Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (May 7, 2010)

by MIKE MACCOLLUM

In case you hadn’t heard, summer is on the way- along with the big summer movies. The signs are there: The Rocky Horror Picture Show seems to be on summer break from the Georgetown 14, mainstream movies are starting to ooze their way back in to the Keystone Art Cinema after a brief respite, and the big movies are taking over more and more screens at other theaters across the state. (For example, the Hamilton 16 and IMAX in Noblesville and the Portage 16 and IMAX both will show Iron Man 2 on FIVE screens this week- one IMAX screen, and four “regular” screens… yeesh.) But there is still more than a little in the way of cinematic variety around the state- as demonstrated below….

LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK

Babies– This documentary is about four little ones- one living in Tokyo, another in Mongolia, a third in San Francisco, and the last in Namibia. According to its official site, the film “joyfully captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all.” Babies starts on Friday, May 7, at the Keystone Art Center in Indianapolis and the ShowPlace 12 in Schererville.

Badmaash Company– Way back in the 1990s- before the current economic boom in India- four friends decide to take advantage of their fellow citizens’ fondness for foreign goods by starting an import business. They soon find great success- at least in part due to some of their unusual means of getting around business difficulties…. (According to Wikipedia, the title means “Rogue Company”- which may explain why the IMDb categorizes the film as a “crime thriller”). Badmaash Company starts on Friday, May 7, at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.

(And I wonder if it is an accident that both of the week’s new limited release movies in Indiana start with a “b”, followed by an “a”. I’ve noticed that many wide releases these days have titles that begin with letters from the first half of the alphabet. Sure, many of these movies would have these titles in any event- but I am wondering if some producers change the titles of some movies to letters from earlier in the alphabet- all so that the films’ titles will show up earlier in the listings on the sites of theater chains that arrange the films they are showing in alphabetical order. It’s just a thought- I haven’t had any time to really research this- but check out a few theater sites for yourself this week, and see if you don’t think that the titles disproportionately begin with letters from the first half of the alphabet.)

Also getting theatrical play in Indiana this week: Barbie in a Mermaid Tale and Drum Corps International 2010: The Countdown. For information about either of these- including theaters, show times, and days- click on the individual titles, and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumbs until you reach the desired information.

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

Asparagus: Stalking the American Dream– If you’ve ever wanted to see a documentary about a Michigan county that has declared itself the world’s asparagus capital- and about the reactions of the farmers in the area to both free trade treaties and the War on Drugs- then this is your lucky week. Asparagus: Stalking the American Dream will be shown at 7 PM on Friday, May 7, at the Earth House Collective in Indianapolis.

City Island– Vince Rizzo is a prison guard, father, and would-be actor. Vince fathered a son, Tony, twenty years ago, but abandoned him. When the two meet again, Vince decides to take Tony home to his “new” family- but he doesn’t tell them the truth about Tony’s identity. That isn’t all that unusual, though, since everyone else in his family has some pretty big secrets of their own- until everything starts unraveling, and some embarrassing truths are revealed. Andy Garcia stars as Vince, and Julianna Margulies plays his wife; Emily Mortimer and Alan Arkin are also in the cast of this comedy, which holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

Compassion Rising– The Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington will have two fundraiser screenings of this documentary- on Sunday, May 9, at 7:30 PM, and on Tuesday, May 11, at 8 PM. According to its official site, Compassion Rising “was undertaken 13 years ago with the expressed intention of creating a new, more powerfully vibrating music derived and inspired from the ancient chant traditions of East and West”- music that is “specifically designed to bring forth feelings of compassion and peace so as to bring people together in harmony and love.” The screenings (or at least one of them) are/is [an] official “Welcome Event[s]” for the visit of the XIVth Dalai Lama to Bloomington.

Faded Glory– Fort Wayne’s Cinema Center will show this documentary at 7 PM on Wednesday, May 12. It’s about a group of friends (all of them in their later thirties or older) who form an amateur baseball team. They still dream of winning a championship, even with the advanced age of the team members- and even with the various personal problems faced by the men.

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. It will also be playing this week at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne- with the exception of Wednesday, May 12.

The Girl on the Train– Catherine Deneuve plays Louise, who lives with her daughter Jeanne in the suburbs, and makes a living by taking care of other people’s children. Jeanne is sort of/kind of trying to find a job for herself, and Louise suggests that she contact Louise’s childhood friend Samuel Bleistein, who is now a lawyer. Louise and Samuel (Michel Blanc) now live very different lives – and they find themselves on opposite sides of the media controversy that arises when Jeanne claims that she was the victim of an anti-Semitic assault. Andre Techine (Wild Reeds; Ma saison preferee) directed The Girl on the Train, which will be shown in Bloomington this Friday and Saturday, courtesy of The Ryder; see their site for when and where.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo– A smash-hit in Europe, and based on an international best-seller, this is a thriller about an investigation into the decades-old disappearance of a young woman, Harriet Vanger, from a small Swedish island- most of which is owned by her wealthy and powerful family. Harriet’s now-elderly uncle Henrik is convinced that she was murdered- most likely by a member of their own very odd family. Henrik wants to get to the bottom of the mystery before he dies, so he hires investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist to look at the case with fresh eyes. Blomkvist eventually finds himself working with a most unexpected partner- a hyper-intelligent (and extremely anti-social) computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander (the dragon-tattooed girl of the title). As the pair gets closer to discovering what really happened, they find that someone is very determined to prevent them from finding the truth…. Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Sven-Bertil Taube and Gunnel Lindblom (Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring, Scenes from a Marriage) are all in the cast of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

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 starts Friday, May 7, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne, where it will be shown throughout the week- except for Wednesday, May 12.

Green Team Movie Night- According to the site for the Epworth United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, they will have their monthly Green Team movie screening on Friday, May 7, starting at 7 PM. As to what that movie will be… well, I can’t tell you that, because the title doesn’t seem to have been posted anywhere, as of yet (at least as far as I can tell). I do know that the Epworth’s site says that the screening is open to the public- but that, and the date/time for the showing, are about all I know as of now.

Housefull– Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Deepika Padukone and Boman Irani are in the cast of this romantic comedy from India about an extremely unlucky man and his search for love. Actually, it’s a bit misleading to refer to this as a rom-com, come to think of it- I saw Housefull this week, and can testify that it is much heavier on comedy (good comedy and otherwise) than on the romance. Housefull is currently scheduled to be shown at 9 PM on Friday, May 7, and 2 PM on Saturday, May 8, at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis, according to manoranjaninc.com’s site.

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.

The Hurt Locker– The multiple Academy-Award winner returns to the big screen in Indiana again with an engagement at the Yes Cinema in Columbus.

Indianapolis 500 movie nights at the Irvington library- The Irvington branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library will show several short films from the 1950s about the Indy 500- along with the cars and drivers who were part of the 500 during that era- starting at 7 PM on Tuesday, May 11. The Fastest 500, The Hottest 4 and Payday at the Brickyard are the films that will be shown this week; more movies are scheduled for the 18th. These screenings are related to the one-hundredth anniversary of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, by the way.

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 products and fashions so that their wealthy, trend-setting neighbors will want them too. The Joneses continues this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, and starts Friday at the Yes Cinema in Columbus.

Phish 3D– This is one of those movies where the title tells you pretty much everything you need to know- it’s Phish, in concert, in 3D. The Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne, and the Encore Park 14 in Elkhart will all have one or two showings per day of this concert film this week. See each theater’s site for show times.

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 starts Friday, May 7, at the Honey Creek West 8 in Terre Haute, and holds over for another week at the ShowPlace East 11 in Bloomington.

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.

Séraphine– Bloomington will show this 2009 French film about a “naïve” painter of the early twentieth century on Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8. Go to The Ryder’s site for more information about times and locations.

A Shine of Rainbows– Connie Nielsen and Aidan Quinn star in this drama about an Irish couple who adopt a young orphan, Tomas. While Maire instantly bonds with the boy, her husband Alec is put off by Tomas’ shyness- and that makes Tomas even more uncertain about whether he really belongs in the family. After a tragic turn of events, Tomas finds that he must undertake a dangerous quest in order to hold on to what he loves. A Shine of Rainbows holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, with two shows per day (at 1:45 and 4:10 PM).

Vincere– Veteran Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket; Devil in the Flesh; The Eyes, the Mouth; Leap Into the Void) directed this story about Benito Mussolini and his first wife, Ida Dalser. She was mesmerized by the charismatic future dictator, and fervently supported him- until he vanished during the first World War. Later, Ida discovers that Mussolini has abandoned both her and the son she bore him, and has married another woman as well. Soon, both Ida and the child are thrown into asylums- and though they are locked up for years, the strong-willed Ida is not the sort of person who will just accept this sort of thing and suffer in silence. Vincere– which was shown at Cannes, Toronto, Telluride, and other film festivals in 2009- holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, with two shows per day (at 6:40 and 9:30 PM).

Vintage Movie Night: Color Photography in the Movies- The Garfield Park Art Center is the place to be for this presentation by film historian and preservationist Eric Grayson; it gets underway at 8 PM on Saturday, May 8, and is scheduled to run through 9:30 PM. Technicolor and other color processes (such as Cinecolor and Kodachrome) will be covered, along with color photography in some silent films. The presentation follows the opening reception for the “Through the Lens Photography Exhibit IV.”

NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND

The Keystone Art Cinema’s home page now says that Exit Through the Gift Shop‘s scheduled opening has been moved back two weeks, to May 21. No new arthouse/limited release films had been added to their schedule as of Thursday evening- but (as of now, at least) Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award winner The Secret in Their Eyes is still set to open at the KAC next Friday, May 14.

Manoranjaninc has one new title on its site this week, the action/romance film Kites. There isn’t any word yet on manoranjaninc as to when Kites will open at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis- but since it is set to start at other theaters on May 21, that’s probably when it will be at the G14 as well. I saw the trailer for this one the other night, by the way, and I was very much impressed by the action sequences and the visual quality (it looks like a fair amount of the film was shot in the more arid parts of the western US). Here’s hoping that the film itself lives up to the trailer….

The Eclipse– a romantic drama with horror/thriller elements, starring Ciaran Hinds, Iben Hjejle and Aidan Quinn- is going to play in Bloomington starting next Friday, May 14, according to The Ryder’s site- which also notes that the Korean mystery/drama The Mother is set to play in Bloomington starting on May 21.

Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage– Rush- the band, that is- is the subject of this documentary, which won an audience favorite award at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. The film’s official site says that it will open in both Indianapolis and Evansville on June 10, but there is no information on specific theaters as of yet.

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