Hello, Summer?


The push to promote the “summer” movie season’s initial blockbuster didn’t start during the Super Bowl telecast. But if you’d been living under a rock prior to football’s Big Game, you were informed via ample buys of incredibly costly ad time about Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

We use the term “summer” in semi-snarky quotation marks, because the superhero epic marks the start of the warm-weather, kids-out-of-school movie season on … and I’m not kidding here … March 24. So, maybe the kiddies are home for Spring Break, not summer vacation.

No matter: there’s ample money to be made as DC Comics stakes out its place in the action/fantasy movie universe ahead of the next offering from more-cinema-savvy Marvel: Captain America: Civil War, coming May 6. I was a DC guy way back in the day (circa, um, 1967), so I have a soft spot for Supes and the Caped Crusader – plus the ample views of downtown Detroit seen in the trailer for Dawn of Justice (much of which was shot in Michigan) have me excited.

Chalk up the early start for Batman and Superman to a battle of corporate titans. Disney, which markets the Marvel films, announced the early May release for its Captain America entry, and Time Warner/DC responded with the same for Dawn of Justice. Having two such movies open at the same time just wasn’t going to do, so Time Warner switched to the March date; not a great precedent, but necessary, I guess.

In the meantime, filmgoers are left to seek out whichever Oscar contenders they haven’t seen – or find other challenging fare. That, or go to Deadpool.

The Flint Institute of Arts will leave Deadpool to the commercial houses, but there are some interesting options within museum doors this month. Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq – playing March 4-6 in the FIA’s Friends of Modern Art film series – is a modern-day satirical/musical adaptation of Aristophanes’ ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata set against the backdrop of Chicago gang violence. A standout cast includes Nick Cannon, Teyonah Parris, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson.

Next up, on March 11-13, is 45 Years, a British drama that earned Charlotte Rampling a best actress Academy Award nomination. It concerns an elderly couple who, on the eve of an anniversary, receive news that threatens to alter their union forever. Tom Courtenay, another oldie but goodie, co-stars.

A best foreign language film Oscar nominee, A War comes to the FIA on March 18-20. A Danish army commander makes a fateful decision that impacts him, his company, and his loved ones.

Set for screening on March 24-26 (that’s Thursday-Saturday because the FIA is closed on Easter Sunday), Italy’s The Wonders is a naturalistic drama about a Tuscan beekeeping clan as viewed through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl.

Just into the following month, on April 1-3, the FIA will show Son of Saul, the Hungarian drama that was favored to win the most recent best foreign film Oscar. A concentration camp inmate assigned to burn the corpses of his own people confronts his relationship to his estranged son.

An additional screening this month, this one on March 3 in the museum’s “Best of FOMA” series is 1984’s Blood Simple, the noir-ish thriller that put the Coen brothers on the map.

For info on all events at the FIA, visit flintarts.com or dial 810.234.1695.



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