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Cinema Chat: 'Miles Ahead,' 'Son of Saul,' 'In Jackson Heights,' 'Race,' And More

Feb 18, 2016

Michigan Theater Lobby
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In this week's "Cinema Chat," Michigan Theater Executive Director and CEO Russ Collins talks with WEMU's David Fair about all the big news coming out of Hollywood and the movies opening this weekend.


Hollywood News

Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly to star in Laurel & Hardy Biopic

The Laurel & Hardy biopic, “Stan & Ollie,” will star Academy Award nominees Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as the legendary comedy duo in the latter portion of their long careers.  Written by BAFTA Award-winning screenwriter Jeff Pope, the film will be directed by Jon S. Baird and produced by Faye Ward’s Fable Pictures, in association with eOne Features and BBC Films.  The rights to the work of Laurel and Hardy has been licensed by Larry Harmon Pictures Corporation.

Native Detroiter Jerry Bruckheimer Gets Own Film Festival As Part Of UCLA Honor

The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television has said it will mount a month-long film festival in honor of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, paying tribute to his impact on film and television.  The festival, "Take My Breath Away:  A Jerry Bruckheimer Film Festival," launches April 1 at the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood with "Top Gun" followed by a Q&A with Bruckheimer.  Other pics in the mix during the fest: "Enemy Of The State," "Pirates Of The Caribbean:  The Curse Of The Black Pearl," "The Rock," "Armageddon," "Flashdance," "Crimson Tide," "Black Hawk Down," "American Gigolo," and "Beverly Hills Cop."  The event is presented in association with Paramount Pictures and UCLA Film & Television Archive.

"Miles Ahead" Coming to the Michigan Theater on April 22

"Miles Ahead" is directed by Don Cheadle, which Cheadle co-wrote with Steven Baigelman, Stephen J. Rivele, and Christopher Wilkinson, based on the life of jazz musician Miles Davis.  It played the New York Film Festival in October and Sundance in January.

Academy Award Ceremony is February 28!

How is your Oscar nominated film watching going?  How many of the nominated Best Picture have you seen?  The Best Picture nominees are: “The Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Room,” and “Spotlight.”  Have you seen the nominated short films?  The animated and live action short films are playing at the Michigan and they are always great!  You have ten more days to see all the Oscar nominated films before Academy Awards day, Sunday, February 28.

Opening Downtown

"Son of Saul"

In the searing drama nominated for this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, a concentration camp inmate tasked with burning the dead discovers the body of his young son and must choose between participating in the clandestine uprising being planned among the prisoners, or securing a proper Jewish burial for his child.  The film has received near-universal praise from critics; Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times writes “’Son of Saul’ is one of the best and most original and most devastatingly effective films ever made about the Holocaust…. (it is a) lasting work of art — difficult to watch, impossible to forget.”  “Son of Saul” opens Friday at the Michigan, with select screenings exhibited in 35mm.

Special Screenings Downtown

"In Jackson Heights"

Jackson Heights, Queens is one of the most culturally diverse communities in the US, where 167 languages are spoken.  “In Jackson Heights” explores the conflict between maintaining ties to old traditions and adapting to American values.   “In Jackson Heights” plays February 23 and 24 at the State.

"Born Free"

At a national park in Kenya, English game warden George and his wife Joy care for three orphaned lion cubs.  After the two larger lions are shipped off to a zoo in the Netherlands, the smallest of the three, Elsa, stays with the couple.  “Born Free” plays Sunday, February 21 at 1:30 PM at the State.  Free for kids 12 and under!

"Hamlet"

Director and star Kenneth Branagh cemented his position as the modern king of Shakespeare with “Hamlet,” his third Shakespeare adaptation in seven years.  In his version of Shakespeare’s most adapted play, Branagh plays Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, who returns home to find his father murdered and his mother (Julie Christie) remarrying the murderer, his uncle (Derek Jacobi).  Meanwhile, war is brewing.  This production also features Kate Winslet as Ophelia.  “Hamlet” plays Monday, February 22 at 7 PM at the Michigan as part of The Bard Film Series.

"Boruto:  Naruto the Movie"

It has been long since the end of the Shinobi War and Naruto Uzumaki is now the Seventh Hokage of Konohagakure.  His son, Boruto, having heard stories of his father’s heroic efforts before him, goes on a quest to be trained and surpass the honor his father brought upon his line.  “Boruto: Naruto the Movie” plays Wednesday, February 24 at 7 PM at the State as part of the CineManga Film Series. 

Opening at the Multiplex

"Race"

Based on the incredible true story of Jesse Owens, the legendary athletic superstar whose quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler's vision of Aryan supremacy.  “Race” is an enthralling film about courage, determination, tolerance, and friendship, and an inspiring drama about one man's fight to become an Olympic legend.  “Race” opens Friday.

"Risen"

The first forty days after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is told through the eyes of an agnostic Roman Centurion charged by Pontius Pilate to investigate rumors of a risen Jewish Messiah and locate the missing deceased body of Jesus of Nazareth in order to subdue an imminent uprising in Jerusalem.  “Risen” opens Friday.

"The Witch"

A painstakingly recreation of a God-fearing New England decades before the 1692 Salem witch trials, in which religious convictions tragically turned to mass hysteria.  Told through the eyes of the adolescent Thomasin - in a star-making turn by newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy - and supported by mesmerizing camera work and a powerful musical score, “The Witch” is a chilling and groundbreaking new take on the genre.   Writer/director Robert Eggers won the Best Director Prize in the U.S. Narrative Competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival for the film.  “The Witch” opens Friday.  

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— 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