Cinema Chat: 'Licorice Pizza,' 'Red Rocket,' and more
Christmas is in the air, and the movies are on the big screen. Michigan Theater Foundation executive director Russ Collins calls in to talk about the latest offerings in cinema with WEMU's Michael Jewett, who continues filling in for David Fair.
REMINDER: LIVE ON STAGE: ANAIS MITCHELL & BONEY LIGHT HORSEMAN AT THE MICHIGAN THEATER
TICKETS NOW ON SALE THROUGH TICKETMASTER! Anaïs Mitchell is on tour is and coming to Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater on February 7, 2022. She'll be performing with a band (including JT Bates on drums and Michael Lewis on bass) and will play brand new music alongside older favorites including selections from "Hadestown." Bonny Light Horseman, Anais’s band with Josh Kaufman and Eric Johnson, will open! Tickets available now at TicketMaster.
"Licorice Pizza" -- OPENS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24 AT THE MICHIGAN
This film is a 2021 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson ("Phantom Thread," "There Will Be Blood," "Boogie Nights"). The film stars Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, Maya Rudolph, and Benny Safdie. The film received acclaim from critics and received three awards from the National Board of Review, including Best Film. It was also named one of the best films of 2021 by the American Film Institute and received four nominations at the 79th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, along with eight nominations at the 27th Critics' Choice Awards, including Best Picture. The story of Alana Kane (Alana Haim) and Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) growing up, running around and going through the treacherous navigation of first love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973.
"Red Rocket" -- OPENS SATURDAY, DECEMBER 25 AT THE STATE
A 2021 American comedy-drama film directed by Sean Baker, from a screenplay by Baker and Chris Bergoch. The film stars Simon Rex as Mikey Saber, a formerly successful but now near penniless adult entertainer who returns to his small Texas hometown; there he labors less for people's affection and acceptance than "to persuade them to do what he wants," with the film bearing "witness [to] his scams." The film premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival in competition for the Palme d'Or and was released in limited theaters on December 10, 2021, by A24. The audacious new film from writer-director Sean Baker ("The Florida Project," "Tangerine"), starring Simon Rex in a magnetic, live-wire performance, the film is a darkly funny and humane portrait of a uniquely American hustler and a hometown that barely tolerates him.
A 2021 American neo-noir psychological thriller directed by Guillermo del Toro from a screenplay by del Toro and Kim Morgan, based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham. The film features an ensemble cast including Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn. It is the second feature film adaptation of Gresham's novel, following the 1947 version. The film focuses on Stan Carlisle (Cooper), an ambitious carny, who hooks up with a corrupt psychiatrist, Dr. Lilith Ritter (Blanchett), who proves to be as dangerous as he is.
Cooper plays the charismatic but down-on-his-luck carny, Stanton Carlisle, who endears himself to clairvoyant Zeena (Toni Collette) and her has-been mentalist husband Pete (David Strathairn). At a traveling carnival, he crafts a golden ticket to success, using this newly acquired knowledge to grift the wealthy elite of 1940s New York society. With the virtuous Molly (Rooney Mara) loyally by his side, Stanton plots to con a dangerous tycoon (Richard Jenkins) with the aid of a mysterious psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who might be his most formidable opponent yet.
This is a 2021 American superhero film, the sequel to "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017) and "Spider-Man: Far From Home" (2019). It is the 27th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is directed by Jon Watts, written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man alongside Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jacob Batalon, Jon Favreau, and Marisa Tomei. In this film, Parker asks Dr. Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) to make his identity as Spider-Man a secret again with magic, but Strange's spell goes awry, breaking open the multiverse and allowing supervillains from alternate realities to enter the MCU. This marks the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero's identity is revealed, bringing his Super Hero responsibilities into conflict with his normal life and putting those he cares about most at risk. Now, Peter will have to overcome his greatest challenge yet, which will not only forever alter his own future, but the future of the Multiverse.
Love at first sight strikes when young Tony spots Maria at a high school dance in 1957 New York City. Their burgeoning romance helps to fuel the fire between the warring Jets and Sharks -- two rival gangs vying for control of the streets. Director: Steven Spielberg. Writer: Tony Kushner.
Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) are threatened by shocking personal accusations, a political smear and cultural taboos in Academy Award (R)-winning writer and director Aaron Sorkin's behind-the-scenes drama. A revealing glimpse of the couple's complex romantic and professional relationship, the film takes audiences into the writers' room, onto the soundstage and behind closed doors with Ball and Arnaz during one critical production week of their groundbreaking sitcom, "I Love Lucy."
Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), an astronomy grad student, and her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) make an astounding discovery of a comet orbiting within the solar system. The problem: it's on a direct collision course with Earth. The other problem? No one really seems to care. Turns out warning mankind about a planet-killer the size of Mount Everest is an inconvenient fact to navigate. With the help of Dr. Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), Kate and Randall embark on a media tour that takes them from the office of an indifferent President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her sycophantic son and Chief of Staff, Jason (Jonah Hill), to the airwaves of The Daily Rip, an upbeat morning show hosted by Brie (Cate Blanchett) and Jack (Tyler Perry). With only six months until the comet makes impact, managing the 24-hour news cycle and gaining the attention of the social media obsessed public before it's too late proves shockingly comical -- what will it take to get the world to just look up?!
This is a 2021 American biographical crime drama film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the 2001 book "The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed" by Sara Gay Forden. The film stars Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, the wife of Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), as their romance transforms into a fight for control of the fashion brand Gucci; Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek, and Al Pacino also star.
Ridley Scott had wanted to do a film about the Gucci dynasty since acquiring the rights to Forden's book in the early 2000s. The project languished for several years and went through a handful of directors and rumored actors before Scott and Gaga were confirmed as attached in November 2019. Much of the rest of the cast joined the following summer, and filming began in Italy in February 2021, lasting through May.
The film is inspired by the shocking true story of the family behind the Italian fashion empire. When Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel the family legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately... murder.
A 2021 American comedy-drama anthology film written, directed, and produced byWes Andersonfrom a story he conceived with Roman Coppola, Hugo Guinness, andJason Schwartzman. The film stars an ensemble cast featuring Benicio del Toro,Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson. Its plot follows three different storylines, as the French foreign bureau of a fictional Kansas newspaper creates its final issue. Filming took place between November 2018 and March 2019, with cinematographer Robert Yeoman, in the city of Angoulême, France. Following a delay, the film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on July 12, 2021.
IT'S THE HOLIDAY SEASON!
FREE Holiday Classics Series!
Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support. Make your donation to WEMU todayto keep your community NPR station thriving.