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Here’s what to watch at Michigan Theater’s virtual movie palace 07/27-08/02

Michigan Theater is located at 603 E. Liberty St.   Photo | Sarah M. Parlette
Michigan Theater is located at 603 E. Liberty St. Photo | Sarah M. Parlette

ANN ARBOR – Mondays are for movie marathons but since movie buffs can’t visit the Michigan Theater yet, the independent theater is offering a plethora of films online.

Movies can be streamed through different devices like phones, tablets, laptops and smart TVs. Rent films through the theater website or individual movie pages.

Expand the at-home cinema experience by ordering popcorn and other concession items for curbside pickup on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Through partnerships with numerous film distribution companies, a portion of ticket proceeds from the virtual movie sales are donated to the Michigan Theater Foundation.

New films this week:

These films will be available on Friday.

A Cantor’s Head

Not-rated -- $9.99 (rent), $19.99 (buy)

Presented by the Cinetopia Film Festival and Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival, the 87-minute film looks at Cantor Jack Mendelson as his White Plains synagogue replaces him.

The Cuban

Not rated -- $12

Music sparks an unlikely friendship between aging musician Luis and care worker Mina as she learns more about his past.

The Fight

Not rated -- $12

Following the efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union, the film goes into the ACLU offices to look at four important cases and the attorneys working on them.

Lake Michigan Monster

Not rated -- $12

Available for one day, the 2018 comedy follows Captain Seafield as he tries to avenge his father’s death at the hands of a monster.

This film is free for Michigan Theater gold members and only $10 for members.

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind

Not rated -- $9.99

Including interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, the documentary explores the career, influence and success of Canadian musical icon, Gordon Lightfoot.

Rebuilding Paradise

Not rated -- $12

Assembled by director Ron Howard, the film documents the devastation caused by fires in the Californian city of Paradise and the impact of the catastrophe on the community.

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Here’s what is already playing:

2040 

Not rated -- $12

In a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, director Damon Gameau takes a look at what 2040 would look like if the world embraces already available solutions in order to improve the planet. 

4th of July Weekend Organ Concert with Andrew Rogers

$3

Recorded live at the Michigan Theater with Head Organist Andrew Rogers on Michigan Theater’s historic Barton Organ, the pre-recorded 4th of July tribute has classic and Michigan Theater favorites.

The film is free for Michigan Theater members.

Abe

Not rated -- $12

Aspiring chef Abe is often caught in the middle of his family’s conflicting Jewish and Muslim identities. While exploring Brooklyn, New York, the 12-year-old meets Chico, a Brazilian chef who takes Abe under his wing.

Amulet

R --$12

In Romola Garai’s feature directorial debut, Tomaz, a former solider is brought to the house of Magda, who cares for her mother. As he begins to fall for Magda, he notices strange phenomena and begins to see that something isn’t quite right with her dying older woman, who never leaves the top floor of the house.

Aviva

Not rated -- $12

A romantic drama, the film follows Parisian Aviva as she falls in love with Eden from New York. Played by four different dancers and actors the two characters express their shifting identities through movement and dance.

Camp on the Wind’s Road

Not rated -- $4.99

Presented at the 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival, the hour-long experimental film follows 25-year-old Belekmaa as she settles with the shepherds on her deceased father’s farm and hopes to see him again before his spirit leaves.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Not rated -- $12

Based on the book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by economist Thomas Piketty, the documentary combines interviews and popular cultural references to explore the interchange of money, power, inequality and poverty throughout history.

Crescendo

Not rated -- $12

Conductor Eduard Sporck accepts the task of creating an Israeli-Palestinian youth orchestra but is forced to help the conflicting youth to find harmony while they prepare for a concert.

Denise Ho: Becoming the Song

Not rated -- $12

Following Hong Kong-based musician and activist Denise Ho, director Sue Williams documents Ho’s attempts to rebuild her own musical career while advocating for freedom of speech and protecting civil liberties.

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy

Not rated -- $9.99

The documentary follows the life of two-time James Beard Award winner Diana Kennedy with extensive interviews.

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things

Not rated -- $12 -- Ends Friday

The 90-minute documentary goes through the life of Ella Fitzgerald by exploring five decades of reflection and music through interviews, photos and music.

Guest of Honour

Not rated -- $12 

When his daughter Veronica is falsely convicted for a hoax-gone-wrong but insists on punishment, food inspector Jim begins to unravel. Their complicated secrets and pasts are exposed as Veronica confides in Father Greg.

The House on Wannsee Street

Not rated -- $9.99 (rent), $19.99 (buy)

Digging deep into her family history, director Poli searches for why she was never raised with religious traditions despite her mother’s being of Jewish origin. Through her digging, she learns of how her grandfather, a lay Jewish German philosopher, was persecuted and how his family was forced to leave their home on Wannsee Street.

John Lewis: Good Trouble

PG -- $12

Chronicling over 60 years of social activism and legislative action by Congressman John Lewis, the documentary uses interviews and archival footage to explore moments in Lewis’ life.

Following the feature is a pre-recorded discussion between Representative Lewis and Oprah Winfrey.

Kinshasa Makambo

Not rated - $10

Presented in Lingala and French with English subtitles, the documentary highlights Ben, Jean Marie and Christian as they contemplate their actions during demonstrations in the Democratic Republic of Congo when the country’s president sought a third term in 2015.

The film has been shot through a handheld camera carried by the protagonists.

The Last Tree

Not rated -- $10

The semi-autobiographical and coming-of-age story of Femi, a British boy of Nigerian heritage, The Last Tree follows his life from a fostered childhood in rural England to living in inner-city London with his biological mother.

Love In Suspenders

Not rated -- $11.99

Widow and former singer Tami meets Beno, a widower with a completely different lifestyle. In Hebrew with English subtitles, the comedy/romance shows how the two fall in love despite meddling family members and dramatic differences.

Lucky Grandma

Not rated -- $12

After a visit to a fortune-teller, Grandma Wong heads to a local casino. After going all-in she soon finds herself in the middle of a war between two rival Chinatown gangs.

Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba

Not rated -- $10

Internationally-known, Miriam Makeba’s music and life are explored through archival footage and interviews in the 90-minute documentary.

Marona’s Fantastic Tale

Not rated -- $10

The animated French-language film shows the life and human companions of its canine protagonist, Marona. It shows that love and happiness are different for dogs.

This virtual release includes a pre-recorded interview with the director, Anca Damian.

The Mindfulness Movement

Not rated -- $8 to $10 -- Ends Friday

The 100-minute documentary follows the growing number of people who believe that non-judgemental mindfulness is what will heal society and lead to happiness.

The Motions of Stillness

Not rated -- $3

A Michigan Theater original, the documentary was shot in an Ann Arbor nature preserve on April 15 by Michigan Theater Technical Director Jared Van Eck.

The film is free for Michigan Theater members.

Mr. Topaze

Not rated -- $12

Directed by comedy icon Peter Sellers, Mr. Topaze follows proud Albert Topaze as he goes from an unemployed schoolmaster to turning the tables on corrupt city council member Castel Benac.

The 1961 film was digitally restored at the request of the British public from the last known surviving 35mm prints.

One Day After Peace

Not rated -- $12

Exploring the issue of conflict resolution, Robi Damelin wonders if the means used to resolve conflict in South Africa could be applied to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Through a deeply personal documentary, Damelin travels to South Africa to learn about the South African Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s efforts.

One Small Step Shorts

Not rated -- $8

The 84-minute compilation is of 12 new and acclaimed family-friendly animated short films including Maestro, Gopher Broke, After the Rain, One Small Step, The Green Bird, Jubilee, Achoo, Outdoors, Voyagers, Borrowed Time, Bear Story and O28.

Picture of His Life

Not rated -- $9.99

Considered to be one of the greatest underwater photographers, Amos Nachoum is known for capturing up-close photos of apex predators.

The English, Hebrew, and Inuktitut language documentary chronicles Nachoum’s determination to photograph a polar bear and incorporates his backstory of traumas and sacrifices.

Pioneers of Queer Cinema

Not rated -- $7 to $15

A trio of classic films from the days of early queer cinema. Victor and Victoria (1933), Mädchen in Uniform (1931) and Michael (1924) explore themes of requited feelings, gender-bending and romance.

Each film can be bought individually for $7 or $8 or as a bundle for $15.

Quarantine Cat Film Festival

Not rated -- $12

A compilation reel from over 1,200 amateur video submissions, the cat-based film festival raises money for independent theaters.

Reggae Boyz

Not rated -- $12

The documentary follows Winfried Schäfer, amateur soccer player Tuffy and Jamaica’s national soccer team, the “Reggae Boyz,” as they try to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Runner

Not rated -- $12 -- Ends Thursday

Through interviews and animations, the 2019 documentary depicts Olympian Guor Mading Maker’s upbringing in Sudan, his separation from his parents, his relationship with running, and difficult choices he has had to face.

Shirley

R -- $5.99 -- Ends Friday

Played by Elisabeth Moss, American horror writer Shirley Jackson and her husband (played by Michael Stuhlbarg) toy with a newlywed couple as Jackson begins writing a new masterpiece.

Shooting Life

Not rated -- $11.99

Shot in Hebrew with English subtitles, high school filmmaking teacher Yigal wins the trust of his war-weary students, who begin discussions with their own families. 

Sometimes Always Never

PG-13 -- $12

Played by Bill Nighy, tailor Alan tries to repair his relationship with his youngest son, Peter, while solving the mystery of an online Scrabble player who might be his missing son, Michael.

Suzi Q

Not rated -- $12

Focused on the first women in Rock, Suzi Q explores the music and impact of rockstar Suzi Quatro. Alice Cooper, Deborah Harry, Tina Weymouth, Cherie Curries, Kathy Valentine, KT Tunstall and many others lend their commentary throughout the music documentary.

This film is free for Michigan Theater gold members and only $10 for members.

The Tobacconist

Not rated -- $12 

While apprenticing at a tobacco shop in Vienna, 17-year-old Franz meets Sigmund Freud. As the two develop a friendship, Franz falls in love with Anezka but political and social conditions worsen as Nazis arrive in Vienna.

Tommaso

Not rated -- $12

American expatriate Tommaso wanders through life and the streets of Rome as he deals with his past, his self-esteem and an impaired grasp on reality. The 2019 film by Abel Ferrara is in Italian and English.

A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps

Not rated -- $10

The 107-minute documentary uses interviews from past and current Peace Corps volunteers, journalists and world leaders, along with archival materials, to explore the Peace Corps agency. 

Transkids

Not rated -- $12

Part of the A Summer of Film Series presented by the Cinetopia Film Festival and Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival, the documentary shows the challenges faced by adolescents and their families as they go through the process of gender transitioning.

Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own

Not rated -- $9.99

The 2019 documentary goes behind the scenes with sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard as she collaborates on new work and how her personal life has shaped her commitment to her art.

Waiting for the Barbarians

Not rated -- $12

Adapted to film by Nobel Prize-winning author J.M. Coetzee, the Magistrate of an isolated settlement questions his loyalty to the empire when a ruthless colonel arrives.

We Are Little Zombies

Not rated -- $12

Orphans Hikari, Ikuko, Ishi, and Takemura meet as their parents are cremated. Devoid of emotion, the four repurpose a gaming console, an old electric bass and a charred wok to become the band Little Zombies.


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