For those of us who follow movies, and not just those of the popcorn variety, November is the month when things start to get interesting.
Yes, there are the obviously intended boffo box office draws – such as Benedict Cumberbatch starring in (and as) Doctor Strange, the requisite holiday Disney animated feature Moana and the Harry Potter sort-of-spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Another interesting entry is the Tupac Shakur biopic, All Eyez on Me.
But you can also expect the initial rush of Oscar bait (which may or may not immediately open in Genesee County): the Mel Gibson-directed World War II saga Hacksaw Ridge and the heartrending Lion, which figures to catapult Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) to individual Academy Award contention. The sci-fi drama Arrival co-stars Amy Adams (who has become an Oscar-nominee perennial) and Michael Shannon.
Another award contender launches November’s Friends of Modern Art film schedule at the Flint Institute of Arts. Captain Fantastic, which won honors for best director at the latest Cannes Film Festival, features Viggo Mortensen as an unconventional father forced by tragedy to expose his six children to a society he despises. The New York Post has called this “one of the year’s best movies” – and who are we to doubt the New York Post? Watch for it at the FIA November 4-6.
It will be followed in the core FOMA series by two international films with familial themes. Due November 11-13 is Our Little Sister, a life-affirming comedy-drama from Japan about three siblings unexpectedly united with a little-known half-sister. Coming November 18-20 will be Hunt for the Wilderpeople, in which Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) plays the uncle of a rebellious kid who prompts a national manhunt when the two go missing in the New Zealand wilds.
The month’s slate ends November 25-27 with a highly quirky American comedy, Weiner-Dog, in which a dachshund passes among oddball owners. The non-canine cast includes Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin, Julie Delpy, Danny DeVito and Greta Gerwig, all under the direction of the distinctive filmmaker, Todd Solondz.
FOMA films are shown at 7:30pm Fridays-Saturdays and 2pm Sundays at the FIA, 1120 E. Kearsley St. Tickets, available at the door, are $6 for nonmembers, $5 for FIA members, and $4 for FOMA members.
In addition to the regular FOMA series lineup above, the museum is presenting the next installment in a monthly film series spotlighting music and music greats. The late, great Prince stars in the 1984 feature Purple Rain at 7:30pm on November 3, 2pm November 5, and 4:30pm on November 6. Admission is $2 on November 3 and $4-$6 for the other dates.
Plus, in a collaboration with the local nonprofit, Communities First Inc., the FIA will host a 7pm November 10 screening of Resurrecting Black Wall Street: The Blueprint. It’s an inspirational documentary about a neighborhood in Tulsa, OK, that overcame adversity to create one of the most prosperous African-American communities in history.
For more info, visit flintarts.org or call 810.234.1695.