You can also listen to WEMU’s Cinema Chat, a regular feature heard each Thursday during Morning Edition on 89.1 WEMU:
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Opening Downtown

“Last Days in Vietnam” takes place during the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War, as the North Vietnamese Army closed in on Saigon and as the panicked South Vietnamese people desperately attempted to escape. On the ground, American soldiers and diplomats confronted a moral quandary: whether to obey White House orders to evacuate only U.S. citizens or risk being charged with treason and save the lives of as many South Vietnamese citizens as they could. With time running out and the city under fire, an unlikely group of heroes emerged as Americans and South Vietnamese took matters into their own hands. David Denby of the New Yorker calls the film a “masterpiece,” saying “As a portrait of America in a moment both of idealism and betrayal, the movie is heartbreaking as well as inspiring.” “Last Days in Vietnam” opens Friday at the Michigan Theater.

Special Screenings Downtown

The Manhattan Short Film Festival returns to Ann Arbor! It’s an extraordinary global event when over 100,000 people in over 300 cities across six continents gather in cinemas, galleries, universities, museums and cafes for one purpose: to view and vote on the Finalists’ Films in the annual festival. Upon entry at all participating venues, festival attendees are handed a voting card and an official program and asked to vote for the ONE Film they feel should win. Votes are tallied by each host venue then emailed to the NYC headquarters. The Manhattan Short Film Festival plays tonight, October 2 at 7:30 PM at the Michigan Theater.

Now in its fifth year, the Three Corpse Circus International Horror Film features over 40 diverse films from 13 countries and will be a cinematic potpourri of horror! The Sunday show kicks off with the walk of the dead, led by A2 Zombie Walk and the Southern Michigan Zombie Squad; Sunday’s shows also feature special guest puppet performances by Dreamland Theater and a costume photo booth in the Michigan Theater grand foyer. Prices are $10 per block, $7 for midnight screenings; festival passes also available. The Three Corpse Circus International Horror Film Festival plays Friday October 3 through Sunday October 5 at the Michigan and State Theaters.

“The Illumination” follows the education of a young man from his entry into college to his final achievement of a doctorate. Paralleling his outer education, his inner education about life, family, sexuality and spiritual values is revealed. “The Illumination” plays Monday, October 6 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan Theater as part of the Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema series.

The Electric Shadows: Premiere Contemporary Chinese Film Series presented by the UM Confucius Institute concludes with “Journey to the West.” Based on one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature of the same name, Stephen Chow‘s “Journey To The West” is a contemporary remake of the misadventures of a Buddhist monk who tries to protect a village from three demons, develops feelings for the demon hunter who helps him repeatedly, and his transformative encounter with the Monkey King. “Journey To The West” plays Wednesday, October 8 at 7 PM at the Michigan Theater. FREE admission.

Opening at the Multiplex

“Gone Girl,” directed by David Fincher and based upon the novel by Gillian Flynn, unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger says, “Believe me, you should see the movie, and then you can talk about it all night. And you probably will.” “Gone Girl” opens Friday.

In “Annabelle” John has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia – a beautiful, rare vintage doll named Annabelle. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. “Annabelle” opens Friday.

In “Left Behind” the most important event in the history of mankind is happening: in the blink of an eye, the biblical Rapture strikes the world. Millions of people disappear without a trace. All that remains are their clothes and belongings, and in an instant, terror and chaos spread around the world. Starring Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray and Lea Thompson, “Left Behind” opens Friday.

See you at the movies!