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Cinema Chat: 'Blackberry,' 'Himla,' 'Book Club: The Next Chapter,' and a special Mother's Day Weekend!

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OPENING THIS WEEK

"Book Club: The Next Chapter" — OPENS FRIDAY, MAY 12 AT THE MULTIPLEX

An American romantic comedy film that serves as a sequel to 2018 film "Book Club". Written and directed by Bill Holderman, it stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen, with Craig T. Nelson, Giancarlo Giannini, Andy García, andDon Johnson in supporting roles.

This sequel follows four best friends as they take their book club to Italy for the fun girls trip they never had. When things go off the rails and secrets are revealed, their relaxing vacation turns into a once-in-a-lifetime cross-country adventure.

"Blackberry" — OPENS FRIDAY, MAY 12 AT THE STATE

This film tells the story of Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, the two men that charted the course of the spectacular rise and catastrophic demise of the world's first smartphone.

A biographical comedy-drama film about the history of the BlackBerry line of mobile phones. It is directed by Matt Johnson from a script by Johnson and producer Matthew Miller, which was adapted from Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff’s book "Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry," and stars Jay Barucheland Glenn Howerton in the lead roles as Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, respectively. It also stars Johnson, Rich Sommer, Michael Ironside, Martin Donovan, Michelle Giroux, SungWon Cho, Saul Rubinek, and Cary Elwes. It premiered in competition at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival on February 17, 2023

"Himla" — OPENS SUNDAY, MAY 14 AT THE MICHIGAN (LIMITED ENGAGEMENT)

Lasse Hallström’s (who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for "My Life as a Dog" (1985) and "The Cider House Rules" (1999); also directed "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (1993) and "Chocolat" (2000)) film brings to the big screen the life story of a woman who defied conventions and who revolutionized the art world when her work was exhibited in its entirety in 2019 at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC. Hilma died in 1944, unknown and unrecognized as the woman who invented abstract painting, displacing Kandinsky, Malevich and Mondrian as the initiators of abstract painting and Modernism. From her adoration of the anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner and her invincible belief in spirits, to her unconventional romantic life and close circle of fellow female artists who converged around Hilma and her atelier, the film provides a nuanced portrait of a woman who chose to remain true to her vision as an artist, despite working in a hostile, misogynistic world where women were not expected to express themselves and still were not allowed to vote.

The all-star cast includes Tora Hallström and Oscar nominee Lena Olin, who play Hilma at different ages, Tom Wlaschiha, Catherine Chalk and Lily Cole. Filmed in English on Swedish locations.

SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN

"Labyrinth" — PLAYS FRIDAY, MAY 12 AT 7 PM AT THE STATE (WITH SHADOWCAST!!!)

A 1986 musical fantasy film directed byJim Henson with George Lucas as executive producer. It will be presented a la ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW-style with a live Shadowcast performing with the film. The Goblin Player, who do the Michigan Theater’s ROCKY HORROR show each Halloween will perform.

Based on conceptual designs by Brian Froud, the film was written by Terry Jones, and many of its characters are played by puppets produced by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The film stars Jennifer Connelly as 16-year-old Sarah and David Bowie as Jareth, the Goblin King. In the film, Sarah embarks on a quest to reach the center of an enormous, otherworldly maze to rescue her infant half-brother Toby, whom she wished away to Jareth.

The film started as a collaboration between Henson and Froud following their previous collaboration "The Dark Crystal" (1982). Terry Jones of Monty Python wrote the first draft of the film's script early in 1984, drawing on Froud's sketches for inspiration.

"Pink Flamingos" — PLAYS FRIDAY, MAY 12 AT 9:30 PM AT THE STATE

Part of the Late Nights at the State series

A 1972 American black comedy film directed, written, produced, narrated, filmed, and edited by John Waters. It is part of what Waters has labelled the "Trash Trilogy", which also includes "Female Trouble" (1974) and "Desperate Living' (1977). The film stars the countercultural drag queen Divine as a criminal living under the name of Babs Johnson, who is proud to be "the filthiest person alive". While living in a trailer with her mother Edie (Edith Massey), son Crackers (Danny Mills), and companion Cotton (Mary Vivian Pearce), Divine is confronted by the Marbles (David Lochary and Mink Stole), a pair of criminals envious of her reputation who try to outdo her in filth. The characters engage in several grotesque, bizarre, and explicitly crude situations, and upon the film's re-release in 1997 it was rated NC-17 by the MPAA "for a wide range of perversions in explicit detail". It was filmed in the vicinity of Baltimore, Maryland, where Waters and most of the cast and crew grew up.

"Paddington 2" — PLAYS SUNDAY, MAY 14 AT 1:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN

For Mother's Day, free for moms and kids 12 and under!

A 2017 live-action animated comedy film directed by Paul King and written by King and Simon Farnaby. Based on the stories of Paddington Bear, created by Michael Bond (to whom the film is also dedicated, Bond having died that year), it is the sequel to "Paddington" (2014), and is produced by Heyday Films and StudioCanal UK. The film, a British-French-Luxembourgish co-production, stars Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington, with Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson,Julie Walters,Jim Broadbent,Peter Capaldi, and Hugh Grant in live-action roles. In the film, Paddington tries to get a present for his adoptive aunt's birthday, but when the intended gift is stolen from a shop and he is wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for the theft, he and his family have to find the real culprit and prove Paddington's innocence.

"Star Wars: Return of the Jedi"— PLAYS MONDAY, MAY 15 AT 7:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN

Part of the Films We Love Series

A 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas from a story by Lucas, who was also the executive producer. The sequel to "Star Wars" (1977) and "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980), it is the third installment in the original Star Wars trilogy, the third film to be produced, and the sixth chronological film in the "Skywalker Saga". The film stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Frank Oz.

Set one year after "The Empire Strikes Back," the Galactic Empire is constructing a second Death Star to exterminate the Rebel Alliance. With intel that the Emperor will be onboard, the Rebel fleet launches a full-scale attack on the Death Star in hopes of both destroying it and the Emperor. Meanwhile, Rebel hero Luke Skywalker, now a Jedi Knight, struggles to bring his father, Darth Vader, back to the light side of the Force.

Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival

The Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival will continue with screenings this Sunday, as well as next Wednesday and Thursday at the State Theater plus online screenings through May 28. For complete schedule and more information, go to https://jccannarbor.org/film-festival/

CONTINUING DOWNTOWN

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" 

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.

"Showing Up"

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).

"Beau Is Afraid"

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, andRichard Kind.

"Chevalier"

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.

"Suzume" 

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.

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