April 1 - 10 at the Gene Siskel Film Center
164 North State Street Chicago, Illinois 60601
OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION April 1st, 6pm:
An Art Show Reception featuring: Injung Oh Zhoushi, Adam Van Eeckhout, Joy Higgins, You-Ni Chae, Ian Miyamura, Cheng-Yung Kuo, Ling-An Fang, Adrian Wong, Margaret Kerr, Chien-An Yuan, Jenyu Wang, Jordan Fu, James Kao, Ei Jane Janet Lin, Mayumi Lake, Nori Itsuma, Sherya Sethi
Nowadays just about any and everything can be categorized as “sexy". But what turns people on oftentimes derives from the eye that then can travel below the neckline to lower regions encompassing how something or someone smells or tastes or feels as well as looks. So does it affect the mind as something sensual? Or is it more physical, a biological condition, a chemical reaction or a physiological attraction, perhaps? “Sexy” is a group show featuring works by the above artists, tantalizing the mind, beguiling senses and teasing to hint at something suggestive or provocative from a decidedly Asian and Asian American perspective.
OPENING NIGHT FILM April 1st, 8pm (repeating April 4th, 8pm):
A feature film by David Boyle
Starring Goh Nakamura, Chadd Stoops
Filmmaker David Boyle and Musician/Actor Goh Nakamura will be in-person for the premiere!
Cult favorite songwriter/musician Goh Nakamura, whose songs have been featured in films including Robert Benton’s FEAST OF LOVE and Ridley Scott’s BODY OF LIES, plays himself in this laid-back black-and-white road movie comedy. Nakamura’s song "Daylight Savings" was the jumping-off point for director Boyle (WHITE ON RICE, BIG DREAMS LITTLE TOKYO), who pits the loneliness of the musician’s life on tour against a wacky array of acted-out fantasies centering on groupies and erotic adventures, when Goh is hired by a film production to teach their hot young TV actor (Stoops) how to play the guitar, and to coach him in the ways of a rock star.
April 2nd, 4:45pm
A Documentary by Deann Borshay Liem
In 1966, at the age of eight, Korean orphan Cha Jung Hee, as her passport identified her, was adopted by a California family. Renamed Deann Borshay by her new parents, she learned English and soon forgot her Korean past. Years later, Deann makes the shocking discovery that her identity was switched with that of another girl just prior to her arrival in the U.S. Not only is she not Cha Jung Hee, but she is not an orphan. In this very personal saga, Borshay Liem returns to Korea to trace her past and to discover the fate of the real Cha Jung Hee. In English and Korean with English subtitles.
April 2nd, 6:30 pm
A feature film by Chil Kong
Starring Tamlyn Tomita, Allen C. Liu
The Angry Buddha, an experimental theater company given to producing Asian American protest plays with clever titles like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woo? faces bankruptcy. Desperate for a cash cow, the artistic director proposes a production of the Gilbert & Sullivan chestnut The Mikado, resulting in a full-scale rebellion by his actors. This backstage comedy chronicles the artistic tug-of-war that transforms the Victorian operetta rife with odious Asian stereotypes into a vibrant hip-hop hybrid. Choreography by Ben Chung of the Jabbawockeez and Yuri Tag of Kabba Modern
April 2nd, 8:15 pm
A live performance from the Silk Road Theater Project
Starring Tamlyn Tomita, Allen C. Liu
Silk Road Theatre Project, renowned for showcasing playwrights of Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean backgrounds, presents Seven, a staged reading of a documentary play created by pairing women’s rights activists from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Guatemala, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, and Russia with women playwrights Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol K. Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deveare-Smith, and Susan Yankowitz. Created in collaboration with Vital Voices Global Partnership.
April 3rd, 4:15 pm
A Documentary by Jeff Chiba Stearns
A reunion of his large and very diverse family led half-Japanese Vancouver filmmaker Stearns to question why not a single person on the Asian side of the family had married someone of Japanese ancestry after his grandparents’ generation. This lively, good-humored narrative peppered with amusing animation and funny anecdotes, digs into the history of the Japanese in Canada before tracing the individual stories from Stearns’s grandparents down to his own generation, to theorize on why the Japanese have proven more likely to intermarry with “the other” than any other Asian group
April 3rd, 6:00 pm (Repeating April 6th, 8:00 pm)
A Documentary by Miao Wang
“Picturesque…elegantly framed.” —Mike Hale, The New York Times
“Strong, engaging…intimate.” —Norm Schrager, FilmCritic.com
A revealing tour through the past and present, BEIJING TAXI follows three cab drivers in their daily rounds through the ever-changing Chinese capital, absorbing their ambitions, hopes, and fears on the eve of the Olympics. Beijing-born filmmaker Wang brings a poignant appreciation for the city’s fast-disappearing maze of ancient courtyard buildings, while the skyline explodes with dazzling new structures. Her cabbies, two men and a woman, struggle with the demands of change, even as many of the economic realities of their lives remain frozen in he past. In Mandarin with English subtitles
April 4th, 6:15 PM - A Double Feature
A feature film by Lesley Loksi Chan
REDRESS REMIX tackles controversy head-on, looking at the widely diverging reactions of Canadian Chinese to prime minister Stephen Harper’s 1996 official apology for racist legislation dating back to the 19th century, which was meant to limit or exclude Chinese immigration to Canada. Filmmaker Chan employs animation and original music, along with interviews, to explore the shameful and largely hidden legacy of the Canadian Head Tax of 1885, and the Exclusion Act or 1923.
A Documentary by Karin Mak
RED DUST is an exposé on the deadly price paid by female factory workers who suffer from cadmium poisoning resulting from their jobs in a Chinese battery factory. In Mandarin with English subtitles
April 7th, 8:15 pm
A Feature Film by Ian Gamazon
Starring Long Nguyen, Quynn Ton
Filipino American director Gamazon (CAVITE, FREUD’S 2ND LAW) takes his exploration of the psychology of violation to new heights in this dark revenge tale in which a young woman holds an older man hostage in a remote woodland cabin. A cruel cat-and-mouse game of vicious taunts and prolonged game-like torture ensues, but first assumptions about the rights and wrongs of the situation are soon dashed as the full story comes together in all its shocking bits and pieces. In Vietnamese with English subtitles.
April 8rd, 8:15 pm
A Documentary by Helie Lee
“Walk like a man” signifies anything but a song lyric in this hilariously entertaining film based on director Lee’s live standup comedy performance. Frustrated by what she perceives as male privilege, and by the incessant attempts of her traditional parents to marry her off at the ripe age of 39, Helie becomes Harry, to spend six months living as a man. She cuts her hair, learns to strut like a guy, and masters adjusting her “package” of rolled-up tube socks. But life in the male world isn’t a dream come true; in fact, much to her surprise, Lee’s misadventures lead her to a new respect for the travails of the opposite sex.
Following the Friday screening, A-Squared Theatre Workshop presents the 10-minute performance Dubbing Down.
April 9th, 3:00 pm
A Collection of Short Films by The Multi-Cultural Youth Project
Selected filmmakers will be present!
This program of short films celebrates Asian Pacific Americans through the work of young filmmakers who define their identities, tell their stories, and participate in the transformation of their community through activism and the arts. Presented by the Multi-Cultural Youth Project.
April 9th, 6:00 pm (repeated April 13th, 8:15 pm)
A Documentary by Iris K. Shim
Director Iris K. Shim and producer Gerry Kim will be present for audience discussion at the April 9th screening.
“Looks into the eyes of a young murde.er and finds an evolving mystery yet to be solved.”
—Glenn Heath, Jr., Slant Magazine
“Compulsively watchable and surprising.”
—Basil Tokos, IndieWIRE
One of Chicago’s most notorious murder cases of recent years is dissected as a tragic tale of immigrant ambition, family dysfunction, and pathological bonding, as the American dream ends in 100-year prison terms for the Korean American brother and sister who carried out the crime. Eager to shed her longtime fiancé and business partner Robert O’Dubaine in 1993, Catherine Suh supplied her 19-year-old brother Andrew with a gun and convinced him to ambush the victim in his own garage. THE HOUSE OF SUH includes astonishing interviews with Andrew from prison as the intricate history of the co-dependent relationship of the siblings unravels.
April 9th, 8:15 pm (Repeating April 14th, 8:15 pm)
A Feature Film by Stephane Gauger
UPDATE: Director Stephane Gauger will NOT be present 4/14
Award-winning filmmaker Stephane Gauger (OWL AND THE SPARROW, VIETNAM OVERTURES) is back with a new feature focusing on the proliferation of hip hop culture in Vietnam. The vibrant, eclectic style of Saigon street kids is at the center of this story of two girls: Mai, a naïve country girl schooled in traditional ribbon-dancing; and Kim, an urban-bred, street-smart member of a hip hop crew. Differences dissolve in the face of big-city challenges when Mai flunks an audition to the dance academy and joins the hip-hoppers preparing for their do-or-die face-off with Hanoi’s North Killaz hip hop crew. In Vietnamese with English subtitles.
Following the Saturday screening, Rasaka Theatre Company will present a 10-minute tribute to Bollywood.
Following the Thursday screening, A-Squared Theatre Workshop presents the 10-minute performance, "Dubbing Down".
April 10th, 4:15 pm
A Collection of Short Films from CFAFF
The work of Filipino American filmmakers from around the U.S. is featured in this program showcasing the best shorts from seven years of the Chicago Filipino American Film Festival.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM! - April 10th, 8:15 pm
A Feature Film by Chuck Mitsui
The backside of paradise is the setting for this Hawaiian coming-of-age story that features a thoroughly engaging script and superb performances. Ralsto, a 19-year-old skate-boarder with a spotty work record, has just found out that his 15-year-old girlfriend Alea is pregnant for the second time. Director Mitsui effectively evokes a redneck Hawaii of drifters and scavengers, hardscrabble living, drugs, and cockfights, as Ralsto exhausts his limited options for raising some cash for an abortion while high school student Alea uneasily tries on the idea of joining the ranks of her baby-mama friends.
Following the Sunday screening, CIRCA-Pintig, A Community Theater Company, presents the live performance, "Miss Asia".
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