Cinema Chat: Musical films are about to take center stage! 'A Haunting in Venice' and 'Mr. Jimmy' open this weekend
"Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour" — OPENS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 AT THE STATE AND MULTIPLEX
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
"Joan Baez: I Am a Noise" — OPENS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13
Neither a conventional biopic nor a traditional concert film, this film is a raw and intimate portrait of the legendary folk singer and activist that shifts back and forth through time as it follows Joan on her final tour and delves into her extraordinary archive, including newly discovered home movies, diaries, artwork, therapy tapes, and audio recordings. Baez is remarkably revealing about her life on and off stage -- from her lifelong emotional struggles to her civil rights work with MLK and a heartbreaking romance with a young Bob Dylan. A searingly honest look at a living legend, this film is a compelling and deeply personal exploration of an iconic artist who has never told the full truth of her life, as she experienced it, until now.
"Stop Making Sense" (newly restored 40th anniversary screening) — OPENS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 AT THE MICHIGAN
A 1984 American concert film featuring a live performance by the American rock band Talking Heads. Directed by Jonathan Demme, it was shot over three nights at Hollywood's Pantages Theater in December 1983, when the group was touring to promote their new album Speaking in Tongues. The concert serves as a band retrospective, featuring many of their popular songs from their first single "Psycho Killer" (1977) through to their most recent hit "Burning Down the House" (1983). The group also performs songs from frontman David Byrne's solo career, and from Tom Tom Club, the side project of two other band members.
The band raised the budget of $1.2 million themselves. The four core members of Talking Heads—lead singer and guitarist David Byrne, drummer Chris Frantz, guitarist and keyboardist Jerry Harrison, and bassist Tina Weymouth—are joined on stage by an extensive supporting band, including backing singers Lynn Mabry and Ednah Holt, guitarist Alex Weir, keyboardist Bernie Worrell, and percussionist Steve Scales.
This film is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest concert films of all time, and a cult classic. The film is a pioneering example of the use of early digital audio techniques. In 2021, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
OPENING (AND RE-OPENING)THIS WEEK
"A Haunting in Venice" — OPENS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 AT THE MULTIPLEX, THEN COMES TO THE STATE FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
An American supernatural mystery film co-produced, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay by Michael Green, based on the 1969 novel "Hallowe'en Party" by Agatha Christie. The film serves as the sequel to "Death on the Nile" (2022), and it is the third one overall in which Branagh portrays the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The ensemble cast includes Kyle Allen, Camille Cottin, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Jude Hill, Ali Khan, Emma Laird, Kelly Reilly, Riccardo Scamarcio, and Michelle Yeoh.
The film is set in eerie, post-World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve and is a terrifying mystery featuring the return of the celebrated sleuth, Hercule Poirot. Now retired and living in self-imposed exile in the world’s most glamorous city, Poirot reluctantly attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo. When one of the guests is murdered, the detective is thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets.
"Mr. Jimmy" — OPENS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 AT THE MICHIGAN
In snowbound Tokamachi, Japan, teenaged Akio Sakurai took refuge in his room, escaping to another world with a pair of headphones and a pile of Led Zeppelin records. Moving to Tokyo, Akio worked as a kimono salesman by day, but by night became "Mr. Jimmy," adopting the guitar chops and persona of Jimmy Page. For 35 years, Akio recreated vintage Zeppelin concerts note-for-note in small Tokyo clubs, until the “real” Jimmy Page stopped by one night, and Akio’s life changed forever. Inspired by Mr. Page’s ovation, Akio quits his “salary man” job, leaving behind his family to move to Los Angeles and join “Led Zepagain.” Soon cultures clash, and Akio’s idyllic vision of America meets with reality. From director Peter Michael Dowd.
"Oppenheimer" — NOW RE-OPENED AT THE MICHIGAN THEATER
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 Murphy as 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).
SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN
"Ghost in the Shell" — PLAYS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 AT 9:30 PM AND THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 AT 7:30 PM AT THE STATE
In this Japanese animation, cyborg federal agent Maj. Motoko Kusanagi trails "The Puppet Master", who illegally hacks into the computerized minds of cyborg-human hybrids. Her pursuit of a man who can modify the identity of strangers leaves Motoko pondering her own makeup and what life might be like if she had more human traits. With her partner, she corners the hacker, but her curiosity about her identity sends the case in an unforeseen direction. From director Mamoru Oshii.
Presented in Japanese with English subtitles.
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (Extended Edition) — PLAYS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 AT 1:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN
The sequel to the Golden Globe-nominated and AFI Award-winning "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," this film follows the continuing quest of Frodo (Elijah Wood) and the Fellowship to destroy the One Ring. Frodo and Sam (Sean Astin) discover they are being followed by the mysterious Gollum (Andy Serkis). Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), the Elf archer Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli the Dwarf (John Rhys-Davies) encounter the besieged Rohan kingdom, whose once great King Theoden has fallen under Saruman's deadly spell. From director Peter Jackson. Presented with an Intermission!
LIVE ON STAGE Rhiannon Giddens, presented by The Ark, Monday 9/18.
The Series Continues - Mondays at 7:30 PM at the Michigan (mostly):
An American gothic supernatural horror film directed by Michael Chaves, with a screenplay written by Ian 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.
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 director Emma 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).
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 Schumer and 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.
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