The Florida Project is the follow up from Director SEAN BAKER to his acclaimed 2015 indie feature Tangerine, which gained notoriety for being shot entirely on an iPhone. The Florida Project, which he shot on 35mm, tells the story of a mother and daughter living in a budget hotel on the on the outskirts of Disney World. 6-year-old Moonee spends her days enjoying the fantasy and wonders of childhood while getting into mischief and setting off on adventures with her friends, while her mother, Halley, strives to protect and care for her daughter by taking on dangerous responsibilities and living week to week. The film introduces breakout stars BROOKLYN PRINCE as Moonee and BRIA VINAI as Halley, but also features veteran actor WILLEM DAFOE (Platoon, Spider-Man) who plays Bobby, the manager of the motel, whose role is being described by critics as a “career best”. The Florida Project opens this Friday, October 27.
In Goodbye Christopher Robin, Director SIMON CURTIS (My Week With Marilyn) offers a glimpse into the life of author A.A. Milne (DOMHNALL GLEESON) and his son Christopher Robin who inspired Milne to create the lovable children’s books of Winnie the Pooh. The film also stars MARGOT ROBBIE (The Wolf of Wall Street, Suicide Squad) as Daphne Milne, wife of A.A. Milne, and KELLY MACDONALD (Trainspotting), nanny to young Christopher, whose lives are inadvertently swept up into the wild success of the books. Goodbye Christopher Robin opens this Friday, October 27.
In Battle of the Sexes the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (EMMA STONE) and Bobby Riggs (STEVE CARELL) became the most watched televised sports event of all time. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were on opposites sides of a binary argument, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. With her husband urging her to fight for equal pay, the private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past. Directed by JONATHAN DAYTON & VALERIE FARIS (Little Miss Sunshine).
Special Screenings Downtown
We’ll close out October with some more Halloween favorites and Michigan Theater traditions. First, let’s do the time warp again! The Rocky Horror Picture Show returns for another night of singing, audience participation, and this year will feature a “shadowcast” from The Leather Medusas, who will perform a pantomimed reenactment of the film while it’s playing on screen! This cult classic stars BARRY BOSTWICK and SUSAN SARANDON as a couple who discover an eerie mansion after they become stranded in the rain from a flat tie. There, they meet Dr. Frank-N-Furter (TIM CURRY), a transvestite scientist and a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker (MEAT LOAF) and a creepy butler (RICHARD O’BRIEN), and through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.” The Rocky Horror Picture Show will play this Saturday, October 28 at 10:00 PM.
From producers Rankin/Bass. Mad Monster Party? is the spooky cousin of holiday classics Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. The film stars BORIS KARLOFF as Dr. Frankenstein who decides to retire and summons a collection of monsters to elect his successor, including The Creature, Dracula, The Werewolf, and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. The film also stars ALLEN SWIFT (who voices 13 characters!), PHYLLIS DILLER, and GALE GARNETT. MAD MONSTER PARTY? will play Saturday, October 28 at 3:00 PM and because it’s part of the Toyota Family-Friendly Film Series presented by the Benard L. Maas Foundation, children 12 & under receive free admission!
The original 1982 Poltergeist, directed by the recently passed TOBE HOOPER, tells a story of a California family, the Freelings, who make contact with the supernatural world via a television set. At first, the spirits seem innocent and friendly but events take a dark turn when their five year old daughter, Carol Ann, goes missing and the family must turn to a parapsychologist and an exorcist for help. The film stars CRAIG T. NELSON, JOBETH WILLIAM, and HEATHER O’ROURKE as the young Carol Ann with the film’s signature line: “They’re here.” Poltergeist plays Thursday, October 26 at 9:30 PM.
And our Classic Monsters and Stranger and Stranger film series come to a close in our cross-over screening of The Monster Squad, the 1987 horror comedy about a group of pre-teen monster fanatics who must save their hometown from Dracula and his squad of classic Universal villains who arrive to find a long lost amulet that will enable them to rule the world. The Monster Squad plays Monday, October 30 at 7:00 PM.
Our next series ’67, will begin Thursday, November 2 beginning with the psychedelic drama The Trip, written by JACK NICHOLSON and directed by ROGER CORMAN. This series will take us back to the year 1967, when our culture witnessed a social and cinematic transformation that would bridge Classic Hollywood to the American New Wave. The series will feature such cinematic revolutionaries as The Graduate The Valley of the Dolls, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Montery Pop and more! Visit michtheater.org/67-series for the complete series lineup.
Opening at the Multiplex
The popular SAW franchise returns with Jigsaw: “Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for ten years. (IMDB) Jigsaw opens this Friday, October 27.
George Clooney returns to the director’s chair with Suburbicon, and a screenplay written by the Coen Brothers. “Suburbicon is a peaceful, idyllic suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns… the perfect place to raise a family, and in the summer of 1959, the Lodge family is doing just that. But the tranquil surface masks a disturbing reality, as husband and father Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) must navigate the town’s dark underbelly of betrayal, deceit, and violence. This is a tale of very flawed people making very bad choices. This is Suburbicon” (Rotten Tomatoes). Suburbicon opens this Friday, October 27.
In Thank You For Your Service “A group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq struggles to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they’ve left the battlefield” (IMDB). Thank You For Your Service opens this Friday, October 27.
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