89.1 WEMU

Cinema Chat: 2018 Freep Film Festival, 'Finding Your Feet,' 'Rampage,' And More

Apr 12, 2018

Michigan Theater View From the Stage
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair sits down with Michigan and State Theater executive director Russ Collins to talk about the latest movie news and all of the flicks hitting the big screen this weekend.


Freep Film Festival 2018 is Underway

The Freep Film Festival opened Wednesday and runs through Sunday, April 15.  It features more than 70 programs, including multiple world and Michigan premieres.  The documentary-focused lineup puts a special emphasis on films with strong connections to Detroit and Michigan, though as the festival has gotten bigger, the programming has cast a wider net, too.  Tickets are on sale now, at freepfilmfestival.com and at festival partner venues.  More detailed information at freepfilmfestival.com.

OPENING DOWNTOWN

"Finding Your Feet"

This film features an all-star British cast that includes Timothy Spall ("Mr. Turner"), Joanna Lumley ("Absolutely Fabulous"), Imelda Stauton ("Harry Potter"), and Celia Imrie ("Best Exotic Marigold Hotel").  On the eve of retirement, a middle class, judgmental snob discovers her husband has been having an affair with her best friend and is forced into exile with her bohemian sister who lives on an impoverished inner-city council estate.   

"Borg vs. McEnroe"

This film tells the story of the 1980s tennis rivalry between Björn Borg and John McEnroe, starring Shia LaBeouf and Sverrir Gudnason as the tennis legends.  Time Out said, “The final match is an absolute nail-biter, reminding tennis fans how electric this sport can be.”   

"Loveless"

And a 2018 nominee for Best Foreign Language film from Russia, this is about a couple going through a divorce that must team up to find their son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments.  Adam Graham of Detroit News said, “The whole story can be seen as a metaphor for Putin's Russia and the way the country has lost its humanity.”  

SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN 

"Life of Brian"

“And Now For Something Completely Different," our new film series celebrating the films of Monty Python, continues tonight at 9:30 PM with this film about an average young Jewish man, who through a series of ridiculous events, gains a reputation as the Messiah.  Rife with Monty Python's signature absurdity, the tale finds Brian's life paralleling Biblical lore, albeit with many more laughs.  Next week, the series will continue at the same time with "Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl."

"Deconstructing the Beatles: Sgt. Pepper"

In anticipation of The Fab Faux returning to the Michigan on April 21, this film will screen at the State Theatre on Sunday, April 15 at 7:00 PM.  In the film, composer, musician, and Beatles expert Scott Freiman looks at Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from multiple angles, exploring the history behind the music, as well as conducts an educational journey into the creative process of The Beatles performances and recording sessions.  Fans of The Beatles can also attend a free lecture at the downtown Ann Arbor District Library tonight at 7:00 PM, where Walter Everett, Professor of Music at the University of Michigan, will present his own analysis of the album.

"The 47 Ronin, Parts 1 & 2"

And next Monday, April 16, the “Enter the Samurai” Film Series concludes. Produced over a two-year period, Kenji Mizoguchi’s version was too big to be confined to a single film. Thus, it was released in two parts, each running between 105 and 115 minutes.  The story begins in feudal Japan in December of 1701, when warrior leader Lord Asano is tricked into committing suicide and Oishi, Asano’s loyal clansman, holds the wicked Lord Kira responsible.  14 months after Arano’s death, Oishi assembles 47 loyal Ronin (samurai) to exact vengeance.

"Beneath the Surface: The Line 5 Pipeline in the Great Lakes"

THURSDAY, APRIL 19 at 7:15 PM AT THE MICHIGAN

FREE and open to the public!  In this new half-hour documentary, Detroit Public TV’s Great Lakes Bureau examines the controversy surrounding the Line 5 pipeline built by Enbridge Inc. more than 50 years ago. 

CONTINUING DOWNTOWN

"The Leisure Seeker"

At the Michigan: The film stars Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren as a couple who take one last road trip from Boston to the Florida Keys before his Alzheimer's and her cancer can catch up with them. Based on the novel of the same name by local author Michael Zadoorian.

"The Death of Stalin"

The latest political comedic satire from Armando Iannucci, also continues, which depicts the chaos that fell on the Soviet regime after the death of their leader.

"Isle of Dogs"

At the State Theatre: Wes Anderson’s latest stop-motion animated film continues to draw tremendous crowds!  When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, 12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots.  With a voice cast featuring Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeff Goldblum.

"Black Panther" 

The film continues for another week, Marvel’s latest and most successful comic book adaptation to date.

OPENING AT THE MULTIPLEX

"Rampage"

Loosely adapted from the video game series of the same name, stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a primatologist who shares an unshakable bond with George, an extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla who has been in his care since birth.  But when a rogue genetic experiment gone awry and mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size, with other similarly altered animals, Okoye and his team must fight their way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.

"Blumhouse's Truth or Dare"

A group of college friends travel to Mexico for one last getaway before graduation.  There, a stranger convinces them to play a seemingly harmless game of truth or dare, but once the game starts, it awakens something evil -- a demon which forces the friends to share dark secrets and confront their deepest fears.  The rules are simple but wicked -- tell the truth or die, do the dare or die, and if you stop playing, you die.

"Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero"

An animated film featuring the voice talents of Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter, and Gérard Depardieu, a stray dog is rescued off the streets by an American soldier and goes on to become a hero of World War I.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu