The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Kudos to the Matrix for hosting such a diverse array of visions of Detroit.
As temperatures continue to drop, it’s as good a time as any to catch up on your cinema. The Detroit Dreaming Film Festival (DDFF) took place over the course of last weekend (Jan 25-27). The festival, hosted by the Matrix Theatre Company covered a wide range of Detroit-centric topics in feature and short-length presentations. Detroit political oppression is examined in the feature Deforce, and the Brewster Douglass projects are the subject of the documentary short Brewster Douglass, You’re My Brother. Our School is a feature-length documentary examining the Detroit Public School system from the perspective of high school students. Detroit’s mirror to the wider world is held up in both the documentary short Death of an Imam, which explores the media treatment of FBI agents shooting and killing Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah in a Dearborn, Michigan warehouse, as well as Arabs, Jews, and the News, a short documentary dealing with the impact of war in the Middle East on ethnic counterparts in the Detroit Metro area. Saturday’s playbill featured a number of narrative stories, including the feature Detroit Winter, and the shorts Late, Best Girlfriends and Nain Rouge. The plots and characters were for the most part dark, set against the natural drama of the Detroit landscape.
From the director of Man on a Wire comes a powerful documentary that winds up right on our doorstep.
If you missed the opportunity to catch these unique and affecting Detroit stories, or if the DDFF just left you wanting more, you can catch Searching for Sugar Man in its current run at the Main Art Theater in Royal Oak. The documentary highlights the career of a musician seemingly lost in obscurity — at least as far as America is concerned — who turns out to be an international music sensation. The coming weekend also marks the kickoff of the Detroit Film Theatre's most popular event of the year, the screening of the 2013 Academy Award Nominated Short Films. The show will be running over the next three weekends, and it's suggested that you book your tickets in advance, as it routinely draws a sellout crowd.
Grab some Red Vines, silence your cell phone, and saddle up for cinema!
Matrix Theatre Company: 2730 Bagley St., Detroit; 313-967-0999; www.matrixtheatre.org Main Art Theater: 118 N. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-542-5198; www.landmarktheatres.com/market/detroit/mainarttheatre.htm Detroit Film Theatre: 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; www.dia.org/detroitfilmtheatre/14/DFT.aspx