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Percival Everett in conversation one night only at Studebaker Theater

The director of the celebrated film “American Fiction,” Cord Jefferson, relished in his Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, and the author upon whose book is portrayed in the film visits Chicago for one night.

Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building and Exile in Bookville co-present an evening with literary icon Percival Everett at the Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan Ave., on Thursday, March 28, at 7 p.m.

A finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and Booker Prize, and recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Critics Circle, Everett is the author of more than 30 books. His novel Erasure was adapted into the critically acclaimed “American Fiction.”

Everett will discuss his new novel James with author Gabriel Bump. James is a brilliant, action-packed re-imagining of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, both harrowing and ferociously funny, told from the enslaved Jim’s point of view.

Public tickets for the event are $10 and are on sale at

Pre-signed copies of James are available for preorder at and will be sold onsite at the event, with a 10 percent discount offered to event attendees for preorders and onsite purchases.

Everett’s most recent books include Dr. No (finalist for the NBCC Award for Fiction and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award), The Trees (finalist for the Booker Prize and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award), Telephone (finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), So Much Blue, Erasure, and I Am Not Sidney Poitier.

He has a poetry collection forthcoming with Red Hen Press and has received the NBCC Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction, and is also a Distinguished Professor of English at USC.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema is on full steam.

Season 18 of Asian Pop-Up Cinema; bridging East and West through film, will be presented through April 21.

Films will be screened at AMC Newcity 14 and Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, as well as virtual screenings.

I was able to view two films before the start of the fest, both that will screen on Saturday, March 23.

“The Young Hoodlum” – International Premiere: Following four youngsters from dysfunctional families who meet a rich runaway girl, their innocent and fun relationship leads to a shocking crime that pushes all of them to the point of no return. Director Yu Jhi-Han made this first feature debut to expose the truth about youth crimes that occur today in Taiwan. Through this story, he also shows what “brotherhood” means among the four youngsters. Screening on Saturday, March 23, 7 p.m. at AMC Newcity 14.

This film blew my mind, but it shouldn’t have. The teens in this film used skimming devices or stolen ATM cards to pillage from folks’ accounts. But they were doing it to turn the money over to their boss.

They are all playful with their shares and even have the company of the rich girl who is the girlfriend of one of the crew. One of the crew members has a little sister who also tags along often when they are out celebrating their heists.

However, things get out of hand; there’s an actual kidnapping, a fake kidnapping and the murder of one of the gang.

And what turns out as innocent bonding with the four boys—leading to idle time, restlessness and crime—shines a light on youth angst and pressure from adults who have no skin legally in the game, but just financial gain.

This scenario reminded of youth crime in Chicago. Teens just brazenly committing crimes, thefts and carjackings—with a bit of fatal shootings thrown in.

“A Boy and A Girl” – North American Premiere. In a declining small town, an idle boy encounters a heartbroken girl. Seeking to leave their town behind, they organize a plan to pay for their escape. “A Boy and A Girl” is director/screenwriter Hsu Li-Da’s story of “raw” and “simple” emotions about the experience of teenagers.

The film examines the struggle and fear to be independent while their personalities are being shaped, the unclear logic between good and evil, and the hazy process of understanding love and sex. Screening on Saturday, March 23, 2:30 p.m. at AMC Newcity 14.

This film highlights a young man struggling to stay in a home where his mom is being taken advantage of by her married boyfriend. He takes up with a woefully negative young girl who is experiencing a rough time of her own, the least of which is her canoodling and eventual sex with the high school coach.

They plot to raise money to leave town—a plot that includes the girl selling her body.

Things don’t go as planned and again, as in the above film, there’s not one but a couple of murders. Again drugs don’t bode well for sanity, when the young man is high out of his mind.

There was a luncheon held at Mei’s Inspired Dumplings & Asian Cuisine on Friday, March 22, that featured Taiwanese filmmakers and guests who promoted this 18th Season.

There are more exciting films in the series that allow moviegoers a glimpse into life in places such as Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Look for these films and the entire schedule at

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