Cinema Chat: 'Sweetwater,' 'Renfield,' 'Suzume,' and more
OPENING THIS WEEK
"Sweetwater" — OPENS FRIDAY, APRIL 14 AT THE MULTIPLEX
An American sports biographical independent film directed and written by Martin Guigui. It stars Everett Osborne, Cary Elwes, Jeremy Piven, Richard Dreyfuss and Kevin Pollak. Osborne portrays Nat Clifton as the film depicts the true story of his career in the 1950s, starting with the Harlem Globetrotters before becoming the first African American to sign a contract with the National Basketball Association (NBA).
"Renfield" — OPENS TODAY AT THE STATE
A 2023 American comedy horror film directed by Chris McKay from a screenplay by Ryan Ridley, based on an original idea by Robert Kirkman featuring characters from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel "Dracula". The film stars Nicholas Hoult as the title character, alongside Nicolas Cage as Count Dracula, with Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz, Adrian Martinez, and Shohreh Aghdashloo in supporting roles. The film had its world premiere at the Overlook Film Festival on March 30, 2023, and is scheduled to be released in the United States on April 14, 2023, by Universal Pictures.
Count Dracula's lackey R. M. Renfield finds a new lease on life in modern-day New Orleans when he falls in love with Rebecca Quincy, a traffic cop, and decides to finally stand up to his creator in hopes of finally breaking free of his servitude.
"Suzume" — OPENS TODAY AT THE STATE
A Japanese Anime film about the 17-year-old Suzume's journey. It begins in the quiet town in Kyushu when she encounters a young man who tells her, "I'm looking for a door." What Suzume finds is a single weathered door standing upright in the midst of ruins as though it was shielded from whatever catastrophe struck. Seemingly drawn by its power, Suzume reaches for the knob.... Doors begin to open one after another all across Japan, unleashing destruction upon any who are near. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster. The stars. The sunset. The morning sky. Within that realm, it was as though all time had melted together in the sky--guided by these mysterious doors, Suzume's journey to close doors is about to begin.
SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" — PLAYS FRIDAY, APRIL 14 AT 9:30 PM AT THE STATE
A 2011 American romantic fantasy film directed by Bill Condon from a screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the 2008 novel "Breaking Dawn" by Stephenie Meyer. The sequel to "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" (2010), it is the fourth installment in The Twilight Saga film series. The film stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, reprising their roles as Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, and Jacob Black, respectively.
Banff Film Festival — PLAYS SUNDAY, APRIL 16 AT 7 PM AT THE MICHIGAN
Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is one of the largest and most prestigious mountain festivals in the world! Hot on the heels of the Festival that is held every fall in beautiful Banff, Alberta, the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour hits the road. With stops planned in roughly 550 communities and more than 40 countries across the globe, the Banff World Tour celebrates amazing achievements in outdoor storytelling and filmmaking worldwide! From the over 400 entries submitted into the Festival each year, award-winners and audience favorites are among the films that are carefully selected to play in theaters around the world. Traveling to remote vistas, analyzing topical environmental issues, and bringing audiences up-close and personal with adrenaline-packed action sports the 2022/2023 World Tour is an exhilarating and provocative exploration of the mountain world.
"Beau Travail" — PLAYS MONDAY, APRIL 17 AT 7:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN
This is a 1999 French film directed by Claire Denis that is loosely based on Herman Melville's 1888 novella "Billy Budd". The story is set in Djibouti, where the protagonists are soldiers in the French Foreign Legion. Parts of the soundtrack of the movie are from Benjamin Britten's 1951 opera based on the novella. Sight & Sound rates it as the 7th best film of all-time.
"Cinema Paradiso" — PLAYS THURSDAY, MAY 4 AT 7:30 PM AT THE STATE
Young Salvatore Di Vita (Salvatore Cascio) discovers the perfect escape from life in his war-torn Sicilian village: the Cinema Paradiso movie house, where projectionist Alfredo (Philippe Noiret) instills in the boy a deep love of films. When Salvatore grows up, falls in love with a beautiful local girl (Agnese Nano) and takes over as the Paradiso's projectionist, Alfredo must convince Salvatore to leave his small town and pursue his passion for filmmaking.
A 2023 American biographical sports drama film directed by Ben Affleck from a screenplay written by Alex Convery. It is based on true events about the origin of Air Jordan, a basketball shoe line, of which a Nike employee seeks to strike a business deal with rookie player Michael Jordan. The film stars Matt Damon, Affleck, Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker, and Viola Davis.
Filming took place in the summer of 2022, with Affleck reuniting with his frequent collaborators, cinematographer Robert Richardson and editor William Goldenberg. While Jordan was not involved with the production, he did meet with Affleck and offered several suggestions, including the casting of Davis as his mother. The film premiered at South by Southwest on March 18, 2023, and was theatrically released in the United States on April 5, 2023, by Amazon Studios.
A 2023 American fantasy heist action-comedy film directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, who cowrote the screenplay with Michael Gilio from a story by Chris McKay and Gilio. Based on the tabletop role-playing game "Dungeons & Dragons," it is set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting and has no connections to the film trilogy released between 2000 and 2012. The film stars Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, and Hugh Grant.
This is a 2022 British comedy-drama film directed by Stephen Frears and written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, based on the 2013 book "The King's Grave: The Search for Richard III" by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones. It is a dramatization of the story of Philippa Langley, the woman who initiated the search to find King Richard III's remains under a car park in Leicester, and her treatment by the University of Leicester in the claiming of credit for the discovery.
Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert ("Swiss Army Man"), collectively known as The 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.
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