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Asian Pop-Up Cinema Series Launches Wednesday

By Joel Wicklund in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 14, 2015 7:55PM

2015_09_Poison Berry.jpg
Promotional art for "Poison Berry in My Brain" (provided by The Silverman Group, Inc.).

Recent films from China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan will get rare local theatrical screenings thanks to the newest addition to Chicago's busy calendar of international film showcases, Asian Pop-Up Cinema.

The inaugural series launches Wednesday and will extend to both the city and northern suburbs, with screenings at AMC's River East 21 theaters and the Wilmette Theatre. The opening night feature, the romantic comedy Women Who Flirt, will be preceded by a reception with Hong Kong cuisine prepared by renowned chef Tony Hu at the 520 N. Michigan Avenue branch of his restaurant Lao Sze Chuan. The reception runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with the film following at 7:30 p.m. at the River East theaters.

Thursday night, the series moves to Wilmette for another Hong Kong/China co-production, Lost and Love, a drama about child abduction starring longtime Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs, House of Flying Daggers).

Following that, the series continues with six additional features showing through early December. Films include the Japanese survivalist comedy/drama Ecotherapy Getaway Holiday; Taiwanese youth comedy Meeting Dr. Sun; A Simple Life, an acclaimed 2012 feature from veteran Hong Kong director Ann Hui (with Andy Lau in another lead); the South Korean thriller Cold Eyes (a remake of the Hong Kong film, Eye in the Sky, for some pan-Asian appeal); and Only You, a Chinese romantic comedy based on the 1994 Hollywood movie of the same name that starred Robert Downey, Jr. and Marisa Tomei.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema concludes at the Wilmette on Dec. 4 with the U.S. premiere of Poison Berry in My Brain, a live-action Japanese film that adapts a popular comic book. Some have suggested that the recent animated Pixar hit, Inside Out, stole the premise from the comic, so some may be curious if this is another case similar to The Lion King controversy.

A passion project of entrepreneur Sophia Wong Boccio, Asian Pop-Up Cinema will also feature some post-film discussions led by Columbia College's Ron Falzone, who moderates the popular Cinema Slapdown screening and debate series. The series schedule, ticket information and more details are available here.