Ken Burns at the Michigan Theater!

Ken Burns, Ann Arbor native and one of America’s most acclaimed filmmakers, will present a showcase of his latest work on Wednesday, April 19 at 7:30 PM at the Michigan Theater.  After screening excerpts – many of which are being seen publicly for the first time at this special screening – Burns will discuss with the audience his upcoming projects and, more generally, his work as a filmmaker and historianAll tickets $10! 

Opening Downtown

In “After the Storm,” dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother and beautiful ex-wife seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrusting family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son – until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again.  Ty Burr of the Boston Globe writes “(director Hirokazu Kore-eda) keeps his characters and audience bobbing together over waters that grow deeper and deeper, until it’s impossible to distinguish the everyday from the profound.”  “After the Storm” opens Friday.

In “Colossal,” Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is an out-of-work party girl who, after getting kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend, is forced to move back to her hometown. When news reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, South Korea, Gloria gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this far-off phenomenon. As events begin to spin out of control, Gloria must determine why her seemingly insignificant existence has such a colossal effect on the fate of the world.  Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly writes “as much as ‘Colossal’ owes to Asian cinema’s classic kaiju-monster battles, it’s also a shrewd funhouse-mirror subversion of all that… (director Nacho) Vigalondo is less interested in the literal havoc his scaly behemoths wreak on thousands of unsuspecting Koreans than the emotional wreckage of his messed-up humans back in New York.”  “Colossal” opens Friday April 21, with special advance screenings on Thursday April 20.

Special Screenings Downtown

“Dong-ju: Portrait of a Poet” describes the life of poet Yun Dong-ju during the Japanese colonial occupation, focusing on his struggles to devote life to writing, his friendship and rivalry with his politically active cousin Song Mong-Gyu and their involvement in the Korean Independence Movement.  “Dongju: Portrait of a Poet” plays Saturday April 15 at 1 PM.  Part of the Korean Cinema Now film series presented by the UM Nam Center for Korean Studies.  Admission is free!

“Citizen Kane” is widely considered to be the greatest film of all time, topping the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Movies list.  Orson Welles’ first feature film follows the death of a publishing tycoon and the scramble to understand the meaning of his mysterious final word.   In “Day for Night,” Francois Truffaut pulls back the curtain on filmmaking with this chronicle of the melodrama both on and off screen during the production of a film. Truffaut bends the fourth wall with his appearance as the film-within-the-film’s director. “Citizen Kane” plays Monday April 17 at 4 PM; “Day for Night” plays Monday at 7 PM.  Presented as part of the Cinema Revolution film series.

Every year, the UM Department of Screen Arts and Cultures selects a group of SAC majors who have met the requirements and developed a project proposal that qualified them as SAC Honors Concentrators.  This year’s Honors Showcase features screenings of “Origins,” directed by Claire Higgins, and “Low Expectations,” directed by Abby Buchmeyer.  The Screen Arts and Cultures Honors Showcase takes place Tuesday April 18 at 6:30 PM.  Free and open to the public!

Opening at the Multiplex

“The Fate of the Furious” is the newest chapter in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise.   Now that Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon—and the rest of the crew has been exonerated—the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before.  Also starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, “The Fate of the Furious” opens Friday.

“Spark: A Space Tail” is the story of a boy who embarks on an epic adventure, and in the process discovers his rightful place in the universe.  Thirteen years ago, the power-mad General Zhong seized control of Planet Bana, tearing it to pieces in the process. Enter Spark and his friends, Chunk and Vix, who learn of Zhong’s plan to take over the universe. If Zhong is able to harness the power of an ancient beast known as the Kraken, he’ll have history’s deadliest weapon at his fingertips. And it’s up to Spark and his friends to stop him. Featuring the voices of Patrick Stewart, Hilary Swank, Susan Sarandon and Jessica Biel, “Spark: A Space Tail” opens Friday.
See you at the movies!