Now that the Independence Day fireworks have cooled off, it's time to check out what's at the box office, not to mention a brand new film festival. In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan and State Theater executive director Russ Collins about the latest movie news and the new films hitting the big screen this weekend.
NEVERTHELESS FILM FESTIVAL, July 11-14 at the Michigan Theater
Don’t miss Nevertheless Film Festival, a new festival elevating the work of female-identifying filmmakers taking place from Thursday, July 11 through Sunday, July 14 at the Michigan Theater. Bringing you the latest and greatest documentaries, narratives, and short films made by women — for everyone. Learn more at neverthelessfilmfestival.com! Meredith Finch, Festival Founder and Director, has held positions at festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, and SFFILM, and is an independent film producer.
Thursday, July 11th
6:30 PM - Opening Night Film: "A Colony" (Canada)
Mylia, a timid 12-year-old, is about to leave her native countryside to begin high school. Lost in this new hostile environment, she copes as well as she can, sometimes awkwardly, dealing with the absurdities, discomforts, and small victories of adolescence. Along the way she encounters Jimmy, a young indigenous outsider from the neighboring reserve, who will help her stand her ground and embrace who she really is.
Friday, July 12th
5:30 PM - Panel with Team Nevertheless
6:30 PM - "South Mountain"
8:30 PM - "Pipe Dreams"
Saturday, July 13th
11:30 AM - Panel with Stacey Tenenbaum (director of Pipe Dreams)
12:00 PM - Narrative Shorts Program
2:00 PM - Panel with Shaina Feinberg (director of Senior Escort Service)
2:30 PM - "Sister Aimee"
4:30 PM - "Senior Escort Service"
6:30 PM - "Kate Nash: Underestimate The Girl"
Sunday, July 14th
12:00 PM - Documentary Shorts Program
2:00 PM - Panel with Bridgette Auger (co-director of We Are Not Princesses)
2:30 PM - "Romantic Comedy" (Documentary)
4:30 PM - "Go Back to China"
6:30 PM - "We Are Not Princesses"
At the State (Opens Friday, July 12): An official selection of Cinetopia 2019! In this film, Jessie Buckley delivers an unforgettable, star-making performance as Rose-Lynn Harlan, a rebellious country singer who dreams of trading the working-class streets of Glasgow for the Grand Ole Opry of Nashville. Fresh out of prison, Rose-Lynn juggles her menial job, two children, and committed mother, expertly portrayed by Oscar-nominee Julie Walters, as she pursues her bold ambition of a one-way ticket to musical stardom. With the support of her boss (played by Sophie Okonedo), Rose-Lynn embarks on a life-changing journey that challenges her sense of self and helps her discover her true voice.
At the Michigan (Opens Friday, July 12): From Director Denys Arcand, winner of the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Film for "The Barbarian Invasions," comes a new Quebec crime, thriller comedy. In this film, Pierre-Paul Daoust, 36, an intellectual with a PhD in philosophy is forced to work as a deliveryman to afford a decent living. One day, while delivering a parcel, he gets caught in a hold up gone terribly wrong: two dead and millions in money bags laying on the ground. Pierre-Paul is confronted with a dilemma: leave empty handed, or take the money and run? This new Denys Arcand film takes a witty yet touching look at, as only Arcand knows how, the predominance of money in a society where all other values seem to have crumbled.
SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN
This film plays Sunday, July 14 at 1:30 PM and Wednesday, July 17 at 7:00 PM at Michigan Theater as a part of The SavCo Hospitality Summer Classic Film Series, presented by the University of Michigan Credit Union with media support from MLive. Three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monáe) — serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.
This film plays Monday, July 15 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan Theater. The latest from Beatleologist Scott Freiman! Take a track-by-track journey into their inspiration and evolution in the studio with the man who’s been presenting his beloved, exhilarating multimedia deep dives into the band’s work here for years. Because of the depth of the Abbey Road songwriting, he created two separate presentations for this album (Side Two will play Monday, July 22 at 7:00 PM). With rare insights, anecdotes, film clips, and recordings, he takes audiences on an entertaining journey through performances and recording sessions, allowing us to see and hear the evolution of groundbreaking songs and understand their lasting influence on popular music.
This film plays Wednesday, July 17 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan Theater. Following the critically-acclaimed world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, this documentary comes to movie theaters nationwide for a special one-night-only screening. A few minutes into this intimate look at the creative process of founding Phish guitarist and vocalist Trey Anastasio, it is clear that he is exploding with his unique brand of songwriting and creativity. As the frontman of one of America’s longest lasting and most successful touring bands and a solo musician as well, Anastasio’s virtuosic musicianship has made him an icon, beloved by his die-hard fanbase for the depth of his artistic output and the boundless enthusiasm that he exudes on stage and off.
This film plays Thursday, July 18 at 7:20 PM & 9:25 PM at the Michigan Theater. Werner Herzog and André Singer's riveting documentary, filled with unforgettable archive materials and based on three long interviews, provides incredible access to, arguably, the world's greatest living politician. Now 87 and battling illness, the visionary Mikhail Gorbachev, former General Secretary of the U.S.S.R, has mellowed and slowed down. Still, gently but resolutely, he is pushing towards his goals. Herzog, as on-screen interviewer, does not disguise his affection, celebrating Gorbachev's remarkable accomplishments.
At the Michigan: Cinetopia 2019 Audience Award winner! This film offers an artful and intimate meditation on the life and works of the acclaimed novelist. From her childhood in the steel town of Lorain, Ohio to ‘70s-era book tours with Muhammad Ali, from the front lines with Angela Davis to her own riverfront writing room, Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, history and the human condition.
Jack Malik (played by Himesh Patel, BBC's "Eastenders") is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James, "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again"). Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed... and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed. Also stars Ed Sheeran and Kate McKinnon.
The Cinetopia Secretopia hit returns! From the filmmaking team behind the highly-acclaimed documentary "The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years," this is a riveting film that lifts the curtain on the icon who brought opera to the people. Academy Award® winner Ron Howard puts audiences front row center for an exploration of The Voice…The Man…The Legend. Luciano Pavarotti gave his life to the music and a voice to the world. This cinematic event features history-making performances and intimate interviews, including never-before-seen footage and cutting-edge Dolby Atmos technology.
At the State: From the visionary mind of Ari Aster("Hereditary") comes a dread-soaked cinematic fairytale where a world of darkness unfolds in broad daylight called Midsommar. Dani and Christian are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that render the pastoral paradise increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing.
Peter Parker returns in the next chapter of the Spider-Man: Homecoming series! Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter's plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent!
In this film, a legendary late-night talk show host’s (played by Emma Thompson) world is turned upside down when she hires her first and only female staff writer (played by Mindy Kaling). Originally intended to smooth over diversity concerns, her decision brings about unexpectedly hilarious consequences as the two women who are separated by culture and generation become united by their love of a biting punchline.
This film is a poignant and sweeping story of hometowns and how they’re made—and kept alive—by the people who love them. Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind. As he struggles to reconnect with his family and reconstruct the community he longs for, his hopes blind him to the reality of his situation.
OPENING AT THE MULTIPLEX FRIDAY, JULY 12
This film, directed by Michael Dowse, is an action-comedy from 20th Century Fox staring Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino, and Karen Gillan. When a mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu (played by Kumail Nanjiani) picks up a passenger (played by Dave Bautista) who turns out to be a cop hot on the trail of a brutal killer, he's thrust into a harrowing ordeal where he desperately tries to hold onto his wits, his life, and his five-star rating.
In this film, a massive hurricane hits Haley’s (played by Kaya Scodelario) Florida hometown and she ignores evacuation orders to search for her missing father (played by Barry Pepper). Finding him gravely injured in the crawl space of their family home, the two become trapped by quickly encroaching floodwaters. As time runs out to escape the strengthening storm, Haley and her father discover that the rising water level is the least of their fears.
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