The curtain falls

(Editor’s Note: As the University administration seeks to protect its budget and reduce expenses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Today has been asked to temporarily suspend its freelance budget. This affects our talented and much-loved columnists, like Frank, who is taking what we hope is just a temporary intermission. His columns are archived here. We will miss you, Frank.)

Roll credits

Michigan Theater marquis during COVID-19, April 2020

Michigan Theater marquee during COVID-19 pandemic, April 2020. (Image: D. Holdship.)

Hello, dear readers:

Talking About Movies in Michigan Today has been a wonderful, decades-long opportunity for me to share my thoughts and love for motion pictures, an artistic medium with wide-ranging cultural, social, political, and historical implications.

I’m writing to express my gratitude to all of you who read the columns and enriched them with your own enlightened ‘end-of-article’ comments. Many of you were former students and your emails were special and heartwarming. Thank you all.

I must thank Michigan Today’s former editors John Woodford (who ran the publication when it was printed and mailed by the USPS), John Lofy, who is executive director of marketing and communications at LSA now, and current editor Deborah Holdship. I am grateful for their collaborative and editorial expertise in preparing each column for release. THANK YOU.

Rightfully and understandably Talking About Movies’ departure from this publication has been a result of budgetary restraints for the University of Michigan in a time of dire institutional and public health challenges.

I look forward to the day when we can return to the theater and enjoy the movies together.

I hope you all will stay in touch. My e-mail hasn’t changed in decades and I do love hearing from you:


  1. Tim Artist - 1979, 1982

    Hope that you and your column return – soon! It will be missed as it’s the one thing I read in Michigan Today. Take care and thank you!


  2. Jill Chukerman - MA, 1982

    I agree with Tim–yours is the column I read in every issue! Hope you are well and we see your writing again soon!


  3. john woodford

    I hope it’s just, “Hasta la vista, Baby” so far as your splendid and long contributions to our screen enjoyments go, Frank.


  4. Jeff Petrash - 1969

    Thank you for keeping us connected since I took your class in 1969! Come back soon!


  5. Johannes von Moltke

    Sorry to see your column suspended, dear colleague: I’ve always enjoyed reading it and hearing your distinctive voice come through. Here’s hoping for Talking About Movies 2.0!


  6. John Nelson - 1976

    I also agree with Tim Artist’s opening post. Michigan Today is always wonderful but Frank’s column was the thing I always read. It was like having a cup of coffee with an old friend and catching up on the current state of the art form. Come back soon Frank.


  7. N.M. Pyne - 1972

    I agree with the previous comments – Prof. Beaver’s column has always been the first (and sometimes only) item I’ve read in Michigan Today. My brother and I took his class in 1969 and it transformed the way we look at films. Wonderful memories – thank you, Prof. Beaver!


  8. Bob Megginson

    Hey, Frank, I’ll join the vast majority of the known universe in wishing that this is a short intermission! Actually, I do not think I have seen a movie in a theater with an intermission since I last saw How the West Was Won. I’ll be very happy if this is just the administrative equivalent of giving me a chance to run out to grab popcorn and run back to see if Debbie Reynolds is going to make it back into the film. Come to think of it, I’ll go nuke a bag of Orville Redenbacher’s finest right now, and having now planted that wonderful earwig, Home on the Meadow to the tune of Greensleeves, in my head, sit down and think about the golden age of movie theaters and all the times you’ve been my guide to their offerings as both art and entertainment. Thanks much! — Bob


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