Screening at the Wilmette Theatre and AMC River East, this eight-film series showcases recent movies from east Asia, with an emphasis on popular genres. South Korea is represented by Cold Eyes, a suspense story about a surveillance team assigned to catch a group of bank robbers; one of the country’s biggest hits of 2013, it reportedly features some fantastic chase sequences. From Hong Kong there’s Women Who Flirt, a breezy rom-com that marks a change of pace for writer-director Pang Ho-Cheung (Vulgaria), the country’s king of gross-out humor, and Lost and Love, which features superstar Andy Lau as a father in mainland China who spends 15 years searching for his abducted child (the latter film was shot by renowned cinematographer Mark Lee Ping Bing, who’s worked with Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Wong Kar-Wai). The series also features two peculiar-sounding comedies from Japan: Okita Shuichi’s Ecotherapy Getaway Holiday, about seven women who get lost in the woods on the way to the title vacation; and Poison Berry in My Brain, a live-action manga adaptation whose premise—a woman is controlled by five separate personalities living in her head—has inspired comparisons with the recent Pixar hit Inside Out. There’s at least one bona fide masterpiece on the slate: Hong Kong auteur Ann Hui’s A Simple Life, an Ozu-like drama about an introverted film producer who cares for his family’s former servant in the final days of her life.
Biweekly 9/16-12/4, AMC River East 21 and Wilmette Theatre, 312-315 6393, asianpopupcinema.org, $10-$13, $15 opening and closing nights, $35 five-film pass.