The New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) is an annual highlight for Asian film fans in the metropolitan area. It’s certainly one of the best such festivals in the U.S. and most probably in the world. Now in its twelfth year, the NYAFF will present over sixty feature films, and numerous filmmakers and celebrity guests will also be present. One of these will be the South Korean actor Ryoo Seung-Beom (sometimes spelled Ryu Seung-Beom), the focus of a four film side-bar within the festival.
Born August 9, 1980 in Seoul, he is the younger brother of actor and director Ryoo Seung-Wan, and has appeared in several films his older sibling directed. In fact, of the four films in the festival focus, which are listed below, only Bloody Ties was not directed by his brother.
While primarily known for action dramas, he is actually quite versatile. He provided the voice for Aachi in the wonderful and hilarious animation Aachi and Ssipak (2006; the film screened at the 2007 NYAFF and my review on my blog Asiancinefest is here). Ryoo Seung-Beom played the chilling and cunning leader of an environmental group in Kim Hyoung-Jun’s No Mercy (2010; my review on my blog is here). In 2011 he starred in the comedy The Suicide Forecast as Byeong-wu, a successful insurance salesman. When one of his clients dies under suspicious circumstances, he desperately — and hilariously — tracks down and tries to talk three “high risk” clients into converting their life-insurance policies That way, if they do themselves in, the company won’t have to pay and Byeong-wu’s career won’t be ruined.
The NYAFF focus on Ryoo Seung-Beom will consist of four films:
The Berlin File (2013), Saturday, June 29 @ 3:35PM. North and SouthKorean intelligence operatives go at one another in the city that symbolized the Cold War. (My review, which posted at VCinema earlier this year, is available here.)
Arahan (2004), Sunday June 30 @ 3:45PM. A martial arts movie set in contemporary Seoul.
The Unjust (2011), Monday, July 1 @ 3:20 PM. A tale about rape, murder and corruption.
Bloody Tie (2012), Monday, July 1 @ 6:15PM. A crime thriller about a detective and a meth dealer who join forces against a drug kingpin.
Ryoo will be present for Q&As for three of these screenings, the exception being The Unjust.
Information about the entire 2013 NYAFF schedule, including film descriptions, showtimes and ordering tickets, is available here.