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Cinema Chat: Art House Theater Day, 'Battle Of The Sexes,' 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle,' And More

Michigan Theater
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The WEMU Fall Pledge Drive is in the books, so let's unwind with a good movie!  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan Theater director of program operations Amanda Bynum about the movie business and all of the new films you can check out this weekend.

ART HOUSE THEATER DAY – Sunday, September 24

Art House Theater Day is here!  Art House Theater Day is a worldwide celebration of cinemas that stand the test of time and the tremendous film culture that art house theaters promote.  Featuring a full day’s worth of exclusive screenings and giveaways, Art House Theater Day celebrates the legacy of independent theaters as advocates for cinema arts.  In an age where media has become more digital than tangible, more solitary than social, art house theaters remain the physical spaces where film lovers congregate and connect with intrepid, creative filmmaking.  Screenings will include a feature for the whole family, a restored classic, and a thrilling late-night double-feature, with giveaways and specialty concession items all day!  Celebrate Art House Theater Day at the Michigan Theater on Sunday September 24!

Opening Downtown

"Rebel in the Rye"

This film follows a young J.D. Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) as he struggles to find his voice, pursues a love affair with famed socialite Oona O’Neill (Zoey Deutch), and fights on the frontlines of World War II.  It’s these experiences that will inform the creation of his masterpiece, The Catcher in the Rye, bringing him overnight fame (and notoriety) and leading him to withdraw from the public eye for the rest of his life.  Co-starring Kevin Spacey and Sarah Paulson, “Rebel in the Rye” offers a tantalizing window into the life and times of a little-understood genius who broke the rules and redefined American literature.  “Rebel in the Rye” opens Friday. 

"Battle of the Sexes"

In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennis match between women's World #1 Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men's-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the “Battle of the Sexes” and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world.  As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles.  Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms and boardrooms that continue to reverberate today.  “Battle of the Sexes” opens Friday, September 29, with special advance screenings beginning Thursday, September 28.

Limited Engagements

"Titicut Follies"

Legendary documentarian Frederick Wisemanmade his debut with this film in 1967, a controversial 84-minute survey of conditions that existed during the mid-1960s at the State Prison for the Criminally Insane in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.  The film banned worldwide until 1992 because of a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that it constituted an invasion of inmate privacy.  The film goes behind the walls to show stark and graphic images exposing the treatment of inmates by guards, social workers, and psychiatrists.  In honor of the film’s 50th anniversary, “Titicut Follies” plays September 21.

"I Am The Blues"

This film takes the audience on a musical journey through the swamps of the Louisiana Bayou, the juke joints of the Mississippi Delta and moonshine-soaked BBQs in the North Mississippi Hill Country.  The film visits blues musicians rooted in the genre's heyday, many in their 80s, still living in the American deep south and touring the Chitlin’ Circuit.  “I Am The Blues” screens September 25 and 27.

"Letters from Baghdad"

This film tells the extraordinary and dramatic story of Gertrude Bell, the most powerful woman in the British Empire in her day.  She shaped the modern Middle East after World War I in ways that still reverberate today.  More influential than her friend and colleague Lawrence of Arabia, Bell helped draw the borders of Iraq and established the Iraq Museum.  Why has she been written out of history?  “Letters from Baghdad” plays September 27 and 28.

Special Screenings Downtown


Set To Rise Productions and InMotion Studios present the world premiere screening of this film.  Beauty and tragedy intertwine in this story about a brother and sister in search of peace, and more importantly, each other.  Produced by award-winning filmmakers Steven Weed and Andrew Williams, and shot entirely in Southeast Michigan, “Residents” plays Saturday, September 23 at 2:30 PM.

The Manhattan Short Film Festival

The Manhattan Short Film Festival returns to Ann Arbor!  It’s an extraordinary global event when over 100,000 people in over 300 cities across six continents gather in cinemas, galleries, universities, museums, and cafes for one purpose: to view and vote on the finalists’ films in the annual festival.  The Manhattan Short Film Festival plays Thursday, September 28 at 7:30 PM.

Opening at the Multiplex

"Friend Request"

In the horror-thriller, Laura is very active on social media and shares almost everything in her life with her 800+ friends on Facebook.  However, after accepting a friend request from an unknown girl named Marina, Laura becomes obsessed with Marina's profile, and soon her friends begin to die violently one by one.  “Friend Request” opens Friday.

"Kingsman: The Golden Circle"

In this film, the independent, international, super-secret intelligence agency faces a new challenge.  When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman, dating back to the day they were both founded.  In a new adventure that tests their agents' strength and wits to the limit, these two elite secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy.  “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” opens Friday.


This is the inspirational and heroic true-life story of Jeff Bauman (Jake Gyllenhaal), the man whose iconic photo from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing captured the hearts of the world.  Based on Bauman's New York Times bestselling book, “Stronger” 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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