Festival officals are calling the start of the Cinetopia International Film Festival a "big hit!" In Cinema Chat David Fair and Russ Collins discuss the festival and preview other movies that will open this weekend.
On Wednesday night, Downtown Detroit danced to the beat of Michael Jackson as Cinetopia Festival 2015 presented a Sing Along/Dance Along event in Campus Martius (Did you know Martin Scorsese directed “Bad”?). Yesterday the UM’s Orson Welles Symposium closed out to record attendance.
Cinetopia Festival is a hit and comes to Ann Arbor full force today, Thursday, June 11, with a 40th anniversary FREE screening of the first hit summer blockbuster, Stephen Spielberg’s 1975 classic “Jaws.” It will be screened outdoors, on Maynard Street across the street from the Michigan Theater, at sundown, which is about 9:45 PM.
Before the FREE screening of “Jaws,” use your Cinetopia Festival pass or buy tickets at the door for one of these highly anticipated films:
- At 7:15 PM at the Michigan, the documentary about super music agent “Danny Fields” (Doors, MC5, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, The Ramones) will premiere, with director Brendan Toller attending in person for a discussion alongside special guest Ivan Kral, the Grammy Award-winning musician who played with bands discovered by Danny Fields.
- At 7:30 PM at the State, the acclaimed family film “The Incredible Adventures of Jojo” will be followed by an entertaining Q&A with the film’s director, Brian Schmidt.
- At 7:15 at the Modern Languages Building on the campus of the University of Michigan, “A Borrowed Identity” will play. This film, based about the challenges a Palestinian-Israeli faces at a prestigious Jerusalem boarding school, has been well-received during Cinetopia already.
Friday through Sunday see a tremendous variety of great films -- literally the best films from the world’s best festivals. Over 70 films are showing during Cinetopia, so there will be many to suit your tastes and preferences. For a full list of films and screening times go towww.cinetopiafestival.org, but here are a few highlights:
- “Tab Hunter Confidential,” Friday, June 12 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan, with a live Skype discussion with 1950s matinee idol Tab Hunter.
- “54: The Director’s Cut” - Friday, June 12 at 9:15 PM at the State. This newly reconstructed version of writer/director Mark Christopher’s 1998 classic, which debuted 25 minutes of new footage at the Berlin International Film Festival, will be followed by a live talk back with producer Ira Deutchman.
- “Call Me Lucky,” Saturday, June 13 at 6:45 PM at the Michigan. Meet Director Bobcat Goldthwait and comedian and subject Barry Crimmins after the screening! Barry Crimmins created the Boston comedy scene, but behind the laughter was a darkness that would lead Crimmins to a life of advocacy and put him on a path to a head-on collision with America Online and the Catholic Church.
- When Marnie Was There,” Sunday, June 14 at noon at the Michigan. This free screening will help kick off “Ann Arbor Japan Week” with a special opportunity to see the latest (and potentially the last) Studio Ghibli animated film. The film features an all-star cast bringing the characters to life, including Hailee Steinfeld, Kiernan Shipka, John C. Reilly, Geena Davis and Kathy Bates.
- CLOSING NIGHT FILM - a very special premiere screening of “Mistress America,” Sunday, June 14 at 8:00 PM at the Michigan. Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's new comedy is about dream-chasing, score-settling, and cat-stealing.
In “Seymour: An Introduction,” we meet Seymour Bernstein: a virtuoso pianist, veteran New Yorker, and true original who gave up a successful concert career to teach music. In this wonderfully warm, witty, and intimate tribute from his friend, Ethan Hawke, Seymour shares unforgettable stories from his remarkable life and eye-opening words of wisdom, as well as insightful reflections on art, creativity, and the search for fulfillment. “Seymour: An Introduction” opens Monday at the Michigan.
Nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards, “Tangerines” unfolds during the growing conflict between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists in the wake of the Soviet Union's dissolution. The story focuses on two immigrant farmers who decide to remain in Georgia long enough to harvest their tangerine crop. When the war comes to their doorsteps, one of the farmers takes in two wounded soldiers from opposite sides. The fighters vow to kill each other when they recover, but their extended period of recovery has a humanizing effect. “Tangerines” opens Monday at the Michigan.
“Good Kill” reveals the psychological toll drone pilots endure as they are forced to witness the aftermath of their fight against insurgents. After six tours of duty, Air Force pilot Tom (Ethan Hawke) yearns to get back into the cockpit of a real plane, but he now fights the Taliban from an air-conditioned box in the Las Vegas desert. When he and his crew start taking orders directly from the CIA, and the stakes are raised, Egan's nerves begin to unravel. “Good Kill” opens Monday at the State.
Special Screenings Downtown
U-M Library, in conjunction with the Sundance Institute’s Film Forward program, presents two acclaimed documentaries focusing on the theme “Freedom of Information: The Power of Connectivity for Social Change.”
On Tuesday, June 16, “The Internet's Own Boy” plays at 7 PM at the Michigan Theater, followed by a Q&A with director Brian Knappenberger.
On Wednesday, June 17, “We Are The Giant” screens at 7 PM at the State Theatre, followed by a Q&A with director Greg Barker. Both screenings are free and open to the public.
Opening at the Multiplex
In “Jurassic World,” twenty-two years after the events of “Jurassic Park,” Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and with visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly. “Jurassic World” opens Friday.