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Cinema Chat: SXSW Film Festival, 'Red Army', '24 Days', 'Cinderella', 'Run All Night' And More

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Michigan Theater

Catch a preview of the upcoming South by Southwest Film Festival and previews of films opening around here this weekend on this week's 'Cinema Chat' with David Fair and Michigan Theater Executive Director and CEO, Russ Collins.

Opening Downtown

Red Army

“Red Army” is a feature documentary about the Soviet Union and the most successful dynasty in sports history: the Red Army hockey team. Told from the perspective of its captain (and former Detroit Red Wing) Slava Fetisov, the story portrays his transformation from national hero to political enemy. From the USSR to Russia, the film examines how sport mirrors social and cultural movements and parallels the rise and fall of the Red Army team with the Soviet Union. “Red Army” is an inspiring story about the Cold War played out on the ice rink, and a man who stood up to a powerful system and paved the way for change for generations of Russians. “Red Army” opens Friday at the State Theatre.

24 Days

In “24 Days,” a beautiful young woman walks into a Parisian cellphone shop, looks around, and asks for the sales attendant’s number. Later, she calls asking to meet. Who could have known Ilan, the 23 year old man, was flirting with death? The next time his family hears from him is through a cryptic online message from kidnappers demanding ransom.  For 24 days the police, insistent upon handling the case as a normal for-ransom kidnapping, fail to recognize the anti-Semitic hatred of his abductors. Many opportunities to save Ilan are missed or squandered as his family received nearly 700 phone calls, insults, threats, photographs and sound recordings of their tortured son.  French director Alexandre Arcady delivers one of the most politically astute films to come out of France. Based on a book co-written by Ilan’s mother, Ruth Halimi, Arcady’s cinematic adaptation offers searing insight into Ilan’s vicious ordeal and the harrowing experience of his family.  “24 Days” playsMarch 17-19 at the State Theatre.

Opening at the Multiplex

Cinderella

In “Cinderella,” when her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her daughters. Never one to give up hope, Ella's fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger in the woods.  Starring Lily James (Downton Abby), Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter, “Cinderella” opens Friday.

Run All Night

In “Run All Night,” Brooklyn mobster and prolific hit man Jimmy (Liam Neeson) has seen better days.  He’s haunted by the sins of his past, and can only find solace in the bottom of a whiskey glass.  But when Jimmy’s estranged son Mike becomes a target, Jimmy must make a choice between the crime family he chose and the real family he abandoned long ago.  With nowhere safe to turn, Jimmy has just one night to figure out where exactly his loyalties lie and to see if he can finally make things right.  Also starring Ed Harris and Vincent D’Onofrio, “Run All Night” opens Friday.  

Special Screenings Downtown

My Brilliant Life

In “My Brilliant Life,” immature and clumsy Dae-soo and beautiful but foul-mouthed Mi-ra were both teenagers when Mi-ra became pregnant. Their son Ah-reum was born, but he was diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder Progeria, which makes its recipient age prematurely and rapidly. Years later, Ah-reum is now 17 himself, but his body is that of an 80-year-old man. Sensing that he doesn’t have much time left, Ah-reum writes a story about how his ypung parents fell in love and how he came to be. “My Brilliant Life” plays Saturday, March 14 at 2 PM at the Michigan Theater. Admission is free and sponsored by the Nam Center for Korean Studies as part of the Korean Cinema Now film series.

Space Jam

The Michigan Theater’s Science on Screen series continues with “Space Jam!” Basketball superstar Michael Jordan teams up with other basketball greats and Looney Tunes characters in this combination animated/live-action feature. Jordan must help the Looney Tunes gang with a basketball game against a group of outer space creatures whose plan, if they win, is to kidnap the Looney Tunes and take them to a failing intergalactic amusement park as the latest attraction. The screening features a special post-screening presentation by UM Physics professor Timothy Chupp on the physics of basketball and “cartoon physics. “Space Jam” plays Monday, March 16 at 7 PM.

Born To Kill

“Born To Kill” is this week’s Noir film. Based on James Gunn‘s novel “Deadlier Than the Male,” the film stars Claire Trevor as a calculating divorcée who risks her chances at wealth and security with a man she doesn’t love (Philip Terry) by getting involved with the hotheaded murderer (Lawrence Tierney) who is romancing her foster sister (Audrey Long). “Born To Kill” plays Monday, March 16 at 7 PM.

Ismail

Mars at Sunrise

By amplifying Palestinian voices through the screen arts, the Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival aims to educate the community of Ann Arbor about the arts, culture, politics, and history of Palestine.  Opening night of the 4th annual Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival takes place Thursday March 19 at the Michigan Theater, with screenings of “Ismail” and “Mars at Sunrise.”

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu