New Films and Halloween Favorites at Ann Arbor Theaters in October

Stop Making Sense  – The 40th Anniversary of Jonathan Demme and The Talking Heads’ landmark concert film will take to theaters October 5. Widely considered to be the greatest concert film of all time and filmed over three nights at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater in December 1983, this is a must see for music fans. Art pop meets African rhythms, strange, inventive with infectious grooves, and a surreal lead singer — none of these words quite describe the Talking Heads. Director Demme starts the film with only singer Byrne on stage, a guitar and boom box. Each song builds, integrating more of the band to a joyous crescendo. See it in the biggest theater possible while you can. 

Playing at the Michigan Theater on Oct. 5. 

A Haunting in Venice- Kenneth Branagh directs and stars as Hercule Poirot in this story inspired by Agatha Christie’s 1969 novel, “Halloween Party,” with the setting changed from England to Venice, Italy. The film takes place in post-WWII Venice and Poirot has retired. While reluctantly attending a séance, one of the guests is murdered. Though it’s set in Venice, this is essentially a drawing room, whodunnit mystery featuring a sparkling cast with Tina Fey in the major supporting role, Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Dornan.

Now playing at the State Theatre.

Dumb MoneyFrom director Craig Gillespie (“I, Tonya” and “Lars and the Real Girl”) comes “Dumb Money,” the true story of average people who beat Wall Street and got rich by making GameStop, the world’s hottest company. Real life, small-time stock trader Keith Gill works out of his basement during the Covid pandemic defying the odds by investing and encouraging his online followers to invest in GameStop, a company “shorted” by hedge fund managers who expected the company to fail. Gill was able to destabilize the stock market and eventually destroy one major investment company. Paul Dano gives one of his best performances and is backed by a superb supporting cast featuring Pete Davidson, Vincent D’Onofrio, America Ferrera, Seth Rogan and Clancy Brown. 

Now playing at the State Theatre. 

Flora and Son – “Flora and Son” is the story of a single mom, Flora, played by Eve Hewson, who is at war with her son Max, Oren Kinlan, who needs an outlet for his rebellious behavior. She rescues a guitar from a dumpster and repairs it in hopes that music might be the outlet her son needs. Directed by John Carney (“Once”), the film was a favorite at Sundance, boasting wonderful performances from its lead actors, particularly Eve Hewson, who may have finally found her breakout role. This film is also starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

Now playing at the State Theatre.

Halloween at the Movies

Nosferatu – Stephen Warner on the historic Barton Organ will accompany F. W. Murnau’s influential take on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Murnau was forced to change Dracula to Count Orlok to avoid being sued by Stoker’s estate. “Nosferatu” remains one of the most influential horror films ever made. Silent with intertitles and a live score. 

Playing at the Michigan Theater Oct. 22. 

Rocky Horror Picture Show Featuring a live Shadowcast by The Leather Medusas! Do the time warp again with the movie that gave birth to Midnight Movies and cult film culture. 

Playing at the Michigan Theater Oct. 26 and 27. 

Arsenic and Old Lace – A horror-comedy classic starring Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster, who ties the knot with his girlfriend on Halloween. When the couple return to Brewster’s home to deliver the news, he finds the lovable aunts who raised him are hiding a corpse and some madness in their family tree. Frank Capra (“It’s A Wonderful Life”) directs. 

Playing at the Michigan Theater Oct. 29. 

Seoul Station  – An animated prequel to 2016’s zombie movie sensation, “Train to Busan,” a man searches for his runaway daughter while the government tries to contain the initial zombie outbreak. In Korean with English subtitles. 

Playing at the State Theatre Oct. 12.

Muslim Horror Film Festival – According to the university event page, “Halaloween screens horror films from across the globe that were made by, for, or about Muslims, to understand: ‘What scares Muslim audiences? Are horror movies halal?'”

This year’s event will take place in person and online. The festival is free, but it is recommended that you reserve tickets. both in person and online, though make sure to reserve tickets. 

There will be two in-person screenings at the State Theatre, on Tuesday October 24 and 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Online festival information can be found here.

Playing at the State Theater Oct. 24 and 31. 

The Exorcist – This 50th anniversary screening contains 11 minutes of footage not shown in the film’s original release. Fifty years after its release, “The Exorcist” has lost none of its terrifying shock value. See it if you’re brave enough and accept no substitutes. This is a classic.

Playing at the State Theater Oct. 20 and 26.


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