by MIKE MACCOLLUM
‘Twould appear that only two new limited release films are starting in our fair state this week- and both are from India. (Well, there’s also a kiddie movie about dinosaurs- but that one is of presumably very limited interest, at best, to anyone reading this column.) And speaking of cinematic pairs from the same country- the news this week (unconfirmed as of yet, but promising nevertheless) is that two films from Italy may be making their way to Indiana in July. See the last section below for that- and for all of the news about limited release movies playing in Indiana this week, read on….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Raajneeti– Prithvi Pratap is part of a political dynasty, and can’t wait for his own turn in office- while Sooraj Kumar rose to prominence from a lower caste, fueled by anger. These are just two of the players vying for power in Raajneeti, a multi-character (melo)drama set against the backdrop of modern-day Indian politics. Raajneeti– which has a cast headed by Naseeruddin Shah, Katrina Kaif, Ajay Devgan, and Ranbir Kapoor, and which is in Hindi with English subtitles- starts on Friday, June 4, at the Eagle Highlands 10 in Indianapolis.
Singam– Manoranjaninc says this Tamil-language film will have at least one show per day at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis from Saturday, June 5, through Wednesday, June 9. And while the image for Singam on manoranjaninc’s site makes it look like a romance or comedy, the film’s official site says that it is about a cop going after smugglers- and at least some of the images here are much darker in tone. Then again, since Singam is an Indian film, it is probably both a gritty action film about a cop and (to a greater or lesser extent) a romance, and/or comedy and/or musical…. Whatever it is, Singam may have done pretty well at the other theaters where it has played (both in the US and around the world), since it is getting two or three times as many showings at the G14 as the typical Tamil film seems to get. Unfortunately- like other Tamil films in theatrical release in the US- Singam probably does not have English-language subtitles… although I have yet to see any definitive confirmation of this, either on manoranjaninc’s site, or elsewhere. (The site for the FunAsia chain of theaters in Texas says that two of their venues are playing the film- one theater says that Singam has English subtitles, but the other theater says that it doesn’t. Maybe a call to the G14 could settle the issue- if you can find a way to get through to a live person, and not just their pre-recorded information line.)
Also opening theatrically in Indiana this week is Dinosaur Train, from The Jim Henson Company. For more information on theaters showing this one, click on the title, and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumbs until you reach the desired information.
(NOTE: As of my deadline on Thursday evening, the Tibbs Drive-In in Indianapolis had not posted their schedule for the upcoming week on their site. The odds are against the Tibbs playing anything unusual- it’s been a few years since they’ve shown anything not also available (either at the same time, or in previous weeks) at any number of indoor theaters- but you might want to check their site, just to be certain.)
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Across the Universe– Julie Taymor’s 2007 drama (with lots of music from the Beatles) kicks off the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s “Summer Nights” series of outdoor films on Friday, June 4. The doors open at 6:30 PM (or 6 PM for IMA members), and the film starts after sunset.
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 (which will have four shows per day, the last at 7:15), and the AMC Showplace Muncie 7 (which will have three shows per day). Also, Babies will start on Friday, June 4, at the Yes Cinema in Columbus, and the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne (which will have daily showings, except on Tuesday and Thursday).
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, where it will be shown two times per day (at 4:10 and 9 PM).
Delicatessen– Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s indescribably odd and brilliant film will be shown free of charge at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, June 8, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne; the screening is part of the Cinema Center’s “Food Flicks” series.
Epworth Green Team Movie Night- The Epworth United Methodist Church in Indianapolis will have another “Green Team Movie Night” on Friday, June 4, at 7 PM, according to the calendar on the church’s site. As of Thursday evening, however, there was nothing on the site to indicate which environmentally-themed film will be shown this month. Interested parties are advised to call the church in advance to see what the movie will be.
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 Starplex Coventry 13 in Fort Wayne, and starts Friday at the Cinemark Movies 8 Washington Market in Indianapolis, the Cinemark Movies 8 Greenwood Corners in Greenwood, and the Cinemark Movies 6 in Mishawaka.
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 (where it will be back to three shows per day this week) and the Yes Cinema in Columbus.
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, at 10 AM and 11:15 AM (although there won’t be a 10 AM show on Sunday).
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…. Kites– the original Indian version, and not the Brett Ratner “remix,” thankfully- will have three shows this week (at 1 PM on Saturday, and at 1 and 10 PM on Sunday) at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis, according to manoranjaninc.com’s site.
Leach– The Hamilton 16 and IMAX will have an encore showing of this made-in-Indiana thriller- about a recovering alcoholic who finds himself in a situation that could threaten his life, and the lives of his loved ones- at 9:30 AM (yes, AM) on Saturday, June 5.
The Lottery– This documentary is about four African-American students (from Harlem and the Bronx) hoping to win a lottery for spaces in the Harlem Success Academy charter school; the film will be shown at the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield on Tuesday, June 8, at 7:30 PM.
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 from Friday, June 4, through Sunday, June 6; go to The Ryder’s site for time and location info.
Racing Dreams– Academy-Award-nominated filmmaker Marshall Curry directed this documentary about three young people (aged 11 to 13) who race in the World Karting Association, and dream of competing in NASCAR someday. At the same time, they must deal with the same problems and issues as everyone else at this stage in their lives…. Racing Dreams– winner of the Audience Award for best Feature Length film at the 2009 Indianapolis International Film Festival- continues this week at the Rave Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, where it will be shown twice daily (at 1:20 and 3:50 PM).
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage– Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen- co-directors of Iron Maiden: Flight 666– return with this documentary about the decades-long career of the band Rush; fellow musicians Jack Black, Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, Kirk Hammett, Taylor Hawkins and Gene Simmons are among the interviewees. Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (which won the Heineken audience award at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival) will be shown at 8 PM on Thursday, June 10, at the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield and the Showplace Cinemas East in Evansville.
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- holds over for another week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
The Secret of Kells– Brendan Gleeson provides one of the voices for this hand-drawn animated film, which is about a boy in a remote medieval abbey who embarks on a journey to put the finishing touches on an ancient, magical tome. The Secret of Kells– which is drawn in a style patterned after illustrations from the period in which it is set- will be shown in Bloomington on Friday through Sunday, according to The Ryder’s site- which has all of the precise time and location information you’ll need.
Sideways– Alexander Payne’s well-worth-seeing 2004 comedy/drama will be shown free of charge at 7:30 PM on Thursday, June 10, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
Vedam– This is a Telugu-language action movie/drama from India with either three or five major characters/interwoven stories, depending on which source you believe. A young man from the slums, a rock star on the rise, and a hooker are three of the characters, per one source; another source claims that an older gentleman is another of the main characters, without adding any real information about the supposed fifth character. According to manoranjaninc’s site, Vedam is currently scheduled to play two times per day at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Friday, June 4, and Saturday, June 5. (By the way: most Telugu films that get released to US theaters do not have English subtitles- and manoranjaninc says that this is true for Vedam as well.)
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
As of Thursday evening, the Keystone Art Cinema had no updates on its home page beyond what’s already been there for the past week or so. In other words, Exit Through the Gift Shop and Harry Brown are still scheduled to open on Friday, June 11, while Mother and Child is still set to start on June 18. And while it isn’t on the KAC’s home page yet, I noticed this week that the US site for the Italian film Mid-August Lunch says that it will be at that theater starting on July 16. That date may be overly optimistic on the part of Mid-August Lunch’s US distributor, Zeitgeist Films- the KAC will probably be pretty crowded with mainstream movies at the time- but I hope this comedy/drama makes it there eventually. (Zeitgeist also says that Mid-August Lunch will be in Bloomington starting on June 18, by way of The Ryder- but The Ryder’s site says that another Zeitgeist film, the documentary The Oath, will open in Bloomington on June 18.) And I just remembered that the Magnolia Pictures site– US distributor for the Italian drama I Am Love– says that this film will start at the KAC on July 9. There isn’t any confirmation of that on the theater’s home page as of yet- but the KAC did have a poster for I Am Love on their “coming soon” wall the last time I was there, and Magnolia is a corporate sibling of Landmark- so it’s a pretty good bet that I Am Love will be at the KAC sometime this summer or fall.
As for the Georgetown 14, there was no news about upcoming Indian films at that theater on the manoranjaninc site as of Thursday evening.
Godkiller– According to its official site, this is both the “epic story of a boy’s quest to save his sister” and “a twisted, sci-horror animated film.” Lance Henriksen, Danielle Harris and Bill Moseley are among the voice cast of Godkiller, which is now scheduled to be shown at the Cinema Grill in Indianapolis on Thursday, July 8. (This sounds like a one-night, one time showing- but it may turn out to be a full week run. I’ll let you know when I find out more definite information.)