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April Films

Everyone's a Critic: The Observer's culture blog

2018 Italian Film Festival USA. FREE. (314) 422-3102. The U-M is one of several host sites for the Detroit-area sojourn of this annual festival. Lorch Hall Askwith Auditorium (611 Tappan). Italian, subtitles.

Apr. 13: Short Film Program. Screening of 7 short films, after which the audience votes to select the best. 7 p.m.

Apr. 14: "Worldly Girl" (Marco Danieli, 2016). A sheltered young Jehovah's Witness finds herself ostracized after she falls in love with a man outside her faith. 5 p.m.

Apr. 14: "The Sense of Beauty" (Valerio Jalongo, 2017). Documentary exploring the beauty revealed by the work of quantum physicists at CERN, in Geneva. 7:30 p.m.

Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Multipurpose Rm. FREE. 327-4200.

Apr. 22: "Detroit Unleaded" (Rola Nashef, 2013). Boy-meets-girl comedy about a young Lebanese American man who has to run his family's Detroit gas station after his father's death. Q&A with the director. 1-3 p.m.

Apr. 29: "Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above" (Po-lin Chi, 2013). Documentary chronicling the use of aerial photography in Taiwan to underscore the need for environmental reforms. After the screening, Sierra Club Michigan executive committee member Rita Mitchell and Ann Arbor City Councilman Jack Eaton outline local environmental initiatives. 2-4 p.m.

Ann Arbor Senior Center. $2 (members, free). 794-6250. 1320 Baldwin. 12:30-3 p.m.

Every Mon.: "Movie Matinee," a DVD screening with films TBA.

Fathom Events. 623-7469 (Quality 16) & 973-8424 (Ann Arbor 20). Tickets available in advance at and at the door. Quality 16 (3686 Jackson) & Ann Arbor 20 (4100 Carpenter), different times.

Mar. 30 & Apr. 2: "Best F(r)iends" (Justin McGregor, 2018). Dark comedy about a lonely mortician who is sucked into a wild misadventure when he teams up with a young drifter. Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero. $12, 8 p.m.

Apr. 5: "Eating You Alive" (Paul David Kennamer Jr., 2018). Documentary about Americans' dysfunctional relationship with food. $12, 7 p.m.

Apr. 8 & 11: "Grease" (Randal Kleiser, 1978). 40th-anniversary screening of the classic John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John musical. With commentary by Turner Classic Movies hosts. Ann Arbor 20 only. $8.25-$10.50, 2 & 7 p.m.

Apr. 12: "The Amendment" (2018). Biopic about Brooks Douglass, who became Oklahoma's youngest state senator when his parents' murder prompted him to advocate for victims' rights. Followed by a broadcast panel discussion with Douglass, lead actor Mike Vogel, and others. $12, 7 p.m.

Apr. 15: "The Walking Dead/Fear the Walking Dead." Screening of the season finale of the immensely popular Walking Dead zombie series. Followed by a the season premiere of its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead. $10 & $11.50, 8:30 p.m. Apr. 16: "Phoenix Wilder and the Great Elephant Adventure" (Richard Boddington, 2017). A 13-year-old orphan goes to live with his only surviving relative in Africa only to become lost on safari and have to learn to survive in the African bush. $12, 6 p.m.

Apr. 17: "The Dating Project" (Jonathan Cipiti, 2018). Documentary about 5 singles trying to figure out dating in the age of social media. Ann Arbor 20 only. $11.50, 7 p.m.

Apr. 22, 23, & 25: "The Cat Returns" (Hiroyuki Morita, 2002). Studio Ghibli anime about a schoolgirl who befriends a cat that turns out to be a magical prince who wants her to marry him and live in the Kingdom of Cats. Dubbed (Apr. 22 & 25) and subtitled (Apr. 23). $12, 12:55 p.m. (Arp. 22) & 7 p.m. (Apr. 23 & 25).

Apr. 24: "Fragments of Truth" (Reuben Evans, 2017). Christian documentary that explores the truth of New Testament manuscripts. $12, 7 p.m.

Apr. 29 & May 1 & 2: "Labyrinth" (Jim Henson, 1986). Gothic fantasy that stars David Bowie as a goblin king who gives a teenager 13 hours to rescue her baby brother by solving a labyrinth full of Muppet monsters. Ann Arbor 20 only. $11.50, 2 p.m. (Apr. 29) & 7 p.m. (all dates).

Interfaith Center for Spiritual Growth. $5 suggested donation. 327-0270. 704 Airport Blvd., 8 p.m.

Apr. 21: "Spiritual Cinema." Screening of a feature film or several shorts TBA with spiritual themes. Followed by discussion.

Jewel Heart Buddhist Center. FREE. 994-3387. Jewel Heart (1129 Oak Valley Dr. between Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. & Ellsworth), 7 p.m.

Apr. 27: "Kubo and the Two Strings" (Travis Knight, 2016). Animated action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan about a young boy who must find his dead father's armor in order to defeat a vengeful spirit. Discussion follows.

Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor "Falafel & Film". 6 p.m. falafel dinner followed by a film screening. Registration required for dinner. $10. 971-0990.

Apr. 10: "An Israeli Love Story" (Dan Wolman, 2017). Biopic about the complicated romance between an aspiring actress and the son of the President of the State of Israel in the turbulent period of pre-state Israel. Hebrew, subtitles. 7 p.m.

Michigan Theater Foundation. Unless there is a live show in the main theater, 2 or 3 different films are shown, usually 2-3 times a day. For complete, updated schedules, see,, or call 668-TIME. Tickets (unless otherwise noted): $10 (children under 12, students with ID, seniors age 65 & older, & U.S. veterans, $8; MTF members, $7.50; weekdays before 6 p.m., $7). Michigan Theater (unless otherwise noted), times TBA unless otherwise noted.

Opens Mar. 30: "The Death of Stalin" (Armando Iannucci, 2017). See review, p. 000. Satire depicting the frantic power struggle that ensued after Stalin's death. Simon Russell Beale, Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi.

Opens Mar. 30: "Leaning Into the Wind" (Thomas Riedelsheimer, 2017). Sculptor/environmentalist Andy Goldsworthy and documentarian Thomas Riedelsheimer reunite in this sequel to 2001's hit documentary Rivers and Tides.

Apr. 1: "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ" (Fred Niblo, 1926). Adaptation of the Lew Wallace novel, one of the silent era's biggest epics with over 125,000 extras. Live performance of its original William Axton & David Mendoza score by organist Andrew Rogers. Ramon Novarro, Francis X. Bushman. 4 p.m.

Apr. 2: "Kagemusha" (Akira Kurosawa, 1980). Drama about a petty thief who's hired as a warlord's double. Japanese, subtitles. 7 p.m.

Apr. 4: "Unfractured" (Chanda Chevannes, 2017). Documentary that follows introspective biologist Sandra Steingraber as she reinvents herself as an outspoken activist. Followed by Q&A with the director. FREE, 7 p.m.

Apr. 5: "Monty Python & the Holy Grail" (Terry Gilliam, 1975). Those wacky Brits present their skewed version of the legend of King Arthur and his knights. 9:30 p.m.

Opens Apr. 6: "The Leisure Seeker" (Paolo Virtzý, 2018). Comedic drama starring Helen Mirren & Donald Sutherland as a roadtripping couple traveling from Boston to Key West in an RV they call "the Leisure Seeker."

Apr. 7: "Jane" (Cho Hyun-hoon, 2016). A runaway gets to know a transgender woman and joins her group of misfits. Korean, subtitles. FREE, 1 p.m.

Apr. 8: "Marianne & Juliane": (Margarethe von Trotta, 1981). Two sisters-one a journalist, the other a terrorist-both fight for women's rights. When the terrorist is jailed, the journalist feels obligated to help her despite their philosophical differences. German, subtitles. 4:30 p.m.

Apr. 8: "May Fools": (Louis Malle, 1990). Gentle comedy about a family gathered at a countryside home in 1968, on the eve of the French student rebellion. French, subtitles. 7 p.m.

Apr. 9: "Ran" (Akira Kurosawa, 1985). Whena warlord in medieval Japan retires, his 3 sons turn on each other and him. Japanese, subtitles. 7 p.m.

Apr. 9: "The Unbearable Lightness of Being": (Philip Kaufman, 1988). Film adaptation of the Milan Kundera novel of ideas set among Czech artists and intellectuals in the wake of the suppression of the 1968 Prague Spring by the Soviet army. 7 p.m.

Apr. 11: "The Virgin Suicides" (Sofia Coppola, 1999). Adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides's novel, set in suburban Michigan in the 70s, about 5 doomed sisters and the neighborhood boys who worship them. Q&A with panelists from Arbor Research Collaborative for Health. 7:30 p.m.

Apr. 12: U-M School of Art & Design Animation & Video Projects. Works by U-M art students. FREE, 5 p.m. "M-agination Film Festival." Works written, directed, filmed, and edited by U-M students. FREE, 8 p.m.

Apr. 12: "Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl" (Terry Hughes and Ian MacNaughton, 1982). Video of the Monty Python crew performing classic and original sketches performed live at the Hollywood Bowl in 1982. 9:30 p.m.

Opens Apr. 13: "Finding Your Feet" (Richard Loncraine, 2017). British comedy about a snobbish wife forced to live with her poor bohemian sister after discovering her husband is having an affair with her best friend. Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley.

Apr. 15: "Best of the Banff Mountain Film Festival" (Various directors, 2017). The best mountain and outdoor adventure films from the 2016 edition of the famous 3-day festival held every November in Banff, Alberta. Sponsored by U-M Adventure Leadership. Tickets $15 (students, $12) in advance at, $17 (students, $15) at the door. 764-3967. 7 p.m.

Apr. 16: "The 47 Ronin Part 1 & 2" (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1941 & 1942). Drama about the 18th-century band of samurai who avenge the death of their master. Japanese, subtitles. 7 p.m.

Apr. 21: "The Battleship Island" (Seung-wan Ryoo, 2017). Drama about the little-known history of Hashima Island, where Koreans were forced by Japanese colonial rulers to mine for coal. Korean & Japanese, subtitles. FREE, 1 p.m.

Apr. 25: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (Rupert Wyatt, 2011). A substance designed to help the brain repair itself gives rise to a super-intelligent chimpanzee who leads an ape uprising. 7:30 p.m.

Apr. 26: "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life" (Terry Jones, 1983). Outrageous, bawdy comedy spoofing every stage of human existence. 9:30 p.m.

Opens Apr. 27: "Lean on Pete" (Andrew Haigh, 2018). Drama about a teenager who befriends an aging racehorse. ChloŰ Sevigny, Steve Buscemi.

State Theater. For complete, updated schedule, see,, or call 761-8667. Tickets (unless otherwise noted): $10 (children under 12, students with ID, seniors age 65 & older, & U.S. veterans, $8; MTF members, $7.50; films before 6 p.m. & midnight movies, $8).

Opens Apr. 6: "Isle of Dogs" (Wes Anderson, 2018). Stop-motion animated comedy set in near-future Japan about a boy searching for his lost dog.

Opens Apr. 13: "Borg Vs. McEnroe" (Janus Metz, 2018). Biopic about the legendary tennis rivalry between the disciplined Björn Borg and voltile John McEnroe. Shia LaBeouf, Sverrir Gudnason.

Opens Apr. 13: "Loveless" (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2017). Drama about a couple going through a bitter divorce who must team up to find their missing son. Russian, subtitles.

Opens Apr. 20: "Foxtrot" (Samuel Maoz, 2017). A grieving couple tries to piece together the events that led up to their son's death at a remote military post. Hebrew, subtitles.

Opens Apr. 27: "You Were Never Really Here" (Lynne Ramsay, 2018). Thriller about a veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who tracks missing girls and stumbles upon a dangerous conspiracy.

Quality 16 "Weekend Morning Movies." $1 (Frequent Moviegoer Club members, free). 623-7469. 3686 Jackson, 10 a.m.

Mar. 30-Apr. 1: "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul" (David Bowers, 2017). Comedy about a kid who derails his family's road trip in a scheme to get to a video gaming convention.

Apr. 6-8: "The Star" (Timothy Reckart, 2017). Animated retelling of the Christmas story from the perspective of a brave donkey and his animal friends.

Apr. 13-15: "Wonder" (Stephen Chbosky, 2017). Inspiring drama about a 5th grader with extreme facial differences who attends a mainstream elementary school for the first time. Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson.

Apr. 20-22: "The Emoji Movie" (Tony Leondis, 2017). Animation about a meh emoji who rebels against the rule that emojis must have only one facial expression.

U-M Ford School of Public Policy. FREE. Rackham Amphitheatre. 764-3490.

Apr. 25: "And Then They Came For Us" (Abby Ginzberg, 2017). Documentary linking the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WW2 to recent proposals for a Muslim registry and travel ban. 7 p.m.

U-M School of Music. FREE. 615-3204. U-M Moore Bldg. Watkins Lecture Hall (1100 Baits), 5:30 p.m.

Apr. 4: "Over the Sky" (Toko Shiiki & Erik Santos 2018). Inspirational short documentary about an award-winning Japanese junior high wind ensemble affected by the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

U-M Smith-Ka-Teers. FREE., 1800 Chemistry Bldg., 930 North University. 7 p.m.-midnight.

Apr. 14: 27th Annual Smithee Awards. This celebration of bad films features screenings of 5 clips of commercial feature films in each of 19 categories, including "Most Ludicrous Premise," "Worst Science," "Cutting Butter with a Chainsaw," "Let's Up the Rating to R," "Alas, Poor Yorick," "Inane Dialogue," "Deus ex Machina," and more. Past entries include the likes of Seedpeople, Leech Woman, Nailgun Massacre, The Clones of Bruce Lee, and Narcotic Justice. Audience members vote on the "winners." Films can have been released in any year, as long as they haven't been previously nominated for a Smithee. Unhealthy snacks. For mature audiences.

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