Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema will be returning for its 16th season March 18 to April 16 and has just announced the programme for its opening weekend which will be dedicated to Japanese Cinema. Running March 18 & 19 the Japanese Showcase will open with awards favourite A Man, while French-Japanese co-production Umami will follow March 22.

Saturday, March 18, 2:30 PM: A Man

Guest Host and introduction by Mark Schilling (Japan Times/Variety). A pre-recorded Q&A with Director Kei Ishikawa will be featured after the screening


The latest film from Kei Ishikawa (Gukoroku: Traces of SinArc), A Man stars Satoshi Tsumabuki as a lawyer who is pulled into a web of intrigue when a former client asks him to investigate her late husband who had been living under an assumed identity.

Saturday, March 18, 5:30 PM: She Is Me, I Am Her 

Director Mayu Nakamura and lead actress Nahana, who is also the recipient of the Career Achievement Award, will be in attendance for an introduction plus a post-screening Q&A moderated by Mark Schilling.

Mayu Nakamura’s anthology film spins four of tales of contemporary loneliness exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic each starring actress Nahana as a conflicted housewife meditating on past regret, a lonely woman who takes a liking to a takeaway delivery driver, a sex worker displaced by the pandemic, and a blind woman who offers a hand of salvation to a telephone scammer. Review.

Sunday, March 19, 2:30 PM: Before They Take Us Away 

Producer Evelyn Nakano Glenn and Director Antonia Grace Glenn are scheduled to attend in person for an introduction plus a post-screening Q&A moderated by Mark Schilling

Antonia Grace Glenn’s documentary focusses on the Japanese Americans who evacuated voluntarily in the wake of Executive Order 9066 and avoided entering the internment camps but became refugees in their own country.

Sunday, March 19, 5:30 PM: Convenience Story

Introduction by Mark Schilling followed by Q&A moderated by Chicago-based writer Michael Foster after the feature presentation.

Surreal Lynchian adventure based on a story by film writer Mark Schilling and directed by Satoshi Miki following a blocked writer (Ryo Narita) who becomes trapped in a weird alternate reality after entering a mysterious convenience store. Review.

Wednesday, March 22, 6:30 PM: Umami

French-Japanese co-production starring Gérard Depardieu as a chef who has a near death experience and embarks on an existential journey to Japan haunted by his defeat in a culinary competition decades earlier at the hands of a Japanese ramen master.

The full lineup for season 16 will be announced Feb. 27. The Japanese Showcase runs at Evanston’s AMC 12 (1715 Maple Ave, Evanston, IL 60201) March 18 & 19 with Umami on following on March 22. Tickets are on sale now priced at $10, Seniors (62+) $8, and free for Students with valid ID & educational email address. Further details 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  FacebookTwitter,  Instagram, and Vimeo.

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