Cinema Chat: 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' opens today and there is a Star Wars showing in Ann Arbor. May the Fourth be with you!
CONGRATULATIONS WEMU ON WINNING STATION OF THE YEAR FOR PUBLIC RADIO STATION!!!!
Great fun ceremony in Detroit at the Sound Board theater of the Motor City Casino. Great fun and celebration for a great radio station. Congrats to the whole WEMU team! Deb Polich was super excited to be recognized for creative:impact show (Tuesdays at 7:49) with an award of merit at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Awards!
OPENING THIS WEEK
"Wild Life" — OPENS FRIDAY, MAY 5 AT THE MICHIGAN
A 2023 American documentary film directed and produced by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin that follows conservationist Kris Tompkins and her husband, entrepreneur Douglas Tompkins. This National Geographic Documentary film premiered at the 2023 South by Southwest Film Festival.
The film chronicles the close relationship of conservationist Kris Tompkins, the first CEO of outdoor brand Patagonia, and her husband Douglas Tompkins, an outdoorsman and entrepreneur who founded The North Face and co-founded Esprit. Together, spanning decades of work, they created national parks throughout Chile and Argentina and preserved one of the last wild places on Earth by making the largest private land donation in history.
"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" — OPENS TODAY AT THE STATE AND THE MULTIPLEX
A 2023 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team "Guardians of the Galaxy," produced by Marvel Studios, and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the third and final movie in the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, and the sequel to "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014) and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (2017) and the 32nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars an ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter, Elizabeth Debicki, Maria Bakalova, and Sylvester Stallone.
The beloved band of Marvel misfits are looking a bit different these days. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him to defend the universe along with protecting one of their own. A mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.
SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN
"Star Wars: A New Hope" — PLAYS TONIGHT AT 7:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN
Part of the Films We Love Series
The Imperial Forces -- under orders from cruel Darth Vader (David Prowse) -- hold Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) hostage, in their efforts to quell the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford), captain of the Millennium Falcon, work together with the companionable droid duo R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) and C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) to rescue the beautiful princess, help the Rebel Alliance, and restore freedom and justice to the Galaxy.
"Cinema Paradiso" — PLAYS TONIGHT AT 7:30 PM AT THE STATE
Part of the Cultura d'Italia Series
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.
"Midsommar" — PLAYS FRIDAY, MAY 5 AT 9:30 PM AT THE STATE
Part of the Late Nights at the State series
A 2019 folk horror film written and directed by Ari Aster. The film stars Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor as a dysfunctional couple who travel to Sweden with a group of friends for a midsummer festival, only to find themselves in the clutches of a sinister cult practicing Scandinavian paganism. Supporting actors include William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren, Ellora Torchia, Archie Madekwe and Will Poulter.
The film's plot centers on a deteriorating relationship, inspired by a difficult breakup which Aster himself experienced. The soundtrack, composed by British electronic musician Bobby Krlic (better known as The Haxan Cloak), takes inspiration from Nordic folk music.
"Farewell, Mr. Haffmann" — PLAYS SUNDAY, MAY 7 AT 4 PM AT THE STATE
Part of the Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival
Paris 1942. François Mercier is an ordinary man who only aspires to start a family with the woman he loves, Blanche. He is also the employee of a talented jeweler, Mr. Haffmann. But faced with the German occupation, the two men will have no other choice but to conclude an agreement whose consequences, over the months, will upset the fate of all.
A couple more screenings at the State Theater Wednesday May 10, plus online screenings through May 28.
"Man with a Movie Camera" — PLAYS TUESDAY, MAY 9 AT 7:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN
Part of the Films We Love Series
An experimental 1929 Soviet silent documentary film, directed by Dziga Vertov, filmed by his brother Mikhail Kaufman, and edited by Vertov's wife Elizaveta Svilova. Kaufman also appears as the eponymous Man of the film.
Vertov's feature film, produced by the film studio All-Ukrainian Photo Cinema Administration (VUFKU), presents urban life in Moscow, Kyiv and Odesa during the late-1920s. It has no actors. From dawn to dusk Soviet citizens are shown at work and at play and interacting with the machinery of modern life. To the extent that it can be said to have "characters", they are the cameramen of the title, the film editor, and the modern Soviet Union they discover and present in the film.
The film is famous for the range of cinematic techniques Vertov invented, employed or developed, such as multiple exposure, fast motion, slow motion, freeze frames, match cuts, jump cuts, split screens, Dutch angles, extreme close-ups, tracking shots, reversed footage, stop motion animations and self-reflexive visuals (at one point it features a split-screen tracking shot; the sides have opposite Dutch angles).
The film was largely dismissed upon its initial release; the work's fast cutting, self-reflexivity, and emphasis on form over content were all subjects of criticism. In the British Film Institute's 2012 Sight & Sound poll, however, film critics voted it the 8th greatest film ever made and in 2022 the 9th greatest. In 2015, the film received a restoration using a 35mm print of the only known complete cut of the film.
"Up the River with Acid" — PLAYS TUESDAY, MAY 9 AT 7 PM AT THE STATE
Part of the Ann Arbor Film Festival Presents Series
The film presents two days in the life of Horst, an elderly man whose life has been upended by dementia. Hutter’s father, who worked as a philosophy professor for 42 years, has slowly seen his cognitive abilities decrease and his daily life increasingly difficult to negotiate. Through a series of portraits, we observe a man’s attempt to hold on to a rapidly shifting and alien world.
A sculptor (Michelle Williams) preparing to open a new show must balance her creative life with the daily dramas of family and friends, in Kelly Reichardt's vibrant and captivatingly funny portrait of art and craft. A 2022 American comedy-drama film co-written and directed by Kelly Reichardt, in her fourth collaboration with actress Michelle Williams. The film premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or.
An artist on the verge of a career-changing exhibition finds inspiration in the chaos of life.
Kelly Reichardt is known for her minimalist films closely associated with slow cinema. She directed a series of films set and filmed in Oregon: the dramas Old Joy (2006) and Wendy and Lucy (2008); the Western Meek's Cutoff (2010); and the thriller Night Moves (2013). In 2016, she wrote and directed the Montana-set drama Certain Women, and in 2019 she directed First Cow, set in Oregon. Reichardt has frequently collaborated with actress Michelle Williams, saying that she enjoys Williams's confidence and inquisitive nature, and that she can never guess what she's going to do.
Michelle Williams has received various accolades, including two Golden Globe Awards and nominations for five Academy Awards and a Tony Award. She achieved recognition for her leading role in "Dawson's Creek" (1998–2003). This was followed by low-profile films, before having her breakthrough with the drama film "Brokeback Mountain" (2005). Williams went on to receive critical acclaim for playing emotionally troubled women coping with loss or loneliness in the independent dramas "Wendy and Lucy" (2008), "Blue Valentine" (2010), and "Manchester by the Sea" (2016), "My Week with Marilyn" (2011), the thriller "Shutter Island" (2010), the fantasy film "Oz the Great and Powerful" (2013), the musical "The Greatest Showman" (2017), and the superhero films "Venom" (2018) and "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" (2021), "All the Money in the World" (2017) and Steven Spielberg's semi-autobiographical drama "The Fabelmans" (2022).
A paranoid man embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother in this bold and ingeniously depraved new film from writer/director Ari Aster. A 2023 American surrealist black tragicomedy horror film written, directed, and co-produced by Ari Aster. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as the title character, Beau Wassermann, a mild-mannered but paranoia-ridden man who embarks on a surreal odyssey to get home to his mother, confronting his greatest fears along the way. The film includes a supporting ensemble cast of Patti LuPone, Nathan Lane, Amy Ryan, Kylie Rogers, Parker Posey, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Hayley Squires, Michael Gandolfini, Zoe Lister-Jones, and Richard Kind.
A 2022 American biographical drama film directed by Stephen Williams and written by Stefani Robinson. It is based on the life of the titular French-Caribbean musician Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, played by Kelvin Harrison Jr. The film also stars Samara Weaving, Lucy Boynton, Marton Csokas, Alex Fitzalan, and Minnie Driver. The film had its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.
The rise and resurgence of Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a French-Caribbean violinist and composer who rose to fame through his musical prodigy. But a complicated love life and the racism of 18th Century French aristocrats leads to a falling out with Queen Marie Antoinette, and Saint-Georges realizes that things must change.
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.
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.
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