89.1 WEMU

Cinema Chat: 'Parasite,' 'Where's My Roy Cohn?,' 'Terminator: Dark Fate,' And More

Oct 31, 2019

Inside the State Theatre in Ann Arbor
Credit Jeffrey Smith / flickr.com

It's the spookiest, scariest time of the year, and a good movie goes well with it.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair sits down with Michigan and State Theater executive director Russ Collins to talk about the latest movie news and all of the new flicks hitting theatres this Halloween weekend.


OPENING DOWNTOWN

"Parasite"

At the State (Opens TODAY!!! -Thursday, October 31): Winner of the Palme D’or Award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival!  Bong Joon Ho brings his work home to Korea in this pitch-black modern fairytale.  Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth.  And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else.  Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity.  Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. 

"Jojo Rabbit"

At the State (Opens TODAY - Thursday, October 31): Writer director Taika Waititi ("Thor: Ragnarok," "Hunt for the Wilderpeople"), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (played by Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic.  Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (played by Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.  Also, don’t miss "The Great Dictator," a Charlie Chaplin satire playing in associating with this film on Thursday, November 21 at 7:30 PM! 

"Where's My Roy Cohn?"

At the Michigan (Opens Friday, November 1): This is a thriller-like expose focusing on Roy Cohn, who personified the dark arts of American politics, turning empty vessels into dangerous demagogues – from acting as chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist-hunting subcommittee to molding the career of a young Queens real estate developer named Donald Trump. 

LIMITED ENGAGEMENTS

"Give Me Liberty"

This film plays Monday, November 4 and Tuesday, November 5 at the Michigan Theater.  Medical transport driver Vic is late, but it’s not his fault.  Roads are closed for a protest, and no one else can shuttle his Russian grandfather and émigré friends to a funeral.  The new route uproots his scheduled clients, particularly Tracy (Lauren “Lolo” Spencer in a breakout performance), a vibrant young woman with ALS.  As the day goes from hectic to off-the-rails, their collective ride becomes a hilarious, compassionate, and intersectional portrait of American dreams and disenchantment.  

"Enter the Dragon"

This film plays Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2 at 10:00 PM at the State Theatre as a part of the Late-Night Film Series.  Bruce Lee plays a martial-arts expert determined to help capture the narcotics dealer whose gang was responsible for the death of his sister.  Lee enters a kung fu competition to fight his way to the dealer's headquarters with the help of some friends.

Late Nights – Fridays & Saturdays at 10:00 PM at the State!

Grab some popcorn and come watch our favorite late night movies.

"Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood"

This film plays Saturday, November 2 at 3:15 PM at the Michigan Theater.  Quentin Tarantino’s 9th film and hit of the summer is back for an encore screening featuring a live stream Q&A with Quentin Tarantino, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brad Pitt to follow the film!  The film visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore.  The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age. 

"We Are the Music Makers"

This film plays Sunday, November 3 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan Theater.  This is a thoughtful and moving meditation on music, humanity, and the art of perfection.  It is the story of Dr. Jerry Blackstone, who is widely viewed to be one of the world’s greatest educators of up and coming, young choral conductors.  The film chronicles both his life as an unparalleled success in the choral world and his students’ journeys as they navigate the struggles and successes of experiencing Jerry’s much sought-after training.  This special sneak peek screening will feature a live Q&A with filmmaker Brian Gaukel and on-screen subject Jerry Blackstone, UM Emeritus Professor and Grammy Award-Winner, moderated by former UMS President Ken Fischer!

"Reel Rock 14"

This film is coming to the Michigan Theater on Monday, November 4 at 7:30 PM, presented by The North Face and Bivouac.  Founded in 2005 by groundbreaking filmmakers Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer, the film has grown into the premiere global platform for award-winning climbing films that weave bold action, humor, heart, and soul into larger-than-life human stories for a wide audience, from the core climber to the armchair mountaineer.  From feature documentaries to surprising shorts, Reel Rock films have earned dozens of festival awards, rave reviews, and even Emmys.  Also, all online ticket purchases will be automatically entered to win a prize from The North Face!

"All the President's Men"

This film plays Monday, November 4 at 7:30 PM & 9:45 PM at the State Theatre a part of our Journalism on Screen Film Series.  Bob Woodward (played by Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (played by Dustin Hoffman), research the botched 1972 burglary of the Democratic Party Headquarters.  Despite dire warnings about their safety, the duo follows the money all the way to the top.

Journalism on Screen – Mondays at 7:30 PM at the State!

Each film in this series is followed by a Q&A with Robert YoonHoward R. Marsh, Visiting Professor of Journalism at the University of Michigan and former CNN Director of Political Research, and Zoe Clark, Program Director of Michigan Radio and Co-Host of 'It's Just Politics'.'

"Hiroshima Mon Amour"

This film plays Tuesday, November 5 at 7:30 PM at the State Theatre a part of our Les Femmes Essentielles Film Series.  This series will feature three of the most legendary actresses of French cinema from three of the most impactful filmmakers of the French New-Wave.  A new restoration of one of the classics of cinema, the film depicts a brief affair between a French actress (played by Emmanuelle Riva, who epitomized a new kind of female star, more realistic and intellectual, as opposed to the “sex kitten” stereotype of Bardot ) and a Japanese architect (played by Eiji Okada) in the rebuilt and thriving Hiroshima of 1959.  The couple’s bliss is slowly eroded by the unavoidable memories of the war and atomic mass destruction.

Les Femmes Essentielles  –  Tuesdays at 7:30 PM at the State!

This series features three of the most legendary actresses of French cinema from three of the most impactful filmmakers of the French New-Wave.

"El Mar La Mar"

This film plays Wednesday, November 6 at 7:00 PM at the State Theatre, presented in partnership with the Ann Arbor Film Festival.  Free for AAFF & MT Gold Card members!  An immersive and enthralling journey through the Sonoran Desert on the U.S.-Mexico border, the film weaves together harrowing oral histories from the area with hand-processed 16mm images of flora, fauna, and items left behind by travelers.  Subjects speak of intense, mythic experiences in the desert: A man tells of a fifteen-foot-tall monster said to haunt the region, while a border patrolman spins a similarly bizarre tale of man versus beast.  A sonically rich soundtrack adds to the eerie atmosphere as the call of birds and other nocturnal noises invisibly populate the austere landscape.

"Red Trees"

This film plays Thursday, November 7 at 7:30 PM at the Michigan Theater.  This screening is presented in partnership with the Penny Stamps Speaker Series, who will be featuring Marina Willer in-person on Thursday, November 7 at 5:10 PM at the Michigan Theater.  Award-winning filmmaker Marina Willer creates an impressionistic visual essay as she traces her father’s family journey as one of only twelve Jewish families to survive the Nazi occupation of Prague during World War II.  Photographed by Academy Award® nominee Ce'sar Charlone ("City of God"), the film travels from war-torn Eastern Europe to the color and light of South America and is told through the voice of Willer’s father Alfred (as narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith, "Quantum of Solace"), who witnessed bureaucratic nightmares, transportations, and suicides but survived to build a post-war life as an architect in Brazil.  As the world struggles with the current refugee crisis, the film is a timely look at a family besieged by war who finds peace across an ocean.

CONTINUING DOWNTOWN

"The Lighthouse"

At the Michigan: From Robert Eggers, the visionary filmmaker behind modern horror masterpiece "The Witch," comes this hypnotic and hallucinatory tale shot in black-and-white.  This film follows two lighthouse keepers (played by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe) on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.  The two are faced with solitude and start to lose their sanity and become threatened by their worst nightmares. 

"Joker"

At the State: Winner of the Golden Lion at the 76th Venice International Film Festival!  Director Todd Phillips' film centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen.  Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society.  A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him.  Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.  

OPENING AT THE MULTIPLEX THIS WEEKEND

"Motherless Brooklyn"

Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, this film follows Lionel Essrog (played by Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (played by Bruce Willis).  Armed only with a few clues and the engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance.  In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York's power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.

"Terminator: Dark Fate"

More than two decades have passed since Sarah Connor prevented Judgment Day, changed the future, and re-wrote the fate of humanity.  In this film, Dani Ramos is living a simple life in Mexico City with her brother and father when a highly advanced and deadly new Terminator -- a Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna) -- travels back through time to hunt and kill her.  Dani's survival depends on her joining forces with two warriors: Grace, an enhanced super-soldier from the future, and a battle-hardened Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton).  As the Rev-9 ruthlessly destroys everything and everyone in its path on the hunt for Dani, the three are led to a T-800 (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) from Sarah's past that may be their last best hope.

"Arctic Dogs"

Swifty the Arctic Fox (voiced by Jeremy Renner) discovers a devious plan by Otto Von Walrus to drill beneath the Arctic surface to unleash masses of ancient gas to melt the Arctic and become the world's supreme ruler.  To stop this sinister scheme, Swifty enlists the help of his friends: PB (voiced by Alec Baldwin), a neurotic polar bear, Lemmy (voiced by James Franco), a scatterbrained albatross, Jade Fox (voiced by Heidi Klum), a brainy engineer, Leopold (Omar Sy) and Bertha (voiced by Heidi Klum), two conspiracy theorist otters, and Magda (voiced by Anjelica Huston), his curmudgeonly boss. 

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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