Cinema Chat: State Theatre News, '44 Pages,' 'Gook,' 'Happy Death Day,' And More

Oct 12, 2017

Michigan Theater Lobby
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's Patrick Campion talks to Michigan Theater executive director Russ Collins about all of the new and returning films coming to theaters this weekend.  Plus, there's a huge update on the State Theatre renovation project!


STATE THEATRE UPDATE: BIG NEWS – Plans is to open the State Theatre Friday, December 8!

Have raised $8,000,000 of the $8,500,000 goal.  Last $500,000 to be raised are for improvements at the Michigan Theater, most notably, new seats on the Michigan’s main floor and completing the restoration of the theater organ.  We have just a few State Theatre seats to sell, so if you want to support the State, act now! statetheatrea2.org

Things are Really Taking Shape.

  • Only Michigan Theater members will be able to buy tickets to the State Theatre opening on Friday, December 8th.

  • 2017 is the State Theatre’s 75th anniversary. We are happy to be reopening the State on this special anniversary year.

  • The Motawi tile drinking fountain surround is installed – it is very cool.

  • The Marquee is mostly restored.  It is now wrapped and, just before theater reopens – at Thanksgiving time, the Marquee will be fully lit to promote the State Theatre reopening.

  • On Saturday, the escalator will begin being installed.

  • The work on the elevator is well underway.

  • In a couple weeks the interior decorating of the theaters will begin.  As will the installation of a long escalator and large elevator.  Decorating features will include recreations of the original Art Deco carpet design, several 7 feet-tall wall sconces that were specially designed for the State Theatre and an 1940s-era juke box that will be a featured element of the theater’s new entrance lobby.

  • In the lobby upstairs, there will be a small performance space for musicians (right in front of the Art Deco juke box).

  • We are waiting for the final approval the State Theatre’s liquor license, which has inspired us to call the theater’s lobby the Art Deco lounge, where you can have a draft beer, great wines, a special cocktail and even hear some live jazz in the lounge from time-to-time.

Special Screening of Film Based On Story by Ann Arbor Native "So B. It" – Opens 10/20, Q & A with Author Sarah Weeks Sunday 10/22

For as long as Heidi can remember, her mother has had only 22 words in her vocabulary.  And that’s fine with the precocious 12 year-old.  She and Mama live happily in the bubble of love and protection provided by their remarkable neighbor, the nurturing but agoraphobic Bernadette.  Then, one day, a new word pops out of Mama’s mouth – the mysterious “soof” – and it changes everything.  Heidi is propelled on a solo cross-country journey of discovery and loss, truth and identity.  Secrets boil to the surface, long-hidden fears are faced, and Heidi finally learns who she is and where she and her childlike Mama came from.

Opening Downtown

"44 Pages"

Returns by popular demand from Cinetopia 2017!  This is a documentary which takes a look at Highlights Magazine and follows the creation and publication of their 70th Anniversary issue.  The film introduces us to the passionate writers, editors, and producers who create the magazine for “the world’s most important people:" children; and along the way, the audience discovers the “rich and tragic history,” while exploring what the magazine means in the current state of technology and with the future of print media in question. "44 Pages" will play Friday, October 13th to Tuesday, October 17th.

Continuing Downtown

"Victoria and Abdul" 

Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) arrives from India to participate in Queen Victoria’s (Judi Dench) golden jubilee.  The young clerk is surprised to find favor with the queen herself.  As Victoria questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance that her household and inner circle try to destroy.  As their friendship deepens, the queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes, joyfully reclaiming her humanity. 

"Battle of the Sexes"

In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennis match between women's World #1 Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men's-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the “Battle of the Sexes” and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world.  As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles.  Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms and boardrooms that continue to reverberate today.  

Limited Engagements

"Gook"

Two Korean American brothers, Eli and Daniel, own a struggling women's shoe store in 1992 Los Angeles.  They strike an unlikely friendship with an 11-year-old black girl named Kamilla, but soon after, the trio’s livelihood is threatened by the breakout of the 92’ L.A. Riots as they must defend the store from looters and destruction.  In their experience, they come to find a new meaning of family while their personal dreams and future are thrown to chance.  This film comes from Director Justin Chon (best known for acting in the Twilight franchise), who also wrote and stars in the film.  "Gook" will play Friday, October 13th through Tuesday, October 17th.

Special Screenings Downtown

"Friday the 13th"

Prepare for Halloween by coming to see the original 1980 thriller!  Locals warn the new camp counselors of a “death curse” on the newly reopened Camp Crystal Lake, but the young visitors pay little attention to their warnings and are soon met by the machete wielding Jason Voorhees, disguised in a goalie mask, who stalks and kills the young counselors.  The film stars a fresh-faced Kevin Bacon.  "Friday the 13th" will play Friday, October 13th at 9:30 PM.

Other Halloween Films

"The Mummy"

Classic Monsters, our weekly series dedicated to Hollywood’s most timeless and iconic Halloween villains, continues next Monday!  After a successful debut of Boris Karloff as the monster Frankenstein a year earlier, in 1932 Universal Pictures reinvented Karloff as the eponymous Mummy.  In the film, the ancient Egyptian Prince Imhotep (Karloff) is brought back to life and escapes his tomb after a team of British archaeologists discover his mummified remains along with the legendary scroll of Thoth, which when recited aloud, awakens the Prince.  Several years later, Imhotep has taken a new identity of a wealthy man and searches Egypt for his lost love, who he believes has been reincarnated.  "The Mummy" will play next Monday, October 16th at 7:00 PM. "The Wolf Man" and "The Monster Squad" are yet to come in the series.  Visit michtheater.org/monsters for more.

"The Thing"

Our second spooky series Stranger and Stranger continues in tribute to the return of the popularly streamed television series Stranger Things.  This 1982 science-fiction horror film is often considered John Carpenter’s best and follows a group of American scientists in remote Antarctica who become trapped inside their base with a shapeshifting beast who begins to pick them off one by one. The cast is led by Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, and Richard Dysart.  "The Thing" plays Thursday, October 12 at 9:30 PM.  This series will continue with "The Mist," "Poltergeist," and "The Monster Squad" up next. Visit michtheater.org/stranger.

Opening at the Multiplex

"Marshall"

In the much-anticipated biopic of Thurgood Marshall, this film dramatizes the story of “the first African-American Supreme Court Justice as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.” (IMDB)

"The Foreigner"

This film stars Jackie Chan as “a humble businessman with a buried past” who “seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism.  A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers' identities.” (IMDB)

"Happy Death Day"

This is being called the "Groundhog Day" of horror movies.  In it, “a college student relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer's identity” (IMDB)

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— Patrick Campion is the WEMU Program Director.  You can contact Patrick at 734.487.3363, on twitter @WEMUPC, or email him at pcampion@emich.edu