Summer Outdoor Film Screening


Photo by Jessie Ji

Summer outdoor screening organized by Asian Film Festival in New York City.

Jessie Ji, Photo Editor

   The recession of the film industry along with covid restrictions has come to an end with the flourishing of outdoor film screenings, a popular trend in the past summer in many big cities across America. The projecting of films takes away the stuffiness of a movie theater and shows how films are becoming more accessible to watch from the comfort of our backyards. 


   Coincidentally, a popular purchase of the summer has been low up projectors where it only requires a computer and some popcorn. People’s passion for films rushed from the traditional theaters to the expanded lawns, a place where people are able to connect with their neighborhoods and cultures. 


   The Asian Film Festival that took place in mid-July New York brought classic films to the public with free access. The event holder organized several film projections at Lincoln Center Square. One of these screenings is Happy Together by Wong Kar-Wai, an impactful Hong Kong director whose works are composed of non-linear narratives, atmospheric music, and bold, saturated color imagery. Hundreds of people gathered at the heart of a city to collectively enjoy a film and celebrate Asian film culture. They shared an intimacy with nature, people, and film, leaving an indelible and unique summertime memory. 

 The introduction of an old media—film—with an unusual combination of enjoying film and experiencing nature alters people’s attitudes towards them: all people have free access to films as a daily happiness and leisure. 


   The Comfort Station, a multi-disciplinary art space in the heart of Logan Square in Chicago, constantly holds such screening events. It provides an opportunity for local film lovers to experience nostalgia for most of them are literary films that came from old times. With a thirty-minute-drive from LFA to here, students who desire an outdoor experience to chat with friends while entertained with films can be satisfied in their local communities as well. 


   Outdoor film screenings have become a bond that connects people with friends and families. Like Drive-In theaters of the fifties, outdoor screenings feel like a staple in American culture.