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Cinema Chat: A look at the Venice Film Festival's top flicks, 'Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour' is coming to the State, and more

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The cultural phenomenon continues on the big screen! Immerse yourself in this once-in-a-lifetime concert film experience with a breathtaking, cinematic view of the history-making tour. Taylor Swift Eras attire and friendship bracelets are strongly encouraged! From director Sam Wrench.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW - michtheater.org


The 80th edition, the fest premieres new films from directors Michael Mann ("Ferrari"), Ava DuVernay ("Origin"), David Fincher ("The Killer"), Richard Linklater ("Hit Man"), Yorgos Lanthimos ("Poor Things"), Bradley Cooper ("Maestro"), Sofia Coppola ("Priscilla"), and in the case of William Friedkin, his final opus ("The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial"). The 8 films below are films getting much buzz in Venice.

74% - "Ferrari" (2023)

Would it be a biopic if we weren’t already salivating over slick photos at this point in the awards landscape? It’d be hard to say, and much has already been said about Adam Driver stepping into his most significant biopic to date. After an already impressive performance opposite Lady Gaga in House of Gucci, we get to see Driver take on one of the most dynamic names in the history of automotive sports, namely the iconic leader and founder of Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari. Driver stars alongside some A-list names that are no strangers to the F1 racetrack, such as amateur racecar drivers Patrick Dempsey and Jack O’Connell, joined by Big Little Lies star Shailene Woodley and Oscar nominee Penelope Cruz.

92% - "Origin" (2023)

After the disappointing reception of her 2018 adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, Ava DuVernay returns to her indie roots with her latest effort, Origin, starring Aunjanue Ellis. Based on a Pulitzer prize-winning book that examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human division.

84% -"The Killer" (2023)

Nearly 25 years since the last time he graced the Venice red carpet for 1999’s Fight Club, David Fincher returns to Italy with a new adaptation of The Killer, the famed French graphic novel by Alexis Nolent. Michael Fassbender plays the nameless lead role with Tilda Swinton co-starring and frequent composing collaborators Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross along for the orchestrations of this taught crime thriller.

87% - "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial" (2023)

A bittersweet must-watch to be sure, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial is shaping up to be one of the hardest tickets of the festival to procure, given the tragic and untimely death of its director, William Friedkin. This is literally the last time a new work of his will grace the red carpet of the Venice Film Festival, so the beloved director’s tragic passing adds an undistinguishable cloud above the festivities.

100% - "Hit Man" (2023)

One of our relatively lighter offerings in Venice is Hit Man, the Texas-sized action comedy courtesy of Richard Linklater starring Texas native Glen Powell. Based on a Texas Monthly magazine article by famed journalist Skip Hollandsworth, Hit Man details a real-life Houston police officer’s undercover work as a reliable killer for hire until a series of events makes him the only person who can save a desperate woman in need.

100% - "Poor Things" (2023)

Yorgos Lanthimos returns to the Venice Film Festival with his latest, starring Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo. The outlandish tale chronicles a young woman who is brought back to life by a mad scientist, and it serves as a macabre re-imagining of the Frankenstein story with all of the clever touches and arresting visuals that we’ve come to associate with Lanthimos.

92% -"Maestro" (2023)

The most talked-about nose since Nicole Kidman donned one for her Oscar-winning performance in The Hours. Bradley Cooper’s biopic of Leonard Bernstein’s life would always be controversial. A Bernstein obsessive and aficionado, Cooper is expected to delve deep into the composer’s less publicized chapters, namely his sexuality and his longtime partnership with his wife Felicia Montealegre, played by Carey Mulligan.

94% - "Priscilla" (2023)

After the incredible run of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis last year, it’s no wonder that we would see an adaptation told through the eyes of his most famous paramour, Priscilla Presley. Sofia Coppola, who has minted her brand as a champion of female-forward cinema.



An American romantic comedy film written and directed by Nia Vardalos. The third installment in the "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" franchise, the film stars Vardalos,John Corbett, Louis Mandylor, Elena Kampouris, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone,Lainie Kazan and Andrea Martin. It is the first entry not to star Michael Constantine, who died in 2021. Filming took place in Athens, Greece, from June 22 to August 10, 2022. Produced by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

The film follows the Portokalos family on a trip to Greece for a family reunion after the death of Gus.


An American gothic supernatural horror film directed by Michael Chaves, with a screenplay written byIan Goldberg, Richard Naing, and Akela Cooper from a story by Cooper. It serves as a sequel to "The Nun" (2018) and the ninth installment in The Conjuring Universe franchise. The film stars Taissa Farmiga,Jonas Bloquet and Bonnie Aarons, returning from the first film, with Storm Reid and Anna Popplewell joining the cast. Peter Safran and James Wan return as producers.

Michael Chaves directed two previous films in The Conjuring Universe, "The Curse of La Llorona" (2019) and "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" (2021).

1956 -- France. A priest is murdered. An evil is spreading. The sequel to the worldwide smash hit. Set four years after the ending of the first film, the film follows Sister Irene as she once again comes face to face with the demonic force Valak, the Nun, at a boarding school in France.

"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" — NOW BACK AT THE MICHIGAN THEATER

Miles Morales returns for the next chapter of the Oscar®-winning 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.


The itinerary of a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention (organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition) is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events. From director Wes Andersonand starring Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Sophia Lillis, Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell and more!


"The Big Lebowski"— PLAYS TONIGHT AT 7:30 AT THE STATE

Part of the Late Nights at the State series

From the Academy Award®-winning Coen Brothers, the hilariously quirky comedy-thriller about bowling, avant-garde art, nihilistic Austrians, and a guy named… The Dude. Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski doesn't want any drama in his life… heck, he can't even be bothered with a job. But, in a case of mistaken identity, a couple of thugs break into his place and steal his rug (you gotta understand, that rug really tied the room together). Now, The Dude must embark on a quest with his crazy friends to make things right and get that rug back! Starring Jeff Bridges,Julianne Moore, John Goodman, John Turturro and Steve Buscemi, the film has become a cultural phenomenon.


Join us for a special 20th anniversary screening of Tommy Wiseau’s iconic cult classic with Greg Sestero, New York Times best-selling author of the Oscar-nominated "The Disaster Artist," in attendance to provide live commentary during the film.

Beginning at 6:30 PM, join us for a meet & greet/autograph opportunity with Greg.

Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) is a successful bank executive who lives quietly in a San Francisco townhouse with his fiancée, Lisa. One day, putting aside any scruple, she seduces Johnny's best friend, Mark. From there, nothing will be the same again. Featuring post-film Q&A with Greg Sestero.

"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - Extended Edition" — PLAYS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 AT 2:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN

Part of the Films We Love series

The future of civilization rests in the fate of the One Ring, which has been lost for centuries. Powerful forces are unrelenting in their search for it. But fate has placed it in the hands of a young Hobbit named Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), who inherits the Ring and steps into legend. A daunting task lies ahead for Frodo when he becomes the Ringbearer - to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom where it was forged. From director Peter Jackson and also starring Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, John Rhys-Davies, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Sean Bean, and Christopher Lee.


Part of the 50 Years of Scorsese film series

Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) is a failure in life but a celebrity in his own mind, hosting an imaginary talk show in his mother's basement. When he meets actual talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis), he's convinced it will provide his big break, but Langford isn't interested in the would-be comedian. Undaunted, Pupkin effectively stalks Langford -- and when that doesn't work, he kidnaps him, offering his release in exchange for a guest spot on Langford's show. From director Martin Scorsese.

The Series Continues - Mondays at 7:30 PM at the Michigan (mostly):

The Hump Film Festival - PLAYS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 AT 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM AT THE STATE

A lovingly curated festival of short erotic films made by real people for real people. The filmmakers and stars show us hot and sexy, creative and kinky, ultimate turn-ons and craziest fantasies. Our program is a cornucopia of body types, shapes, ages, colors, sexualities, genders, kinks, and fetishes—all united by a shared spirit of sex-positivity. HUMP! will shock you. HUMP! will make you laugh. HUMP! will turn you on. HUMP! has been successfully disrupting the way America sees, makes, and shares porn since 2005. Come and get some! *All screenings are the same lineup of films.


Part of the Ann Arbor Film Festival Presents series

Since the 2000s, several waves of male suicide have followed one another in the Amerindian population of the Colombian Amazon. The filmmaker discovers that lovesickness is often the cause. Wives leave their husbands for “white” men who think that Indians do not feel anything because they do not express their feelings in the Cacua Language. Is it possible that members of the Cacua community have no feelings and no words to talk about love?



This film premiered at South by Southwest on March 11, 2023.

The film, a refreshingly unique teen comedy, focuses on two girls, PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri), who start a fight club as a way to lose their virginities to cheerleaders. Their bizarre plan works. The fight club gains traction and soon the most popular girls in school are beating each other up in the name of self-defense. But PJ and Josie find themselves in over their heads and in need of a way out before their plan is exposed.

From directorEmma Seligman ("Shiva Baby," a 2020 American comedy film written and directed by Emma Seligman, Seligman’s feature directorial debut. The film starred Rachel Sennott as Danielle, a directionless young bisexual Jewish woman who attends a shiva with her parents).

"The Equalizer 3"

Since giving up his life as a government assassin, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) has struggled to reconcile the horrific things he's done in the past and finds a strange solace in serving justice on behalf of the oppressed. Finding himself surprisingly at home in Southern Italy, he discovers his new friends are under the control of local crime bosses. As events turn deadly, McCall knows what he has to do: become his friends' protector by taking on the mafia. From director Antoine Fuqua ('Training Day').


Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Park Chan-Wook’s cinematic masterpiece, the film will be released in theaters for the first time in 20 years, restored and remastered in stunning 4K.

After being mysteriously kidnapped and imprisoned with no human contact for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-sik) is suddenly released without any explanation. In a twisted game of cat and mouse, he has only five days to retrace his past, track down his captors, and get his revenge.

Featuring one of best one-shot action sequences of all-time and 18 on Empire Magazine’s “The 100 Best Films of World Cinema


A 2023 fantasy comedy film directed by Greta Gerwig, who wrote it with Noah Baumbach. Gerwig collaborated with her partner Noah Baumbach on several films, including "Greenberg" (2010) and "Frances Ha" (2012), for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination, "Mistress America" (2015), and "White Noise" (2022). She also appeared in many other films including as a voice actor in Wes Anderson's "Isle of Dogs" (2018). As a solo filmmaker, Gerwig has written and directed the coming-of-age films "Lady Bird" (2017) and "Little Women" (2019), both of which earned nominations for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

The film stars Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, who go on a journey of self-discovery after their expulsion from the utopian Barbie Land. Appearing in supporting roles are America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell.

The film was first announced in September 2009. Following multiple writer and director changes and the casting of Amy Schumerand later Anne Hathaway in the titular role, Sony lost the rights, which were transferred to Warner Bros. Pictures in October 2018, with Robbie being cast in 2019. Gerwig was announced as director and co-writer with Baumbach in 2021. Gosling and the rest of the cast were announced in early 2022. Filming took place primarily at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in England from March to July 2022. Barbie premiered at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on July 9, 2023.

After being expelled from the utopian Barbie Land for being less-than-perfect dolls, Barbie and Ken go on a journey of self-discovery to the real world. OR to live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you're a Ken.


An epic biographical thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the 2005 biography "American Prometheus" by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who helped develop the first nuclear weapons. The film stars Cillian Murphyas the title character, with a supporting ensemble cast including Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck, Rami Malek, and Kenneth Branagh.

The film was announced in September 2021 when Universal Pictures won the bidding war. Filming began in late February 2022 and wrapped that May. Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shot the film in a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film—including, for the first time, sections in IMAX black-and-white analog photography. As on his previous works, Nolan utilized extensive practical effects and minimal computer-generated imagery. The film premiered at Le Grand Rex in Paris on July 11, 2023. It is Nolan's first film not to be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures domestically or internationally since "Memento" (2000).

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Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
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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