“The New York Asian Film Festival is back like a bad dream, ready to cleanse the dirt from your soul,” proclaim the festival’s organizers. We’re not sure what that means, but it sounds like good times. For the next 18 days, the IFC Center and the Japan Society play host to one of the best and most influential events in the city for Asian cinema. For a feel-good and surprisingly unpredictable flick, set your sights on Japanese filmmaker
Masaya Kakei’s Accuracy of Death (a/k/a Sweet Rain). Takeshi Kaneshiro stars as a soulful Grim Reaper who’s been traveling the earth with his telepathically talkative dog for the past 40 years, judging whether or not individuals are ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. Those who aren’t among the faint of heart can get their buzzsaws cranking for The Butcher, a low-budget feature by unknown director Kim Jin-Won that pokes fun at—or, more appropriately, dismembers—the Korean film industry. Check for full schedule and locations.

June 20-July 8, 2008