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Cinema Chat: 'Jurassic World: Dominion,' 'Benediction,' 'Ukraine, The Birth of a Nation,' and more

State Theatre
Jeffrey Smith
The State Theatre



Learn about the amazing dinosaurs featured in the movie from the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History staff at our preview screening on Thursday, June 9th. UMMNH staff will be on hand from 7pm to 8pm that evening, so get to the State early to indulge your inner paleontologist!

This summer, experience the epic conclusion to the Jurassic era as two generations unite for the first time. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howardare joined by Oscar®-winnerLaura Dern, Jeff Goldblum andSam Neillin a bold, timely and breathtaking new adventure that spans the globe. From "Jurassic World" architect and director Colin Trevorrow, the film takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. Dinosaurs now live--and hunt--alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history's most fearsome creatures.


Written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Terence Davies, Benediction explores the turbulent life of WWI poet Siegfried Sassoon (Jack Lowden). The writer and soldier was a complex man who survived the horrors of fighting in the First World War and was decorated for his bravery but who became a vocal critic of the government's continuation of the war when he returned from service. His poetry was inspired by his experiences on the Western Front, and he became one of the leading war poets of the era. Adored by members of the aristocracy as well as stars of London's literary and stage world, he embarked on affairs with several men as he attempted to come to terms with his homosexuality. At the same time, broken by the horror of war, he made his life's journey a quest for salvation, trying to find it within the conformity of marriage and religion.


"Ukraine, The Birth of a Nation" — PARTS 1 & 2 PLAYS SUNDAY, JUNE 12 AT THE STATE, PARTS 3 & 4 PLAYS SUNDAY, JUNE 26 AT THE STATE

Presented in partnership with the Polish Cultural Fund - Ann Arbor.

A brilliant historical documentary in four parts. Made by film producer Jerzy Hoffman it is a captivating narrative of a thousand years of Ukrainian history. Mr. Hoffman’s love for Ukraine is obvious, but it does not compromise his level-headed depiction of even the most controversial aspects of Ukraine’s history.

Each screening will include an introduction by Richard Walawender, Honorary Consul of Poland in Detroit, and a post-film conversation with Svitlana Rogovyk, Lecturer in the University of Michigan Dept. of Slavic Languages & Literature, and Iryna Sikorska, 2022 Weiser Professional Development Fellow and Associate Professor of Sociology, Donetsk State University of Management in Mariupol.

Summer Classics

Sundays at 1:30 PM and Tuesdays at 7:30 PM at the Michigan.

Summer of Ghibli

A Japanese animation film studio best known for its directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki. Fridays at 9:30 PM and Saturdays at 1:30 PM at the Michigan.


"Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story"

The film weaves together live performances and interviews from the 50th anniversary of The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the signature annual music and cultural event of the city with hundreds of thousands of attendees each year. The N.O. 'Jazz Fest' celebrates the music, food, people, arts & crafts, and culture of all of Louisiana since 1970, and is an essential showcase of the rich heritage of the region. The film, shot at the 2019 Fest, features local music heroes joined on 14 stages by some of the biggest names in the music industry, and a wealth of archival documentary footage from the past half century. Among the 50 plus featured performers are Jimmy Buffett, Pitbull,Bruce Springsteen, Katy Perry, Aaron Neville, The Marsalis Family, Earth, Wind & Fire,Irma Thomas,Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Samantha Fish, Herbie Hancock, Al Green, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Mardi Gras Indians, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, Tom Jones,Gary Clark, Jr., and many others. The film not only captures the festival in all of its beauty and glory, but also delves deep into the rich culture of The Big Easy. Director: Frank Marshall, Ryan Suffern.

"Crimes of the Future" 

A 2022 internationally co-produced body horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg. It stars Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart. The film premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, where it was in competition for the Palme d'Or and received a six-minute standing ovation. It marks Cronenberg's return to science fiction/horror genre for the first time since "eXistenZ" (1999).

As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations. With his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux), Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen), celebrity performance artist, publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. Timlin (Kristen Stewart), an investigator from the National Organ Registry, obsessively tracks their movements, which is when a mysterious group is revealed... Their mission -- to use Saul's notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.


A 2021 French romantic drama film directed by Martin Bourboulon, from a script written by Caroline Bongrand. The film stars Romain Duris as Gustave Eiffel and follows a fictionalized romance between Eiffel and Adrienne Bourgès, his childhood sweetheart, played by Emma Mackey. The film received generally positive reviews.

Having just finished his collaboration on the Statue of Liberty, celebrated engineer Gustave Eiffel is on top of the world. Now, the French government is pressuring him to design something spectacular for the 1889 Paris World Fair, but Eiffel simply wants to design the subway. Suddenly, everything changes when Eiffel crosses paths with a mysterious woman from his past. Their long lost, forbidden passion inspires him to change the Paris skyline forever.

"Top Gun: Maverick" 

A 2022 American action-drama film and the sequel to Top Gun (1986). It was directed by Joseph Kosinski. The film stars Tom Cruise as Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a test pilot, alongside Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, Monica Barbaro, and Val Kilmer. Set 36 years since the events of its predecessor, the film follows Maverick, who actively attempted to dodge the advancement in rank that would ground him. However, his career ends up taking him back to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (also known as "Top Gun"), where he has to confront his past as he is charged with training a new squadron of fighter pilots.

Development for a Top Gun sequel was announced in 2010, when Paramount Pictures offered the original film's director Tony Scott and its producer Jerry Bruckheimer, for the same, with Cruise and Kilmer being planned to return. With the first draft, being completed by mid-2012, Scott died by suicide, leading to the film's pre-production being put on hold. In June 2017, Kosinski was hired and wrote a new draft from Craig and Marks' script. Principal photography began from May 2018 to April 2019 in California, Washington, D.C. and Maryland.

"Downton Abbey: A New Era"

This charming film reunites the original principal cast. Downton creator and Academy-Award® winner Julian Felloweswill once again write the film’s screenplay. BAFTA and Emmy-nominated director Simon Curtis ("My Week with Marilyn") will join the filmmaking team to direct the sequel. In the film, The Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) mysteriously inherits a Villa in the South of France, providing a convenient escape for the Crawley family as the Downton Abbey estate is used for a film shoot.


In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, Harper (Jessie Buckley) retreats alone to the beautiful English countryside, hoping to have found a place to heal. But someone or something from the surrounding woods appears to be stalking her. What begins as simmering dread becomes a fully formed nightmare, inhabited by her darkest memories and fears in visionary filmmaker Alex Garland's ("Ex Machina," "Annihilation") feverish, shape-shifting new horror film.

"The Duke"

In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, stole Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first (and remains the only) theft in the Gallery's history. Kempton sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly -- he had long campaigned for pensioners to receive free television. What happened next became the stuff of legend. Only 50 years later did the full story emerge -- Kempton had spun a web of lies. The only truth was that he was a good man, determined to change the world and save his marriage -- how and why he used the Duke to achieve that is a wonderfully uplifting tale. Starring Jim Broadbent and Dame Helen Mirren.

"Everything Everywhere All At Once"

Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert ("Swiss Army Man"), collectively known as Daniels, the film is a hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action adventure about an exhausted Chinese American woman (Michelle Yeoh) who can't seem to finish her taxes.


"Cha Cha Real Smooth" — OPENS FRIDAY, JUNE 17 AT THE STATE

A 2022 American comedy-drama film written, directed, produced, and co-edited by Cooper Raiff. It premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and won the Audience Award for Best Dramatic Film.

Fresh out of college and without a clear life path going forward, 22-year-old Andrew is stuck back at home with his family in New Jersey. But if there's one thing that belongs on his nonexistent résumé, it's how to get a party started, which lands him the perfect job of motivational dancing at the bar and bat mitzvahs for his younger brother's classmates. When Andrew befriends a local mom, Domino, and her daughter, Lola, he finally discovers a future he wants -- even if it might not be his own. Cooper Raiff writes, directs and stars alongside Dakota Johnson, Brad Garrett, Leslie Mann, and newcomersVanessa Burghardt and Evan Assante in this tale of unconventional love that brims with emotional honesty.


By Pixar Animation Studios, it is a spin-off of the "Toy Story" film series, serving as an origin story for the fictional test pilot/astronaut character who the Buzz Lightyear toy/action figure. The film was co-written and directed byAngus MacLaneand stars Chris Evans as the voice of the title character, with Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, James Brolin, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, Uzo Aduba, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. in supporting roles.

The film tells the story of young astronaut Buzz Lightyear, who, after being marooned on a hostile planet with his commander and crew, tries to find a way back home through space and time, while also confronting a threat to the universe's safety. After finishing work on "Finding Dory" (2016), MacLane, a science fiction fan, pitched the idea of making a film about Buzz Lightyear at Pixar. To evoke the sci-fi films that the director grew up watching, the animators wanted to give the film a "cinematic" and "chunky" look. Michael Giacchino composed the film's score.


The film explores the life and music of Elvis Presley (Austin Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley's rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis's life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge). Directed by Baz Luhrmann.

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Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
Russ Collins is the executive director of Marquee Arts, the nonprofit that oversees the Michigan Theater and State Theater in Ann Arbor.
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