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Cinema Chat: 'The Pyramid', 'Rosewater', 'Goodbye To Language', 'Awake: Goodbye to Yogananda'

  The slate of films to open at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival is starting to take shape. In this week's edition of 'Cinema Chat', David Fair and Russ Collins cover the news from Hollywood and Park City, Utah and preview the slate of movies available to you this weekend. 

Opening at the Multiplex

The Pyramid

In "The Pyramid" the ancient wonders of the world have long cursed explorers who’ve dared to uncover their secrets. But a team of archaeologists gets more than they bargained for when they discover a lost pyramid unlike any other in the desert. As they unlock the secrets buried within, they realize they aren’t just trapped, they are being hunted. "The Pyramid" opens Friday at a multiplex near you.


Based on The New York Times best-selling memoir, “Rosewater” marks the directorial debut of "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart.  The film follows Tehran-born broadcast journalist MaziarBahari (Gael Garcia Bernal). Bahari endured personal risk by sending footage of Iranian street riots to the BBC. He was arrested by police, led by a man identifying himself only as "Rosewater," who tortured and interrogated him over the next 118 days. “Rosewater” opens Friday at a multiplex near you.

Opening Downtown

The 43rd feature by Jean-Luc Godard, “Goodbye to Language” was shot, and can only be truly seen and experienced, in 3D, which Godard has put to wondrous use. The idea is simple: a stray dog wanders from town to country, and over the course of some seasons observes a married woman and a single man as they meet, love, argue and fight. Or perhaps it’s the audience viewing one couple, or two couples, or an alternate version of the same couple. “Goodbye to Language” plays December 6, 7 & 9 at the Michigan Theater!

Awake: the Life of Yogananda

“Awake: The Life of Yogananda” tells the story of Hindu mystic ParamahansaYogananda who brought yoga and meditation to the West in 1920 and wrote the spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi,” a go-to book for seekers from George Harrison to Steve Jobs. By personalizing his own quest for enlightenment, Yogananda made ancient teachings accessible to a modern audience and led millions onto the path of self-realization. “Awake: The Life of Yogananda” plays December 6-10 at the Michigan Theater.

Birdman, Whiplash and Theory of Everything

If you have not yet seen “Birdman,” “Whiplash” or the “Theory of Everything” go to see them as soon as you are able!  They are sure to be in the hunt for Oscars because of great performances and two of the three might even get a Best Picture nomination.

Special Holiday Season Screenings

Miracle on 34th Street

In “Miracle on 34th Street” Santa falls down drunk in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and reluctantly Macy’s supervisor Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) offers the job to a bearded Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar) purporting to be the real Santa! “Miracle on 34th Street” plays Sunday, December 7, at 1:30 at the State Theatre. FREE admission! Part of the State Street Area Association Holiday Classic Film Series!

Love Actually

Billed as “the ultimate romantic comedy,” “Love Actually” involves more than a dozen main characters, each weaving his or her way into another’s heart over the course of one particularly eventful Christmas. “Love Actually” plays Wednesday, December 10 at 7 PM at the Michigan Theater. All three pictures are playing Downtown at the Michigan or State Theaters.

Special Screenings Downtown

No turning Back

Warren Miller’s “No Turning Back” revels in winter’s heritage and pushes the boundaries in Japan, the Swiss Alps, Montana, France, and more. "No Turning Back" plays Friday, December 5 at 7:30 PM. Presented by Sun & Snow Sports at the Michigan Theater.

The Three Amigos

In “The Three Amigos!” a trio of silver-screen Western heroes are summoned to the town of Santa Poco, Mexico, which is under siege by bloodthirsty bandits. Believing it's just a 'personal appearance,' they answer the call and find they're up against real banditos! Starring Chevy Chase, Steve Martin & Martin Short, “The Three Amigos!” plays Saturday, December 6 at 11:59 PM at the State Theatre. Midnights are only $7!

The Guide

In “The Guide,” popular national culture was sustained in Ukraine by blind minstrels, called kobzars, who traveled from village to village performing ancient folk songs and epic ballads, preserving the memory of a free and heroic past. In the 1930s hundreds of kobzars were arrested and disappeared without a trace. Michael Shamrock, an American communist who came to Ukraine to build a factory, is killed. His young son, Peter, is saved from persecution through a miracle. The “miracle” is a kobzar, Ivan Kocherga, and the boy becomes his guide.  “The Guide” plays Tuesday, December 9 at 7 PM at the Michigan Theater. Free admission!

Man of Iron

Andrzej Wajda’s “Man of Iron” won the Palmed’Or at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival and was an Oscar Nominee for Best Foreign Film. The film features, among others, future Nobel Prize Winner and Polish President LechWałęsa as himself, and captures the passion, tragedy and anxiety of the times.  “Man of Iron” plays Monday, December 8 at 7 PM and concludes the Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema series at the Michigan Theater.

The Wind Rise

In “The Wind Rises,” Jiro dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni. Nearsighted from a young age and unable to be a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world’s most innovative and accomplished airplane designers. “The Wind Rises” plays Wednesday, December 10 at 7 PM. Part of the The Studio Ghibli Collection: A 30-Year-Retrospective at the State Theatre.

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu