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Cinema Chat: Sundance, Hitchcock, Oscar Nominated Shorts, and more!

The Michigan Theater at Night

In this week's edition of Cinema Chat, Michigan Theater Program Director, Amanda Bynum sits down to talk with 89.1 WEMU's David Fair about the latest upcoming movies downtown and around town.

The conversation first covers some news out of The Sundance Film Festival and in Ann Arbor. 

Cinema Chat is a regular feature heard each Thursday during Morning Edition on 89.1 WEMU.

Sundance in Ann Arbor…TONIGHT!

For the fifth year in a row, the Sundance Institute has chosen the Michigan Theater as an official venue of the Sundance Film Festival USA program!  This special event will happen at only ten theaters across the country on Thursday, January 30.  The Michigan Theater will screen “Infinitely Polar Bear,” starring Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana.  Written and directed by Emmy Award-nominee Maya Forbes, the film follows a manic-depressive mess of a father (Ruffalo) as he tries to win back his wife (Saldana) by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters, who don’t make the overwhelming task any easier.  Justin Chang of Variety says:

“Intimate yet expansive, clear-eyed yet deeply personal, ‘Infinitely Polar Bear’ marks an irresistible feature debut for writer-director Maya Forbes; …(she) brings a marvelous warmth and specificity to this story of a mixed-race family struggling to survive, aided considerably by one of Mark Ruffalo’s richest, most appealing performances. This assured crowdpleaser looks like an early candidate for Sundance-breakout status.” “Infinitely Polar Bear” plays tonightat the Michigan Theater at 7:30 PM, with writer-director Maya Forbes and producer Wally Wolodarsky in attendance.

Opening Downtown

Want to win your Oscar pool? Here’s your secret weapon! See all the nominees for Best Animated, Live Action and Documentary Shorts before the 86th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, March 2. Featuring the best shorts films of the year, the Animated & Live Action films open on Friday, January 31, with the Documentary films playing on Tuesday, February 4 and 5 in two packages.

Opening at the Multiplex

"Labor Day" centers on 13-year-old Henry, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank, a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later is revealed to be an escaped convict. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape them for the rest of their lives. Starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet, “Labor Day” opens Friday.

Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan star in “That Awkward Moment,” about three best friends who find themselves at that confusing "moment" in every dating relationship when you have to decide "so...where is this going?" “That Awkward Moment” opens Friday.

Special Screenings Downtown

“The Muppet Movie” shows how Jim Henson’s irreverent, irrepressible, and downright irresistible Muppets rose to fame and fortune: with a rainbow, a song . . . and a frog. After a fateful meeting with a big-time talent agent, Kermit the Frog heads for Hollywood dreaming of showbiz. Along the way, Fozzie Bear, the Great Gonzo, and the dazzling Miss Piggy join him in hopes of becoming film stars too. But all bets are off when Kermit falls into the clutches of Doc Hopper, a fast-food mogul seeking to promote his French-fried frog-leg franchise! With an all-star cast including Charles Durning, Mel Brooks, Cloris Leachman, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor and Orson Welles, “The Muppet Movie” plays Sunday, February 2 at 1:30 PM and admission is FREE for kids 12 and under!

“Escape From New York” takes you to a world ravaged by crime, where the entire island of Manhattan has been converted to a walled prison where brutal prisoners roam. But when the U.S. President (Donald Pleasence) crash-lands inside, only one man can bring him back: notorious outlaw and former Special Forces war hero Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell). But time is short: in 24 hours, an explosive device implanted in his neck will end Snake's mission and his life unless he succeeds! “Escape From New York” plays Saturday, February 1st at 11:59 PM at the State Theatre.



Contact David: dfair@emich.edu