Thinking Outside the Multiplex

by MIKE MACCOLLUM

This is another one of those weeks to be more grateful than usual for the Georgetown 14. As this week’s three big national releases do their best to eliminate any sort of variety from theaters across Indiana, the G14 will be the only theater in the state showing My Name Is Khan – the only new limited-release film opening in Indiana on Friday. But even though this is a slow week for non-blockbuster theatrical releases here, there are two film festivals in the state over the weekend, and several classic films (two of them featuring Carole Lombard) will be shown this week as well. For all of the details – and information on the new movies starting in other states – read on below.

LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK

Celine: Through the Eyes of the World – Celine Dion’s 2008-2009 world tour is the focus of this concert documentary, which also features behind-the-scenes footage of Dion with her family, other musicians, and fans. Celine: Through the Eyes of the World will be shown at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, February 17 and Thursday, February 18, at seven theaters around Indiana: the Castleton Square 14 and the Kerasotes ShowPlace 16 & IMAX in Indianapolis, the Hamilton 16 and IMAX in Noblesville, the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, the Showplace Cinema East in Evansville, the Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne, and the Kerasotes ShowPlace 12 in Schererville. Six other screenings are scheduled at various times over the next two weeks; see the film’s official site for more information.

Kedi – Just after I typed up something about how this Telugu-language film from India apparently did not have anything like an official site, I found a page for the film on the site of its US distributor. Unfortunately, even that page provides absolutely nothing in the way of a plot summary. From this trailer on youtube – and other limited information I’ve found on the web – Kedi looks like an action/romance film about a gambler (and con man?) with a fondness for card games. Kedi started Thursday, February 11, at the Britton 8 in Tampa, FL, Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove, IL, the Galaxy Cinema in Cary, NC, and the FunAsia Bollywood Cinema in Houston, TX. Ten other theaters (three in California, two in New Jersey, and one each in Virginia, Texas, Georgia, Illinois and Michigan) will start showing Kedi on February 12, while two other screens (one in Texas, the other in Connecticut) will have four-day runs starting on February 13 and 14, respectively. Moreover, seventeen theaters across the US had or will have one or two day runs (or one or two showings) of Kedi in the period ranging from Thursday, February 11 through Wednesday, February 17. According to the page linked above, one of those theaters was the Great Escape 10 in Noblesville, which supposedly had an 8 PM showing on February 11 – something that I found out late in the day on February 11 itself. I write “supposedly” because I checked the theater’s schedule page for February 11 – and not only was Kedi not listed there, I can’t see how they could have squeezed in another movie in the 8 to 10+ time period… at least not without canceling the showing of some other movie. I suspect that something like that probably did happen, however – which is the long-winded explanation for why I switched this title at the last minute from the “Opening Elsewhere” section to here.

My Name Is Khan – Bollywood’s reigning superstar Shah Rukh Khan is Rizvan Khan, a Muslim man from India who moves to San Francisco and falls in love with Mandira. The couple gets married and launches a small business, but the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 lead to turmoil in their relationship. When Mandira leaves him, Rizvan (who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome) is heartbroken – and he leaves San Francisco on a difficult voyage across America to win back Mandira. My Name is Khan starts Friday at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis; the film’s international site has some content not available on the site linked above.

THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK

Blood Creek – For some unfathomable reason, Joel Schumacher’s crummy “horror” movie returns to the big screen in Indiana with an engagement at the Merrillville 10 in (where else?) Merrillville.

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day – Continues this week at the Starplex Coventry 13 in Fort Wayne, with two shows per day (at 6:50 and 9:20 PM).

Broken Embraces – Penelope Cruz stars in Pedro Almodovar’s latest film, which will be shown at 6:30 and 9:30 PM on Friday, February 12, and Saturday, February 13, at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema.

An Education – Carey Mulligan received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in Lone Scherfig’s drama, which holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema and Glendale Mall ShowPlace 12 in Indianapolis, and the Eastside 9 in Lafayette. The Keystone Art Cinema will have two shows per day (at 1:45 and 8:30 PM), while the Eastside 9 will have show An Education at 5:10 and 7:20 PM daily, with 11:55 PM showings added on Friday and Saturday nights. An Education will also be screened at the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne through Monday, February 15.

Harold and Maude – Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon star in Hal Ashby’s 1971 cult comedy, which will be shown this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at IU’s Fine Arts building in Bloomington. Harold and Maude is The Ryder’s annual Valentine’s Day movie.

Harvest Moon Film Festival – On its official site, this festival states that it “aims to provide the regional community with a gathering of films and filmmakers celebrating the Midwest” and “provides opportunities for the community to experience the art of film and promotes Midwestern filmmaking.” The Harvest Moon Film Festival runs through Saturday, February 13 at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts (in Muncie) and the Muncie Civic Theatre. For more details, visit the festival’s official site.

Herzsprung – The title of this 1992 film refers to a (real) small town in Eastern Germany. The residents aren’t exactly thrilled about the recent German reunification, since a fair number have lost their jobs since the fall of East Germany. Single mother Johanna is one of the jobless Herzsprungers; she scandalizes her fellow villagers when she falls in love with an outsider. Herzsprung is part of the WENDE FLICKS series of films from the last days of East Germany’s DEFA Studios; it will be shown for free at 7 PM on Sunday, February 14, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington. A question and answer session will follow the screening.

The Human Body – This 2001 IMAX documentary exploring a typical twenty-four hour period inside of a human body will be shown once this week (at 10 AM on Wednesday, February 17) at the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum

Indy Film Bootcamp Screening – “What is this?” you might wonder. Well, I don’t know – I could find no further information about this event on the Earth House Collective site when I checked on Thursday afternoon, and a Google search using that title turned up nothing as well. Whatever the “Indy Film Bootcamp Screening” is, it will take place at 7 PM on Thursday, February 18, at the Earth House Collective in Indianapolis.

Jump Tomorrow – Tunde Adebimpe and Natalia Verbeke star in this 2001 romantic comedy/drama about a Nigerian man in the US with second thoughts about his upcoming arranged marriage – especially after he meets another woman. It will be shown through Tuesday, February 16, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.

Lewis and Clark: The Great Journey West – This 2002 film will be showing this week at the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.

The Maid – Raquel, the longtime maid to an upper-class Chilean family, has worked for them for such a long time that she almost seems like part of the family – but not quite. Although devoted to her work, she is increasingly plagued by headaches and other health issues- not to mention a gloomy, downcast state of mind. The family tries to help out Raquel by hiring a series secondary maid to assist her – but Raquel has other ideas, and tries to drive them away… until the family hires Lucy, who may help Raquel turn her life around. The Maid will be shown on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Bloomington, by way of The Ryder Magazine and Film Series.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith – There’s no Brangelina in this Mr. & Mrs. Smith – the film showing at the Indianapolis Central Library on Sunday is the 1941 film of the same title, which stars Indiana native Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery (CarRob?)… and which was directed by none other than Alfred Hitchcock. In spite of that, this Mr. & Mrs. Smith apparently has no mystery, suspense, or murders; instead, it’s a comedy about a married couple who find out that they aren’t really married after all, due to a legal technicality. Mr. & Mrs. Smith will be shown at 2 PM on February 14 at the Indianapolis Central Library’s Clowes Auditorium; the screening is part of the “Hoosiers in Hollywood” film series, and will be introduced by David Smith, who wrote the book Hoosiers in Hollywood. (And while there’s no mention of this on the library’s page for this event, other films in the “Hoosiers in Hollywood” series had no admission fee – so I expect this one will be free as well.)

Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs – Christopher Lee – who played a mummy himself back in the day – narrates this 2007 documentary, which will be showing this week at the IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis.

My Man Godfrey – Carole Lombard and William Powell star in this classic comedy from 1936, which will be presented by local film historian and preservationist Eric Grayson starting at 8 PM on Saturday, February 13.  My Man Godfrey will be shown at the Garfield Park Arts Center on the south side of Indianapolis; the title for the event is “Vintage Movie Night: Anti-Valentine’s Day.” The calendar listing for this event says that free “Anti-Valentine’s Day treats” will be included, and notes that a $2 donation for Vintage Movie Night “is appreciated.”

Omer Fast: The Casting – This fourteen minute, four channel video installation continues at the Indianapolis Museum of Art through February 21, 2010. The piece intercuts excerpts from the artist’s conversations with a soldier about to leave for his second tour of duty in Iraq with footage of actors mimicking the dialogue.

Otello – The Salzburg Opera’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera – which was based on Shakespeare’s play, Othello – will be shown at 1 PM on Sunday, February 14, at the Rave Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne.

Preacher’s Kid – Angie (the preacher’s kid of the title) wants to escape her father’s strict control – but once she does, she eventually starts to wonder whether being on the road with a theatrical troupe is what she really wants out of life. Preacher’s Kid holds over for another week at the Eagle Highlands 10 in Indianapolis.

Red Cliff – John Woo’s latest film – about a massive, history-changing battle from 208 AD, in which the soldiers of two warlords joined forces against the Chinese Emperor’s much larger army – will show once daily (at 5:10 PM) this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

The Road – Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce and Charlize Theron face the end of the world this week at the Starplex Coventry 13 in Fort Wayne, which will have daily showings of The Road at 7:25 and 9:45.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show – The seventies cult perennial screens again at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis this Saturday night at 10 PM.

Simon Boccanegra – Placido Domingo sings the title role in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of this work by Giuseppe Verdi, which is described on the event’s official site as a “gripping political thriller” about “a father and his lost daughter.” James Levine conducts the orchestra for this production, which will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema at 1 PM on Sunday, February 14.

A Single Man – Colin Firth stars with Julianne Moore in this drama, which continues for another week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, the Showplace Cinema East in Evansville (which will have one show per day), the ShowPlace East 11 in Bloomington (with two showings per day), and the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.

Sin Nombre – Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna were two of the executive producers of this 2009 drama/thriller about a Honduran teenage girl and a fugitive gang member who meet on a train bound for the US; it will be shown at 6:30 and 9:30 PM on Thursday, February 18, at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema.

Super Why: Attack of the Eraser – The Kidtoons film-of-the-month for February, Super Why is about several superheroes (including Super Why himself) who go on two adventures in reading. (So in other words, this is apparently two short cartoons joined together to make one shortish feature for kiddie matinees.) In “Comic Book: Attack of the Eraser,” the characters are inside a comic book, and must stop the bad guy “Eraser” from rubbing out the words; in “The Big Game,” the hero-kids learn why practice is so important. The Showplace East in Evansville will have Super Why daily at 11 AM this week, while the Rave Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne will show it at 11:35 AM on Saturday and Sunday only. The Studio 10 in Shelbyville will also show the film on Saturday and Sunday only, but at 1 and 3:30 PM, while the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis will have Saturday/Sunday screenings at 1 and 2:35 PM; the Encore Park 14 in Elkhart and the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne will also have Saturday and Sunday showings of Super Why, at 11 AM and 1 PM, respectively.

Three-Minute Film Festival – A “new festival of three-minute films from all over the world,” this event will take place from 7 to 9 PM on Saturday, February 13, at the Studio Art Classes building in Mishawaka; admission (appropriately enough) is $3. Click on the fest’s home page for a list of scheduled titles and the filmmakers behind them.

To Save a Life – This drama about a teen who is a popular, successful student at his high school – but finds that he must reevaluate his life after a tragic incident involving one of his childhood friends – holds over for another week at the Galaxy 14 in Indianapolis and the Eastside 9 in Lafayette.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg – Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo star in Jacques Demy’s 1964 romantic musical/drama, which will be shown in (35 mm) at 7 PM on Friday, February 12, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theatre. Matt Socey of WFYI will introduce the film.

Under the Sea 3D – You can go deep – both water-wise and dimensionally – with this 2009 IMAX 3D documentary, which will be showing again this week at the IMAX Theater in the Indiana State Museum.

The Wild Bunch – William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan Edmond O’Brien, Warren Oates and Ben Johnson head the cast of Sam Peckinpah’s viokent 1969 Western; it will be shown at 3 PM on Saturday, February 13, at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema.

William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe – Two daughters of the now-deceased radical lawyer co-directed this documentary about their father, who took on some very unpopular clients – not all of them with the sort of politically-charged cases for which Kunstler is remembered today. The Indianapolis International Film Festival and the Indianapolis Museum of Art will present a screening of William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe at 7 or 7:30 PM* on Thursday, February 18, at the IMA’s Toby Theatre; after the film, there will be a question and answer session with Fran Quigley and attorneys Richard Waples and JauNae Hanger. (*Regarding the start time: 7 is the time on the IMA’s site, but 7:30 is the time that appears twice in an ad for the film on page four of this week’s NUVO. You might want to call the IMA to see which time is correct.)

The Young Victoria – Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Jim Broadbent, Miranda Richardson, Paul Bettany and Thomas Kretschmann are in the cast of this period drama, which holds over for another week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis and the ShowPlace 16 in Schererville; it also shows through Monday, February 15, at the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne.

OPENING ELSEWHERE – Broken record time here – once again, none of the movies in this section has more than a glimmer of a chance of making it to a theater in Indiana. There is, however, one thing about this week’s limited releases that set them apart – it looks like the three would-be blockbusters going into national release on Friday have scared off most small-scale movie distributors… leading to a much-smaller-than-usual number of titles going into limited release this week, even in New York and (especially) Los Angeles.

American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein – If you’ve never heard of the controversial Mr. FInkelstein, then you may want to check out this documentary. According to the film’s official site, Finkelstein is the “devoted son of Holocaust survivors” and an “ardent critic of Israel and US Mid-East policy” who has been called “a lunatic and disgusting self-hating Jew by some, and an inspirational street-fighting revolutionary by others.” American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein started Thursday, February 11, at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

Barefoot to Timbuktu – Actually, this documentary is about an oasis settlement called Araouane – which is (according to the film’s official site) “seven days by camel from Timbuktu” – and the outsider who attempts to assist the village. That outsider would be Ernst Aebi, a Swiss-American artist whose 1989 journey across the Sahara went through Araouane. Aebi was disheartened to see that the settlement was being buried by desert sands – and that, along with the poverty of Araouane’s residents, leads to his efforts to help the villagers out of their desperate situation. After three years of hard work, there are several signs of success, but a civil war in Mali forces Aebi to depart. For a number of reasons, Aebi is unable to return for over fifteen years – and he does not know what has happened to the village and its inhabitants while he was gone…. Barefoot to Timbuktu starts Friday, February 12, at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Life As Lincoln – Three Abraham Lincoln impersonators from the Midwest are featured in this documentary, which highlights how their appearances as America’s sixteenth president have changed their lives – and their views of “honest Abe.” Life as Lincoln will be shown several times this week at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, starting on Friday, February 12.

October Country – The problems facing the working-class Mosher family are the subject of this documentary, which was shot over the year-long period between one Halloween and the next one. October Country – described on its official site as a “collaboration between filmmaker Michael Palmieri and photographer and family member Donal Mosher” – starts Friday, February 12, at the IFC Center in New York City.

Order of Chaos – Actor VInce Vieluf (Clay Pigeons; Rat Race) wrote and directed this drama about John, an agreeable, straight-arrow type whose life is thrown into turmoil when Rick – a man with a very different personality – joins John’s law firm and moves into his apartment building. John soon starts to view Rick and others around him as enemies – and as he grows increasingly paranoid and delusional, John turns into the sort of person he used to despise…. Rhys Corio, Milo Ventimiglia, Samantha Mathis and Mimi Rogers star in this film, which starts Friday, February 12, at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood

Promised Lands – This one slipped under my radar last week, so I’m listing it in this week’s column. Promised Lands is a 1974 documentary about the long-running conflicts between Arabs and Israelis in the Middle East – and the discussion (and disagreements) within Israel over the issue of Palestinian independence. The theatrical re-release of Promised Lands – the only documentary directed by writer and four-time filmmaker Susan Sontag – started on Thursday, February 4, at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

To Die for Tano – Why is a 1997 Italian musical comedy about the mob just now opening in the US? That I do not know – but it is. To Die for Tano was filmed in Palermo with a non-professional cast, and is based on the story of a real-life Mafioso – and the much more enjoyable lives of his four sisters following his death. To Die for Tano – which won a number of Italian film prizes, and which reportedly features at least one violent scene, in spite of the mostly comic tone – starts Friday, February 12, at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Videocracy – Director Erik Gandini’s documentary focuses on the modern-day Italy that has resulted from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s decades-long control of the vast majority of the nation’s private television channels – along with how Berlusconi’s control of media and (more recent) political power reinforce each other, and lull many Italians (including many in the media) into not challenging the communications magnate and politician. Videocracy starts Friday, February 12, at the IFC Center in New York City.

NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND

Indianapolis’ Keystone Art Cinema has changed one start date on its page this week: The Last Station has been pushed up a week, and is now scheduled to open at the theater on February 19. Other dates are unchanged from last week – The Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2010- Animated and The Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2010- Live Action are still supposed to start on February 19, and The White Ribbon is still set to open on February 26. Meanwhile, one new title appeared on the Keystone Art Cinema’s page this past week: Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, which has a (tentative) start date of March 5.

The colorized (and slightly edited) version of the 1957 Telugu-language film Maya Bazaar mentioned in the “Opening Elsewhere” section last week is now scheduled to play at the Georgetown 14 on Sunday, February 21, at 3, 6, and 9 PM – or at least that was the case the last time I checked the manoranjaninc.com site; they might have added (or dropped) a showing or two since then. Also, the manoranjaninc site now says that the Tamil-language romantic drama Vinnaithandi Varuvaayaa (Will You Cross the Skies for Me?) has three showings scheduled at the G14 – at 6 and 9:15 PM on Friday, February 26, and 5:30 PM on Saturday, February 27.

In other Georgetown 14 news, that theater will have several screenings of the concert film Serj Tankian: Elect the Dead Symphony next weekend – as will Bloomington’s Ryder Magazine and Film Series. According to its official page, Serj Tankian: Elect the Dead Symphony features Grammy winner Tankian’s “operatic vocals” backed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra playing orchestral arrangements of the “epic songs” from Tankian’s album “Elect the Dead.” The G14 will have the film at 7 PM on Friday, February 19, through Sunday, February 21, while it will screen in Bloomington at 7 and 10:30 PM on February 19 and 20.

A few recent postings on the Mobius Home Video Forum (mhvf.net) noted that the 2010 HorrorHound Weekend – which will take place March 26-28 at the Marriott Indianapolis East – will have the first public screening of a 145-minute workprint of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed (which ran a mere 102 minutes in its theatrical release version, according to the IMDb). For more information on the event – including special guests who are scheduled to attend, such as George A. Romero, Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson, Joe Bob Briggs, and Clive Barker himself – click here.

And while Woody Harrelson’s Academy Award nomination and the nomination for Best Original Screenplay have yet to result in any Indianapolis-area screenings for The Messenger, it will start at Fort Wayne’s Cinema Center on Friday, February 19, according to the Cinema Center’s site.

Non-theatrical and revival screenings for next Friday:

The Last Picture Show – Timothy Bottoms, Cybill Shepherd, Jeff Bridges, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn, Ben Johnson, Eileen Brennan, Clu Gulager and Randy Quaid are all in Peter Bogdanovich’s classic 1971 film (from Larry McMurtry’s novel); it will be shown at 7 PM on Friday, February 19, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theatre.

Miracle at St. Anna – Spike Lee’s 2008 drama about World War 2 (and a shooting that takes place decades later) will be shown at 7 PM on Friday, February 19, at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema.

**********

Commentary Track reviews of movies featured in this week’s edition of Thinking Outside the Multiplex:
An Education
Miracle at St. Anna
A Single Man
The Young Victoria

3 responses to “Thinking Outside the Multiplex

  1. The Mumbai premiere of My Name is Khan became a flashpoint for sectarian violence – last week the city’s main Hindu ultranationalist group vandalized and threatened theaters that were planning to show it (and succeeded in keeping most of them dark yesterday). The latest news report was that police had arrested more than 2,500 (!) people in connection with the protests and vandalism. The movie is being attacked in proxy for Shah Rukh Khan after he gave an interview saying – wait for it… – that Indian cricket teams should recruit talented Pakistani players. The prevailing political analysis is that the violent protest campaign is primarily an attempt to re-establish the group’s credentials with its political base in the face of the growing power of a rival, and even more extreme, group to which it lost many of its voters in a recent election.

  2. I heard about the boycotts and so on- and what led to them- on the BBC news on WFYI. Talk about blowing something way out of proportion…. At least the boycotts seemed to be over and done with, last I heard.

  3. A few updates. First, the Telugu language film Leader may open at 8 PM this Thursday night at the Georgetown 14, “depending on print availability”, according to the manoranjaninc site.

    Also, I missed more than a few movies that opened out of state last Friday- two Chinese New Year’s movies, 72 Tenants of Prosperity and All’s Well Ends Well Too 2010, are both playing at the 4 Star Theater in San Francisco this week; the war drama The Red Baron opened in Fort Lauderdale, and La Grand Chef 2: Kimchi Wars opened at the M Park 4 in LA- while Shanghai Red showed up on the Variety Domestic Boxoffice chart not as a new release, but as a film that was first released eleven weeks before Feb. 12! Most of these movies (except the first two, apparently) are holding over and/or expanding next week; all will be covered in the “Opening Elsewhere” section of this Friday’s column.

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s