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Cinema Chat: "The Lobster," "Anomalisa," "The 5th Wave," And More

Michigan Theater
Patrik Holubik
89.1 WEMU


Michigan Theater Executive Director Russ Collins is away at the Sundance Film Festival.  So, Michigan Theater spokesperson Amanda Bynum stopped by the WEMU studios to talk movies and the movie business with WEMU's David Fair in this week's installment of 'Cinema Chat.'

Direct From Sundance

"The Lobster"

The Michigan Theater is honored to continue its relationship with the Sundance Film Festival by hosting the Midwest premiere of “The Lobster,” starring Colin Farrell, John C. Reilly and Rachel Weisz!  Recently dumped by his wife, David (Farrell) goes to a countryside hotel where guests must find a suitable mate within 45 days or be turned into the animal of their choice.  They attend group meetings and mixers designed by staff to foster compatible pairings. David’s search ultimately leads to the “loners,” militant outcasts who live in the woods.  Although the loners forbid intimacy, David befriends a short-sighted woman (Weisz).  “The Lobster” won the Jury Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and now plays exclusively at the Michigan Theater on Thursday February 4 at 8 PM!

Opening Downtown


Written by Charlie Kaufman (“Being John Malkovich,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) and nominated for Best Animated Feature Film for this year’s Oscars, “Anomalisa” is a darkly comedic, stop-motion journey.Michael (David Thewlis), a middle-aged motivational speaker who is grappling with an existential crisis, attends a convention in Cincinnati to give a speech. At the hotel, he meets and falls for Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a seemingly ordinary woman who sparks his imagination and energizes him to reexamine his life.  Peter Travers of Rolling Stone writes “This unique and unforgettable movie seems to be made up of scraps — a few puppets, three voice actors, the barest of budgets. And yet, filtered through Kaufman's searching mind and soulful brilliance, the result is a masterpiece.”  “Anomalisa” opens Friday at the State.

Special Screenings Downtown


“Hitchcock/Truffaut” illustrates the greatest cinema lesson of all time.  In 1962, auteurs Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut locked themselves away in Hollywood for a week to excavate the secrets behind the mise-en-scène in cinema.  The film is based on the original recordings of that meeting and plummets us into the world of the creator of “Psycho,” “The Birds,” and “Vertigo.”  Featuring interviews with filmmakers including Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson, “Hitchcock/Truffaut” plays January 22, 26 and 28 at the Michigan.


In honor of the passing of legendary artist David Bowie, a single screening of the iconic Jim Henson film “Labyrinth” will be presented at the Michigan Theater.  A selfish 16-year old girl (a young Jennifer Connelly) is given 13 hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King (Bowie).  “Labyrinth” plays Thursday January 21 at 7:15 PM at the Michigan.

"Lost in Translation"

A lonely, aging movie star (Bill Murray) and a conflicted newlywed (Scarlett Johannson) meet in Tokyo.  Strangers in a foreign land, the two find escape, distraction and understanding after a chance meeting in the quiet lull of the hotel bar. “Lost in Translation” plays Saturday at 11:59 PM at the State.

"The Diplomat"

“The Diplomat” tells the remarkable story of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, whose singular career spans fifty years of American foreign policy from Vietnam to Afghanistan.  Told through the perspective of his eldest son David, the documentary takes you behind the scenes of high stakes diplomacy where peace is waged and wars are ended. Featuring a special introduction by Ambassador Christopher R. Hill and presented by the U-M Ford School of Public Policy, “The Diplomat” plays Monday at 7 PM.  Admission is free.

“Alakazam the Great/Saiyuki"

One of the first documented commercial film adaptations of manga source material, this retelling of the ancient Chinese novel, "Journey to the West," (“Hsi-yu Chi”) follows a monkey king who learns the secrets of magic and the mastery of willpower that knowledge entails.  “Alakazam the Great/Saiyuki” plays Wednesday at 7 PM at the State as part of the CineManga Film Series. 

Opening at the Multiplex

"The 5th Wave"

16-year-old Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) tries to survive in a world devastated by the waves of an alien invasion that has already decimated the population and knocked mankind back to the Stone Age.  “The 5th Wave” opens Friday.

"The Boy"

Greta, a young American woman, takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village, only to discover that the family's 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that the parents care for just like a real boy as a way to cope with the death of their actual son 20 years prior.  A series of disturbing events bring Greta's worst nightmare to life, leading her to believe that the doll is actually alive.  “The Boy” opens Friday.

"Dirty Grandpa"

Jason (Zac Efron) is one week away from marrying his boss's daughter, putting him on the fast track for a partnership at the law firm.  However, when the straight-laced Jason is tricked into road-tripping with his foul-mouthed grandfather, Dick (Robert De Niro), his pending nuptials are suddenly in jeopardy.  “Dirty Grandpa” opens Friday.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
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