Cinema Chat: 'The First Degree,' 'See How They Run,' 'The Woman King,' and more
OPENING THIS WEEK
"See How They Run" — OPENS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 AT THE MICHIGAN
A 2022 mystery comedy film directed by Tom George and written by Mark Chappell, the film stars Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Ruth Wilson, Reece Shearsmith, Harris Dickinson, and David Oyelowo. In the West End of 1950s London, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered. When world-weary Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and eager rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) take on the case, the two find themselves thrown into a puzzling whodunit within the glamorously sordid theater underground, investigating the mysterious homicide at their own peril.
"The Woman King" — OPENS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 AT THE STATE
This is the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen. Inspired by true events, the film follows the emotionally epic journey of General Nanisca (Oscar®-winner Viola Davis) as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life. Some things are worth fighting for.... From director Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Love & Basketball") and also starring John Boyega ("Star Wars") and Lashana Lynch ("No Time to Die").
"God's Country" — OPENS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 AT THE STATE WITH ADVANCED SCREENINGS TONIGHT
A college professor (Thandiwe Newton) gets drawn into an escalating battle of wills after she catches two hunters trespassing on her property in the remote mountains of the American West.
SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN
"Akira" — PLAYS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 AND WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 AT THE STATE
In 1988, the Japanese government drops an atomic bomb on Tokyo after ESP experiments on children go awry. In 2019, 31 years after nuking the city, Kaneda, a bike gang leader, tries to save his friend Tetsuo from a secret government project. He battles against anti-government activists, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists and a powerful military leader until Tetsuo's supernatural power suddenly manifest. A final battle is fought in Tokyo Olympiad exposing the experiment's secrets.
"The First Degree" - PLAYS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 AT 7:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN
Come celebrate the rediscovery of a film long thought lost from the silent era. This special screening will feature a live performance of a newly commissioned score by Chicago experimental indie rock group Quasar Wut-Wut. A tortured, good-hearted sheep farmer is ruthlessly blackmailed by his jealous half-brother over their mutual affection for the sheep farmers true love Mary. Director Edward Sedgwick, who was the director of Buster Keaton’s 1928 "The Cameraman," ratchets the tension between the two brothers until it explodes in a dramatic courtroom encounter. An original 35mm nitrate film print from 1923 was discovered in the collections of Chicago Film Archives in 2020.
"If These Walls Could Talk" — PLAYS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 AT THE STATE
Director Nancy Savoca will attend the screening of her acclaimed film “If These Walls Could Talk”
It follows the plights of three different women and their experiences with abortion. Each of the three stories takes place in the same house, 22 years apart: 1952, 1974, and 1996. All three segments were co-written by Nancy Savoca. Savoca directed the first and second segment while Cher directed the third. The women's experiences in each vignette are designed to demonstrate the popular views of society on the issue in each of the given decades. Debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film became a surprise success and was the highest-rated movie in HBO history. It was nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. Starring Demi Moore, Sissy Spacek, Cher, and featuring Anne Heche and Jada Pinkett.
"Hocus Pocus" — PLAYS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23 AT 5 PM AT THE MICHIGAN (WITH COSTUME CONTEST!!!)
After moving to Salem, Mass., teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz) explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and their new friend, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). After dismissing a story Allison tells as superstitious, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) who used to live in the house. Now, with the help of a magical cat, the kids must steal the witches' book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal.
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" — PLAYS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27 AT THE MICHIGAN
In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad and Janet are stuck with a flat tire during a storm and discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. As their innocence is lost, they meet a houseful of wild characters. Presented with a live stage “shadow cast” by The Leather Medusas. Costumes are encouraged!
"Nosferatu" — PLAYS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30 AT THE MICHIGAN
In this classic silent horror film, the mysterious Count Orlok summons Thomas Hutter to his remote Transylvanian castle. After Orlok reveals his vampire nature, Hutter struggles to escape the castle, knowing that his wife Ellen is in grave danger. Silent film with live organ accompaniment.
NT Live: "Frankenstein" — PLAYS MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 AT 7:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN
Directed by Academy Award®-winner Danny Boyle, this production of "Frankenstein" sees Benedict Cumberbatch as Victor Frankenstein and his creation and Jonny Lee Miller also as Victor Frankenstein and his creation.
- Thursday, October 6 – "Truffle Hunters"
- Thursday, November 3 – "Seven Beauties" or "The White Sheik" (TBD)
- Thursday, December 1– "Goodfellas"
- Thursday, January 5 – "La Dolce Vita"
- Thursday, February 2 – "Roman Holiday"
- Thursday, March 2 – "L'Avventura"
- Thursday, April 6 – "Big Night"
- Thursday, May 4 – "Cinema Paradiso"
Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who friends and fans sometimes refer to as "Joe" (a nickname that he, like many with similarly long Thai names, has adopted out of convenience). A Thai independent film director, screenwriter, and film producer. Working outside the strict confines of the Thai film studio system, Apichatpong has directed several features and dozens of short films.
His feature films include "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives," winner of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or prize; "Tropical Malady," which won a jury prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival; "Blissfully Yours," which won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard program at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and was selected as the Colombian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards.
From the extraordinary mind of Palme D’or winning director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and starring Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, comes a bewildering drama about a Scottish woman, who, after hearing a loud ‘bang’ at daybreak, begins experiencing a mysterious sensory syndrome while traversing the jungles of Colombia.
A Spanish company producing industrial scales in a provincial Spanish town, awaits the imminent visit from a committee which holds its fate in their hands as to whether they merit a local Business Excellence award. Everything has to be perfect when the time comes. Working against the clock, the company's proprietor, Blanco (Javier Bardem) pulls out all the stops to address and resolve issues with his employees, crossing every imaginable line in the process.
Dr. Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) is an academic -- content with life and a creature of reason. While in Istanbul attending a conference, she happens to encounter a Djinn (Idris Elba) who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom. This presents two problems. First, she doubts that he is real and second, because she is a scholar of story and mythology, she knows all the cautionary tales of wishes gone wrong. The Djinn pleads his case by telling her fantastical stories of his past. Eventually she is beguiled and makes a wish that surprises them both. From acclaimed writer/director George Miller ("Mad Max").
This is a 2022 American black comedy horror film directed by Halina Reijn in her English-language debut. The film stars Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha'la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, and Pete Davidson. It premiered at South by Southwest on March 14, 2022 and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the humor, satire, and cast performances, Sennott’s in particular.
When a group of 20-somethings gets stuck at a remote mansion during a hurricane, a party game gone very, very wrong ends with a dead body on the ground and fake friends at every turn as they try to find the killer among them.
A 2022 American science fiction horror film written, directed, and co-produced by Jordan Peele under his Monkeypaw Productions banner. It stars Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Steven Yeun. The plot follows residents of an isolated town who witness a mysterious and abnormal event.
After random objects falling from the sky with the mysterious ability to affect human and animal behavior, ultimately results in the death of their father. Ranch-owning siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood attempt to capture video evidence of an unidentified flying object with the help of tech salesman Angel Torres and documentarian Antlers Holst.
A 2021 American mockumentary film directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jenny Slate and Nick Paley. It is based on the 2010 short film of the same name written by Slate and Fleischer-Camp. Slate reprises her voice role as Marcel, an anthropomorphic shell living with his grandmother Connie. Rosa Salazar, Thomas Mann, and Isabella Rossellini also star. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. Marcel is an adorable one-inch-tall shell who ekes out a colorful existence with his grandmother Connie and their pet lint, Alan. Once part of a sprawling community of shells, they now live alone as the sole survivors of a mysterious tragedy. But when a documentary filmmaker discovers them amongst the clutter of his Airbnb, the short film he posts online brings Marcel millions of passionate fans, as well as unprecedented dangers and a new hope at finding his long-lost family. A beloved character gets his big-screen debut in this hilarious and heartwarming story about finding connection in the smallest corners.
Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support. Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.