Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns for its 11th season which will take place in both physical and online editions from Sept. 10 to Oct. 10 with a special Halloween sidebar. Seven movies will play at the Davis Drive-in while the remainder of the programme will be available to stream in the US via Festival Scope with a series of rotating strands featuring documentaries from Taiwan, anime and indie drama from Japan, Mainland arthouse, and comedy from Hong Kong. The festival will also be hosting its annual mid-autumn festival “Movie with Mooncakes” event with a drive-in screening of Chinese mountaineering epic The Climbers.
7-films @ Davis Drive-in at Lincoln Yards (1684 N. Throop Street). (Maximum 40 vehicles ONLY. $15 per vehicle.)
Door opens at 7:30 PM with exact showtimes based on sunset.
September 10: Paper Flower (OPENING NIGHT) – South Korea
A funeral director (Ahn Sung-ki) struggling to care for his sickly son bonds with a cheerful single mother while going against the city to assist in a public funeral for a noodle stall owner who became a hero to the homeless.
October 1: The Climbers – China (Mid-Autumn Festival “Movie with Mooncakes” FREE ADMISSIONS. RSVP is required.)
Patriotic drama starring Wu Jing as an ace mountain climber embittered by the world’s refusal to recognise his ascent to the summit of Everest and vowing to reclaim his country’s honour by going again. Review.
October 3: Edward – the Philippines – (A fundraiser hosted by FYLPRO.ORG)
A teenage boy receives a painful lesson in life and death when he’s forced to take temporary residence in a public hospital in order to care for his difficult father in Thop Nazareno’s moving coming-of-age drama. Review.
October 9: My Prince Edward – Hong Kong
A conflicted young woman reaches a crisis point when her controlling boyfriend makes a surprise public proposal and she’s forced to deal with the sham marriage to a Mainlander she underwent some years previously which was apparently never legally annulled. Review.
October 10: Beyond the Dream (CLOSING NIGHT) – Hong Kong
Romantic psychodrama starring Lau Chun Him as a man with schizophrenia who falls for the beautiful Cecilia Choi but suffers a relapse as he struggles with the decision of whether to disclose his condition.
October 30: Train to Busan – South Korea
A jaded workaholic dad gets a lesson in the costs of selfish and amoral capitalism when the train they’re on is plagued by zombies in Yeon Sang-ho’s live action followup to his earlier animation Seoul Station. Review.
October 31: Peninsula – South Korea
Lateral sequel to Train to Busan set four years later and following a former soldier who managed to escape overseas but is given a mission to return during which he encounters survivors.
The remaining programme will stream within the US via Festival Scope. Each film costs $5 to rent, is capped at 400 views, and can only be watched once with 30 hours available to finish watching after you press play.
September 10 – 14, South Korea Week: Diaspora: Arirang Road
Lee Kyu-chul’s documentary follows Korean-Japanese composer Yang Bang Ean as he explores the Korean diaspora through the prism of folksong Arirang.
September 15 – 19, Japan Week:
Three-part anime omnibus themed around love including that between two women who meet at a wedding, a teacher caught on the spot by a student’s confession, and childhood friends who find themselves drifting apart as they approach adolescence.
Guild-ridden and traumatised by the death of a close friend, a young man finds himself on the run and taking refuge with a band of down-and-outs while he figures out how to deal with his rage and despair in Asato Watanabe’s indie drama. Review.
Kana Yamada adapts her own stage play dissecting the misogynistic society through the lives of a collection of sex workers trying to live as best they can in the contemporary capital. Review.
Hirobumi Watanabe once again stars as a version of himself, a self-involved filmmaker not trying terribly hard to escape his creative block while procrastinating around his beloved Tochigi in this decidedly meta comedy. Review.
September 22 – 26, Taiwan Week: Spotlight in Documentaries
Director and mountaineer Mai Chueh-ming takes his team deep into the Taiwanese mountains to find a researcher engaged in the study of Taiwanese black bears.
World’s first 8K nature documentary exploring the seas around Taiwan and Japan.
Documentary exploring Taiwan’s relationship with the seas which surround it.
Documentary following a group of volunteers looking after vulnerable people in Taitung.
Taiwanese photographer Lin Li-fang documents the lives of Buddhist nuns living in the Himalayas.
September 29 – October 3, China Week:
A film director who has recently won a prize abroad and a fashion photographer decide to register their marriage and quietly go on honeymoon only for their families to insist on a traditional wedding ceremony which quickly descends into a farce of cultural and generational misunderstandings.
A family’s life changes when the father is diagnosed with terminal cancer causing his wife to become withdrawn and his son to reconsider his plans to study abroad.
Following the breakup of her marriage, a young woman decides to return to her hometown in China after living in Montreal for 10 years. Reconnecting with her family and an old flame helps to show her new direction in her life.
October 6 – 10, Hong Kong Week:
Men On the Dragon (Free Streaming, RSVP is required. F-C-F-S)
A collection of dejected middle-aged men can no longer avoid facing their respective crises when forced to participate in the company dragon boat team in Sunny Chan’s heartfelt comedy drama. Review.
Women Who Flirt (5th anniversary special encore)
2014 Pang Ho-Cheung comedy starring Zhou Xun, Huang Xiao-ming and Sonia Sui in which a woman’s longterm BFF surprises her by falling for a woman he met on a business trip.
Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season 11 runs Sept. 10 to Oct. 10 with a special Halloween sidebar at the drive-in Oct. 30/31. Full details for all the films as well as ticketing links can be found on the official website and you can also keep up with all the latest news by following Asian Pop-up Cinema on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vimeo.