Michael Moore, Sigur Ros concert film, a holiday favorite and more at the movies this week
Win free movie tickets
Editor's note: Comment on today's "Cinema Chat" for a chance to win free movie tickets to the Michigan Theater. Some time between now and 9 a.m. Monday, leave a comment on this column, written by the Michigan Theater's Russ Collins. Offer your opinion on a recent movie you've seen, or on anything Russ mentions. A winner will be randomly selected, and we’ll notify that person via the email address they signed up with. They will get two passes to a movie of their choice, courtesy of The Michigan Theater. Full rules here.
Michael Moore in town tonight!
When filmmakers come to town it is always exciting. Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore will be at the Michigan Theater tonight at 8 p.m. for a live appearance in connection with his book tour for his New York Times best-seller “Here Comes Trouble.” Tickets are reasonably priced and are available for purchase at the door.
Michael will share thoughts, read from his new book, answer your questions, and sign and personalize copies of his books - which will be available for purchase at the theater. Of course, there will also be a few surprises—no evening with Michael Moore is ever devoid of surprises!
Catch an Oscar buzz film
So many new films opened over the Thanksgiving weekend that no new films are opening at your local multiplex cinema this week. However, don’t miss films currently playing that are sure to get considerations for Oscars. Martin Scorsese’s new film, “Hugo,” will surely get Oscar consideration; so will Leonardo DiCaprio for his performance as “J Edgar.” “Puss In Boots” will likely get a nod for animation, and all these films are playing at multiplexes everywhere.
“The Descendants” will almost certainly provide George Clooney a Best Actor Oscar nomination, and Alexander Payne should also see a nomination for Best Director. The Dallas Morning News review captured the opinion of most when it said, “Alexander Payne has been gone so long, it's easy to forget just how good he is. With ‘The Descendants,’ the director's first feature since 2004's 'Sideways,' he reminds us what we've been missing.” “The Descendants” continues at the Michigan Theater and Quality 16.
Also playing at the Michigan is “My Week With Marilyn,” which provides an almost-certain Oscar nomination for Michelle Williams.Â “My Week With Marilyn” moves to the State Theatre on Friday.
“Inni,” filmed at Alexandra Palace over two nights by director Vincent Morisset, strips away everything save for the raw performance of the band Sigur Ros. Originally filmed on HD digital, the film was first transferred to 16mm film and then projected and re-filmed, sometimes through glass and other objects to give a strong impressionistic look to this unusual but compelling film. Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times says, “The best concert films achieve a marriage of sound and image that feels effortlessly harmonious, and in that regard 'Inni,' a musical portrait of the Icelandic band Sigur Ros, leaves most of its genre in the dust.” “Inni” plays December 5, 6 and 8 at the Michigan Theater.
The Nam Center for Korean Studies continues their Cinematic City: Seoul series with “The Chaser.” Based on the real-life serial killer Yoo Young-cheol, who was convicted in 2005 of murdering 20 people, this acclaimed thriller tells a story of an ex-detective Jung-ho (Kim Yun-sik) who is struggling to save his girl from a psycho-serial killer customer Young-min (Ha Jung-woo). Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times says the film “is an expert serial-killer film from South Korea and a poster child for what a well-made thriller looked like in the classic days.” “The Chaser” plays Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Michigan Theater and admission is free.
Warren Miller's “...Like There's No Tomorrow” brings you the latest film offering of those little moments when the pressure's off, no one's watching, and it's just you, your boards, and the mountain. Hosted by Jonny Moseley and shot on location in Colorado, Utah, California, New Zealand, Chile, Alaska and British Columbia. Warren Miller's “...Like There's No Tomorrow” plays Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Michigan Theater.
The State Theatre’s Midnight series continues with the 1991’s “Cool As Ice.” Vanilla Ice (you read that correctly) stars as the leader of a motorcycle gang whoÂ falls in love with a small-town girl (Kristen Minter). The film is a remake of "Rebel Without a Cause," with rap “star” Vanilla Ice in the James Dean role. “Cool As Ice” plays Saturday, Dec. 3 at 11:59 PM at the State Theatre.
The holiday classic “Miracle on 34th Street” stars Maureen O'Hara, Edmund Gwenn (who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar), John Payne and a very young Natalie Wood. “Miracle on 34th Street” plays FREE on the BIG screen Sunday, Dec. 4 at 1:30 p.m.
The Michigan Theater’s Stanley Kubrick series continues with “Eyes Wide Shut.” Kubrick orchestrates this film with masterful flourishes, graceful tracking shots, controlled pacing, rich colors and startling images. “Eyes Wide Shut” plays Monday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.
See you at the movies!
Russ Collins is executive director of the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. Tune in to the audio version of “Cinema Chat” on WEMU radio (89.1-FM) each Thursday at 7:40 a.m. and 5:40 p.m., or listen to it online at WEMU's web site.