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Cinema Chat: 'Vinyl Nation,' 'Stage: The Culinary Internship,' 'I Used To Go Here,' And More

Michigan Theater
Wikipedia Media Commons

Summertime may be reaching its end, but the movies will never stop coming.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair gets in touch with Michigan and State Theater executive director Russ Collins to talk about the latest films you can enjoy at home, thanks to the Michigan Theater's Virtual Movie Palace.


Every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday between 5-7 PM (order by 3pm day of). 

Due to weekend street closures, Friday pick-up has been moved to E. Washington, and Saturday is walk-up only on E. Liberty.  An expanded selection of Michigan and State merch now available!


WEMU listeners and State and Michigan members are loving Movie Trivia!  Win and get your name on the Marquee!  Our popular bi-weekly Movie Trivia returns TONIGHT, THURSDAY at 7:00 PM.  Join film programmer Nick Alderink and fellow movie fans for a fun-filled evening of wit, skill, and laughs.  This event is FREE to play, but registration is required!  Go to michtheater.orgto register and participate! 


"Stage: The Culinary Internship"

This film follows a group of aspiring chefs during a nine-month apprenticeship at one of the best restaurants in the world: Mugaritz, nestled in the hills outside San Sebastian.  While the twice Michelin starred restaurant’s notorious avant-garde cuisine elevates these young hopefuls to think outside the confines of a kitchen, can they handle the heat of its intense creative environment?  Featuring Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz (judge on Netflix’s "Final Table").

https://vimeo.com/438352409">2020 Sundance Shorts Tour

This event (Virtual Version) is an 80-minute theatrical program of 6 short films selected from this year’s Festival that is widely considered the premier American showcase for short films and the launchpad for many now-prominent independent filmmakers.

"I Used to Go Here"

Following the launch of her new novel, 35-year-old writer Kate Conklin (Gillian Jacobs) is invited to speak at her alma mater by her mentor and former professor (Jemaine Clement).  With her book tour cancelled and her ego deflated, Kate decides to take the trip, wondering if returning to her old college as a published author might give her the morale boost she sorely needs.  Instead, she falls into a comical regression – from misadventures with eccentric twenty-year-olds to feelings of jealousy toward her former professor’s new favorite student.  Striking the balance between bittersweet and hilarious, Kate takes a journey through her past to redefine her future.

"Desert One"

From Two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, this film tells the incredible tale of America’s secret mission to free the hostages of the 1979 Iranian revolution, which has been called “the most audacious, difficult, complicated, rescue mission ever attempted.” 

"Vinyl Nation"

The vinyl record renaissance over the past decade has brought new fans to a classic format and transformed our idea of a record collector: younger, both male and female, multicultural.  This same revival has made buying music more expensive, benefited established bands over independent artists and muddled the question of whether vinyl actually sounds better than other formats.  The film digs into the crates of the record resurgence in search of truths set in deep wax: Has the return of vinyl made music fandom more inclusive or divided?  What does vinyl say about our past here in the present?  How has the second life of vinyl changed how we hear music and how we listen to each other?

Directed by Christopher Boone and (Ann Arbor native) Kevin Smokler!

"Jazz on a Summer's Day"

Legendary photographer Bert Stern’s groundbreaking concert documentary is considered one of the most extraordinary and possibly the “best feature-length jazz concert movie ever made.”  See its sparkling new 4K restoration.

Cinetopia Presents: A2 Tech Film Showcase

Join us for this ONE DAY ONLY diverse and thought-provoking short film event, brought to you by Ann Arbor’s tech community and the Cinetopia Film Festival.  Takes place Saturday August 29!

"Feels Good Man"

Take part in one of the four special preview screenings and live Q&As of the new doc this Friday or Saturday, and choose The Michigan Theater as your cinema of choice to help directly support us! 


"The Fight"

Only days after the 2017 inauguration of Donald Trump, furious Americans gathered at airports across the country in protest of the Muslim ban.  But it was the efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union, waging the fight in federal court, that turned the tide, staying the executive order on grounds of unconstitutionality.  The ACLU has never granted access to its offices, even as its battles—on the fronts of abortion rights, immigration rights, LGBT rights and voting rights—have become more timely and momentous than ever.  The film features Brigitte Amiri, Ann Arbor native and Deputy Director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project.  Later this month, Brigitte will do a Q & A about the film.

With this film, access has finally been granted to the filmmaking team ofEli B. Despres,Josh Kriegman, and Elyse Steinberg, makers of 2016’s award-winning "Weiner."  Rousing, inspiring and slyly humorous, their latest documentary follows four seismically important cases and a handful of magnetic attorneys.  These lawyers may not know how to charge a cell phone or operate a stand-up desk but have persuaded Supreme Court Justices, beating back serious encroachments upon our freedoms.  An antidote to endless news cycles filled with tweet tantrums, the film inspires with the story of front-line warriors in the battle for the American soul.


Ripping back the curtain on legendary rock rag CREEM Magazine’s wild and disruptive newsroom; a dysfunctional band of unruly outsiders who weren’t all that different from the artists they covered.

Capturing the messy upheaval of the ’70s just as rock was re-inventing itself, the film explores CREEM Magazine’s humble beginnings in post-riot Detroit, follows its upward trajectory from underground paper to national powerhouse, then bears witness to its imminent demise following the tragic and untimely deaths of its visionary publisher, Barry Kramer, and its most famous alum and genius clown prince, Lester Bangs, a year later.  Fifty years after publishing its first issue, “America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine” remains a seditious spirit in music and culture.

Founded in 1969, CREEM Magazine rose from the ashes of the Detroit riots and ushered in a new era of raucous participatory rock journalism. For nearly 20 years, the magazine served as the infamous, irreverent, wild-child alternative to publications like Rolling Stone, and the go-to source for authentic, fan-focused music journalism from legendary writers like Lester Bangs, Dave Marsh, and Patti Smith, that made CREEM ‘America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine.

From the coining of phrases like ‘punk rock,’ to the early championing of bands like The Clash, Blondie, Elvis Costello, and Alice Cooper, the legacy of CREEM is one that runs deep with music fans and musicians alike.  Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, CREEM and its iconic R. Crumb-drawn Boy Howdy! logo continue to serve as a renegade, uncompromising emblem of the rock ‘n’ roll spirit.

"Suzi Q"

Before Suzi Quatro burst on the music world in 1973, there were almost no women in rock, and absolutely none who played bass and sang lead vocals and led the band and rocked out and reached millions of people around the world, re-writing the rule book for the expected image of women in rock & roll.  Singer, songwriter, bass player, bandleader, actress, radio-presenter, poet – there is only one Suzi Q, the pint-sized, leather-clad rocker who has sold more than 50 million records and, in 2019, released a new album, celebrating 53 years as a working musician.

Suzi Q – Curbside Concessions Deal! – Purchase a large combo from our Curbside Concessions menu and receive a voucher for $2 off your rental of Suzi Q!  Clickhere for more info and to order during open pick-up times.

"Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind"

Following Lightfoot’s evolution from Christian choirboy to troubled troubadour to international star and beloved Canadian icon, this film is an intimate and emotional examination of the artist’s profound relationship to his music and his Canadian roots.

The documentary features interviews from many notable voices in the music industry including Lightfoot peers Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Randy Bachman, and Steve Earle; famous fans Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee from Rush, Alec BaldwinAnne Murray, and Sarah McLachlan; as well as behind-the-scenes stories from members of his longtime band.

“Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things”

Tracing the story of Ella Fitzgerald’s life, this documentary film explores how her music became a soundtrack for a tumultuous century.

"Rebuilding Paradise"

On the morning of Nov. 8, 2018, a spark from a transmission line in Northern California, coupled with climate-impacted conditions, quickly grew into a devastating firestorm that engulfed the picturesque city of Paradise, California.  By the time the camp fire was extinguished, it had killed 85 people, displaced 50,000 residents and destroyed 95% of local structures.  It was the deadliest U.S. fire in 100 years — and the worst ever in California’s history.

"John Lewis: Good Trouble"

Using interviews and rare archival footage, this film chroniclesLewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration. 

"The Tobacconist"

Part of Cinetopia-AAJFF's A Summer of Film series.  A tender, heartbreaking story about one young man and his friendship with Sigmund Freud during the Nazi occupation of Vienna.  Stars Bruno Ganz as Freud.


For more information on virtual screenings and content available, visit michtheater.org/screenings.  Stay safe.  Stay strong.

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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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