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Cinema Chat: Remembering John Lewis, '2040,' 'Suzi Q,' And More

Jul 23, 2020

The Michigan Theater
Credit Bradley Pritts / Facebook

There's still no telling when your favorite local theaters will open, but some good flicks are still heading your way.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair and Michigan and State Theater executive director Russ Collins discuss the latest films and special screening becoming available at your online convenience this weekend.


CURBSIDE CONCESSIONS

Every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday between 5-7 PM (order by 3pm day of). 

Due to weekend street closures, Friday pick-up has been moved to E. Washington, and Saturday is walk-up only on E. Liberty.  An expanded selection of Michigan and State merch now available!

REMEMBERING JOHN LEWIS

Detroit Public TV, in collaboration with U-M's Penny Stamps Speakers Series, honors the passing of the great American hero and civil rights icon with special programming commemorating his lifelong struggle for social justice.  See the lecture on DPTV Friday at 8 PM, or watch on-demand here.  You can also watch "John Lewis: Good Trouble," playing now in our Virtual Movie Palace.

NEW THIS WEEK

"2040"

Award-winning director Damon Gameau ("That Sugar Film") embarks on a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them rapidly into the mainstream.  Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, Damon blends traditional documentary with dramatized sequences and high-end visual effects to create a vision board of how these solutions could regenerate the world for future generations.

"Suzi Q"

Before Suzi Quatro burst on the music world in 1973, there were almost no women in rock, and absolutely none who played bass and sang lead vocals and led the band and rocked out and reached millions of people around the world, re-writing the rule book for the expected image of women in rock & roll.  Singer, songwriter, bass player, bandleader, actress, radio-presenter, poet – there is only one Suzi Q, the pint-sized, leather-clad rocker who has sold more than 50 million records and, in 2019, released a new album, celebrating 53 years as a working musician.

FEATURING: ALICE COOPER, DEBORAH HARRY, TINA WEYMOUTH, CHERIE CURRIE, KATHY VALENTINE, KT TUNSTALL, DON POWELL, HENRY WINKLER, ANDY SCOTT, DONITA SPARKS, WENDY JAMES, JOAN JETT, CLEM BURKE, PATTI QUATRO, LITA FORD, JOHN NORWOOD FISHER, CHRIS FRANZ, MIKE CHAPMAN, TOBY MAMIS, RODNEY BINGENHEIMER, LEN TUCKEY.

CONTINUING

"A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps"

Documentary that celebrates the past and future of the Peace Corps, which was created from an impromptu speech from President John F. Kennedy more than 55 years ago from the steps of the Michigan Union at the University of Michigan.  Directed by Alana DeJoseph and narrated by Annette Bening, the documentary features indelible interviews of current and returned Peace Corps Volunteers, current and former staff, scholars and journalists, community members, and leaders around the world (including Presidents Jimmy Carter)

"Shooting Life"

While helping his war-weary students find their own voices, a high school teacher attempts to start a new life in an Israeli town perpetually in danger, in this teen drama.  Though they’re slow to warm to him, he gains his 12th-grade students’ trust by coaxing them to film their own stories of love and loss.  An engrossing coming-of-age story ponders, from the next generation’s viewpoint, the shattered dreams and future hopes of the Middle East.

Mindfulness Bundle Now Available!

Rent The Mindfulness Movement and receive a promo code to stream the meditative film and MTF Original, The Motions of Stillness, for FREE.

  • "The Mindfulness Movement"--How mindfulness – the state of focusing on the present moment without judgment – is the key to creating a healthier and happier world.
  • "The Motions of Stillness"--AN MTF ORIGINAL.  Watch this original film from Jared Van Eck, Michigan Theater Technical Director, and local musician.  Inspired by the snowfall in March and isolation due to the pandemic, this film aims to encourage the viewer to still themselves, focus on deep breaths, and reflect on the simple beauty of falling snow.

“Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things”

Tracing the story of Ella Fitzgerald’s life, this documentary film explores how her music became a soundtrack for a tumultuous century.

"The Tobacconist"

Part of Cinetopia-AAJFF's A Summer of Film series.  A tender, heartbreaking story about one young man and his friendship with Sigmund Freud during the Nazi occupation of Vienna.  Stars Bruno Ganz as Freud.

"Waiting for the Barbarians"

From Director Ciro Guerra ("Embraacing the Serpent," "Birds of Passage") and starring Mark RylanceJohnny Depp, and Robert Pattinson.  The Magistrate (Mark Rylance) of an isolated frontier settlement on the border of an unnamed empire looks forward to an easy retirement until the arrival of Colonel Joll (Johnny Depp), whose task it is to report on the activities of the "barbarians" and on the security situation on the border.

“One Small Step Shorts”

Embark on a roller coaster of imagination and possibility in this ShortsTV-presented compilation of twelve new and acclaimed, family-friendly animation short films.

"Shirley"

Renowned horror writer Shirley Jackson (Elizabeth Moss) is on the precipice of writing her masterpiece when the arrival of newlyweds upends her meticulous routine and heightens tensions in her already tempestuous relationship with her philandering husband.  The middle-aged couple, prone to ruthless barbs and copious afternoon cocktails, begins to toy mercilessly with the naïve young couple at their door.

MORE SPECIALTY CONTENT

For more information on virtual screenings and content available, visit michtheater.org/screenings.  Stay safe.  Stay strong.

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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