by Jian Ping
CHICAGO, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Asian Pop-up Cinema, an annual Asian film festival in Chicago, screened a Chinese film at a drive-in theater in Chicago on Tuesday, kicking off its outdoor screenings in the fall season.
Thirty films from China, Japan, South Korea, India, Canada and the United States are selected for the festival, of which more than half are from China.
"The festival has returned to the cinema for the first time with six screenings (at movie theaters) since the pandemic lockdown," Sophia Wong Boccio, festival director of Asian Pop-Up Cinema, told Xinhua.
To bring "some normalcy" back to the experience of watching movies on large screens, the organizer has also scheduled six screenings at drive-in theaters during the festival.
"Anima" by Cao Jinling was the first film shown at a drive-in theater on Tuesday.
The film tells a story about the connection between nature and human beings. Tutu and Linzi were brothers who have become outcast after Tutu killed a bear, a sacred animal, to save Linzi's life when he was a child. As adults, they worked as lumberjacks near where they grew up. While Linzi connected more with nature and the forest, Tutu chose a different path. The film urges viewers to contemplate their relationship with Mother Nature.
Santosh Vankataraman, a 45-year-old viewer, found the film "well done, and its setting beautiful."
"It's amazing to see what these people (in the film) had gone through," he said, adding he didn't expect people's life in the East was so different from the life of those in the West.
Other films from China include "Never Stop" by Bowen Han, a story of two sprinter athletes and their life after the championship days; "Swimming out till the Sea Turns Blue" by Jia Zhangke, a documentary film of Chinese society since 1949.
As a tribute to master filmmaker King Hu, four of his restored classics, namely "Dragon Inn," "Legend of the Mountain," "Raining in the Mountain" and "A Touch of Zen," will be screened during the festival.
"'Dragon Inn' is a martial arts classic that inspired other filmmakers," Boccio said. "It would be sensational to see this classic in person at the Drive-in."
Films selected for the film festival will be shown by means of online streaming, in-person screening at theaters and drive-in screening at outdoor venues. The festival, which kicked off on Sept. 15, will run till Oct. 12. Enditem