When I first heard that the Detroit Film Theatre would open its Winter 2010 season with a 4 1/2-hour movie, I had mixed feelings about committing so much time to one film. But when the 271 minutes of Red Cliff—The Complete Director’s Cut ended on January 17, 2010, I was glad I’d come down to the DFT for this dramatic and moving film from China.
Archive for the ‘Foreign Language’ Category
The late afternoon sunlight streamed through the high, vertical, arched windows of the Crystal Gallery Café of the Detroit Film Theatre. About 30-40 people had gathered to participate in a discussion led by Wayne State University professor Karen McDevitt about a powerful new French film that they had just watched in the DFT auditorium on July 12, 2009. The ornate vaulted ceilings enhanced the feeling of understanding that spread throughout the café as the discussion proceeded.
So there I was, sitting in the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor on May 4, 2009, watching a film set in Ashdod, Israel in which a young half Russian/half Israeli boy was trying to learn dances that originated in Spain and England. His instructor was a famous Russian dancer who was considering going to a dance competition in Stockholm, Sweden.
As I watched the magnificently restored Lola Montès at the Detroit Film Theatre on January 16, 2009, I thought about all of the silent films that are lost forever. Before the 7 p.m. showing of this 1955 French/German film, DFT Film Curator Elliot Wilhelm talked about the long journey that this movie traveled to be restored to the original vision of director Max Ophüls, who died in 1957, perhaps in part because of the mutilation of his last film.
After enjoying the focused intimacy of the Redford Theatre (Friday, March 14, 2008) and the Detroit Film Theatre (March 15), the spaciousness of the Michigan Theater on March 16 hit me very strongly. Steven Ball’s organ playing drifted out into the Grand Foyer and the street energy of downtown Ann Arbor continued into the Michigan’s auditorium.