As I watched the new film The Artist at the Michigan Theater on January 5, 2012, I wondered what I was watching. Was this a tribute to the silent film era, a satire or parody, or an attempt to work within the conventions of that era?
Many movie buffs consider 1939 to be Hollywood’s greatest year, with releases like Gone with the Wind, Stagecoach, and Wizard of Oz. But 1940 wasn’t too bad either, and in 2011, visitors to the Detroit Movie Palaces enjoyed some of the highlights of that release year.
Gentle waves of laughter rolled across the main floor of the Michigan Theater, in response to the delicate wit of the 1940 romantic comedy The Shop Around the Corner. Moviegoers watched James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan travel a rocky road to love on Sunday, December 18, 2011, in the latest movie in the Michigan’s Holiday Classic Film Series.
Membership in the Detroit Institute of Arts qualifies you for free admission to the current major exhibition Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus. It also gets you in free to the DFT 101 Saturday afternoon film series at the Detroit Film Theatre.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.