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Newly renovated Detroit Film Theatre reopens Oct. 10 2014 with exciting fall season





Detroit Film Theatre reopens Oct. 10 with Jonathan Demme's A Master Builder

2014 fall season includes rare and exciting films from around the world


—After being dark for the summer to accommodate needed mechanical upgrades, the Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) reopens the weekend of Oct. 10. Visitors will enjoy a more beautifully lit auditorium and Crystal Gallery, a result of new energy efficient lighting, and a quieter movie-going experience thanks to a state of the art air handling system. 


The fall season opens with Jonathan Demme's A Master Builder, an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's play about a manipulative architect whose past returns to haunt him as his health begins to falter. Other highlights this season include: "Alec Guinness 100," a selection of films celebrating the 100th birthday anniversary of the comic master; Through A Lens Darkly, a documentary that explores the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present; 20,000 Days on Earth, an intimate look at the Australian rock icon Nick Cave; and a film series called "Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema," featuring movies made from 1957 to 1987 by some of Poland's most celebrated filmmakers.


Filmgoers will also be interested in the Nov. 6 discussion "VLOGZILLA: The Art of the Vlog," during which award-winning L.A. filmmaker and Michigan native Zeke Anders explores the rise in the global social media trend the vlog, or video-log.


A Master Builder (USA/2014—directed by Jonathan Demme)

FridaySaturday, Oct. 1011, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 12, 2 p.m.

FridaySaturday, Oct. 17, 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 19, 4:30 p.m.

Henrik Ibsen's classic is the chronicle of a manipulative architect whose past returns to haunt him as his health falters. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.


Jealousy (France/2013—directed by Philippe Garrel)

FridaySaturday, Oct. 10–11, 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 12, 4:30 p.m.

After a stage actor leaves his family and heads out to the streets of Paris, a series of conversations, chance encounters and impulsive acts illuminate the unexpected consequences of his decision. In French with English subtitles. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.


Alec Guinness 100

Long before he was known to a generation of moviegoers as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Alec Guinness created some of the most brilliant comic performances in cinema history for Britain's legendary Ealing Studios. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth, the DFT presents five of his finest works. Tickets for films in this series are $5 and free for DIA members.


Alec Guinness 100: The Man in the White Suit (UK/1951—directed by Alexander Mckendrick)

Saturday, Oct. 11, 3 p.m.

Sidney Stratton has a dream to develop a fabric that never gets dirty and never wears out. When Daphne comes to understand what Sidney is trying to achieve, she convinces her father that the fabric would be a boon to mankind. Industry and labor, alarmed at the financial implications, join forces to suppress Sidney's dream.


Alec Guinness 100: Kind Hearts and Coronets (UK/1949—directed by Robert Hamer)

Saturday, Oct. 18, 3 p.m.

Ninth in line for the D'Ascoyne fortune, poor relation Louis decides that instead of waiting for his possible inheritance, it would be simpler to bump off the eight heirs ahead of him, including a general, a duke, a banker and the dowager Lady Agatha, all of them played by Alec Guinness.


Alec Guinness 100: Last Holiday (UK/1950—Henry Cass)

Saturday, Oct. 25, 3 p.m.

When lonely George Bird is diagnosed with a terminal disease, he uses his savings for a final vacation at a luxurious resort. But as an unknown guest at the posh hotel, free of doubt and fear, he manages to gain everything in life he'd ever dreamed of—and more.


Alec Guinness 100: The Ladykillers (UK/1955—Alexander Mackendrick)

Saturday, Nov. 8, 3 p.m.

A rag-tag gang of bungling, small-time thieves, posing as musicians and led by bizarre, buck-toothed professor Marcus, attempts to permanently silence their landlady, a sweet little old lady named Mrs. Wilberforce, who has knowledge of their latest caper.


Alec Guinness at 100: The Lavender Hill Mob (UK/1951—directed by Charles Crichton)

Saturday, Nov. 22, 3 p.m.

Bank clerk Mr. Holland teams up with his eccentrically seedy neighbor to steal a load of gold bullion, melt it down, and smuggle it out of the country in the shape of miniature Eiffel Towers. This brilliant comedy won the Oscar® for Best Screenplay, as well as a nomination for Alec Guinness.


Through A Lens Darkly (USA/2014—directed by Thomas Allen Harris)

Thursday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m.

Through a Lens Darkly is the first documentary to explore photography's role in shaping the identities and perceptions of African Americans from slavery to the present. Historical material, previously unknown photos by professional and nonprofessional African American photographers, and contemporary images by such renowned photographers as Gordon Parks and Carrie Mae Weems are juxtaposed with those by some white photographers who, historically, have used racist imagery to degrade African Americans. The result reveals disturbing truths about the history of race relations as well as the ability of artists and amateurs alike to assert their identity through photography. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.


A Summer's Tale (Restored) (France/1996/2012—directed by Eric Rohmer)

Friday–Saturday, Oct. 17–18, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 19, 2 p.m. 

Friday–Saturday, Oct. 24–25, 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 26, 4:30 p.m.

Never released theatrically in the United States, this tale of the moral dilemmas of love begins as the story of a recent university graduate who arrives at the seaside for a vacation. He's hoping his girlfriend will join him, but as the days pass, he welcomes the interest of a young ethnology student. As complications ensue, the characters discourse on love and friendship, even as their body language contradicts their words. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.


20,000 Days On Earth (UK/2014—directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard)

Friday–Saturday, Oct. 24–25, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 26, 2 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 31, 10 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 1, 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 2, 4:30 p.m.

20,000 Days on Earth is an intimate look at the Australian rock icon Nick Cave. Drama and documentary are fused with inventiveness, weaving a fictitious 24-hour cycle in Cave's life with verité-style observations of his writing process. Winner of Best Directing and Best Editing awards at Sundance. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.


The Golem: How He Came Into the World with Music by Joel Peterson

Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m.

Detroit musician Joel Peterson performs an original score for this silent, 1920 German horror film that tells the eerie story of a clay giant brought to life with magic by a rabbi for the protection of the Jews of Prague, threatened by from a pogrom unleashed by a mad king. Free with museum admission.


Dead of Night (UK/1945—directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crighton and Basil Dearden)

Friday, Oct. 31, 10 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 1, 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 2, 4:30 p.m.

This horror thriller is about the fates of guests at a country estate who tell increasingly disturbing tales after a distraught visitor describes his alarming dream. One of the film's interlocking episodes made movie history—the story of a mad ventriloquist who believes his dummy is alive and scheming against him. It remains the most stunning sequence in a film that is tailor-made for Halloween. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.


The Manxman (UK/1929—directed by Alfred Hitchcock)

Saturday, Nov. 1, 3 p.m.

Set in a remote Isle of Man fishing community, Hitchcock's rarely seen, penultimate silent feature follows two boyhood friends who take markedly different paths in adulthood: one becomes a lawyer, the other a fisherman, and both fall in love with the same woman. Live musical accompaniment by David Drazin. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.


Lecture: VLOGZILLA: The Art of the Vlog

Thursday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m.
YouTube and vlogs (video-logs) have given us the ability to record, upload and distribute our deepest secrets, funniest outtakes and most vulnerable moments, connecting us in ways we never thought possible. Why do people vlog? Can vlogging be an art form? Join award-winning L.A. filmmaker Zeke Anders as he explores these questions and more about this global trend in social media. Tickets are $10.


The Overnighters (USA/2014—directed by Jesse Moss)

Friday–Saturday, Nov. 7–8, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 9, 2 p.m.

Friday–Saturday, Nov. 14–15, 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 16, 4:30 p.m.

In the tiny town of Williston, North Dakota, tens of thousands of unemployed hopefuls show up with dreams of a decent paycheck under the lure of the oil boom. When reality intrudes, a local pastor converts his church into a makeshift dorm, allowing the "overnighters" to stay as long as they wish. The community's reaction is chronicled in this stunning new documentary. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Festival. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.


Alphavillle (France/1965—directed by Jean-Luc Godard)

Friday–Saturday, Nov. 7–8, 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 9, 4:30 p.m.

This traditional film noir is complete with rainy streets, gun-toting hoodlums, femme fatales and a brutal gumshoe named Lemmy Caution. Paris of 1965 stands in for the dark city of the future, as Caution's hunt for a missing scientist leads him to the super-computer that controls the present—and possibly the future—of human society. In French with English subtitles. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.


Othello (USA/Morocco/France/1952—directed by Orson Welles)

Saturday, Nov. 15, 3 p.m.

Filmed under chaotic shooting conditions over three years in many different countries and requiring several cast changes and replacements, Orson Welles' Othello nevertheless went on to win the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and is considered by many to be among the finest screen adaptations of any Shakespeare play. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.

Diplomacy (France/Germany/2014—directed by Volker Schlöndorff)

Friday–Saturday, Nov. 14–15, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 16, 2 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 22, 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 23, 4:30 p.m.

As the Allies march toward Paris in the summer of 1944, Hitler orders that the city should not fall into enemy hands, except "as a field of rubble." General Dietrich von Choltitz, who has already planted mines on the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, is to carry out this barbarism. Despite our knowing the outcome, Diplomacy presents a suspenseful, darkly witty game of intricacy between von Cholitz and Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling. In French and German with English subtitles. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.


Watchers of the Sky (USA/2014—directed by Edet Belzberg)

Friday, Nov. 21, 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 23, 2 p.m.
Watchers of the Sky examines the life and legacy of Raphael Lemkin, the Polish lawyer and linguist who coined the term genocide. Inspired by Samantha Power's book A Problem From Hell, this documentary interweaves live interviews with archival footage and stunning animation to give voice to the victims of genocide. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.

The Lodger with Music by Little Bang Theory
Friday, Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Frank Pahl and Little Bang Theory perform for a showing of a newly restored version of Alfred Hitchcock's 1920 silent thriller The Lodger, based on the crimes of London's Jack the Ripper. Free with museum admission.


Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema

This four-day event consists of selections from a 21-film series created by Martin Scorsese's The Film Foundation, in partnership with Propaganda Foundation, DI Factory and CRF, and distributed by Milestone Films in cooperation with Janus Films. Curated by Scorsese, the series features works from Poland's most celebrated filmmakers, spanning the period from 1957 to 1987. Each film is a digital restoration with newly translated English subtitles. Additional films in the series will be screened at the DFT in 2015. Tickets for films in this series are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.


Masterpieces of Polish Cinema: Black Cross (Poland/1960—directed by Aleksander Ford)

Thursday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m.

Poland's first historical blockbuster, and the single most-viewed Polish film of all time, Black Cross is a spectacular tale of political maneuvering and tragic love set in a period of medieval warfare, depicting the Polish campaign against the invading Teutonic Knights.


Masterpieces of Polish Cinema : Man of Iron (Poland/1981—directed by Andrzej Wajda)

Friday, Nov. 28, 7 p.m.

Wajda's Oscar®-nominated masterwork follows the shipyard workers' strike in Gdansk in 1980 that led to the formation of the Solidarity trade union. Filmed quickly on location immediately following the events it depicts, Man of Iron features future Polish President Lech Walesa, portraying himself.


Masterpieces of Polish Cinema: A Short Film About Killing (Poland/1987—directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski)

Friday, Nov. 28, 10 p.m.

One somber March day, the paths of three men cross: the cabbie Marian cleans his car, the lawyer Piotr celebrates passing the bar exam, and 20-year-old Jacek readies his murder weapon. A sensation at the Cannes Film Festival and winner of awards the world over, this film launched the career of the brilliant Kieslowski, whose Decalogue and Three Colors Trilogy would go on to rewrite movie history.

Masterpieces of Polish Cinema: Ashes and Diamonds (Poland/1958—directed by Andrzej Wajda)

Saturday, Nov. 29, 2 p.m.

A young Polish resistance soldier at the end of World War II reaches a painful crossroad when the brutal rule of the Nazis is replaced by a communist regime that does not represent the independence he has been fighting for. Set on the last day of World War II and the first day of peace, this heartbreaking film depicts how, on a single night, an entire generation's tragic dilemma becomes suddenly palpable.


Masterpieces of Polish Cinema: The Constant Factor (Poland/1980—directed by Krzysztof Zanussi)

Saturday, Nov. 28, 4:30 p.m.

This psychologically astute film is the story of a man who dreams of climbing the Himalayas as his father did, but who instead faces the reality of a job at a trade company. Unhappy and consistently tripping himself up by his insistence on total honesty, he struggles with his fate, wondering if the ability to make choices is merely an illusion.


Masterpieces of Polish Cinema: The Saragossa Manuscript (Poland/1964—directed by Wojciech Has)

Saturday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m.

This epic begins in 1739 as Alphonse van Worden crosses a mountain range said to be inhabited only by demons. Though he refuses to listen to such tales, his journey becomes a sequence of frightful, surreal and perhaps supernatural events.


Masterpieces of Polish Cinema: Pharaoh (Poland/1965—directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz)
Sunday, Nov. 30, 1 p.m.

This uncut version of Kawalerowicz's epic centers on the young Egyptian ruler Ramses XIII, who, with his passions and idealism, has to face his country's external enemies and internal power struggles.


Masterpieces of Polish Cinema: Mother Joan of the Angels (Poland/1960—directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz)

Sunday, Nov. 30, 4:30 p.m.

Kawalerowicz received the Cannes Film Festival's Special Jury Prize for this tale of a virtuous young priest—and exorcist—who is assigned to investigate a case of demonic possession. This study of sin and redemption is set in a world that demands clear choices between good and evil—choices that are not as simple as they seem.


Masterpieces of Polish Cinema: Eroica (Poland/1957—directed by Andrzej Munk)
Sunday, Nov. 30, 7:00 p.m.

Putting a realist lens to a romantic ideal of heroism, Eroica's screenwriter, Jerzy Stawinski, draws upon his own experience in World War II. Imprisoned in a German camp, Stawinski escaped and participated in the Warsaw Uprising. Eroica transforms his experience into a dark tale of an average bon-vivant who, against his better judgment, joins the fight.


The King and the Mockingbird (France/1952/1980—directed by Paul Grimault)

Friday–Saturday, Dec. 19–20, 7 and 9 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 21, 2 and 4:30 p.m.

The legendary French animator Paul Grimault began a collaboration in 1948 with screenwriter Jacques Prévert on an animated adventure based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen. Unhappy with the production schedule, the producer seized control of the original footage and released a truncated version in 1950. Grimault spent decades retrieving the rights and raising funds to complete it. The result is an adventure for every age and a witty satire for grown-ups. In French with English subtitles. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.


Antarctica: A Year on Ice (USA/2013—directed by Anthony Powell)
–Saturday, Dec. 26–27, 7 and 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 28, 2 and 4:30 p.m.

A decade in the making, Antarctica: A Year on Ice may be one of the most spectacular nonfiction films ever made. It chronicles the experience of spending a year at the bottom of the world from the point of view of everyday people living in one of the harshest and most beautiful environments on the planet. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.

Hours and Admission

Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General admission (excludes ticketed exhibitions) is free for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents and DIA members. For all others, $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62+, $4 for ages 6–17. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.