Interview: Lee Min-Jae Brings Zombies to Chicago on Asian Pop-Up Cinema’s Opening Night

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Four upcoming films for Season Nine of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema …

SWING KIDS (South Korea) – Winner for Best Director at the 2019 Baeksang Arts Award, this swinging musical drama is set during the Korean War, where the soldiers at a POW camp plan a tap show to distract both themselves and the prisoners from the hardships of war. Led by a former Broadway dancer and a rebellious North Korean soldier, the band of prisoners find a new sense of freedom in dancing. Critics rave … “Swing Kids” is such a dizzying, anachronistic mash-up of genres and cultures — tap-dancing musical, violent war movie, social-justice drama, and slapstick comedy with music from David Bowie, The Beatles and swing king Louis Prima — that it deserves respect.” Free and open to the public. For details and to RSVP, click here. Saturday, September 14th, 2pm at IIT Tower Auditorium, 10 West 35th Street, Chicago

THE ENIGMA OF THE ARRIVAL (China) – After many years a group of college friends reunite, having not seen each other since the disappearance of Dongdong, a girl that they all secretly fancied. The circumstances of her disappearance caused the eventual end of their friendships, and much has remained unsaid. Until now. “ … a subtle examination of media consumption, masculinity, and declining social trust in a rapidly changing China.” For details and tickets, click here. Thursday, September 19th, 7pm at AMC River East 21, 322 East Illinois Street, Chicago.

’Swing Kids’ at APUC
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MELANCHOLIC (Japan) – Kazuhiko isn’t enjoying his life, despite earning his degree from a top university. He runs into a high school friend at a bathhouse, and through that connection begins to work there. He eventually discovers that this bathhouse is being used for nefarious after-hours activities, which is bad enough, but then Kazuhiko finds that his colleague Matsumoto is an assassin.  “Melancholic” is darkly funny, viscerally thrilling and improbably heartwarming, all without departing far from the stark immediacy of its opening scenes.” For details and tickets, click here. Wednesday, September 25th, 8pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 North State Street, Chicago.

THE POOL (Thailand) – A couple are stuck in the desolated pool twenty feet (six meters) deep without food/water, a ladder or a way out, and somehow need to survive. To make matters more challenging, an unfriendly amphibian is teetering on the brink of joining them. “The Pool” is Ping Lumpraplerng’s (“Loveaholic,” “Dreamaholic”) fourth film, and features Thai superstar Ken Theeradeth Wonpuapan, who returns to big screen for the first time in nine years. Winner of Critic’s Prize at Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2019. “A deep swimming pool. Two trapped people. One hungry crocodile. No way of escape. The tensest movie I’ve seen in years…” For details and tickets, click here. Wednesday, October 2nd, 7pm at AMC River East 21, 322 East Illinois Street, Chicago.

Season Nine of Asian Pop-Up Cinema focuses on China next week, beginning with the North American premiere of “Crossing the Border” on Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 (7pm), at the AMC River East 21, 322 East Illinois Street, Chicago. Director Huo Meng will make an appearance on behalf of the film, moderated by Dr. Jennifer Dorothy Lee. For details and tickets, click here. For a complete overview on Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema click here. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

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