” Oh no ! Not the bees! If you’re unaware of your Nicolas Cage memes, this snippet of dialogue is shouted out by the actor in a scene from 2006’s “The Wicker Man.” It’s one of his hottest cinematic moments. , at least in terms of sharing on social networks.
This also explains the name of the “Yes, the bees!” event, which takes place in Detroit on Sunday and includes a film and an excursion illustrating the importance of bees for all living things.
Cinema Detroit is hosting this dazzling journey for the bees that will begin with a screening of “The Wicker Man,” a moody thriller that involves a spooky mystery on a small rural island filled with creaking barns, cursed crops and mind-blowing ritual. which rivals 2019’s bizarre “Midsommar.”
“The Wicker Man” is considered a classic among Cage’s many guilty pleasure films, so expect some rather inaccurate depictions of bees engaged in what might be called Cage matches.
After the film, the real world of bees will be explored in a presentation by Timothy Paule Jackson and Nicole Lindsey of Detroit Hives, their non-profit company dedicated to helping create sustainable communities by turning vacant lots into welcoming spaces for bees and pollinators.
Next comes the most innovative part of the day – a visit to Detroit Hives and an exclusive tour with round-trip bus transport.
Bee there or bee… too bad.
“Yes, the bees! is the third Science on Screen presentation hosted by Cinema Detroit, which this year joined nearly 100 theaters nationwide participating in the initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theater in Massachusetts and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. It creatively combines films with presentations by science and technology experts.
In April, Cinema Detroit showed 2016’s “The Nice Guys,” starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe and featuring a storyline involving catalytic converters. The screening included a presentation by a seasoned engineer who discussed future sustainability in the automotive industry.
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Then, in May, the theater paired 2013’s “A Birder’s Guide to Everything,” a coming-of-age story about birdwatchers starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, with a lecture on common birds in Detroit by Feral Detroit founder and conservationist Melissa McLeod.
Cinema Detroit co-owner Paula Guthat, who chose the films and themes for the three Science on Screen events, says the goal is to use commercially-oriented mainstream films as a way to address important environmental issues.
“The film is entertaining at best, but it is also thought-provoking. I hope these programs will at least provoke thought and hopefully provoke action, as each offers actions people could take to help the environment,” she said.
“The Wicker Man” is a good fit for Cinema Detroit, which dates back to Detroit’s annual (and lovingly irreverent) Nicolas UnCaged festival and benefited from this year’s UnCaged fundraising gala at the Senate Theater.
For Detroit Hives, partnering with independent Cinema Detroit is an inventive way to publicize their mission, which has already garnered national media attention and won the group a Spirit of Detroit award.
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According to Jackson, it was a bitter cold in the winter of 2016 that introduced him to the benefits of local raw honey and sparked an interest that led him and his fiancee, Nicole Lindsey, to purchase a vacant lot in 2017 and to launch an urban bee. cultivate.
Since then, Detroit Hives has conducted over 800 educational tours and currently manages over 50 bee colonies in the area. It does so while committing to the multiple goals of revitalizing economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and improving their food security, turning the city’s narrative into a positive theme, and raising awareness of why bees – whose populations have plummeted in recent years – are so vital to the food chain.
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“What we do as part of our mission is that we work to improve underserved communities for the benefit of both people and pollinators. … This is an impact from within outward in our community. We are Detroiters creating real change,” Jackson said.
Jackson describes bees as “often misunderstood”. Sometimes they’re frowned upon by Hollywood productions like “The Swarm,” a 1978 Irwin Allen disaster film that depicted killer bees wiping out small towns. Other times people don’t like them because they confuse bees with types of wasps like hornets or yellowjackets.
What Jackson wants people to realize is that Michigan is home to over 450 species of bees native to the state that live side by side with us in peace. “Most people are surrounded and coexist with 467 native bee species,” he says.
As for “The Wicker Man”, it’s about a cop (Nicolas Cage) who is called in to help find the missing daughter of his former fiancee, who lives on a small island, Summerisle off the state of Washington. The community is led by women who call each other “sister”, dress in the clothes of yesteryear and hold rituals about death and rebirth.
The island’s main source of income appears to be honey, which is produced in beehives arranged in a maze-like fashion that Cage runs through in desperation. Did we mention that her character is allergic to bees? You had the idea.
“The Wicker Man,” a remake of a 1973 film, was written and directed by Neil LaBute (“In the Company of Men”), who was born in Detroit and raised in Spokane, Washington. Although it was a box office flop, it has since gained cult status for its generally gripping plot and, in particular, Cage’s intense, over-the-top emotion.
Particularly notorious is the “Not the bees!” torture scene that involves — spoiler alert! — Cage having a close encounter with bees while wearing a mesh helmet on his head. This scene was cut from the theatrical release, but thanks to DVD and YouTube, it has become essential for Cage fans.
Earlier this year, IndieWire wrote that Cage had recently opened up about how he and LaBute were into ‘The Wicker Man’ joke at the time: “I know people had fun with it, even though they thought the comedy wasn’t intentional. I’m gonna tape right now: It’s not a fact. Neil and I both knew how funny it was.”
But could they have guessed that it would eventually be part of an educational experience? If this field trip goes well, you never know. There could be a “Please, More Bees” in the future of Cinema Detroit.
Contact Detroit Free Press pop culture critic Julie Hinds at [email protected]
“Yes, the bees! »
Screening of the film “The Wicker Man” followed by a presentation and a field trip to Detroit Hives
4126 Third Avenue, Detroit
$25 (round trip bus transportation included)