Cinema Chat: Godzilla Week At The State Theatre, 'Limbo,' And More

May 6, 2021

The State Theatre in Ann Arbor
Credit Brandon C. / flickr.com

There's so much to talk about in the movie world, and we have two of the biggest movie fans around to do it.  For this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's Michael Jewett fills in for David Fair to talk about this week's cinematic releases with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director Russ Collins.


STAR WARS DAY AT THE MICHIGAN THEATER 

On Tuesday, May 4th, we played "Star Wars: A New Hope"the 1st Star Wars movie, to 250 (the Michigan Theater seats over 1,600) and it was great! People had a wonderful time and it was great to feel the Michigan Theater safely populated by all times of movie fans – all races, all ages enjoying a classic film!

OPENING DOWNTOWN

"Limbo" -- OPENS FRIDAY, MAY 7 AT THE STATE

Omar is a promising young musician. Separated from his Syrian family, he is stuck on a remote Scottish island awaiting the fate of his asylum request. Ben Sharrock’s second feature is a funny and poignant cross-cultural satire that subtly sews together the hardship and hope of the refugee experience. 

SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN

"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" -- PLAYS SATURDAY, MAY 8 AND SUNDAY, MAY 9 AT THE MICHIGAN

As bass guitarist for a garage-rock band, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) has never had trouble getting a girlfriend; usually, the problem is getting rid of them. But when Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) skates into his heart, he finds she has the most troublesome baggage of all: an army of ex-boyfriends who will stop at nothing to eliminate him from her list of suitors. 

"Godzilla vs. Kong" -- FRIDAY, MAY 7 AT THE STATE

Legends collide in this film as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle for the ages, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe. The epic clash between the two titans—instigated by unseen forces—is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.

From Director Adam Wingard (“The Guest,” “You’re Next”) and starring Alexander Skarsgård (“Big Little Lies”), Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”), Rebecca Hall (“Professor Marston and the Wonder Women”), and Brian Tyree Henry (“Joker”).

"Godzilla" (1954) -- PLAYS TUESDAY, MAY 11 AT THE STATE (ONE SHOW ONLY)

A 1954 Japanese film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the first film in the Godzilla franchise and recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest running film franchise in history.

In the film, Japan's authorities deal with the sudden appearance of a giant monster, whose attacks trigger fears of nuclear holocaust during post-war Japan. The film pioneered a form of special effects called suitmation, in which a stunt performer wearing a suit interacts with miniature sets. Principal photography lasted 51 days, and special effects photography lasted 71 days.

It was theatrically released in Japan on November 3, 1954. In 1956, a heavily re-edited "Americanized" version, titled "Godzilla, King of the Monsters!" was released in the United States, and Raymond Burr (better known as TV’s Perry Mason and Ironside) was spliced into this Japanese film.

The character Godzilla has since become an international pop culture icon. The film and Tsuburaya have been largely credited for establishing the template for tokusatsu media. Since its release, the film has been regarded as a cinematic achievement and one of the best monster films ever made. We are showing the original sub-titled Japanese version of the film.

Upcoming Classic Films at the Michigan

CONTINUING DOWNTOWN

"Demon Slayer" -- PLAYING AT THE STATE

After his family was brutally murdered and his sister turned into a demon, Tanjiro Kamado's journey as a demon slayer began.Tanjiro and his comrades embark on a new mission aboard the Mugen Train, on track to despair.

"Nomadland" -- PLAYING AT THE MICHIGAN (FINAL SCREENING IS SUNDAY, MAY 9 AT 3:15 PM)

Winner of 3 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director & Best Actress

Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The third feature film from director Chloé Zhao, this film features real nomads Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

—Michael Jewett is the WEMU weekday jazz host.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org