Note: Most educational documentaries are listed with the daily Events.
Sept. 14: “In the Footsteps of Marco Polo” (Denis Belliveau, 2008). Emmy-winning PBS documentary about the director’s 2-year journey, with artist Francis O’Connell, retracing Marco Polo's entire 25,000-mile land-and-sea route from Venice to China and back. Followed by discussion led by O’Donnell. 7-8:30 p.m.
Sept. 20: “Urban Roots” (Mark MacInnis, 2011). Documentary about the emergence of urban farming in Detroit. Followed by discussion led by Detroit Black Community Food Security Network chair Malik Yakini and Neighbors Building Brightmoor community organizer Riet Schumack. For adults and teens in grade 6 & up. 6-8:30 p.m.
Sept. 27: “Guilty Pleasures” (Julie Moggan, 2011). Documentary about the world of the romance novel presented through profiles of 5 people involved in it: 3 readers, a romance novelist, and a male model featured on some 200 romance novel covers. 7-8 p.m.
Sept. 5: “East Meets West: Oriental Medicine and the Future of Health Care in America” (Lynn Walker, 2010). Documentary that explores the depth, richness, and clinical efficacy of Oriental Medicine, and the ways that this ancient tradition can be an integral component of an emerging system of integrative healthcare.
Sept. 19: “Race to Nowhere” (Vicki Abeles, 2009). Documentary about the social and personal costs of the middle-class obsession with competitive academic achievement.
Sept. 26: “Koch Brothers Exposed” (Robert Greenwald, 2012). Documentary exposé of the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who helped finance the conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.
Sept. 15: “Spiritual Cinema.” Screening of a feature film or several shorts TBA with spiritual themes. Followed by discussion.
Sept. 28: “All about Eve” (Joseph Mankiewicz, 1950). Multi-Oscar-winning film with Bette Davis in her greatest role as an aging Broadway diva who’s clawed her way to the top, only to be threatened by a fan-turned-parasite. With Anne Baxter, George Sanders, and Celeste Holm, and a cameo by Marilyn Monroe. Followed by discussion. 7 p.m.
Opens Aug. 31: “Queen of Versailles” (Lauren Greenfield, 2012). Documentary about a billionaire couple who live in a 90,000-square-foot mansion inspired by Versailles.
Opens Aug. 31: “Searching for Sugar Man” (Malik Bendjelloul, 2012). Documentary about 2 South Africans who set out to discover what happened to their musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock ’n’ roller Rodriguez.
Sept. 2 & 4: “Pan’s Labyrinth” (Guillermo del Toro, 2006). Dark fantasy, set in 1944 Francoist Spain, about a young girl who interacts with a mysterious faun associated with an overgrown abandoned labyrinth. 1:30 (Sept. 2) & 7 p.m. (Sept. 4).
Sept. 3: “Casablanca” (Michael Curtiz, 1942). Classic drama starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as a pair of star-crossed lovers during WW II. 7 p.m.
Sept. 6: “Fever” (Agnieszka Holland, 1981). Set in 1905 Poland, a time of feverish revolutionary underground activity when Poland was partitioned between three neighboring countries, the film is the story of a bomb passing from anarchist to anarchist as several attempts are made on the life of the Tsarist governor general. Polish, subtitles. First in a series of 7 weekly screenings presented in conjunction with Holland’s U-M Copernicus Lecture at the Michigan Theater on Oct. 10. FREE. 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 7-13: “Robot & Frank” (Jake Schreier, 2012). Comic drama about a retired cat burglar whose 2 grown kids, concerned he is no longer able to live alone, buy him a humanoid robot companion. Frank Langella, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Susan Sarandon.
Sept. 9-12: “Bill W.” (Dan Carracino & Kevin Hanlon, 2012). Documentary about Bill Wilson, the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Sept. 13: “A Woman Alone” (Agnieszka Holland, 1981). Story of a middle-aged woman trying vainly to make a life for herself and her 8-year old son living alone on the outskirts of Wroclaw, where she works as a mail carrier. Polish, subtitles. FREE. 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 14-20: “Detropia” (Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady, 2012). Documentary that presents the woes of Detroit as emblematic of the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base.
Sept. 16: “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” (Chris Columbus, 2001). Faithful film adaptation of J. K. Rowling’s fantasy about a young wizard sent off to wizard school. Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson. Kids 12 & under, free. 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 19: “Education Under Fire” (Single Arrow Productions, 2011). 30-minute documentary about Iran’s 3-decade-long policy of denying members of the Baha’i community the right to attend any institution of higher education. Discussion follows. Presented by the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’i of Ann Arbor. FREE. 7 p.m.
Sept. 20: “Europa Europa” (Agnieszka Holland, 1990). Tragicomic film adaptation of the autobiography of a German Jewish boy who escaped the Holocaust by masquerading as an elite “Aryan” German. German & Russian, subtitles. FREE. 7:30 p.m.
Opens Sept. 21: “Sleepwalk with Me” (Mike Birbiglia & Seth Barrish, 2012). Autobiographical comedy, based on Birbiglia’s memoir, about a stand-up comedian who struggles with the stress of a stalled career, a stale relationship, and wild spurts of severe sleepwalking.
Sept. 23: “Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037” (Ben Niles, 2009). Feature-length documentary that follows the creation of a Steinway concert grand from forest floor to concert hall. Featured in the film, the Steinway L1037 will be on display following the screening. A benefit for the EMU Steinway Campaign, $10 (EMU students, seniors age 55 & older, MTF members, $7). 2 p.m.
Sept. 27: “The Secret Garden” (Agnieszka Holland, 1993). Adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s well-loved 1909 children’s novel set in Victorian England. Sent to live in the cheerless house of her reclusive, widowed uncle and his invalid son, an orphaned girl discovers a hidden garden that reintroduces joy to her life and that of her relatives. FREE. 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 29:“The Three Corpse Circus Independent Horror Film Festival.” Screenings of several independent short horror films in various subgenres by filmmakers from around the world, including some locally made films. Tickets $7 ($10 for both shows) in advance at ticketweb.com and at the door. 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
Sept. 14: “The Cook” (Fatty Arbuckle, 1918). Slapstick silent comedy that stars Arbuckle and Buster Keaton as the cook and waiter at a high-end restaurant. Preceded by Ozu’s 1932 short film I Was Born, But…, a bittersweet story about 2 young brothers whose faith in their father is shaken by what they perceive as his kowtowing to his boss. Michigan Theater. Tickets $15 (Michigan Theater members, students, seniors, & vets, $7).
Sept. 21: “Passing Fancy” (Yasujiro Ozu, 1933). Silent drama about a widower who meets a destitute young woman and takes her under his wing. He falls in love with her, but she is in love with a younger man.
Sept. 28: “An Inn at Tokyo” (Yasujiro Ozu, 1935). An unemployed homeless man and his two sons encounter a woman and her daughter while wandering around Tokyo. As the kids play together, the parents feel a happiness they haven’t felt since childhood.
Sept. 19: “Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense” (Lars Larson, Michael Rivoira, and Peter Vogt; 2010). Documentary about contemporary jazz stars and the great musical shifts in current jazz trends. Stars Ravi Coltrane, Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Wynton Marsalis.
Sept. 12: “Robot Pasta Night.” Screening of The Delian Mode, Kara Blake’s 25-minute 2011 documentary about Delia Derbyshire, the 20th-century English electronic music composer best known for her electronic realization of Ron Grainer’s theme music for the British sci-fi TV series Dr. Who. Also, clips featuring experimental sound textures from early avant-garde films, including Man Ray’s 1928 L’Etoile de Mer, Hans Richter’s 1923 Rhythmus 21, and Fernand Leger & Dudley Murphy’s 1924 Ballet Mecanique, which features George Antheil’s best-known score.
Sept. 9: “Ghosts with Shit Jobs” (Jim Munroe, Chris McCawley, Jim Morrison & Tate Young, 2012). Only scheduled Midwest screening of this darkly comic lo-fi mockumentary, set in 2040 following a complete North American economic collapse, that presents itself as a Chinese documentary about the crappy jobs that the rich industrialized nations of Asia outsource to the U.S. and Canada. Winner of the Best Feature Film at the 2012 London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantasy Film, it was produced for under $4,000. Followed by a Q&A with co-director Munroe, who also wrote the screenplay, and producer Anthony Cortese. Pay-what-you-can ($5 suggested donation) admission, but space very limited. Reservations available at poormojo.org/Ghosts. 7 p.m.