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Cinema Chat: 'Equity,' 'Our Little Sister,' 'Casablanca,' 'Morgan,' And More

Michigan Theater
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The extra-long Labor Day weekend is coming, so get one last trip to the movies in before school starts.  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 heading to the big screen this holiday weekend.

Opening Downtown


A female investment banker, fighting to rise to the top of the corporate ladder at a competitive Wall Street firm, navigates a controversial tech IPO in the post-financial crisis world, where loyalties are suspect, regulations are tight, but pressure to bring in “big money” remains high.  “Equity” is a Wall Street drama, but it’s not about corruption, crime, or catastrophe.  It’s about women who thrive on competition and ambition, deals and strategy, but who must carefully calibrate every aspect of their lives, professional and private, to stay equal in the game.  “Equity” opens Friday at the Michigan.

"Our Little Sister"

Three twenty-something sisters – Sachi, Yoshino and Chika – live together in a large old house in the seaside town of Kamakura.  When they learn of their estranged father’s death, they decide to travel to the countryside for his funeral.  There they meet their shy teenage half-sister Suzu for the first time and, bonding quickly, invite her to live with them.  Suzu eagerly agrees, and begins a new life with her older sisters.  “Our Little Sister” plays September 4-8 at the Michigan.

Special Screenings Downtown

"To Catch a Thief"

Notorious cat burglar John Robie (Cary Grant) has long since retired to tend vineyards on the French Riviera.  When a series of robberies is committed in his style, John must clear his name.  Armed with a list of people who own the most expensive jewels currently in the area, John begins following the first owner, young Francie (Grace Kelly).  When her jewels are stolen, Francie suspects John, destroying their tentative romance.  John goes on the lam to catch the thief and clear his own name.  “To Catch A Thief” plays Sunday, September 4 at 1:30 PM and Tuesday, September 6 at 7 PM as part of the Summer Classic Film Series.


The ultimate film classic, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, plays the Michigan Theater for its annual beginning of the semester screening on Monday, September 5 at 7 PM.  This screening is FREE for all students with a valid student ID.


The Driver (Ryan Gosling) is a Hollywood stunt driver by day, who moonlights as a top-notch getaway driver-for-hire in the criminal underworld by night.  A loner by nature, he finds himself a target for some of LA’s most dangerous men after agreeing to aid the husband of his beautiful neighbor.  “Drive” plays Saturday, September 3 at 11:59 PM at the State.  Tickets just $8!

Continuing Downtown

"Southside With You"

Inspired by Barack and Michelle Obama's first date, this film recounts the eventful summer day in 1989, when a young law firm associate named Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) tried to woo lawyer Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) during a daylong date that took them from the Art Institute of Chicago to a screening of Spike Lee's “Do the Right Thing” to the site of their first kiss outside of an ice cream parlor. 

"The Innocents"

The Second World War is finally over and Mathilde, a young French Red Cross doctor working in Warsaw, is treating the last survivors of the German camps.  When a panicked Benedictine nun appears at the clinic one-night begging Mathilde to follow her back to the convent, what she finds there is shocking: a holy sister about to give birth and several more in advanced stages of pregnancy.  "The Innocents" is a nuanced exploration of complex themes -- and its refreshing perspective -- are well worth the effort.


Based on the novel by Philip Roth, this film takes place in 1951, as Marcus (LoganLerman), a brilliant working class Jewish boy from Newark, travels on scholarship to a small, conservative college in Ohio, thus exempting him from being drafted into the Korean War.  But once there, Marcus's growing infatuation with his beautiful classmate Olivia (SarahGadon), and his clashes with the college's imposing Dean (TracyLetts), put his and his family's best laid plans to the ultimate test. 

"Don't Think Twice"

Mike Birbiglia’s funny, insightful and honest film looks at a common experience that’s an uncommon subject for a film: failure.  For eleven years, an improv group called The Commune has reigned as the big fish in the small pond of their New York improv theater.  Then scouts from a hit TV show come to a performance looking for talent.  Only two cast members get the nod, upsetting the dynamic of the group and leaving its future in doubt.  Written, directed by, and starring MikeBirbiglia, along withKeegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs, the film presents a hilarious and honest look at the lives of professional funny people.

"Hunt for the Wilderpeople"

The Cinetopia 2016 Audience Award winner is about Ricky, your typical misfit kid who loves causing trouble, and you will love every ounce of him.  When Ricky heads to his latest foster home, he connects with his sweet Aunt Bella and his new home in the New Zealand bush.  The tough one to read is Bella’s husband, Uncle Hec, who could do without the hip-hop loving young kid.  When an unfortunate situation puts Ricky at risk of getting ripped out of his newfound home, he decides to head out into the bush with his dog, Tupac, to escape the authorities.  Despite his grumpiest efforts, Uncle Hec helps Ricky navigate the new landscape, and their escape turns into a hilarious and heartwarming adventure.  Sam Neill and newcomer Julian Dennison make the perfect pair in this coming-of-age buddy comedy. 

Opening at the Multiplex

"The Light Between Oceans"

This film takes place on a remote Australian island in the years following World War I, where a lighthouse keeper and his wife are faced with a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a two-month-old infant.  When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences of their choice are devastating.  Starring MichaelFassbender, AliciaVikander, and RachelWeisz, “The Light Between Oceans” opens Friday.


A corporate troubleshooter (Kate Mara) is sent to a remote, top-secret location, where she is to investigate and evaluate a terrifying accident.  She learns the event was triggered by a seemingly innocent "human," who presents a mystery of both infinite promise and incalculable danger.  “Morgan” 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

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