Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (June 11, 2010)

by MIKE MACCOLLUM

Two long-delayed titles finally open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis this week, helping to again validate the theater’s middle name, considering the other films holding over at the theater this week. Also, a Bollywood movie not only holds over in Indy this week, but opens on another screen as well- and once again, we have some news on interesting movies headed to the Hoosier state in future weeks. For all of that and so much more, read on below….

LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK

Exit Through the Gift Shop– So once upon a time, Los Angeles-based French shopkeeper Thierry Guetta got a video camera and started filming everything he could. Eventually, he met some folks involved in the street art movement and decided to document their activities; at some point, he came up with the idea of turning his footage into 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. When Guetta’s cut of his tapes turns out to be unwatchable, Banksy instead winds up taking over the movie- and makes Guetta its subject. Or at least that’s what you see in the film itself- 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 starts Friday, June 11, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis. I saw a free screening a few weeks ago, by the way- and while I would definitely recommend Exit Through the Gift Shop, I’m still not sure exactly what it is (hence the use of “whatsit” above).

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 opens on Friday, June 11, 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.

(NOTE: Once again, the Tibbs Drive-In in Indianapolis had not posted their schedule for the upcoming week on their site as of my deadline on Thursday evening. 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 anyway, just to be certain.)

THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS 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 holds over this week at the Keystone Art Center in Indianapolis (which will have four shows per day, the last at 7:15). Also, Babies will be at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne again this week; they will have daily showings, except on Tuesday and Thursday.

Cheeni Kum– Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan plays Buddhadev Gupta, a sixty-four-year-old London restaurateur, in this 2007 Indian romantic comedy. Buddhadev meets Nina Verma when she complains about one of the dishes at his eatery- and although at first Buddhadev disbelieves her, he eventually realizes that she was right. The pair eventually become friends and fall in love- but when they fly to India so Buddhadev can ask Nina’s father for permission to marry her, Nina’s father refuses, because Nina is in her mid-thirties, and her father is younger than Buddhadev. When the couple decides to go ahead with the marriage anyway, Nina’s father proclaims that he will go on a hunger strike…. Cheeni Kum will be shown free of charge at Fort Wayne’s Cinema Center on Thursday, June 17, at 7:30 PM. The screening is part of the Cinema Center’s “Food Flicks” series.

Citizen Kane– One of the all-time greats will be shown at Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre at 2 and 7:30 PM on Friday, June 11, and at 7:30 PM on Saturday, June 12.

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 one time per day (at 9:10 PM), and starts Friday at the Yes Cinema in Columbus.

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 Friday, June 11, through Sunday, June 13; go to The Ryder’s site for more information on when and where.

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 (where it will have two shows per day, at 6:40 and 9:25).

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.

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).

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 is “a suspenseful adventure film” that was “[b]ased on a true story,” according to its US site; it will be shown at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne this week, except on Tuesday and Thursday.

Oklahoma!– The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville will show the 1955 film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical play at 7 PM on Friday, June 7. Fred Zinnemann directed, and Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Gloria Grahame, Eddie Albert, James Whitmore, Rod Steiger, Gene Nelson, and Charlotte Greenwood are all in the cast.

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- continues this week at the Eagle Highlands 10 in Indianapolis… and starts on Friday, June 11, at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis. So it holds over at one theater, and opens at another theater that isn’t all that far away; I guess this means that Raajneeti was a hit last week.

Rebel Without a Cause– James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Ann Doran, Dennis Hopper and Edward Platt are all in Nicholas Ray’s classic 1955 drama, which will be shown on Friday, June 11, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The screening is part of the IMA’s “Summer Nights” series of outdoor films; the doors open at 6:30 PM (or 6 PM for IMA members), and the film starts after sunset.

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.

Tampopo– The Cinema Center in Fort Wayne will show this enjoyable Japanese film from 1985 free of charge at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, June 15.

Also showing theatrically in Indiana this week: Dinosaur Train, from The Jim Henson Company; Ultimate Fighting Championship 115: Liddell vs. Franklin (on Saturday, June 12); a Wednesday, June 16 encore screening of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Aida; and a Thursday, June 17 encore of Aida. For more information on theaters showing any of these- and other information, such as show times- click on the title you’re interested in and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumbs until you get where you want to be.

NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND

The home page for the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis now says that both Nicole Holofcener’s Please Give and the documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work will start at that theater on Friday, June 18. The home page for Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work says that it won’t make it to the KAC until July 2, but that page might not have been updated in a while. On the other hand, Joan Rivers is opening theatrically in the US this Friday, June 11, on seven or so screens- so maybe June 18 is a little bit early for the film to play the KAC after all. For whatever it’s worth, Joan Rivers was co-directed by two women- so if the Keystone Art Cinema’s home page is correct, the two movies that will open there next Friday will both have women behind the camera. Also, Mother and Child– which had been set to open on June 18- has now been pushed forward to June 25, according to the theater’s home page. And although the KAC itself currently says nothing about Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, that film’s official US site says that it will start at that theater on July 16.

Manoranjaninc’s site added two new Indian films to their site this week- although the two are both versions of the same story, by the same director. The differences include language- one is in Hindi (presumably with English subtitles), the other is in Tamil (most likely without subtitles)- some cast members (Aishwariya Rai Bachchan and Vikram are in both versions, but Abhishek Bachchan is in only the Hindi, apparently), and possibly the title (the official site for both films/versions gives the title as Raavan for both- but that beacon of truth known as the IMDb agrees that Raavan is the Hindi title, and has Raavanan as the Tamil title). There aren’t any dates or show times on the manoranjaninc site as of yet- but the site does indicate that the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis is where both films/versions will be playing. And manoranjaninc has posters for both films on its site as well- and both have a date of June 18 on them. That doesn’t guarantee that they will both make it to the G14 then, but at least it’s something….

The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville will have a “Dinner and a Movie” showing of The Godfather at 6:30 PM on Friday, June 18. For more info, go to the Strand’s site.

Finally, the Yes Cinema in Columbus will be showing a double feature of two films starring cowboy star and Indiana native Ken Maynard on Saturday, June 26; admission is $5 for both. The 1924 silent $50,000 Reward starts at 11 AM, and In Old Santa Fe (1934) gets underway at noon.

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Commentary Track reviews of films featured in this week’s edition of Thinking Outside the Multiplex:
The Ghost Writer

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