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MARK YOUR CALENDAR–Cinetopia 2018 is Shaping Up To Be The Best Festival Year!

Cinetopia Film Festival, May 31-June 10. Early bird passes now on sale at

The Cinetopia Film Festival will most likely open with a special Michigan premiere screening of Love Gilda. This 90-minute documentary opens a window into the world of celebrated Emmy and Grammy award-winning comedian Gilda Radner, who became a cultural icon the moment audiences first laughed with her on the debut episode of Saturday Night Live. A trailblazer for women comedians, her impact on the entertainment industry has endured for four decades.

Love Gilda is directed and produced by Lisa D’Apolito with the support of the Gilda Radner estate. The film is a true autobiography of a pioneering woman, told in her own voice and through her own words. It weaves together audiotapes, rare home movies, diary entries, and interviews with her friends and those inspired by her, including Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Cecily Strong, original Saturday Night Live cast and crew members Chevy Chase, Laraine Newman, and Paul Shaffer, as well as SNL creator-producer Lorne Michaels, series writer Alan Zweibel, Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz, Second City CEO Andrew Alexander, and long-time friend and actor Martin Short.

Cinetopia will also host film director Alan Rudolph and the stars Keith Carradine and Sondra Locke of his new film, Ray Meets Helen, as it makes its Midwest premiere during Cinetopia. Alan Rudolph’s credits include Choose Me, Breakfast of Champions, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, Equinox, Trouble in Mind, and The Moderns, which also starred Carradine. Mr. Rudolph, a protege of director Robert Altman, who, like Altman, donated his personal and professional archive to the U of M–along with his wife Joyce Rudolph, a well-known Hollywood photographer, will be the subject of a U-M symposium during Cinetopia.

And the recent and spectacular documentary on the University of Michigan football stadium called The Big House, which like Wes Anderson’s new film Isle of Dog, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and will also be included in this year’s Cinetopia lineup.



New from Wes Anderson, Isle of Dogs will opens at the State Theatre today! When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, 12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. With a voice cast featuring Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeff Goldblum, A.A. Dowd of the A.V Club said it is “a movie whose every image is a miniature triumph of imagination and execution.”

Opening tomorrow, The Leisure Seeker stars Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren as a couple who take one last road trip from Boston to the Florida Keys before his Alzheimer’s and her cancer can catch up with them. The 6:30 and 8:00 PM screenings tomorrow will include an introduction and post-film Q&A as well as a book signing by Michael Zadoorian, local author of the adapted novel of the same name. Books will be available for purchase in our lobby.


Tonight, a new film series will premiere at the Michigan: “And Now For Something Completely Different”, celebrating the films of the British comedy troupe Monty Python. Monty Python and the Holy Grail will play tonight at 9:30 PM, which follows King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table who embark on a surreal, low-budget search for the Holy Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles. Life of Brian will continue the series next week at the same time.

Presented by the Nam Center for Korean Studies at the University of Michigan, Jane will continue the Korean Cinema Now film series this Saturday, April 7 at 1:00 PM; A film about a runaway who is left alone after her boyfriend disappears, and gets to know a transgender woman named Jane and her group of misfits who are as comforting and loving as a real family. And as always, this screening is free and open to the public!

Next Monday, April 9, the “Enter the Samurai” Film Series continues with Kurosawa’s Ran at 7:00 PM. This adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear is considered by some to be his “last great masterpiece”. In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other…and him. Next week, the series will conclude with The 47 Ronin, Parts 1 & 2.

And The Virgin Suicides will continue the Science on Screen Series next Wednesday, April 11 at 7:30 PM. This 1999 drama was the directorial debut Sofia Coppola (who also wrote the film) and takes place in a Detroit suburb in the mid-1970s where a group of male friends become obsessed with five mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict, religious parents. After the film, National Youth Speaker Jim Tuman will deliver a 15-20 minute talk about the teen suicide epidemic and then host an audience Q&A session.



At the State Theatre: Flower stars Zoey Deutch as a rebellious, quick-witted 17-year-old living with her single mom in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. With her sidekicks in tow, she acts out by exposing a high school teacher’s dark secret. The film also stars Adam Scott and Kathryn Hahn.

Now the highest grossing superhero movie of all time, Black Panther also continues for another week from Director Ryan Coogler,

And this year’s Best Picture winner The Shape of Water, from Guillermo del Torro, is also held over for another week.

At the Michigan Theater: Leaning in the Wind is a documentary that looks inside the world of British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy who uses his natural surroundings to create works of art in San Francisco, St. Louis, New England, Brazil, Scotland and France.

And The Death of Stalin, the latest political comedic satire from Armando Iannucci starring Steve Buscemi, Jeffery Tambor, Michael Palin and more, also continues, which depicts the chaos that fell on the Soviet regime after the death of their leader.



From Director John Krasinski (The Office), A Quiet Place stars Krasinski and Emily Blunt as a family who must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival.

In Blockers, a new comedy starring John Cene, Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz, three parents try to stop their daughters from having sex on Prom night.

And Chappaquiddick depicts Ted Kennedy’s involvement in the fatal 1969 car accident that claimed the life of a young campaign strategist. The film stars Jason Clarke as Kennedy, with Kate Mara playing of the role of the ill-fated Mary Jo Kopechne.


That’s all for this week. 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

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