Ann Arbor Theaters Screen New and Classic Films in May

What’s New

Beau is Afraid” now playing at Michigan Theater

Ari Aster’s new film, “Beau is Afraid,” has been heralded as dark comedy genius not for the faint of heart. While Aster’s “Midsommar” and “Heredity” were dark minus the comedy, he’s proven to be an undeniably talented, visionary, filmmaker. 

Joaquin Phoenix plays Beau, a man riddled with anxiety who plans to fly home to see his mother on the anniversary of his father’s death, but the travel itself doesn’t go as planned, leading Beau on a Homeric journey. 

Phoenix delivers a stellar performance along with an incredible supporting cast including Parker Posey, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, Bill Hader, and Nathan Lane.

Master Gardener” opens at Michigan Theater on May 20

Writer and director Paul Schrader’s (“American Gigolo”, “Light Sleeper”, “First Reformed”) film, “Master Gardener” stars Joel Edgerton as meticulous horticulturist, Narvel Roth, devoted to the grounds of a beautiful estate who must pander to his wealthy employer (Sigourney Weaver). 

Roth has crafted an idyllic sanctuary until his troubled niece arrives seeking apprenticeship and all he’s created starts to unravel – laying bare a violent past that threatens to upend his new life. 

Special Events

Labyrinth” plays at Michigan Theater on May 12

The eighties were a great time for fantasy film — a genre we haven’t seen enough of since. 

Labyrinth” stars a fourteen-year-old Jennifer Connelly and rock legend David Bowie. Connelly plays Sarah, a rebellious teen whose mother died when she was little. In the tradition of many Grimms Fairy Tales, her dad remarries a stepmother who makes her feel like a nanny to her new baby brother whom she’s often unfairly saddled with.  Sarah escapes by reading fairy tales.

One stormy night her baby brother won’t stop crying and she wishes the Goblin King would take her brother Toby away. To her shock, the Goblin King (David Bowie) takes Toby and Sarah must solve the dangers of the Labyrinth to get him back. The dreamchild of Jim Henson who directed, the film is loaded with innovative puppets designed by Brian Froud (“The Dark Crystal“), whose son plays Toby.

An exquisite soundtrack, Bowie’s performance, and script in part by Monty Python’s Terry Jones, help make this one a classic. 

The Michigan presents the screening with a live action performance by the Goblin King Players synched to the film and a singalong for an enchanting immersive experience! 

Man with a Movie Camera” plays at Michigan Theater on May 9 

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention. A quasi-documentary that pushed the bounds of filmmaking in its time while chronicling the life of a city in Russia from sunup to sundown. A live score accompanies the film. 

This free screening is made possible by the Estate of Bud Bates. Reserve free tickets while they last. 


2001 A Space Odyssey”  plays at Michigan Theater on May 20

Directed by Stanley Kubrick, this film is  one of the most influential films of all time. A must see on the big screen, it plays as part of the Science on Screen series featuring a post-film discussion with Professor Mark Moldwin (University of Michigan Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering).

Spaceballs plays at Michigan Theater on May 22 

A cult favorite and hilarious parody of “Star Wars” starring John Candy, Mel Brooks, and Bill Pullman. 

8 ½” plays at the State Theatre on May 28 and 30

A Fellini classic starring Marcello Mastroianni as a troubled filmmaker trying to get over his creative block and get a new movie off the ground, 8 ½ plays as part of Cultura d’italia series. 

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