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Cinema Chat: 'Dog,' 'The Worst Person in the World,' 'Lunana,' and more

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Jim Hudgins - USFWS Midwest Region
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The Michigan Theater


BEST PICTURE – State & Michigan Have Played Them All (many are returning)

  • "Belfast" – Currently playing
  • "Drive My Car" – Currently playing
  • "Licorice Pizza" – Currently playing
  • "The Power of the Dog" – Currently playing
  • "Dune" – Re-opens tomorrow (2/18)
  • "King Richard" – Coming soon
  • "Nightmare Alley" – Coming soon in special B & W, director created version                                                                             
  • "West Side Story" – Coming soon
  • "CODA" – We play last spring – one of a few theatrical screenings
  • "Don’t Look Up" – We play in November/December

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE – You can see them ALL at State & Michigan before the Oscar Show

  • "Drive My Car" (Japan) – Currently playing
  • "Flee" (Denmark) – Currently playing
  • "The Worst Person in the World" (Norway) – Opens Today (2/17)
  • "Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom" (Bhutan) – Opens Tomorrow (2/18)
  • "The Hand of God" (Italy) – Coming Soon

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – You can see them ALL at State & Michigan before the Oscar Show

  • "Flee" – Now playing
  • "Summer of Soul" – Coming February 22 & 27
  • "Writing With Fire" – Coming March 1 & 5
  • "Ascension" – Coming March 8 & 13
  • "Attica" – Coming March 15 &20

BEST ANIMATED SHORT – All Short Film Programs Open February 25

  • "Affairs of the Art" (Joanna Quinn and Les Mills)
  • "Bestia" (Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz)
  • "Boxballet" (Anton Dyakov)
  • "Robin Robin" (Dan Ojari and Mikey Please)
  • "The Windshield Wiper" (Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez)

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT – All Short Film Programs Open February 25

  • "Ala Kachuu — Take and Run" (Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger)
  • "The Dress" (Tadeusz Łysiak and Maciej Ślesicki)
  • "The Long Goodbye" (Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed)
  • "On My Mind" (Martin Strange-Hansen and Kim Magnusson)
  • "Please Hold" (K.D. Dávila and Levin Menekse)

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT – All Short Film Programs Open February 25

  • "Audible" (Matt Ogens and Geoff McLean)
  • "Lead Me Home" (Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk)
  • "The Queen of Basketball" (Ben Proudfoot)
  • "Three Songs for Benazir" (Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei)
  • "When We Were Bullies" (Jay Rosenblatt)



A buddy comedy that follows the misadventures of two former Army Rangers paired against their will on the road trip of a lifetime. Army Ranger Briggs (Channing Tatum) and Lulu (a Belgian Malinois dog) buckle into a 1984 Ford Bronco and race down the Pacific Coast in hopes of making it to a fellow soldier's funeral on time. Along the way, they’ll drive each other completely crazy, break a small handful of laws, narrowly evade death, and learn to let down their guards in order to have a fighting chance of finding happiness.


"The Worst Person in the World" -- OPENS FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18 AT THE STATE

2 Academy Award Nominations: Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay!

This film concludes Joachim Trier's Oslo Trilogy with a romantic comedy that delightfully subverts the genre's well-worn tropes. It is a modern dramedy about the quest for love and meaning in contemporary Oslo. It chronicles four years in the life of Julie (Renate Reinsve), a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path, leading her to take a realistic look at who she really is.

"Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom" — OPENS FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18 AT THE MICHIGAN

A Bhutanese film drama directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji. The film had its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. It was selected as one of the five nominees for the Best International Feature Oscar. The film won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film and the Best of the Fest at the 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival and has gone on to win many film festival awards around the world. PLOT: An aspiring musician, from the city must serve as a schoolteacher as part of his final year public service. Against his wishes, he is sent to the remote town of Lunana in northern Bhutan. He must brave the high altitude, a lack of amenities and a brutal winter


From director Denis Villeneuve, a mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), a young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people.


Late Nights at the Michigan

Korean Cinema NOW 

Sidney Poitier Memorial Retrospective Series (at the Michigan)


"Death on the Nile"

A mystery thriller film directed by Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay by Michael Green, based on the 1937 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. The film is a sequel to "Murder on the Orient Express" (2017) and stars Branagh returning as Hercule Poirot, along with Tom Bateman (also returning from the first film), Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders, and Letitia Wright round out the ensemble cast. The film is the third screen adaptation of Christie's novel, following the 1978 film and an episode of the television series Agatha Christie's Poirot broadcast in 2004. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars as Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot, whose Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple's idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short.


7 Academy Award Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director for Kenneth Branagh, Best Supporting Actress for Judi Dench, Best Supporting Actor for Ciarán Hinds, Best Sound, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Original Song

Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh, Belfast is a poignant story of love, laughter and loss in one boy's childhood, amid the music and social tumult of the late 1960s.

"The Power of the Dog"

12 Academy Award Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director for Jane Campion, Best Actor for Benedict Cumberbatch, Best Supporting Actress for Kirsten Dunst, Best Supporting Actor for Jesse Plemons, Best Supporting Actor for Kodi Smit-McPhee, Best Sound, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Charismatic rancher Phil Burbank inspires fear and awe in those around him. When his brother brings home a new wife and her son, Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love.

"Parallel Mothers"

2 Academy Award Nominations: Best Original Score and Best Actress for Penelope Cruz

A 2021 Spanish drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. The film stars Penélope Cruz.

It had its premiere as the opening film of the 78th Venice International Film Festival on 1 September 2021 where Penélope Cruz was awarded the Volpi Cup for Best Actress.. It was the closing film of the 2021 New York Film Festival. Two women, Janis and Ana, coincide in a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and became pregnant by accident. Janis, middle-aged, doesn't regret it and she is exultant. The other, Ana, an adolescent, is scared, repentant and traumatized. Janis tries to encourage her while they move like sleepwalkers along the hospital corridors. The few words they exchange in these hours will create a very close link between the two, which by chance develops and complicates, and changes their lives in a decisive way.


3 Academy Award Nominations: Best Animated Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best International Feature Film

An animated documentary film directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen. It follows the story of a man named Amin Nawabi, who shares his hidden past for the first time, of fleeing his country. The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival on January 28, 2021 It received unanimous acclaim from film festivals and critics, with critical praise for animation, story, thematic content, and subject matter; winning numerous awards. It was selected as the Danish entry for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film and was shortlisted for Best Documentary Feature. Flee tells the story of Amin Nawabi as he grapples with a painful secret he has kept hidden for 20 years, one that threatens to derail the life he has built for himself and his soon to be husband. Recounted mostly through animation to director Jonas Poher Rasmussen, he tells for the first time the story of his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan.

"The Tragedy of Macbeth"

3 Academy Award Nominations: Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Actor for Denzel Washington.

Frances McDormand andDenzel Washingtonstar in Joel Coen’s bold and fierce adaptation of Shakespeare's classic work; a tale of murder, madness, ambition, and wrathful cunning.

"Drive My Car"

4 Academy Award Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film

Two years after his wife's unexpected death, Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a renowned stage actor and director, receives an offer to direct a production of Uncle Vanya at a theater festival in Hiroshima. There, he meets Misaki Watari (Toko Miura), a taciturn young woman assigned by the festival to chauffeur him in his beloved red Saab 900. As the production's premiere approaches, tensions mount amongst the cast and crew, not least between Yusuke and Koji Takatsuki, a handsome TV star who shares an unwelcome connection to Yusuke's late wife. Forced to confront painful truths raised from his past, Yusuke begins -- with the help of his driver -- to face the haunting mysteries his wife left behind. Adapted from Haruki Murakami's short story, Ryusuke Hamaguchi's film is a haunting road movie traveling a path of love, loss, acceptance, and peace. Winner of three prizes at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, including Best Screenplay.

"Licorice Pizza"

3 Academy Award Nominations: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director for Paul Thomas Anderson

This film is a 2021 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson ("Phantom Thread," "There Will Be Blood," "Boogie Nights"). The film stars Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, Maya Rudolph, and Benny Safdie. The film received acclaim from critics and received three awards from the National Board of Review, including Best Film. It was also named one of the best films of 2021 by the American Film Institute and received four nominations at the 79th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, along with eight nominations at the 27th Critics' Choice Awards, including Best Picture. The story of Alana Kane (Alana Haim) and Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) growing up, running around and going through the treacherous navigation of first love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973.

"The French Dispatch"

A 2021 American comedy-drama anthology film written, directed, and produced byWes Andersonfrom a story he conceived with Roman Coppola, Hugo Guinness, andJason Schwartzman. The film stars an ensemble cast featuring Benicio del Toro,Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson. Its plot follows three different storylines, as the French foreign bureau of a fictional Kansas newspaper creates its final issue. Filming took place between November 2018 and March 2019, with cinematographer Robert Yeoman, in the city of Angoulême, France. Following a delay, the film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on July 12, 2021.



Award-winning director Joe Wright envelops moviegoers in a symphony of emotions with music, romance, and beauty in this re-imagining the timeless tale of a heartbreaking love triangle. A man ahead of his time, Cyrano de Bergerac (played by Peter Dinklage) dazzles whether with ferocious wordplay at a verbal joust or with brilliant swordplay in a duel. But, convinced that his appearance renders him unworthy of the love of a devoted friend, the luminous Roxanne (Haley Bennett), Cyrano has yet to declare his feelings for her -- and Roxanne has fallen in love, at first sight, with Christian (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.).


The Riddler plays a deadly game of cat and mouse with Batman (Robert Pattinson) and Commissioner Gordon in Gotham City. Director:Matt Reeves

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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