by MIKE MACCOLLUM
So it looks like there’s only one new arthouse film opening in the state this week- but then again, that movie did win an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, so the quality will most likely make up for what we won’t be getting in quantity. Also, a number of good movies are holding over in Indiana theaters- and apparently, we will be getting more than one promising-looking film next week. For all that and ever so much more, read on below….
Oh- and before I go any further- this column will be on vacation next week along with my editor Helen. With that in mind, I have tried to include as much information as possible (insofar as I now know it) about screenings for May 21-27 in the “Next Week and Beyond” section below. Check the “Comments” section for this week’s column starting next Tuesday or so for the inevitable updates and changes.
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
The Secret in Their Eyes– Retired criminal court worker Benjamin Esposito decides to use his new-found free time to write a book. Following the maxim “write what you know,” Benjamin bases his novel on a 1974 murder case which he tried to help solve at the time. But Benjamin lived in Buenos Aires, and the Argentina of 1974 could be a dangerous, violent place- so his investigation puts him and the friends who are helping him in peril. As the present-day Benjamin writes his novel, his memories of the past- especially the mistakes he made, and the opportunities he lost- threaten to overwhelm him…. The Secret in Their Eyes– which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film a few weeks ago- opens on Friday, May 14, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Also getting theatrical play in Indiana this week: Barbie in a Mermaid Tale, Sons of the Fallen: A Live Tribute to Our Military Heroes (a documentary about a camp in the Rocky Mountains for boys whose fathers died in either Iraq or Afghanistan), an encore showing of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Armida, and Times Talks Live: LOST (New York Times entertainment editor Lorne Manly interviews two of the executive producers of the TV show Lost). For information about any 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
Babette’s Feast– The winner of the 1988 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film will be shown free of charge at Fort Wayne’s Cinema Center on Thursday, May 20; the screening starts at 7:30 PM.
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 holds over this week at the Keystone Art Center in Indianapolis and the ShowPlace 12 in Schererville.
Beyond the Motor City– Director Aaron Wolf’s documentary shows the history of transportation in the city, starting with the canals that were built in the 18th century, moving on to the streetcars of the early twentieth century, the massive automobile factories, and the freeways (designed by car company engineers) that influenced others across the US. But this doc doesn’t stop there- as the its official site notes, Beyond the Motor City also “examines how Detroit, a symbol of America’s diminishing status in the world, may come to represent the future of transportation and progress in America.” Beyond the Motor City will be shown at 7 PM on Thursday, May 20, at the Earth House Collective in Indianapolis, with the director scheduled to be present; the screening will be preceded by a transit fair, which gets under way at 6.
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; it also starts Friday at the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield and the Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne.
Darfur Now– The Cinema Center in Fort Wayne will have a fundraiser for Darfur Women’s Network on Wednesday, May 19. The event gets under way with a reception at 6 PM; a screening of this 2007 documentary follows at 7 PM.
The Eclipse– According to its official site, this is “a film about the challenges of love, fear of the unknown and release from the burden of grief.” Since the death of his wife two years ago, teacher Michael Farr has been raising his two children himself. More recently, he has started to have odd visions- and hearing weird noises- in the night. Michael doesn’t know whether these sights and sounds are a product of his imagination, or if they have a supernatural source. When Michael volunteers at a literary festival in his town, he meets author Lena Morelle, whose books deal with haunted houses and other unearthly topics; Michael tells Lena all about what he has been going through, in the hope that he has found someone who might believe that his house could be haunted. But Lena is distracted by the presence of fellow writer Nicholas Holden. She had a short-lived romantic relationship with the much better-known Holden last year; he is in love with her- and even wants to abandon his wife for Lena- but she just wants to find a way to avoid Nicholas’ attentions. Over the next few days, Michael, Lena and Nicholas will find their lives altered in ways they never could have expected. Ciarán Hinds, Iben Hjejle and Aidan Quinn star in The Eclipse, which will be shown in Bloomington on both May 14 and 15 and May 21 and 22; go to The Ryder’s site for more information on when and where.
45365– Brothers Turner and Bill Ross co-directed this documentary about the inhabitants of– and daily life in– their home town of Sidney, OH (which has a zip code that provided the film’s title). 45365– which has won a number of prizes at film festivals– will be shown through Monday, May 17, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
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- starts Friday, May 14, at the Starplex Coventry 13 in Fort Wayne, and will be playing at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne through Monday, May 17.
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 14, at the Yes Cinema in Columbus; it will also continue this week at Cinema Center in Fort Wayne- except for Tuesday, May 18, and Thursday, May 20.
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 two weeks ago, 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 14, and Saturday, May 15, 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 at the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.
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 1960s 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 18. On the Pole with Eddie Sachs (1960) and International 500 (1966) are this week’s movies (following several films from the ‘fifties last week); these screenings are related to the one-hundredth anniversary of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, by the way.
Like Water for Chocolate– This 1992 romantic drama from Mexico will be shown free of charge at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne on Tuesday, May 18, at 7:30 PM.
Séraphine– Bloomington will show this 2009 French film about a “naïve” painter of the early twentieth century on Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15. Go to The Ryder’s site for more information about times and locations.
Till the Clouds Roll By– This star-laden MGM psuedo-biography of composer Jerome Kern will be shown at Shelbyville’s Strand Theatre on Sunday, May 16, at 5 PM.
Windsong Pictures Student Film Festival– The eleventh annual edition of this festival will take place on Saturday, May 15, at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne’s Neff Hall. Click here for a list of the titles, and when they will be shown.
The Wizard of Oz– The 1939 classic will be shown at 2 and 7:30 PM on both Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15, at the historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin.
The Young Victoria– When I checked the Lotus Petal Cinema’s site yesterday (or the day before), this costume drama was listed as “now playing.” However, when I tried to go to the theater’s site today, I got an error message- so I don’t know what’s going on with the theater this week.
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
As noted above, this column is going on vacation next week. (Well, actually, it’s going into rehab, addiction counseling, and other fun Hollywood-related stuff. But I thought that I’d wait until we got to the nether regions of the column before I dropped that bombshell.) Anyhow, a fair amount of what’s in store for Indiana theaters next week is already available online, so I put it into this week’s column- just read on below. To repeat a bit of what I said above, you can look for the inevitable changes and updates to the information below by checking the “comments” for this week’s column, starting next Tuesday or so. (By the way, the only bit of news this week not covered below- since it is well outside of the May 21-27 window- is that the Keystone Art Cinema’s home page recently added Rodrigo Garcia’s drama Mother and Child to their schedule; as of now, it is supposed to open at the KAC on June 4.)
The Eclipse– See above section.
Exit Through the Gift Shop– So once upon a time, a Los Angeles-based French shopkeeper, would-be filmmaker and wannabe street artist, Thierry Guetta, decided to make a movie about street art, and those who practice it- including Banksy, the internationally known graffiti artist who makes great efforts to remain anonymous (and who is especially keen not to be photographed), in order to avoid being arrested. Guetta’s plans go awry, however, and Banksy winds up taking over the movie- and makes Guetta its subject. Or at least that’s what the film’s site says it’s about- some critics suspect that Guetta is a fiction, and that the entire film is (on some level) basically a prank… but prank or not, many of these critics have given Exit Through the Gift Shop very positive reviews. Rhys Ifans narrates this (semi? psuedo? not-at-all-a?) documentary whatsit, which is scheduled to open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, May 21.
Gone With the Wind– The 1939 blockbuster will be shown as part of a “Dinner and a Movie” program at the Strand Theatre in Shelbyville on Friday, May 21. Cocktails are at 6, with dinner (“Good Southern Cookin’,” per the theatre’s site) at 6:30, and the film at 7:30.
Harry Brown– Michael Caine plays Harry, a widower and veteran of the Korean War who lives in a neighborhood that is increasingly overrun by amoral and violent hooligans. After his best friend is killed by some of the vicious young punks- and the police aren’t especially helpful- Harry decides that he has to take on the youths himself, and that he must do so using their own violent methods. Harry Brown is scheduled to start on Friday, May 21, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis- and if past performance is any indication of future results, it will probably be a big hit there. From what I’ve been told, the three other films starring Michael Caine that have played at the Keystone Art Cinema (Flawless, Is Anybody There?, and the Sleuth remake) all drew surprisingly large crowds at the theater- to such an extent that the theater requested a booking for Harry Brown even before the US reviews came out. I very much doubt that Mr. Caine knows that his three most recent starring films have all done so well at this one particular theater- but I think it’s pretty cool that an actor who has been making movies for over fifty years still gets a big turnout, whether at the KAC or any other theater.
Kites– Hrithik Roshan stars as J, a wounded man who has been left to die in the brutal heat of the Mexican desert. He struggles to stay alive only because he is determined to find Natasha (Barbara Mori). Although she was engaged to another man, Natasha and J fell head-over-heels in love at first sight. The pair attempted to flee, but could not outrun their pursuers- and now, J may be on the verge of making a horrifying discovery…. As noted last week, I saw the action-filled trailer for Kites a while ago, and thought it looked like a good time; now I’m hoping that the movie lives up to the trailer.* The last time I checked, there was still no information on manoranjaninc’s site about when this Indian film will open at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis- but since Kites is set for worldwide release on May 21, I am guessing that that will be the day it shows up in Indy as well.
*OK, I just looked up Kites on the IMDb again, and something I noticed just today has made me a bit more ambivalent about it. To be sure, some of the IMDb’s information on Kites (like the fact that Kabir Bedi plays a supporting role) is all for the good, and some is merely informative (apparently, Kites was shot entirely in the US)- but my interest waned when I noticed that Brett Ratner edited the film’s English-language version. I’m not even sure that that’s true- but just in case it is, I have lowered my expectations accordingly.
Mother– Bong Joon-ho (The Host; Memories of Murder) directed this murder mystery about a single mother with a twenty-seven year old son, Do-joon, who is (as the film’s page on the official site of its US distributor puts it) “simple-minded” and frequently “behaves in foolish or simply dangerous ways.” After getting drunk one night, Do-joon sees a schoolgirl, and he follows her until he loses track of her. When the girl’s body is found the next morning, Do-joon is accused of committing the crime. Since the local police don’t really put a lot of effort into the case- and since the Do-joon has less-than-top-flight legal representation- he is quickly convicted. Do-joon’s mother, however, cannot believe that her son is a killer, and sets out to find the real murderer. Mother will be shown in Bloomington on May 21 and 22; go to The Ryder’s site for time and location info.
A 19th-Century Multi-Media Extravaganza & Magic Lantern Spectacular– OK, so this isn’t really a movie- but anyone who is fascinated by cinematographs, magic lanterns, and other “pre-movie” devices will want to see this show. It starts at 7:30 PM on Friday, May 21, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington- and be sure to click on the BCT’s page for this event to read all about it, in florid hyperbole appropriate to the time period.
Sisters on the Planet– According to the site of the Earth House Collective in Indianapolis, they will have a movie screening and discussion of Sisters on the Planet starting at 6 PM on Thursday, May 27; Oxfam Action Corps of Indianapolis will host the event. When I checked out Oxfam America’s site for Sisters on the Planet, it at first looked like this consisted of several “testimonial” videos from women around the world who have been affected by climate change- but Oxfam also sells a DVD by that title, so maybe that is a compilation of the various testimonial videos (perhaps with additional material added into the mix). In any event, the preceding link explains that Oxfam’s Sisters on the Planet campaign/initiative is designed to raise awareness of how poor and disadvantaged women all around the world are affected by climate change- and what can be done to help these women and their communities adapt to the changes.
Soul Power– James Brown, Sister Sledge, Miriam Makeba and B. B. King are among the artists featured in this concert documentary, which was apparently edited together from outtakes from the boxing doc When We Were Kings. The concert in question took place in Zaire in 1974, and was an adjunct to a high-profile boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman – the “Rumble in the Jungle” that was the subject of When We Were Kings. Soul Power will be shown at 10 PM on Friday, May 21, at the ArtBox Gallery in Indianapolis; a party will follow the screening.
Vedam– This is a Telugu-language action movie/drama from India with three major characters- a young man from the slums, a rock star, and a hooker. According to manoranjaninc’s site, Vedam is currently scheduled to play at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Thursday, May 27, and Friday, May 28. Most Telugu films that get released to US theaters do not have English subtitles, so I suspect that that will be the case for Vedam as well- but I don’t have any evidence to confirm that as of yet. I also couldn’t find an official site for the film- but a youtube trailer is here, and Vedam‘s not-very-informative Wikipedia page is here.
A Village Called Versailles– After Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, the predominately Vietnamese-American residents of the Versailles neighborhood struggle to rebuild their homes and lives- but just when it looks like everything is getting back on track, the mayor orders that a toxic landfill is to open in the area. This puts the resident’s homes under threat yet again, so they unite to fight back. A Village Called Versailles will be shown at 4 PM on Sunday, May 23, at the K.I. EcoCenter in Indianapolis.