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  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’

    She welcomes you when you enter Detroit, from every direction, with the one word that might just be Detroit’s biggest philosophical question: Injured? Joumana Kayrouz is deeper than the inflated image watching over Detroit, peddling justice to the poor and broken of the city. This Wednesday, Drew Philp takes us behind the billboard and into the heart of the Kayrouz quest. (And all of Brian Rozman’s photos of Kayrouz have not been retouched.) Check out MT‘s cover story, on newsstands Wednesday!

    The post Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt

    There was a fire in an upstairs apartment at PJ’s Lager House on Monday evening. No people were hurt, although three cats belonging to the tenants died after CPR. The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. during a show featuring Zombie Jesus & the Chocolate Sunshine Band, Curtin, and Jeffrey Jablonsky. “We just smelled smoke and someone yelled everyone has to get out,” 33-year-old Nick Leu told MLive. On the Lager House Facebook page in the early hours of the morning, a post said, “We at PJ’s lager House would like to thank everyone for their care and concern. Also, a very big THANK YOU to all who stepped up to do what they could this evening. The fire was contained to the upstairs but due to water damage in the bar, we will be closed until it can be assessed. Everyone is safe and we will keep you updated.” A later update read, “Update from the big boss. Since there was no damage to the stage side of the bar, the show will go on tomorrow! You may have to enter through the back door and there may not be a large selection of booze but we are going […]

    The post Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Review: Holy Motors

Stop this crazy thing! Puzzling, absurd and over-the-top, Leos Carax’s latest impresses our critic

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Holy Motors | A-

Welcome to the latest in WTF cinema, the kind of movie that critics love, general audiences loathe and cinephiles puzzle over. Leos Carax’s Holy Motors is French, cryptic, absurd, garish and completely unfettered from a traditional plot line. Think of it as a flamboyant cinematic serpent swallowing its own tail or a deranged magical mystery tour that, if you’re game, will crawl under your skin and bounce around your brain for days afterward. What does it mean? What do you want it to mean?

Less a story and more a series of performance vignettes, we experience a day in the life of Monsieur Alex Oscar (Denis Lavant) — the name is an anagram of the director’s non de plume — a professional role-player who is driven in white stretch limo to a set of nine appointments scripted by his mysterious boss (Michel Piccoli) for mysterious purposes. At each, Oscar assumes a new guise, nay, complete persona, transforming himself into cool businessman, a homeless old gypsy woman, a sewer-dwelling freak, or a computer game motion capture model. He assassinates a man, abducts a fashion model (Eva Mendez), plays accordion in a renegade musical band, and gasps for life as a dying old man. He even gets stabbed and shot — though always emerges unscathed for the new assignment. Sometimes the performances have a purpose, sometimes no one seems to be watching or care. With every character, he completely immerses himself, never once breaking the reality he’s tasked with creating. Mr. Oscar has been doing this for 20 years, and while the money has clearly been good (he lives in an opulent home with many high end cars) it’s clear he’s grown weary of the business (whatever that is).

It’s obvious that Carax is trading on the meta notion that everything we are watching is a movie and therefore none of this is real and therefore anything can and will happen. The movie opens with a man waking to find a portal into a movie theater playing The Crowd only to then emphasize how we are watching him and down the rabbit hole we go. Intertwining satire (there’s a terrific passing joke with a cemetery tombstone reading: “visit my website”), fantasy and nightmare, Carax constructs a funhouse mirror maze of movie references, riffing on Lang, Cocteau and Buñuel as well as Carax’s own films. On and on it goes until late into the night: a mad act of cannibalism, an emotional exchange between father and daughter, gangster-like intrigue, a rooftop romance under Parisian stars. Even Mr. Oscar’s refined limo driver is played by Edith Scob, who 50 years ago was the daughter in Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face.

Who do others need us to be? Who do we need to be for ourselves? Holy Motors examines the liquidity of identity without ever being pedantic, inviting you to become a participant by purposefully evading specific intent or interpretation. It is a conversation about our “other” selves, a reflection on who we are asked to become in our day-to-day encounters, and the way we all blur the line between living and acting. Or as T.S. Elliot wrote: “To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; There will be time to murder and create.”

Holy Motors is also, however, a glorious exercise in crackpot overindulgence. There are times when the movie seems too willfully weird, too in love with outré conceits and the martyrdom of performance. It’s those moments that’ll test the most open-minded film lover. But Carax is theatrical by nature, a showman who has found the perfect chameleon in his longtime collaborator Levant. With an incredibly expressive face and a physicality that seems to morph into each and every role, Levant is given a rare showcase for his unique and mesmerizing talents.

As we learn that Mr. Oscar’s assignments are part of an elaborate performance art installation played to hidden cameras for the entertainment of others, Carax’s observations on life, shifting identities and collective dreaming ultimately take on a wry, almost ironic tone. Is something real if no one believes in it? Then why go on? A notion of obsolescence is returned to again and again, and one can’t help but wonder if the film, which revels in the past but employs the digital technologies of today, is presenting itself as proof of its own demise. A final scene with Kylie Minogue arriving by white limo, singing about time, and jumping to her death, along with the final credit image of Carax’s late wife, Katerina Golubeva, who took her own life, suggest that, for all of Holy Motors’ crazed playfulness and anarchic indulgences in cosmic renewal, there’s a devastating sense of loss that haunts its creation. mt

In French with English subtitles.

Shows at 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Jan. 25-26, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Detroit Film Theatre, inside the DIA, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-3237.

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