In “Toni Erdmann,” nominated for this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Winfried doesn’t see much of his working daughter Ines, so he decides to surprise her with a visit. It’s an awkward move because serious career woman Ines is working on an important project as a corporate strategist in Bucharest. The geographical change doesn’t help the two to see more eye to eye. Practical joker Winfried loves to annoy his daughter with corny pranks. What’s worse are his little jabs at her routine lifestyle of long meetings, hotel bars and performance reports. Father and daughter reach an impasse, and Winfried agrees to return home to Germany. Enter flashy “Toni Erdmann”: Winfried’s smooth-talking alter ego. Disguised in a tacky suit, weird wig and even weirder fake teeth, Toni barges into Ines’ professional life, claiming to be her CEO’s life coach. As Toni, Winfried is bolder and doesn’t hold back, but Ines meets the challenge. In all the madness, Ines begins to understand that her eccentric father might deserve some place in her life after all. “Toni Erdmann” opens Friday.
Special Screenings Downtown
March 2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of the State Theatre’s opening in 1942. In honor of this momentous event, we’re screening the most iconic film from the same year – “Casablanca!” One of the most beloved American films, this captivating wartime adventure of romance and intrigue from director Michael Curtiz defies standard categorization. Simply put, it is the story of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a world-weary ex-freedom fighter who runs a nightclub in Casablanca during the early part of WWII. Despite pressure from the local authorities, Rick’s cafe has become a haven for refugees looking to purchase illicit letters of transit which will allow them to escape to America. One day, to Rick’s great surprise, he is approached by the famed rebel Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) and his wife, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), Rick’s true love who deserted him when the Nazis invaded Paris. “Casablanca” plays Friday March 10 at 7 PM at the Michigan Theater. Free cupcakes for the first 200 guests through the door!
In “Right Now, Wrong Then,” a film director arrives in town a day early quite by accident. With time to kill before his lecture the next day, he stops by a restored, old palace and meets a fledgling artist. She’s never seen any of his films, but knows he’s famous. They talk. And together, they go to her workshop to look at her paintings. More conversation follows, and drinks, and then an awkward get-together with friends where all sorts of secrets are revealed. Then, quite unexpectedly, we begin again, but now things appear somewhat different. “Right Now, Wrong Then” plays Saturday March 11 at 1 PM. Part of the Korean Cinema NOW series presented by the UM Nam Center for Korean Studies. Admission is free!
In “Ichi the Killer,” love is painful and NOT for the faint of heart. Warring yakuza clans pit crime bosses against one another through deception and rumor. At the center of it all is the homicidal, unhinged Ichi. Warped by the rival gangs and their desire for ultimate power, Ichi is seduced by their psychological manipulation that catapults him into an enraged spree of pop art assassinations, in search for redemption and answers for his life. This sensationalist turn at gangster noir offers a unique vantage point from the new millennium. “Ichi the Killer” plays Monday March 6 at 7 PM. Part of the Kuro: The Dark Edge of Japanese Filmmaking film series.
Opening at the Multiplex
In “Kong: Skull Island,” a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific – as beautiful as it is treacherous – unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson and John Goodman, “Kong: Skull Island” opens Friday.
See you at the movies!
From Russell B. Collins
Director, State & Michigan Theaters – Ann Arbor
Founder/Director, Art House Convergence – Utah
Artistic Dir./Founder, Cinetopia Festival Detroit/A2
Strengthening communities with persistent creativity