Cinema Chat: 'The Green Knight,' 'Stillwater,' 'Jungle Cruise,' And More

Jul 29, 2021

Michigan Theater Popcorn
Credit The Michigan Theater / Facebook

July is coming to an end, but the wave of new movies keeps on going. WEMU's David Fair chats about the latest movie news and films coming to your local movie house with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director and CEO Russ Collins.


OPENING DOWNTOWN

"The Green Knight" -- OPENS JULY 30 AT THE MICHIGAN

An epic fantasy adventure based on the timeless Arthurian legend, this film tells the story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur's reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom by facing the ultimate challenger. From visionary filmmaker David Lowery comes a fresh and bold spin on a classic tale from the knights of the round table.

"Stillwater" (Featured at Cannes) -- OPENS JULY 30 AT THE STATE

Unemployed roughneck Bill Baker (Academy Award® winner Matt Damon) travels from Oklahoma to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter Allison (Academy Award® nominee Abigail Breslin). Imprisoned for a murder she claims she did not commit. Allison seizes on a new tip that could exonerate her and presses Bill to engage her legal team. But Bill, eager to prove his worth and regain his daughters trust, takes matters into his own hands. He is quickly stymied by language barriers, cultural differences, and a complicated legal system until he meets French actress Virginie (Camille Cottin), mother to eight-year-old Maya (Lilou Siauvaud). Together, these unlikely allies embark on a journey of discovery, truth, love, and liberation.

"Annette" (Featured at Cannes) -- OPENS AUGUST 6 AT THE STATE

A globally acclaimed opera singer and a stand-up comedian have their first child, and their lives are completely changed. Musical score by the Sparks Brothers.

"Respect" -- OPENS AUGUST 12 AT THE STATE

The much-anticipated musical film based on the life of American singer Aretha Franklin. Directed by Liesl Tommy (in her feature film directorial debut), from a screenplay written by Tracey Scott Wilson. The film stars Jennifer Hudson as Franklin. Forest WhitakerMarlon WayansAudra McDonaldMarc MaronTituss BurgessSaycon SengblohHailey KilgoreSkye Dakota TurnerTate Donovan, and Mary J. Blige.

Direct from Sundance: "CODA" -- OPENS AUGUST 20 AT THE MICHIGAN

This film had its world premiere on January 28, 2021 at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, and the screening at the Michigan Theater will be one of only a handful of theatrical screenings to be allowed. An American dramatic film featuring a hearing teenage girl who is a Child Of Deaf Adults (CODA for short). Written and directed by Sian Heder, the film stars Emilia Jones as the hearing girl, with Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur as her culturally deaf parents and Daniel Durant as her deaf brother. Eugenio Derbez and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo also star in the film. The film, which is an English-language remake of the 2014 French-language film "La Famille Bélier" was filmed on location in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in the United States.

SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN

SPIKE LEE RETROSPECTIVE - Saturdays

 STUDIO GHIBLI JAPANESE ANIME - Saturdays

 WES ANDERSON RETROSPECTIVE - Fridays       

 CINEMA CLASSICS – Sundays & Tuesdays

CONTINUING DOWNTOWN

"Pig" 

Living alone in the Oregon wilderness, an acclaimed, but burned-out chief has left his old life behind to become a truffle hunter. After his prized truffle hunting pig turns up missing, he returns to Portland to find the person who stole his beloved pig.

"The Truffle Hunters"

Deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, a handful of men, seventy or eighty years young, hunt for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle—which to date has resisted all of modern science's efforts at cultivation. They're guided by a secret culture and training passed down through generations, as well as by the noses of their cherished and expertly-trained dogs. They live a simpler, slower way of life, in harmony with their loyal animals and their picture-perfect land, seemingly straight out of a fairy tale. They're untethered to cell phone screens or the Internet, opting instead to make their food and drink by hand and prioritizing in-person connections and community.

The demand for white truffles increases year after year, even as the supply decreases. As a result of climate change, deforestation, and the lack of young people taking up the mantle, the truffle hunters' secrets are more coveted than ever. However, as it soon becomes clear, these aging men may just hold something much more valuable than even this prized delicacy: the secret to a rich and meaningful life.

"Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain"

It's not where you go. It's what you leave behind.... Chef, writer, adventurer, provocateur: Anthony Bourdain lived his life unabashedly. This film is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how an anonymous chef became a world-renowned cultural icon. From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville ("20 Feet From Stardom," "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"), this unflinching look at Bourdain reverberates with his presence, in his own voice and in the way he indelibly impacted the world around him.

"Summer of Soul (Or When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)" 

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture, and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just 100 miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten—until now. The film shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie WonderNina SimoneSly & the Family StoneGladys Knight & the PipsThe Staples SingersMahalia JacksonB.B. KingThe 5th Dimension, and more.

"In the Heights"

This is an upcoming American musical drama film directed by Jon M. Chu from a screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes. It is based on the stage musical of Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film stars Anthony RamosCorey HawkinsLeslie GraceMelissa BarreraOlga MeredizDaphne Rubin-VegaGregory Diaz IV, and Jimmy Smits.

Lights up on Washington Heights... The scent of a cafecito caliente hangs in the air just outside of the 181st Street subway stop, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies this vibrant and tight-knit community. At the intersection of it all is the likeable, magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines and sings about a better life.

OPENING AT THE MULTIPLEX

"Jungle Cruise"

Based on Disneyland's theme park ride where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles but with a supernatural element. Stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt (IMDB)

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu