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Cinema Chat: 'I'm a Virgo' TV series premieres at the Michigan and 'The Flash' opens at the State and multiplex

Michigan Theater
Joshua Walker
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Michigan and State Theaters

TWO OUTSTANDING PREMIERE SCREENINGS, ONLY AT THE MICHIGAN

"I'm a Virgo"— TONIGHT AT 7 PM w/ POST-SCREENING Q&A

This is an upcoming absurdist comedy Amazon Prime television series created by Boots Riley and starring Jharrel Jerome. The first four episodes will be premiered at the Michigan Theater Thursday, June 15. All seven episodes are set to be released on Prime Video on June 23, 2023.

Cootie is a 13-foot-tall, 19-year-old Black man raised by his Aunt Lafrancine and Uncle Martisse in Oakland, California. He is shielded from the outside world until being accidentally discovered by a group of teenage political activists.

Actor Brett Gray will be in attendance for a post-film discussion. Brett is an actor and singer best known for starring as Jamal Turner in the Netflix series "On My Block" and Dal R'El in the Paramount+/Nickelodeon animated series "Star Trek: Prodigy."

MARK YOUR CALENDAR – One Night Only Thursday, June 22 – tickets on sale now! A Red Carpet screening of "Asteroid City"

Wes Anderson brought cowboys, aliens and movie stars to the Cannes Film Festival on a week ago Tuesday, earning a six-minute standing ovation at its world premiere in the Lumiere Theater in Cannes.

Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jason Schwartzman, Matt Dillon, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Norton, Margot RobbieandJeff Goldblum are among the starry ensemble cast — many of whom were in attendance at the Grand Palais with their notoriously stylish and exacting director.

The project tells of a desert tourist trap that was one the sites of an asteroid landing, which also doubles as the location of an annual camp for “stargazers and space cadets.” The conceit is a story-within-a-story, as the cast plays a troupe of actors and stage crew for a play. Johansson had the Cannes crowd swooning as a movie star derailed in Asteroid City (and also as an actress playing that actress in the meta story).

OPENING THIS WEEK

"The Flash" — OPENS TODAY AT THE STATE AND THE MULTIPLEX

Worlds collide in this film when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Superheroes to turn to. That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian… albeit not the one he’s looking for. Ezra Miller reprises their role as Barry Allen in the DC Superhero’s first-ever standalone feature film.

"Lynch/Oz" — OPENS FRIDAY, JUNE 16 AT THE MICHIGAN

The themes, images, and cultural vernacular of Victor Fleming’s "The Wizard of Oz" continue to haunt David Lynch’s art and filmography—from his very first short, "The Alphabet, to his latest series, "Twin Peaks: The Return." Arguably, no filmmaker has so consistently drawn inspiration—consciously or unconsciously—from a single work.

Is David Lynch trapped in the land of Oz? If so, can we derive a new appreciation for Lynch’s body of work from taking a closer look at how it intersects and communicates with "The Wizard of Oz"? In turn, do "Mulholland Drive," "Lost Highway," or "The Elephant Man" have something to say about the enduring resonance of one of America’s most beloved classic movies? Through six distinct perspectives and narrated by some of contemporary cinema’s most exciting voices, the film will take us down the proverbial rabbit hole, help us re-experience and re-interpret "The Wizard of Oz" by way of David Lynch, to deliver a whole new appreciation for Lynch’s symbolism through the lens of his greatest influence.

"The Eight Mountains" — OPENS SATURDAY, JUNE 17 AT THE MICHIGAN

An epic journey of friendship and self-discovery set in the breathtaking Italian Alps, The Eight Mountains is a landmark cinematic experience as intimate as it is monumental, as deep as it is expansive. Adapting the award-winning novel byPaolo Cognetti, directors Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch ("The Broken Circle Breakdown") portray through observant detail and stunning landscape photography the profound, complex relationship between Pietro (Luca Marinelli) and Bruno (Alessandro Borghi), who first meet as children when Pietro’s Turin family vacations in an isolated village at the base of the Alpine slopes.

As they mature, Pietro becomes estranged from his business-minded father (Filippo Timi) even as Bruno—emotionally abandoned by his own father—takes up the role of surrogate son. Pietro’s father’s death reunites the two in realizing his dream of constructing a cabin on the Alps, and the project and subsequent explorations of the awe-inspiring mountain range bond Pietro and Bruno in a shared purpose. Yet despite their connection, the purity of nature and the demands of society both threaten to drive the men to pursue different, possibly irrevocably divergent paths on the vertiginous terrain of life. Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN

"I Am Not Your Negro" — PLAYS FRIDAY, JUNE 16 AT 3 PM AT THE STATE (FREE!!!)

In partnership with the U-M Juneteenth Planning Committee.

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, "Remember This House." The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished.

"One Night at Miami..." — PLAYS FRIDAY, JUNE 16 AT 5:30 PM AT THE STATE (FREE!!!)

In partnership with the U-M Juneteenth Planning Committee.

On one incredible night in 1964, four icons of sports, music, and activism gathered to celebrate one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. When underdog Cassius Clay, soon to be called Muhammad Ali, (Eli Goree), defeats heavy weight champion Sonny Liston at the Miami Convention Hall, Clay memorialized the event with three of his friends: Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge).

"Velvet Goldmine" — PLAYS FRIDAY, JUNE 16 AT 9:30 PM AT THE STATE

Part of the Late Nights at the State series

Glam rock star Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Myers) plays a character on stage named Maxwell Demon who predicts his death on stage. Shortly after he announces his prediction, he fakes his own death and is exposed as a fraud. A decade later in 1984, a reporter and former fan, Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale), tracks down the former rocker to do an article on his life and downfall. Arthur interviews the man who discovered Slade and a peer (Ewan McGregor) to understand Slade's motivations.

"Spirited Away" — PLAYS SUNDAY, JUNE 18 AT 3:30 PM AND THURSDAY, JUNE 22 AT 7:30 PM AT THE STATE

Part of the Summer of Studio Ghibli 2023 series

Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature, Hayao Miyazaki’s wondrous fantasy adventure is a dazzling masterpiece from one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animation. Chihiro’s family is moving to a new house, but when they stop on the way to explore an abandoned village, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the sorceress Yubaba. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. Overflowing with imaginative creatures and thrilling storytelling, the film became a worldwide smash hit, and is one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time.

"Jesus Christ Superstar" — PLAYS SUNDAY, JUNE 18 AT 1:30 PM AND TUESDAY, JUNE 20 AT 7:30 PM AT THE STATE

Part of the Summer Classics film series

Adapted from Andrew Lloyd Webberand Tim Rice's Broadway rock opera, this film recounts the last days of Jesus Christ (Ted Neeley) from the perspective of Judas Iscariot (Carl Anderson), his betrayer. As Jesus' following increases, Judas begins to worry that Jesus is falling for his own hype, forgetting the principles of his teachings and growing too close to the prostitute Mary Magdalene (Yvonne Elliman). After Jesus has an outburst in a temple, Judas turns on him.

"Moonlight" — PLAYS MONDAY, JUNE 19 AT 7:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN

Part of the Films We Love series

A look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young Black man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to manhood is guided by the kindness, support and love of the community that helps raise him. Winner, Best Picture Academy Award.

CONTINUING DOWNTOWN

"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse"

Miles Morales returns for the next chapter of the Oscar®-winning animated Spider-Verse saga, an epic adventure that will transport Brooklyn's full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man across the Multiverse to join forces with Gwen Stacy and a new team of Spider-People to face off with a villain more powerful than anything they have ever encountered.

"You Hurt My Feelings" 

A selection from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival from director Nicole Holofcener(Academy Award nominee for "Can You Ever Forgive Me?") starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies.

A brilliantly relatable/witty New York comedy that follows Beth (Louis-Dreyfus), a popular writer, and her husband Don (Menzies), who share a loving relationship. Even after decades of marriage, parenting, and their own successful careers, their physical spark has somehow not. But when Beth discovers that Don has been untruthful to her about his opinion of her work for years -- Beth's world comes crashing down. Has their whole relationship been one Big Fat Lie?

"Polite Society" 

A 2023 Sundance breakout hit! A martial artist-in-training believes she must save her older sister from her impending marriage. After enlisting the help of her friends, she tries to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists in the name of independence and sisterhood.

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Michael Jewett is the long-time host of 89.1 Jazz every weekday afternoon. Besides his on-air work; Michael is WEMU’s Operations Manager. Mr. Jewett started working for WEMU in 1983. He’s been on the air longer than any other current WEMU music host.
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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