Thursday, August 16, 2012

A [Sort of] Blockbuster Night

It's raining in Grand Rapids. This is some of the first rain we've had all summer, after weeks of sweltering 100 degree days, all I want to do is curl up and watch a movie. But instead of heading to the local Cinema, instead I'm going to head downtown to the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts (UICA).

The UICA has a 198 seat theater, fully stadiumed and equipped with comfy chairs that used to belong to Studio 28*. AND, there are some awesome films showing in the coming weeks.  

I advise that you make it a point to see something that may not have been born in Hollywood. 
First Position – August 17th
Follow six young dancers striving to enter the world of professional ballet—a world where practice and discipline are paramount, and nothing short of perfection is expected. 

Beats, Rhymes &Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
Free Screening, August 21st only

A documentary film about one of the most influential and groundbreaking groups in hip-hop history.

Trishna – August 24th

A powerful look at the tension between ancient privilege and modern equality based on Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

Queen of Versailles – August 31st

With the epic dimensions of a Shakespearean tragedy, this rags-to-riches documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis, uncovers innate virtues and flaws of the American dream. 

Detroipia – September 23rd
Detroit has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century—a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution. The spirit of the Motor City struggles to survive postindustrial America, refusing to abandon hope or resistance. 
(You could even make this a themed event, hit the movie and then head down the street to check out Cities in Transition at the GRAM.)

Sleepwalk with Me – September 28th

Comedian Mike Birbiglia plays a struggling stand-up comedian avoiding commitment, who finds his anxieties manifesting themselves in surreal bouts of sleepwalking in which his sub-conscious runs wild.

Visit the UICA website to see showtimes for these films and others as they continue to post their schedule. You can still have dinner and a movie, while going someplace different and unique to our city. 
*Studio 28's history is fascinating! I didn't know all this—but I do recall seeing quite a few movies there!


  1. I've heard great things about Queen of Versailles and Sleepwalk With Me - I just don't get to the theater that often! I have to remember to rent these when they come out...

  2. Update! - First Position was awesome. It opened last night, so there's still 6 days to see it. I laughed, I cried, it was beautifully done.

  3. I saw First Position last night. Aside from some images of gross dancer feet, it was really good. That's a nice theater and I was not disturbed by rude people talking and using their cell phones.