Thinking Outside the Multiplex (April 9, 2010)

by MIKE MACCOLLUM

It’s a good week in Indianapolis for those among us who like to see veteran actors on the big screen, with Frankenstein Rising and The Runaways opening at the G14 and Landmark Keystone Art Cinema respectively. In other good news, the KAC has started showing art movies again. Not only are A Prophet and several other arthouse releases holding over for another week, two new limited release films open there this Friday- The Runaways and Saint John of Las Vegas– and other titles are on the way, according to the theater’s “coming soon” listings. Finally, no appearance by Letters to God in the “opening this week” section, despite its past appearances on these pages- the film is opening wide, or at least too wide for this column.

LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK

Frankenstein Rising– On Thursday, April 8, this horror film with several veteran actors in the cast will have a 7 PM screening at the Studio 10 in Shelbyville; it will also have two shows at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Friday, April 9, at 4 and 7 PM. Randal Malone- who plays the monster- is scheduled to be at the theater for the 7 PM showing. The film also features former child star Margaret O’Brien (who as a child actress won a special Academy award for Meet Me in St. Louis), Jerry Maren (one of the Lollipop Guild in The Wizard of Oz), and silent film star Anita Page (who co-starred with Lon Chaney and Joan Crawford back in the day). Full disclosure time: I emailed this movie’s official site last year and requested that it be shown in the Indy-area- so I’m not exactly neutral with regards to this movie. I haven’t seen it myself yet- but I am very happy and excited to know that it is on the way.

The Runaways– Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie in this film about the all-girl-band, which was written and directed by Floria Sigismondi. The Runaways co-stars Michael Shannon, Alia Shawkat, Tatum O’Neal and veteran actress Peggy Stewart, and was co-executive-produced by Joan Jett herself. The Runaways opens at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, the Village Park 17 in Carmel and the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne on Friday, April 9.

Saint John of Las Vegas– Steve Buscemi plays John, a compulsive gambler who flees Las Vegas in search of a more stable life. He finds a job with a New Mexico insurance company and tries to resist the urge to buy lottery tickets. When his boss asks him to go back to Vegas to investigate a car “accident” that may be nothing more than an insurance scam, John is worried that he might be tempted to gamble again– but he also sees a chance for a possible promotion. As John and his co-worker Virgil travel to Las Vegas, they meet a number of quirky characters– and John decides that he must actually confront his problem, rather than running away from it. Peter Dinklage, Sarah Silverman, Tim Blake Nelson, Emmanuelle Chriqui, John Cho and Romany Malco are also in the cast of this comedy, which is a very loose modern-day adaptation of Dante’s Inferno (note the character name “Virgil” and the references to temptation); it starts Friday, April 10, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

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

Blood Into Wine– This documentary about musician Maynard James Keenan’s effort to establish a vineyard in Arizona will be shown at Shelbyville’s Strand Theatre on Friday, April 9, at 7 PM.

Care Bears: Care Bears to the Rescue– This was a stunner- I thought the Care Bears had gone extinct a decade or so ago, but some marketing genius somewhere has brought them back, apparently. (Assuming, that is, that they ever really went away at all.) Anyhow, the story is set against the backdrop of an awards show for the most helpful rescue bears, such as- nope, I won’t spoil the suspense. If you want to find out for yourself, this will be at the Showplace East in Evansville this week, with daily shows at 10:50 AM. Other theaters throughout the state will have shows only on Saturday and Sunday- the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis will show Care Bears: Care Bears to the Rescue at 1 and 3 PM this weekend, while the Studio 10 in Shelbyville will have 1 and 3:30 shows. The Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne has 12:50 PM shows on Saturday and Sunday, while the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne and the Encore Park 14 in Elkhart have weekends-only shows at 12 noon and 12:10 PM, respectively.

Chloe– Catherine starts to suspect that her husband David is fooling around on her- and after she meets escort-for-hire Chloe, Catherine decides to employ the young woman in order to test David’s fidelity. But when Chloe reports back to Catherine on what she and David have been up to, Catherine’s emotions may start to get the best of her…. Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried star in this remake of the French film Nathalie; it continues this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, which will have daily showings at 6:50 and 9:10 PM. Also, the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne will show Chloe through Monday, April 12.

The Ghost Writer– A talented British ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) signs on to finish the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), even though the previous writer who was working on the project– who was also the ex-PM’s longtime assistant– died before he could complete his work. Soon after the new writer and the politician meet to discuss the project, one of Lang’s former cabinet members claims that Lang authorized a war crime. The writer starts to suspect that his predecessor’s death wasn’t an accident– and that the former British leader may have been doing the CIA’s bidding while he was in office. Roman Polanski’s political thriller- which co-stars Kim Cattrall and Olivia Williams, and features appearances by Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Hutton, Jim Belushi, and Eli Wallach- holds over for another week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis and the Eastside 9 in Lafayette; it also starts Friday at the Huntington 7 in Huntington.

Greenberg– Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) directed this comedy/drama about forty-something Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller), who has come back to Los Angeles so that he can housesit for his brother Phillip while Phillip and his wife and children are on a long vacation out of the country. Roger had been part of a band in LA back in the day, and he uses his return to the city to catch up with both fellow former band member Ivan (Rhys Ifans) and ex-girlfriend Beth (Jennifer Jason Leigh- who co-wrote the film’s story with Baumbach and co-produced with Scott Rudin). While Ivan and Beth have done something with their lives in the intervening years, Roger tells the world that he has been “doing nothing.” But even Roger may be inspired to do “something” after he meets Florence (Greta Gerwig), who has been working as a personal assistant to Phillip Greenberg and family while pursuing her dream of becoming a singer…. Greenberg holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

Hamlet– The Metropolitan Opera’s version of Shakespeare’s play will be given an encore screening at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, April 14; participating theaters in Indiana include the Castleton Square 14, the Galaxy 14, and the Kerasotes 16 and IMAX in Indianapolis, plus the Hamilton 16 and IMAX in Noblesville. For the eleven other theaters around the state screening the opera, go to the Fathom Events site. Also, note that the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema will show this opera at 1 PM on Sunday, April 11, not the 14th.

Hamlet– So, did you know that Hamlet was really a young woman, being raised as a boy by her crafty mother? If not, that may be because you haven’t seen this 1920 silent version of the tale from Denmark, which was produced by actress Asta Nielsen- who also plays the title role. The University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema will show this Hamlet at 7 PM on Thursday, April 15.

Hubble 3D– Leonardo DiCaprio narrates this documentary about NASA’s space telescope, its much-publicized initial problems, and the efforts of astronauts to repair the Hubble. According to its official site, Hubble 3D lets moviegoers “journey through distant galaxies to explore the grandeur and mysteries of our celestial surroundings;” it continues this week (with morning and/or early afternoon showings, depending on the day) at the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.

Il Trovatore– The Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne will have a showing of this opera on Thursday, April 15, at 7 PM.

IU Italian Cinema Symposium- Wow. Here’s an event I would love to attend (although I can’t)- and I didn’t know about it until the day it started (which would be Wednesday, April 7). Director Giuseppe Piccioni is scheduled to attend, and fiction features, documentaries, and shorts will be screened; forty-plus presentations (on subjects ranging from the treatment of social and political issues in contemporary Italian films to the continuing influence of Federico Fellini) are also part of the event. This symposium continues through Sunday, April 11, in Bloomington; this page has a link to locations for specific events. That same page also notes that “[c]ampus and community members are welcome to attend the symposium and its screenings at no cost;” others must pay a $40 registration fee (or $30 for students).

The Last Station– Helen Mirren- who received an Academy Award nomination for her work in this film- stars as the Countess Sofya, the loving wife of Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer- also nominated for an Oscar) in this drama from director Michael Hoffman (Soapdish, Restoration, A Midsummer Night’s Dream). When Leo makes some drastic changes in his life– after the pair has been married for nearly five decades– Sofya suspects that this is all a result of maneuvering by Leo’s disciple Chertkov (Paul Giamatti). When a new assistant (James McAvoy) arrives on the scene, he finds himself being used by both Sofya and Chertkov in a struggle to control Tolstoy’s legacy (and fortune). The Last Station continues this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis (where it will be shown daily at 1: 40 and 4:15 PM).

The New Metropolis– Six decades after the original suburban communities were built in America, a number of them are facings various crises- from declining populations to lower tax revenues. This two-part, hour-long documentary examines both the problems confronting older suburban areas, and some possible solutions. The New Metropolis will be shown at 7 PM on Friday, April 9, at the Epworth United Methodist Church in Indianapolis; the screening is presented by the Epworth’s “Green Team.”

No Impact Man– This documentary about a family trying to lead lives that have a minimal negative impact on the environment will be shown at Bloomington’s Buskirk-Chumley Theater on Sunday, April 11, at 5 and 7 PM.

North Face– In the mid-thirties, the Nazis decide to boost German national pride by setting up a competition to climb the north face of the Swiss mountain, the Eiger. It hasn’t been climbed before, due to the extreme danger; this film follows the struggles of two not-overly-enthusiastic German climbers to finally conquer the Eiger. North Face– “a suspenseful adventure film” that was “[b]ased on a true story,” according to its US site; it will be shown on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Bloomington this weekend.

Phantoscope High School Film Festival- The fourth annual edition of this juried festival of short films by high school students will take place on Saturday, April 10, at the Richmond Art Museum in Richmond. A panel discussion will take place at 5:30; the films will be shown starting at 7.

A Prophet– Writer/director Jacques Audiard follows his impressive The Beat That My Heart Skipped with this drama, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Tahar Rahim stars as Malik, an illiterate young man of North African background who is sentenced to serve six years in a French prison. When Luciani– the convict who controls the prison’s most powerful gang– orders Malik to kill fellow prisoner Reyeb, Malik complies. He becomes Luciani’s underling in the gang– and is so helpful that Luciani sets up furloughs for Malik so that he can carry out Luciani’s orders in the outside world. Malik also starts to set up his own criminal enterprise, however. As the danger around him grows ever greater, Malik thinks he is being guided from beyond by the late Reyeb– and when he lives through an unusual car accident, some people start to think that Malik may be some sort of a prophet…. A Prophet continues this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis; it is also scheduled to be shown next weekend at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema.

Red Cliff– John Woo’s epic war drama is showing at the Lotus Petal Cinema in Nashville this week. Or maybe it was last week…. Specific show times (and dates, for that matter) did not seem to be available on the theater’s site, the last time I checked.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show– The ‘seventies cult perennial can be seen in its usual 10 PM time at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis this Saturday; there is also some sort of pre-show activity (I forget the exact wording that I saw on the poster the last time I was at the theater) starting at 9:30 PM.

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry– Gavin MacLeod, Robert Guillaume and Jansen Panettiere star in this Christian-oriented film about an older man (MacLeod) who imparts his wisdom to a trio of pre-teen boys in 1970; it continues this week at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis, the Hamilton 16 and IMAX in Noblesville, the Studio 10 in Shelbyville, and the Eastside 9 in Lafayette.

Seven Samurai– The 207-minute version of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic will be shown by the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema at 2 PM on Saturday, April 10.

Shall We Kiss?– Bloomington will have screenings of this romantic comedy/drama from France on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, courtesy of The Ryder.

Three Wise Men– This documentary featuring the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will have a free screening on Friday, April 9, at The Art of Living Center in Indianapolis; the showing starts at 7:30 PM.

Tournées Festival- The third edition of this festival of French films continues through Sunday, April 11 at Marian University in Indianapolis. The remaining films are Un Secret (Friday, April 9, at 7 PM), the documentary Ballerina (Saturday, April 10, at 7 PM), and Academy Award nominee Indigenes (Days of Glory) (Sunday, April 11, at 5 PM); they will be screened at the University’s Mother Theresa Hackelmeier Memorial Library. There is no admission charge for the festival- which is supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture- but registration is requested; see the event’s official site for details.

A Town Called Panic– This looks very odd, and supercool. It is based on an animated TV show from Belgium, and features the strange adventures of plastic toys named Cowboy, Indian, and Horse. The film’s official site says it is something like a “Gallic Monty Python crossed with Art Clokey on acid.” It will be shown in Bloomington on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend, according to The Ryder’s site.

Treasure Island– The historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin will show Disney’s 1950 film at 2 and 7:30 PM on Friday, April 9, and Saturday, April 10.

NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND

The Keystone Art Cinema’s home page has added two new titles in the past week: The Art of the Steal (which will open next Friday, along with The Joneses– see below for both) and Academy-Award-nominated animated film The Secret of Kells (currently set to open on April 30; for more information, you can go to either this site or this one– or both).

Manoranjaninc has no new information on its site this week about upcoming Indian films at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.

The Art of the Steal– The fight over the highly-valued art collection of the late Albert C. Barnes is the focus of this documentary, which (as the title implies) clearly takes a stand as to which party to the struggle is supposedly in the right, and which party supposedly is not. The Art of the Steal starts Friday, April 16, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

The Joneses– Demi Moore, David Duchovny, and Amber Heard star in this comedy about a phony “family” who are actually undercover marketers paid to conspicuously consume new gadgets so that their wealthy, trend-setting neighbors also will want these products. The Joneses starts Friday, April 16, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

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