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film

Boots Riley on the set of Sorry to Bother You
Courtesy of Annapurna Pictures

Sorry to Bother You is billed as a sci-fi comedy, and is playing in theaters nationwide after debuting at Sundance Film Festival.

It's about the story of a young black telemarketer from Oakland, California named Cassius Green, played by Lakeith Stanfield. An older co-worker, played by Danny Glover, offers advice that helps Cassius climb the ladder to telemarketing success by using his "white voice."

A figure walking away down a street.
Screengrab of Hamoody Jaafar's film Detroit Diamond

Tomorrow, the Grand Rapids Film Festival will screen the short film Detroit Diamond. The film is about a young mother addicted to heroin. The state is working to take away her son.

Hamoody Jaafar, who directed the film, and Michael R. Flores, who wrote its screenplay, joined Stateside to discuss the script’s very personal inspiration, its all-female cast, and why Detroit Diamond is not just set in Detroit but was filmed in the city and uses nearly all Detroit actors.

Courtesy of Kartemquin Films

Laura Checkoway just finished a film that is now being nominated for an Oscar. She’s the director, producer, and editor of a film called Edith+Eddie. It’s up for Best Documentary (Short Subject). She is from Ann Arbor.

Checkoway joined Stateside to discuss how she learned about Edith and Eddie, who at 96 and 95 are America’s oldest interracial newlyweds, how her film comments on America’s system of elder care, and what it feels like to receive an Oscar nomination.

Sheila Y / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Tonight, silent French films from the early 20th century will play at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit as part of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s French Festival. But there’s a twist: the films won’t actually be silent. They will be accompanied by the live performance of original scores by the Andrew Alden Ensemble

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Today, the long anticipated movie “Black Panther” is being released. It’s a Marvel Comics movie and the central character is black. A recent article in the New York Times Magazine argued this movie is a “defining moment for black America.”

In a sign of the film's anticipated cultural importance, an organization called Hero Nation along with Ypsilanti High School are taking more than 100 students to a private screening of “Black Panther." 

Courtesy of the filmmakers

A new documentary film from brothers Adam and Zack Khalil tells the stories of the Ojibway tribe in their hometown of Sault Ste. Marie. They use ancient prophecies of the Ojibway to explore modern Anishnaabe culture and its challenges.

Adam Khalil talks with Stateside about his documentary film INAATE/SE/ [it shines a certain way. to a certain place/it flies. falls./]. 

Amer Zhar in front of brick wall
Stateside Staff / Michigan Radio

Dearborn likes to boast that is has the highest proportion of Arab Americans in the country. But according to the U.S. Census, about 89 percent of the city’s approximately 100,000 people are white.

That’s because according to the United States’ government, Arab Americans are white.

“It’s a real mis-identifier [sic], you know,” said Michigan-based comedian and writer Amer Zahr “It’s one thing to not be identified. It’s worse to be misidentified because we’re not white in any way that ‘white’ means.”

Shelby Kroske, MSU Libraries

 

Michigan State University historian Liam Brockey has spent years studying the history of Catholicism. Now, that scholarship is generating something unexpected: Oscar buzz.

Brockey served as a consultant on legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s latest work “Silence,” the story of two Portuguese Jesuit priests who travel to Japan in the 1640's to find their lost mentor.

Courtesy of Michael Manasseri

The Pickle Recipe is a film completely shot in and around Detroit, but it's packed with universal truths.

Truth about family ties and about family members who make us crazy and warm our hearts—sometimes at the very same moment. And truth about the power of food and memories.

Courtesy Gaby Gerster, Diogenes Zuric

"Mystic River," "Shutter Island," and coming in December, “Live By Night” are just some of the major Hollywood films based on stories by Dennis Lehane.

After building a career as one of America’s most popular and most respected crime novelists, Lehane began writing widely acclaimed historical fiction. But he’s also built a parallel career in the worlds of television and film, including time as a writer for HBO’s “The Wire” and writing the screenplay for one of James Gandolfini’s final films, “The Drop.”

Courtesy of Frank Boring

When you ask anyone about women’s professional baseball, the majority of people will make some reference to director Penny Marshall’s 1992 film A League of Their Own. The movie stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna and tells the story of the real-life Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). The league was created to provide sports fans with entertainment while the men – including many star major league baseball players -- were away fighting in World War II. 

Screen grab of "Parts Per Billion," a documentary produced by Alex Douglas and Nicholas Ferguson

The red carpet is being rolled out this Thursday in Flint.

It's the Flint Youth Film Festival, a chance for you to see the work of mid-Michigan's young filmmakers.

We were joined today by Donna Ullrich​, director of the Flint Youth Film Festival, and filmmaker Alex Douglas, a Flint resident and recent Mott Community College graduate who submitted two films to the festival.

The film focuses on tribes in the midwest
Screen grab of "Our Fires Still Burn"

Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience is a documentary film that follows the lives of Native Americans who are fighting to keep their culture and traditions alive for us here today and for future generations.

Levi Rickert is one of the film's producers. He joined us to talk about Our Fires Still Burn, the resurgence of Native American culture he's seen in his lifetime, and what he hopes people will take away from the film. 

Troy Hale is out with a new film. It's called, Fart: A Documentary.

And yes, it's everything its title suggests. 

Hale is a professor of Telecommunications, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University and the director and owner of Tricky Hale Films.

screenshot

The new indie film Superior is set in the summer of 1969, as two lifelong friends grab their bicycles and set out on a 1,300-mile journey around Lake Superior.

OUCARES

This summer marks the 10th anniversary of a very special summer camp program at Oakland University in Rochester.

It’s the annual film camp for young people on the autism spectrum. Campers from ages 10 to 20 write, direct, edit and star in a short film. It’s followed by a red carpet premiere for attendees and their families in October.

With VHS camera in hand, Michigan native Jerry White Jr. and friends recorded over 400 hours of experimental video art and comedy sketches in a Detroit-area public access TV show they called 30 Minutes of Madness.

A scene from Roger Corman's 1961 comedy horror "Creature from the Haunted Sea"
flickr user poppet with a camera / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

This year’s Traverse City Film Festival will include a very special moment.

Legendary producer, director, actor, and screenwriter Roger Corman will receive the Michigan Filmmaker Award.

Led by Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver, the Hallelujah Singers are a group of men and women singing together in an all-star community choir.
Andrew Sacks

The documentary film Let's Have Some Church Detroit Style was the Audience Choice winner at the second annual Freep Film Festival earlier this year.

And on June 20, it’s coming to Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater.

dream hampton

On October 23, 2011 a 19-year-old Detroiter named Shelly Hilliard was murdered and dismembered.

It happened just three days after she cooperated with suburban police, according to a civil suit filed by her family against the Madison Heights Police Department.

1968 was a very tense and pivotal year in Detroit's history. The city was putting itself back together again after the riots in July of '67.

That was the year 38-year-old priest Thomas Gumbleton became a Catholic bishop, and set about working to unite black and white parishes in the Detroit Archdiocese.

Today, after a lifetime of fighting for peace, justice and equality, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton is 85. And his life is now a film. American Prophet written, produced and directed by his parishioner Jasmine Rivera.

Wikimedia Commons / Wikimedia Commons

The new film 1971 tells the story of the eight members who made up the self-titled Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI. The group stole more than 1,000 classified documents from the FBI in order to expose some of the government agency's unconstitutional and illegal actions.

The film marks the first time these eight citizens are telling their story. Among them is West Michigan native Bonnie Raines and her husband John Raines.

Flickr user University of Wisconsin Sea Grant/Water Resources / Flickr

The Freep Film Festival begins its four-day run tomorrow.

This will be the festival's second year. It will open with a double feature of films from two of the Detroit Free Press' own videographers and photographers.

The first is Fire Photo 1. It revolves around Bill Eisner who has been the unofficial photographer for the Detroit fire department for over 50 years.

Here's a trailer:

Courtesy of Toko Shiiki

This week marks the four year anniversary of the magnitude nine earthquake that hit the coast of Japan and triggered a tsunami, leaving well over 15,000 people dead. The tsunami also caused the largest nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

close up of an academy award statue
Flickr user Davidlohr Bueso / Flickr

The 87th Academy Awards happens Sunday.

Many would consider an Oscar win to be the pinnacle of success for an actor.

But what of the "Oscar curse?" Does winning that little gold man bring bad luck?

Strategy professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan Michael Jensen says maybe.

portrait of Phoebe Gloeckner
Stamps School of Art and Design / Stamps School of Art and Design website

This year's Sundance Film Festival has extra-special meaning for a University of Michigan professor.

Phoebe Gloeckner is a professor at the Stamps School of Art and Design. Her 2002 graphic novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl has been made into a feature film starring Alexander Skarsgard and Kristen Wiig that will premiere this weekend at Sundance.

People will be watching their old home movies, all over the world, on "Home Movie Day." The big event happens Saturday, October 18th. Organizers call it "an annual, worldwide celebration of amateur films."

Screen shot from a "One Day" film.
onedayindetroit.org

On Saturday, hundreds of folks with cameras in hand will descend upon Detroit.

Their mission is to document stories that most affect the future of the city. The stories they capture will become part of a TV series on the future of the American city.

It's called “One Day in Detroit: Your Day, Your City, Your Future.”

Detroit is one of 11 cities across America to be a part of this "One Day" event.

The co-founder and executive producer of One Day on Earth, Brandon Litman, joined us today. And we also welcomed Stephen McGee, the local producer of “One Day in Detroit.”

*Listen to the audio above.

Wikipedia

Ever since a student at Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School got his first 8mm camera for his 17th birthday, he has searched for good stories to tell.

And tell them he does. That Ann Arbor high school kid was Ken Burns. And since getting that first camera in 1970, Ken has turned his camera and his storyteller's eye to subjects like World War II, the Civil War, the Brooklyn Bridge, baseball, jazz, the West, the Brooklyn Five, and so much more.

Tonight on PBS, Ken Burns brings us his newest story. It's called "The Address."

The film follows the students at a tiny school in Vermont where students are challenged each year to learn and recite Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

As he follows these boys, Ken uncovers many powerful individual stories and, at the same time, brings us a much-needed reminder of the power of Abraham Lincoln's words.

Ken Burns joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

The average gas mileage of new vehicles sold in the U.S. has steadily been improving, and greenhouse gas emissions are at an all-time low. The Environmental Protection Agency also recently set new emissions standards, scheduled to be phased in between 2017 and 2025, that will reduce the amount of sulfur found in gasoline.

But is the slow and steady climb in fuel economy and emissions enough? On today’s show, we ask if the Obama administration's 2016 and 2025 fuel efficiency goals setting the bar too low?

Then, a new documentary film brings us the story of the Great Lakes as seen through its ice.

And, last month, Gov. Snyder confirmed a financial emergency existed in Royal Oak Township. Can other communities learn from Royal Oak’s situation?

Also, the Share Art Project is a collaborative effort among artists at the Buckham Gallery, students and the Genesee Valley Regional Center. We spoke to a Buckham board member about the program and an upcoming exhibit.

First on the show, there have been two big developments this week in the high-stakes showdown over Detroit's pensioners, its art treasures and creditors, who hope bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes will pressure the city to put those art treasures on the table.

There's a lot to try to sort out. So, as we do each Thursday, we spoke to Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

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