Slicing Up the Cinema: Two Samurai series come to the Michigan & State

FILM & VIDEO PREVIEW

Lone Wolf & Cub and Seven Samurai photos

From Feb. 5 to April 16, the Michigan and State Theaters will be under the blade. Many blades, actually, as two film series exploring Japan’s historic warrior class will take over the screens.

Save for  The 47 Ronin, all the films in the Enter the Samurai series at the Michigan Theater were written and directed by Akira Kurosawa, the most celebrated moviemaker in Japanese history. Every film in the Lone Wolf and Cub series, screened at the State, is based on the epic manga by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima.

Enter the Samurai will occur weekly on Mondays except for March 26. Skipping a week gives viewers' sword scars a chance to heel since the Lone Wolf and Cub series will screen nightly between March 20-25. That’s hella consecutive days of samurai swords slicing up the cinema.

All 17 movies in both series are presented in Japanese with English subtitles. Written previews of each film are below courtesy of the Michigan and State, along with trailers and a link to the Samurai cinema in AADL's collection.

"Korean Cinema Now" returns to the Michigan Theater with 8 celebrated films

FILM & VIDEO PREVIEW

Korean Cinema Now 2018 at the Michigan Theater

The Korean Cinema Now festival, sponsored by the Nam Center for Korean Studies, returns for its annual occupancy in the Michigan Theater’s 200-seat Screening Room theater. This year’s screenings are two Saturdays per month at 1 pm from Jan. 20 through April 21.

South Korea is known for its robust film industry, and the eight feature-length movies being shown at the Michigan Theater represent many high points from the peninsula's 2016-2017 movie scene.

But the best part of Korean Cinema Now? It's free.

Check out the trailers, dates, and synopses below:

Ann Arbor Tech Film Showcase features 8 shorts that analyze the consequences of technology

FILM & VIDEO PREVIEW

A collage of stills from the 2018 Ann Arbor Tech Film Showcase.

The total combined running time of the eight movies in the first Ann Arbor Tech Film Showcase is 59 minutes -- which seems the perfect length in our age of hyper-accelerated information cycles. 

Sponsored by Duo Security, Ann Arbor SPARK, A2Geeks, and Q+M, the Ann Arbor Tech Film Showcase is at the Michigan Theater on Friday, Jan. 19, 5-9 pm. Its mission is “to increase cultural diversity and interest in tech films and to promote, discuss and educate in the medium of science fiction and technology. We encourage rich storytelling, filled with infinite possibilities that challenge us and question our perception of the future.”

The evening kicks off with a pre-screening meet and greet in the lobby and the night will include a panel discussion with the filmmakers whose movies “explore a selection of short films that highlight the consequences of technology.”

The Ann Arbor Tech Film Showcase is free, but you have to register for tickets.

Here's a rundown of the shorts being shown:

"Pre-Fab/Post-Fab: Art in a Readymade Era" both celebrates and critiques modern consumer culture

VISUAL ART PREVIEW

Artist Bailey Scieszka as her Old Put character. Photo by Nicholas Calcott.

Artist Bailey Scieszka as her Old Put character. Photo by Nicholas Calcott.

In some eras, artists were inspired by new techniques or materials. Now, it's mass consumption -- and we're not talking tuberculosis.

In the new U-M Institute for the Humanities exhibition Pre-Fab/Post-Fab: Art in a Readymade Era, three Detroit-based artists showcase works that speak to them growing up "with the influences of mass consumption, internet shopping, the glut of plastic toys, baubles, and tchotchkes."

Heidi Barlow, Shaina Kasztelan, Bailey Scieszka take these everyday objects and twist them into new forms to comment on pop culture, gender, and politics. 

From the press release:

Gifts of Art's exhibitions bring culture to U-M Hospital

VISUAL ART PREVIEW

A collage of Gifts of Art exhibitions running through March 2018

We typically choose to see art by seeking it out at a museum. We want to be there.

Nobody wants to be in a hospital.

But if you are cooped up in the world of doctors and nurses, it's nice to have some high-quality culture to take your mind off your ailments.

Gifts of Art is Michigan's Medicine's way to assist healing by offering music performances and art exhibitions to its patients. But you need not be checked into University Hospital to enjoy the sights; Gifts of Art is open and free to all daily from 8 am-8 pm.

Visit med.umich.edu/goa/performances for a full list of the performances. For a sneak peek at the exhibitions running through March 11, most of which feature works by Michigan-associated artists, read on.

Two winter exhibitions open at U-M's North Campus Research Center

VISUAL ART PREVIEW

Rainbow by Dalia Reyes; Unholy War by Joyce Brienza

Rainbow painting by Dalia Reyes; Unholy War triptych by Joyce Brienza.

U-M's North Campus Research Center (NCRC) houses two galleries that might be off the radar for some folks, but the spaces are always bubbling with compelling (and free) exhibitions that run for months at a time. 

Two new winter exhibitions opened Jan. 15 and continue through April 16, allowing you plenty of time to take in the sights.

Woven Together: Threads All Arts Festival returns for 2018

Threads All Arts Festival

The Threads All Arts Festival has finally been rescheduled. The second edition was originally set for August 2017 at the Ann Arbor Distilling Company, but when the city put a temporary kibosh on live events at the artisanal spirits space due to parking issues, Threads was called off. It took the U-M student-run festival a while to reorganize, but it has now found a home in Ypsilanti’s Historic Freighthouse and will present its rangy mix of live music, dance, film, poetry, and art on March 10-11.

The idea for Threads began in 2015 when Nicole Patrick (U-M 2016, percussion and jazz and contemporary improvisation) and her friends "wanted to find a way to share, with many people, all the amazing art they saw coming out of their friends and neighbors," they told Pulp contributor Anna Prushinskaya for piece meant to preview the 2017 edition.

But along with the break came a new mission statement that shows Threads has expanded its focus:

A2 Art Center's "Favorites’ Favorites" kicks off Jan. 19 with a party

VISUAL ART PREVIEW

Mark Lyon, Dr. Lustbader DDS, Exam Room, 2012, archival pigment print

Dr. Lustbader DDS, Exam Room by Mark Lyon, 2012, archival pigment print.

The Ann Arbor Art Center exhibition Favorites’ Favorites opens Friday, Jan. 19, kicking off with a free opening night party from 6-9 pm. The artists will be in attendance, and you can ask them why they chose their individual pieces in the show.

That's right, though there was a curator who chose which artists would exhibit, it was the creators who picked what would be displayed in Favorite Favorites.

AADL 2017 Staff Picks: Books, Movies, Music & More

MUSIC FILM & VIDEO WRITTEN WORD REVIEW

 

Ann Arbor District Library's Pittsfield branch at night, 2007.

 

Ann Arbor District Library's Pittsfield branch at night, 2007.

The list below is a collection of books, music, movies, and more that made an impression on our eyes and ears in 2017.

Jamm on It: Jon Glaser talks "Parks and Recreation," "Girls," & more at AADL

INTERVIEW FILM & VIDEO


Downloads:
3.8 GB">720p Video
79 MB">Audio

Michigan native and U-M grad Councilman Jamm -- nee Jon Glaser -- sat down with us to discuss his television and comedy career on Nov. 26 at AADL's downtown branch.

He created, starred in, and co-wrote the TV shows Neon Joe Werewolf Hunter, Jon Glaser Loves Gear, and Delocated. He is perhaps best known as the aforementioned Councilman Jamm on Parks and Recreation and and Laird on HBO's Girls. Other TV credits include

Inside Amy Schumer, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Wonder Showzen.