. The story contains a bit of social commentary under the guise of horror. The film was the biggest hit of 2016 at the Korean box office. Sang-ho Yeon is best-known for his animated films. This is his first live-action feature.

The horror evening concludes a little after midnight with Seoul Station, which is one of Sang-ho Yeon's animated features. People try to survive a zombie outbreak in downtown Seoul that centers on the train station.

The final day of the festival has the animated film The Red Turtle, a wordless animated film co-produced by Japan's Studio Ghibli. The poetic film is about a stranded sailor on an unpopulated island.

The Korean film The Handmaiden from director Chan-wook Park is shown only with Czech subtitles. The erotic thriller has several people plotting to take advantage of a sheltered noblewoman, but she may have the last word.

The final film in the festival is the Japanese-Singapore co-production Fly Me to Minami has several different types of people all looking for love against the backdrop of of Osaka in Winter.

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