Fifty Years Ago (1961)

November 12th, 2011

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During my Memorial Day weekend trip this year to the Cinevent Classic Film Convention in Columbus, Ohio, I picked up some old movie magazines from the 1960s.

These magazines included the April 1961 issue of Motion Picture, whose cover featured a loving picture of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Articles included “A Baby All Their Own?”, about Debbie Reynolds and her husband Harry Karl, who were raising Debbie’s children from her marriage to Eddie Fisher—Todd and Carrie (who grew up to stardom in the first Star Wars trilogy).

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Pop Goes the Culture

October 25th, 2011

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Popular culture is an important part of our lives. Something in an old movie or TV show might connect you with someone of your generation or maybe another. It might take you back to when you were younger. It might relate to something ordinary, like a funny event in your family that reminds you of The Brady Bunch.

The Michigan Theater and the Redford Theatre recently hosted personal appearances that demonstrated the emotional power of pop culture.

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Other Worlds

October 6th, 2011

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A visit to the movies usually means about 90-120 minutes of a fictional story involving human beings playing characters other than themselves.

I took a break from that routine on Saturday, October 1, 2011, when I took in a unique double feature at the Detroit Film Theatre and the Redford Theatre. The DFT showed a gritty documentary about street life, while the Redford screened a collection of old cartoons.

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South of the Border

September 21st, 2011

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When you think of Mexican movies, you might think of dusty roads, adobe dwellings, mariachi music, and dramatically expressed passions. The Redford Theatre and Detroit Film Theatre recently gave their patrons a look at films based in Mexico, from two different perspectives.

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Two Rides on the Potemkin

August 28th, 2011

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It’s Back to School time of year again. This fall, visitors to the Detroit Film Theatre and Michigan Theater will have chances to return to the classroom for special film presentations that include introductory remarks by the leaders of the theaters.

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Back to the Eighties

August 13th, 2011

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Much of the 1980s is now more than a quarter century ago. Movies from that time can now carry layers of significance that weren’t possible when the films were first released. The Redford Theatre recently screened two films from the early 1980s that sent me and probably many other filmgoers on interesting trips down memory lane.

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A Book and a Movie

July 24th, 2011

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“Right across from Borders,” has probably been the answer to many questions about the location of the Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor. Sadly, that answer will soon be changing, with the closure of all Borders bookstores by September 2011.

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Reflections on Animals

July 14th, 2011

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In what were advertised as documentaries about animals, quite a bit was communicated about human beings. That was what many people took away from the screenings of Buck and Nénette at the Michigan Theater on July 11, 2011.

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Added Value

July 10th, 2011

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I admit that it was hard to motivate myself to go see the 1926 German silent film Faust at the Detroit Film Theatre on Saturday, July 9, 2011. After all, it was a beautiful summer afternoon—not the ideal time to spend two hours watching a serious movie about a man struggling with the temptations of the Devil.

But I knew that attending the DFT is more than just watching a motion picture on a screen. There’s always added value, both in the regular activities of the theater and in the different special events that it presents.

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Journeys of Dignity

June 29th, 2011

Detroit Movie Palaces Home Page

You could see it in their faces, in their actions, in their words. It didn’t matter if they were in the sweltering confines of the Burmese jungle, or in the vast emptiness of the drought-stricken American West. They were all on demanding journeys in which they were pushed to the limit—physically, mentally, emotionally. And somewhere along their tragic journey, they were in search of that basic human need—dignity.

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