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Cinema Chat: 'Miles Ahead,' 'Elvis & Nixon,' 'Sherlock Holmes,' 'The Huntsman,' And More

Michigan Theater
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The climate continues to warm up outside and in the movie theater.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan Theater executive director Russ Collins about the movie business and all the films coming to the big screen this weekend.

Opening Downtown

"Elvis & Nixon"

It starts on a quite December morning in 1970, when the King of Rock 'n Roll showed up on the lawn of the White House to request a meeting with the most powerful man in the world, President Nixon.  The untold true story behind this revealing, yet humorous moment in the Oval Office forever immortalized in the most requested photograph in the National Archives.  David Edelstein of New York Magazine says, “In the opening crawl, Elvis & Nixon alerts us to the fact that no transcript exists of the title encounter, but if it didn't happen the way it does here, it should have.”  “Elvis & Nixon,” starring Michael Shannon (Elvis) and Kevin Spacey (Nixon), opens Friday at the State Theatre.

"Miles Ahead"

It's not just about the music.  It's about what we all face at one time or another in our lives; questions about who we really are, what we have to say and how will we say it.  How will we ultimately be defined and who gets to say so?  Don Cheadle gives a virtuoso performance as Miles Davis in a film that Steven Rea of the Philadelphia Inquirer called “more a provocative character sketch than a meaty portrait, but it's a film that should be applauded for its daring, and for Cheadle's shape-shifting, soul-baring work.”  “Miles Ahead” opens Friday at the Michigan Theater.

Special Screenings Downtown

"Mulholland Drive"

A dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) is left amnesiac after a car crash.  She wanders the streets of Los Angeles in a daze before taking refuge in an apartment.  There she is discovered by Betty (Naomi Watts), a wholesome Midwestern blonde who has come to the City of Angels seeking fame as an actress.  Together, the two attempt to solve the mystery of Rita’s true identity.  The story is set in a dream-like Los Angeles, spoiled neither by traffic jams nor smog.  “Mulholland Drive” plays Saturday, April 23 at 11:59 PM at the State Theatre.

"Healing Voices"

This is a ground-breaking documentary that explores experiences labeled as “psychosis” or “mental illness” through the real-life stories of people overcoming extreme mental states.  The film follows Oryx, Jen, and Dan over five years and features interviews with professionals and people recovered from extreme states of mind, who are experts and advocates in the recovery movement.  Following the film, there will be an opportunity for Q&A and dialogue.  “Healing Voices” plays Saturday, April 23 at 1 PM at the Michigan Theater.

The Three Stooges

Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk!  The Three Stooges were the American vaudeville and comedy act of the mid–20th century, best known for their slapsticky short films, six of which will be presented at the Michigan Theater on Sunday at 1:30PM.  Shorts include: POP GOES THE EASEL (18 min), A PLUMBING WE WILL GO (18 min), WOMAN HATERS (19 min), GRIPS, GRUNTS AND GROANS (19 min), MEN IN BLACK (18 min), and THREE LITTLE PIGSKINS (18 min).  Free for kids 12 and under!

"Sherlock Holmes"

Considered lost until a negative was found at La Cinémathèque française in 2014, this William Gillette version of “Sherlock Holmes” is a vital piece of the history of Sherlock Holmes on screen.  This newly-restored edition represents the sole appearance of Gillette’s Holmes on film.  The Michigan Theater and the Ann Arbor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists welcome back Steven Ball, former Michigan Theater staff organist & member of the A2 AGO.  Doctor Ball is Organist and Director of Outreach at Historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, home of the world’s largest pipe organ.  All proceeds from the screening will benefit the Michigan Theater’s organ restoration fund & the A2 AGO’s community outreach programs.  “Sherlock Holmes” with Live Organ Accompaniment plays Sunday, April 24 at 7 PM at the Michigan Theater with a pre-film lecture at 6 PM.

"Great Lakes, Bad Lines"

This is a 500-mile, fossil-free journey across the Upper Peninsula along the route of Line 5 — a 63-year-old pipeline – that threatens our inland waters and Great Lakes.  Every day, nearly 23 million gallons of oil flow throughEnbridge’s Line 5 pipeline located on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac just west of the Mackinac Bridge.  Join FLOW(For Love of Water), Oil and Water Don’t Mix, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and the National Wildlife Federation for an evening of adventure and activism as we screen "Great Lakes, Bad Lines," and host a brief Q&A with experts.  “Great Lakes, Bad Lines” plays Monday, April 25 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan Theater and admission is free.

"Tokyo Tribe"

Shion Sono uses his deft hand as a poet, writer and director to bring this manga from Santa Inoue so richly to the screen.  Flagged as “the world’s first battle rap musical,” this live-action adaptation features an alternate Japan populated territorial street gangs are collectively known as the “Tokyo Tribes.”  “Tokyo Tribe” plays on Wednesday, April 27 at 7:00 PM at the State Theatre, concluding the CineManga Film Series.

Opening at the Multiplex

"The Huntsman: Winter's War"

Freya the Ice Queen (Emily Blunt) brings her sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron) back to life, and the powerful evil siblings plan to conquer the Enchanted Forest.  Only the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and his secret lover Sara (Jessica Chastain) can stop them in this sequel continuing the inventive twist on the Snow White fable.  “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” 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
Russ Collins is the executive director of Marquee Arts, the nonprofit that oversees the Michigan Theater and State Theater in Ann Arbor.
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