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Michigan Theater welcomes films and conversations with two Ann Arbor natives

Mon, 08/24/2020 - 3:00pm by christopherporter

Logos for the films The Fight and Vinyl Nation

New films by or featuring two Ann Arbor-ites -- and conversations with both of them -- are landing at the Michigan Theater.

Writer and filmmaker Kevin Smokler seems more comfortable in a different era; maybe one from 30 to 40 years ago. Or at least Smokler's really comfortable covering a different era -- and we liked his book Brat Pack America: A Love Letter to '80s Teen Movies so much we interviewed him twice (October 2016 and June 2017).

Smokler's new film, Vinyl Nation, is about the past decade-plus revival of LPs, which no matter their cult popularity now, are still totems of the pre-CD '80s.

As an Ann Arbor native, Smokler was blessed with numerous fantastic records stores here while growing up, and he's lived in San Francisco for the past 20 years, another place where vinyl records never truly went out of style. Vinyl Nation is co-director and co-producer Smokler's love letter to the vinyl format, and the film is coming to his hometown starting Friday, August 28, at the Michigan Theater's virtual screening room

Smokler and Vinyl Nation co-director and co-producer Christopher Boone will also do a virtual Q&A about their documentary on Wednesday, September 2, 7 pm (Facebook event link).

The Fight documents the frontline lawyers for the ACLU fighting for abortion and trans rights, as well as trying to fight for the children and families who have been locked up thanks to the current administration's draconian immigration policy. You can also rent this movie from the Michigan Theater's virtual screening room, but first you can listen to an interview with one of the stars of The Fight, Brigitte Amiri, an Ann Arbor native and deputy director at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom ProjectAmiri talks to the Michigan Theater's Behind the Marquee podcast about the ins and outs and ups and downs of her profession and being the subject of a documentary.

Check out the trailers for both films:


Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.

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Christopher Porter