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Cinema Chat: State Theater Update, 'The Trip To Spain,' 'I Do...Until I Don't,' And More

Michigan Theater
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In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan Theater executive director Russ Collins about all of the new and returning movies you can check out this Labor Day weekend.  Plus, Russ provides an update on the State Theater renovation project.


TICKETS NOW ON SALE – "May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers"

Tuesday, September 12 at 7:00 PM.

Special 1-night screening of Avett Brothers film co-directed byJudd Apatowand Michael Bofiglio!  A portrait of the acclaimed band, theAvett Brothers, as they create their hit album, "True Sadness."

Filmed with extraordinary access over the course of more than two years, the film charts the band’s decade-and-a-half rise while chronicling their present-day collaboration with famed producer Rick Rubin.  With the recording process as a backdrop, the film intimately depicts a lifelong bond and unique creative partnership, as the band — fronted by brothers Scott and Seth Avett — weathers marriage, divorce, parenthood, illness, and the challenges of the music business.


   ·  Have raised $7,750,000 of the $8,500,000 goal.  Today (Thursday, August 31stis the last day of a matching gift program.  Funds donated today will be matched 1:1.  Go to statetheatreA2.org to donate. 

   ·  The rough carpentry of the four theater spaces is about finished – things are really taking shape.

   ·  The Motawi tile drinking fountain surround is installed – it is very cool.

   ·  The Marquee is mostly restored.  It will be wrapped next week, then unveiled just before theater will open in the late fall.

   ·  Next month, the interior outfitting of the theaters will begin, as will the installation of a long escalator and large elevator. 

   ·  Decorating features will include recreations of the original Art Deco carpet design, several 7 foot-tall wall sconces that were specially designed for the State Theatre, and an 1940s-era juke box that will be a featured element of the theater’s new entrance lobby.

   ·  In the lobby upstairs, there will be a small performance space for musicians (right in front of the Art Deco juke box).  We will also a full liquor license, and the lobby will be called the Art Deco lounge, so it might be cool to hang out and have a cocktail there.

   ·  The place is really taking shape!

Opening Downtown

"Patti Cake$" 

This tells the story of Patricia Dombrowski (Danielle MacDonald), a.k.a. “Killa P” and “Patti Cake$,” who dreams of escaping dirty New Jersey on the coattails of her rhymes.  Stuck working in a hole-in-the-wall bar, under the weight of her beloved Nana’s medical bills and her alcoholic mother’s struggles, Patti finds solace and purpose in her music.  Unable to find a producer with “fire beats,” Patti and her best friend Jheri (Siddarth Dhananjay) join forces with goth-metal musician (Mamoudou Athie) in the hopes of achieving hip-hop superstardom.  “Patti Cake$” opened Wednesday.  Written and directed by Geremy Jasper.

"The Trip to Spain"

After jaunts through northern England and Italy, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on another deliciously deadpan culinary road trip.  This time around, the guys head to Spain to sample the best of the country's gastronomic offerings in between rounds of their hilariously off-the-cuff banter.  Over plates of pintxos and paella, the pair exchange barbs and their patented celebrity impressions, as well as more serious reflections on what it means to settle into middle age.  As always, the locales are breathtaking, the cuisine to die for, and the humor delightfully devilish.  “The Trip to Spain” opens Friday.

"I Do...Until I Don't"

A trio of couples at various points in their relationships become the subjects of a film about marriage being an antiquated idea that needs a reboot: Why not turn marriage into a seven-year deal with an option to renew?  For Alice and Noah (Lake Bell, Ed Helms), more than a hint of boredom is setting in as they approach their first decade together and the prospect of parenthood.  Meanwhile, Alice’s funky sister Fanny (Amber Heard) is sure her “open marriage” to Zander (Wyatt Cenac) is the key to their free-spirited happiness.  And then there’s Cybil and Harvey (Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser), a pair of empty-nesters wondering what the next stage will be.  As the manipulative filmmaker (Dolly Wells) attempts to show how marriage is outmoded, the couples she interviews discover the “do’s” and “don’t’s” in their own relationships.  “I Do...Until I Don't” is Lake Bell's directorial follow-up to her acclaimed 2013 film, “In A World.”  “I Do… Until I Don’t” opens Friday.

Continuing Downtown

"Ingrid Goes West"

Delivers smart, topical humor underlined by timely social observations.  (Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.)


Baltimore girls school’s program of rhythmic performance bond college bound inner city kids.


Pre-cell phone family dramedy starring Jenny SlateAbby QuinnJohn Turturro, and Edie Falco.

"An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power"

Al Gore’s global warming mission continues.

"The Big Sick"

Summer comedy hit starring Kumail NanjianiZoe KazanHolly Hunter, andRay Romano.

Special Screenings Downtown

Lynch After Dark

Celebrating the return of Twin Peaks, we’ll take a look at career of David Lynch, featuring selections which find focus in science fiction, mystery, love, and the outright weird.  It began August 3rd with Eraserh​ead and continued with Du​ne, Blue Velvet, and Wild At Heart.  The series ends tonight, August 31st with Lost Highway.

"Lost Highway"– 8/31

Writer/director David Lynch fashions two separate but intersecting stories, one about a jazz musician (Bill Pullman), tortured by the notion that his wife is having an affair, who suddenly finds himself accused of her murder. The other is a young mechanic (Balthazar Getty) drawn into a web of deceit by a temptress who is cheating on her gangster boyfriend. These two tales are linked by the fact that the women in both are played by the same actress (Patricia Arquette).  “Lost Highway” plays Thursday, August 31 at 9:30 PM.

"Children of Men"

A futuristic society faces extinction when the human race loses the ability to reproduce.  England has descended into chaos, until an iron-handed warden is brought in to institute martial law.  The warden's ability to keep order is threatened when a woman finds that she is pregnant with what would be the first child born in 27 years.  “Children of Men” plays Sunday, September 3 at 1:30 PM and Tuesday, September 5 at 7 PM as part of the Summer Classic Film Series.


Credited with inventing the genre of the modern horror film, this film has had its share of sequels and imitators, none of which diminishes the achievement of this shocking and complex thriller.  Alfred Hitchcock’s signature choreography of cinematic elements, featuring Anthony Perkins’ haunting characterization of lonely motel keeper Norman Bates controlled by his reclusive mother, has never been equaled.  “Psycho” plays Monday, September 4 at 7 PM.  Free for all students with valid student ID!


The recently discovered complete 35mm print of this film comes to the Michigan Theater for one day only!  A newcomer to a fancy ballet academy gradually comes to realize that the school is a front for something far more sinister and supernatural amidst a series of grisly murders.  “Suspiria” plays Thursday, September 7 at 8 PM.

Opening at the Multiplex

"Goon: Last of the Enforcers"

After one too many injuries, hockey enforcer Doug (Seann William Scott) is forced to give up his aspirations of going to the big show and settle into a buttoned down career as an insurance salesman at the urging of his pregnant wife Eva (Alison Pill).  However, Doug can't resist the siren call of the Highlanders, so he sets course to reclaim his former glory.  “Goon: Last of the Enforcers” 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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