89.1 WEMU

Cinema Chat: 'Slay The Dragon,' 'And Then We Danced,' 'The Whistlers,' And More

Apr 2, 2020

The Michigan Theater
Credit Sokotoff Photography

Movie houses across America are still closed, but Ann Arbor's specialty theaters are still finding ways to give you your movie fix.  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 all of the films you can catch in the comfort of your own home, including some first-run films not available anywhere else! 


NEW THIS WEEK

"Slay the Dragon" -- AVAILABLE NOW

A secretive, high-tech gerrymandering initiative launched 10 years ago threatens to undermine our democracy.  The film follows everyday people as they fight to make their votes matter.  This film, presented by Cinetopia Film Festival and Magnolia Pictures, is provided by our distributor friends at Magnolia and 50% of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Michigan Theater Foundation!  Join us on Friday, April 3 at 7:00 PM for a live stream Q&A with moderator and Michigan Radio’s co-host of "It’s Just Politics" Zoe Clark, film subject, American activist, and Michigander Katie Fahey, onscreen subject and Director of Campaigns & Programs for Voters Not Politicians Jamie Lyons-Eddy and onscreen subject and Michigan Radio’s co-host of "It’s Just Politics" Rick Pluta.  Register at michtheater.org/screenings.

"And Then We Danced" -- AVAILABLE NOW

A passionate tale of love and liberation set amidst the ultraconservative confines of modern Georgian society, this film follows Merab, a devoted dancer who has been training for years with his partner Mary for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble.  The arrival of another male dancer, Irakli--gifted with perfect form and equipped with a rebellious streak--throws Merab off balance, sparking both an intense rivalry and romantic desire that may cause him to risk his future in dance as well as his relationships with Mary and his family.  This film is provided by our distributor friends at Music Box Films and 50% of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Michigan Theater Foundation!  And don’t miss our virtual discussion on "And Then We Danced" and "The Whistlers" with Programming & Media Coordinator Nick Alderink next Monday, April 6 at 8:00 PM!  Register at michtheater.org/screenings.

"The Whistlers" -- AVAILABLE FRIDAY, APRIL 3

In this film, not everything is as it seems for Cristi, a police inspector in Bucharest who plays both sides of the law.  Embarking with the beautiful Gilda on a high-stakes heist, both will have to navigate the twists and turns of corruption, treachery and deception.  A trip to the Canary Islands to learn a secret whistling language might just be what they need to pull it off.  This film is provided by our distributor friends at Magnolia and 50% of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Michigan Theater Foundation!  And don’t miss our virtual discussion on "And Then We Danced" and The "Whistlers" with Programming & Media Coordinator Nick Alderink next Monday, April 6 at 8:00 PM!  Register at michtheater.org/screenings.

SPECIAL VIRTUAL WATCH PARTY

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" -- CELEBRATING THE FILM'S 30TH ANNIVERSARY

Join the Michigan Theater staff on Twitch this Saturday, April 4 at 9:00 PM for a live virtual watch party and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film!  Tune in as we watch the film on our own (available on Netflix) and hit play together to experience the film in real-time as a community.  Our staff will be providing movie trivia and background, as well as lend their own comments and opinions, and take comments and questions from you!  For more information visit michtheater.org/screenings.

NOW AVAILABLE

"Bacarau"

A few years from now… Bacurau, a small village in the Brazilian sertão, mourns the loss of its matriarch, Carmelita, who lived to be 94.  Days later, its inhabitants (among them Sônia Braga) notice that their village has literally vanished from online maps and a UFO-shaped drone is seen flying overhead.  There are forces that want to expel them from their homes, and soon, in a genre-bending twist, a band of armed mercenaries, led by Udo Kier, arrive in town picking off the inhabitants one by one.  A fierce confrontation takes place when the townspeople turn the tables on the villainous outsiders, banding together by any means necessary to protect and maintain their remote community.  The mercenaries just may have met their match in the fed-up, resourceful denizens of little Bacurau.  This film is provided by our distributor friends at Kino Lorber and 50% of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Michigan Theater Foundation!

"Saint Frances"

Flailing 34-year-old Bridget (played by Kelly O’Sullivan) finally catches a break when she meets a nice guy and lands a much-needed job nannying six-year-old Frances (played by a scene-stealing Ramona Edith-Williams).  But an unwanted pregnancy introduces an unexpected complication.  To make matters worse, she clashes with the obstinate Frances and struggles to navigate a growing tension between Frances’ moms.  This film is provided by our distributor friends at Oscilloscope and 50% of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Michigan Theater Foundation!

"Fantastic Fungi"

When so many are struggling for connection, inspiration and hope, this film brings us together as interconnected creators of our world.  The film, directed by Louie Schwartzberg, is a consciousness-shifting film that takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale into the magical earth beneath our feet, an underground network that can heal and save our planet.  Through the eyes of renowned scientists and mycologists like Paul Stamets, best-selling authors Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil, and others, we become aware of the beauty, intelligence and solutions the fungi kingdom offers us in response to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges.  This film is provided by our distributor friends at Area 23a and 40% of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Michigan Theater Foundation!

MORE SPECIALTY CONTENT

National Theatre at Home

Join us every Thursday for much-loved National Theatre Live productions, free to stream on YouTube for seven days!  Enjoy world-class theatre online while they are unfortunately closed.  This week, catch "One Man, Two Guvnors," featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from James Corden as Francis Henshall in this hilarious West End and Broadway hit.  Streaming will be available Thursday, April 2 at 7 PM until Thursday, April 9.  For more information, visit nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home.

Penny Stamps Lecture Series

Weekly presentations will be available online!  To limit the potential spread of respiratory viruses and safeguard those at highest risk of catching COVID-19, the University of Michigan has canceled all live events with estimated attendance of over 100 people.  As a result, live Penny Stamps Speaker Series events will not take place as scheduled.  When possible, our weekly presentations will be available online: videos will be announced via email and on this page.  For more information, visit stamps.umich.edu/stamps

Met Opera Streams

During this extraordinary and difficult time, the Met hopes to brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark.  Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 PM until 6:30 PM the following day.  The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers.

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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