Taking place from March 12 through April 24, Chicago’s only pan-Asian film organization Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns with its 8th season, featuring two stunning films from Taiwan—SEN SEN and HIGH FLASH, with filmmaker Q&As and cast appearances for both titles on March 27 and 28.
Starring Nina Paw (The Way We Are), one of the most celebrated actresses in Hong Kong, Bon An’s SEN SEN is a film about how to come to terms with death from a lonely boy’s point of view as he meets a granny with terminal cancer (Nina Paw) and develops their unique friendship in the end. FilmInk said this film is “well-performed and written, and is told in a carefully restrained and gently emotive fashion…This is the kind of understated quality film that deserves strong recommendation.”
Engineer-turned-filmmaker Ching-shen Chuang’s HIGH FLASH is a compelling political crime thriller which has been rarely-seen in Taiwanese cinema over the recent decade. Inspired by a news photo and combined social commentary, HIGH FLASH follows a fisherman who is found dead of self-immolation during a protest against a petrochemical plant and whose mysterious death raises questions puzzling the truth-seeking protagonists. Executive produced by Tien-tsung Ma, renowned director Sylvia Chang and veteran editor Ching-sung Liao, this film was selected as the closing film for the Taipei Film Festival and was selected for the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.
Both films screen at Chicago’s AMC River East 21 on March 27 and 28 respectively. SEN SEN will also screen on March 28 at the Michigan State University and on March 30 at the Kellogg Eye Center Auditorium, University of Michigan, as part of Asian Pop-Up Cinema on Tour.
The Taiwanese feature series is presented in collaboration with the Taipei Cultural Center in New York and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago. For the full lineup and schedule, please visit asianpopupcinema.org/.
About Asian Pop-Up Cinema
Asian Pop-Up Cinema, a semi-annual Asian Film Festival, is the brainchild of Sophia Wong Boccio, founder of Sophia’s Choice, a Chicago-based 501 C (3) not-for-profit incorporated in 2015 with the multi-pronged mission of cultivating an interest in and understanding of Asian cultures via a diverse offering of Asian films; connecting the Asian film industry with local Chicago film professionals, educators and students; and promoting Chicago as a destination for international visitors.
Screening Schedule and Film Description
SEN SEN (生生) | U.S. Premiere
Wednesday, March 27, 7:00 PM @ AMC River East 21
*Introduction and Q&A with Director Bon An & Lead Actress Nina Paw Hee-ching
[Encore screenings on Tour]
Thursday, March 28, 7:00 PM @ 105 S. Kedzie Hall, Michigan State University
Saturday, March 30, 2:00 PM @ Kellogg Eye Center Auditorium, University of Michigan
*Introduction and Q&A with Director Bon An
Taiwan | 2017 | 112 Minutes | In Mandarin w/English subtitles
Director: Bon An | Starring: Nina Paw Hee-ching, Zhi-xuan Wu, Yi-wen Yen
After Sen’s brother passes away, he sifts through what’s left behind, discovering that his brother had a unique hobby: following the livestream feed of a cab-driving granny. With only three months left to live, Granny has decided to live her last 100 days as she pleases, live-streaming her journeys and adventures. As Sen and Granny both face the reality of death, they build an online bond even as time ticks away.
HIGH FLASH (引爆點) | U.S. Premiere
Thursday, March 28, 7:00 PM @ AMC River East 21
*Introduction and Q&A with Director Chuang Ching-shen & Actor Chen Chia-kuei
Taiwan | 2018 | 110 Minutes | In Mandarin w/ English subtitles
Directors: Chuang Ching-shen | Starring: Wu Kang-ren, Yao Yi-ti, Chen Chia-kuei
During a large-scale protest again corporate giant TL Petrochemical, a fisherman named Ah-Hai is found dead from self-immolation. The incident instantly makes media headlines, and, Ah-Hai is hailed as a martyr. Medical examiner Chou is assigned to the case with public prosecutor Kim, his ex-fiancée. When the two discover evidence of murder and a major conspiracy, Chou breaks protocol to conduct his own investigation in order to protect Kim. As the truth is gradually revealed, the case and their pasts start to intertwine.