Friday, December 07, 2007

Film Gudie Friday for the weekend of December 7th

"The Golden Compass"[PG-13]:

The first volume of Philip Pullman's fantasy-trilogy, "His Dark Materials," is set in a world where every character has his own so-called "daemon"-- an animal representation of his or her deepest feelings. Dakota Blue Richards is Lyra, the Oxford student who overhears a conversation about a mysterious substance called dust. This triggers a fantastic adventure that involves a mysterious benefactor (Nicole Kidman) and a struggle for Lyra's soul.

Playing at the Maple Art Theater in Bloomfield Hills

"Margot at the Wedding"[R]:

Writer-director Noah Baumbach's so-awful-it's-funny tale of a messed-up family. Nicole Kidman plays Margot who shows up unexpectedly at the wedding of her estranged sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to Jack Black, opening up wounds old and new.

Play this Weekend at the Detroit Film Theater at the D.I.A.

Friday at 7 PM and 9:30 PM
(Sweden—1957—directed by Ingmar Bergman)

As the Black Death wipes out much of the population of Europe, a knight (Max von Sydow), recently returned from the Crusades, is confronted by the figure of Death. In hopes of extending his life, the knight challenges Death to a game of chess; the challenge is accepted, and Bergman’s magnificent visionary masterpiece is underway. The majesty and boldness of Bergman’s The Seventh Seal has only deepened during the half-century since its creation. Visually, and in terms of the profundity and universality of the themes that it confronts – faith, death, and the very meaning of existence – The Seventh Seal remains one of the most important works of art of the twentieth century, and one of the greatest and most hauntingly unforgettable films in the history of the medium. Presented in a stunning, newly struck 35mm print. Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival. In Swedish with English

Saturday at 7 PM and 9:30 PM
(Sweden—1958—directed by Ingmar Bergman)

A traveling troupe of entertainers, led by the mysterious hypnotist and magician Dr. Vogler (Max von Sydow) ride through the night to 19th century Stockholm, where they will put on a private performance for a cynical medical officer who humiliated the troupe earlier. Part suspense film, part horror film and part metaphysical Gothic thriller, Bergman’s The Magician is also a portrait of con artistry worthy of David Mamet, as well as a tribute to, and a darkly sly parody of, the eternally seductive appeal of show business. As scary as much of The Magician is, Bergman himself referred to it as a comedy; that it’s both ironic and deeply funny at its core is undeniable, yet Bergman’s aforementioned categorization of this hair-raising work as “comedy” may tell us more about the great director himself than he realized. Special Jury Prize, Venice Film Festival. In Swedish with English subtitles.

Sunday at 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM
(Sweden—1975—directed by Ingmar Bergman)

Drawing equally on his experience in both theatre and movies, Bergman created one of the most purely joyous recreations of a theatrical event ever put on film with his 1975 adaptation of Mozart’s sublime opera. A playful, melodious and ingeniously staged work of pure pleasure, The Magic Flute’s simple, eloquent story – about a devoted young man determined to rescue the princess he loves – is miraculously ennobled in Bergman’s generous conception, which celebrates not only the love, redemption and faith of the characters, but is also an ode to the exhilarating power of theatre itself. For those who’ve only been exposed to the “darker” visions of some of Bergman’s other masterworks, The Magic Flute will come as a revelation – and it will be obvious why Bergman wrote that “making this film was the best time of my life.” In Swedish with English subtitles.

Playing new at the Discount theater in Warren
[A.K.A. Cinemark Warren 16]


and showing up everywhere next week

Alvin and the Chipmunks (PG)

Chipmunk brothers Alvin, Simon and Theodore are back, making music and mischief in their first live-action big screen adventure.

I Am Legend (PG-13)

Will Smith stars in a post-apocalyptic thriller as the last human survivor on earth after a terrible mutating virus wipes out humanity.

The Perfect Holiday (PG)
[Opening Wednesday]

A young girl asks a department store Santa Claus for just one Christmas wish--the perfect new husband for her divorced mother.

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