89.1 WEMU

Cinema Chat: 'Hedwig And The Angry Inch,' 'Gimme Danger,' 'Doctor Strange,' And More

Nov 3, 2016

Michigan Theater Lobby
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Before you head to the ballot box on Tuesday, stop by the box office of your local movie house.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair and Michigan Theater executive director Russ Collins discuss Hollywood news and new movie openings for the weekend. 

Election-Inspired Events

"Hedwig and the Angry Itch"

Tony Award winner John Cameron Mitchell will be here in person to offer live commentary during a screening of his iconic punk musical masterpiece, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”  The film follows the punk cabaret show of a transgender woman from Berlin as she tells her life story.  This motivational Get Out the Vote screening is happening one night only here in Ann Arbor!  “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” plays Friday, November 4 at 7:30 PM.

"Michael Moore in TrumpLand"

AND, for your voting consideration, this film places the Oscar-winner director in the heart of TrumpLand (southern Ohio in a theater own by conservative television personality Glenn Beck) performing his daring, profound, and uproarious one-man show.  Performed, shot and edited just weeks before the 2016 election, this heartfelt, honest, and hilarious concert film is essential election viewing for a divided America, entertaining, outraging, and informing in equal measure. 

Opening Downtown

"Gimme Danger"

Jim Jarmusch’s new film chronicles the story of The Stooges, one of the greatest rock-n-roll bands of all time.  Emerging from Ann Arbor amidst a countercultural revolution, The Stooges’ powerful and aggressive style of rock-n-roll blew a crater in the musical landscape of the late 1960s.  Assaulting audiences with a blend of rock, blues, R&B, and free jazz, the band planted the seeds for what would be called punk and alternative rock in the decades that followed.  “Gimme Danger” presents the context of the Stooges’ emergence musically, culturally, politically, historically, and relates their adventures and misadventures while charting their inspirations and the reasons behind their initial commercial challenges, as well as their long-lasting legacy.  (Sharp-eyed observers will notice footage shot at the Stooges’ 2011 Michigan Theater concert.)  Andrew Lapin of NPR writes “The Stooges may be the biggest secret success story in music.  'Gimme Danger' preserves their legacy better than any fan might have dared hope.”  “Gimme Danger” opens Friday. 

"Harry and Snowman"

This film follows the Cinderella story of Dutch immigrant Harry deLeyer and his transformative relationship with a broken down Amish plow horse – named Snowman – that he rescued off a slaughter truck bound for the glue factory.  In less than two years, Harry and Snowman would go on to win the triple crown of show jumping, beating the nation’s blue bloods, and traveling the world together as they became the media darlings of the 1950s and 60s.  Their chance meeting at a Pennsylvania horse auction saved them both and crafted a friendship that would last a lifetime, as told by 86-year-old Harry firsthand for the very first time.  “Harry and Snowman” opens Saturday.

Continuing Downtown

"A Man Called Ove"

Sweden’s biggest hit since “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.”  Adapted from the best-selling novel by Fredrik Bachman, “A Man Called Ove” follows the titular character, Ove, the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about, and visiting his wife’s grave, Ove has given up on life. Enter a boisterous young family next door who accidentally flattens Ove’s mailbox while moving in and earning his special brand of ire.  Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms and we come to understand Ove’s past happiness and heartbreaks.  What emerges is a heartwarming tale of unreliable first impressions and the gentle reminder that life is sweeter when it’s shared.  Alissa Simon of Variety calls the film “a touching comic crowd pleaser that may call for a tissue or two by the end.” 

Special Screenings Downtown

"Stop Making Sense"

Director Jonathan Demme captures the frantic energy and artsy groove of Talking Heads in this concert movie shot at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in 1983. The band’s frontman, David Byrne, first appears on an empty stage, armed with only an acoustic guitar, and is gradually joined by bassist Tina Weymouth, drummer Chris Frantz, keyboardist Jerry Harrison, and a cadre of backup singers as they perform the band’s hits, culminating in an iconic performance featuring Byrne in an enormous suit. “Stop Making Sense” plays Thursday, November 3 at 9:30 PM as part of the Kids in America: ‘80s Teen Classics film series.

"Say Anything..."

A charming, critically acclaimed tale of first love.  Lloyd (John Cusack), an eternal optimist, seeks to capture the heart of Diane (Ione Skye), an unattainable high-school beauty and straight-A student.  It surprises just about everyone when she returns the sentiment.  But Diane’s overly possessive, divorced father (John Mahoney) doesn’t approve and it will take more than the power of love to conquer all.  “Say Anything...” plays Monday, November 7 at 7 PM.


Monday, November 14 @ 7 PM:  "Back to the Future"   

Monday, November 21 @ 7 PM: "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"

Monday, November 28 @ 7 PM:  "WarGames"


Thursday, November 17 @ 9:30 PM:  "Top Gun"

Thursday, December 8 @ 9:30 PM:  "Gremlins"

Opening at the Multiplex

"Doctor Strange"

Marvel’s new film follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions.  Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel cinematic universe.  Also starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, and Mads Mikkelsen,  “Doctor Strange” opens Friday. 

"Hacksaw Ridge"

This is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun.  He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong.  As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers.  Doss was the first conscientious objector to ever earn the Congressional Medal of Honor.  “Hacksaw Ridge” opens Friday. 


This film transports audiences to a colorful, wondrous world populated by the overly optimistic Trolls, who have a constant dance in their step and a song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomachs.  After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious curmudgeonly Branch (Justin Timberlake) set off on a journey to rescue her friends.  Together, this mismatched duo embarks on a rescue mission full of adventure and mishaps – trying to tolerate each other long enough to get the job done.  “Trolls” opens Friday.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu