by MIKE MACCOLLUM
In what may be a first, all three Indianapolis-area films that regularly show limited release films- the Georgetown 14 on the city’s westside, the Keystone Art Cinema on the northside, and the IMAX theater downtown- have a new title opening this week. For all the details, and this week’s listing of limited release films playing around Indiana, read on below….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Please Give– Kate (Catherine Keener) and her husband Alex (Oliver Platt) run a pricey, faddish furniture store in Manhattan. Unbeknownst to their customers, Kate and Alex stock their store with items they buy on the cheap at estate sales- and then massively mark up. That’s just one thing that’s been bothering Kate, however- she also has concerns about her marriage, and wants to discourage her daughter’s materialistic tendencies. At the same time, Kate worries about the homeless people and general poverty in New York City- and she also must deal with her crotchety old neighbor Andra, and Andra’s two granddaughters. Please Give is the fourth collaboration between Catherine Keener and writer/director Nicole Holofcener; Rebecca Hall, Amanda Peet, Kevin Corrigan, and Ann Guilbert (“Millie Helper” from The Dick Van Dyke Show) are in the supporting cast. This comedy/drama starts Friday, June 18, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Raavan– A policeman and his new bride move to a remote rural area of India which is dominated by a “tribal” called Beera, who runs things his way. The cop vows to bring Beera under his control, but his plan goes awry, and Beera’s sister dies. Beera kidnaps the policeman’s wife, Ragini- but Beera’s plan doesn’t work out as intended either, since he falls in love with Ragini…. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vikram and Abhishek Bachchan head the cast of this Hindi-language film with English subtitles, which starts on Friday at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
Raavanan (Villain)– Yes, this title is similar to the one above- because this is another version of the same film, from the same director, and with some of the same actors. One main difference is that this one is in Tamil; the other main difference is that this version most likely lacks English subtitles. Still, I’d love to see this one myself- a day or two after seeing the Hindi version. That way, I’d know the basic plot, even though I don’t know a word of Tamil- and I could see if the two films are the same, shot-for-shot, or if they have minor (or major) differences. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to do this myself- but if anyone out there decides to try this experiment, please make a comment below with your impressions.
The Ultimate Wave: Tahiti 3D– World champion surfer Kelly Slater is your guide through this 3D thrill-ride of a surfing movie, which opens at the IMAX Theatre in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum on Friday, June 18.
(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. Also, the Regal Greenwood Park 14 does not have next week’s times up as of Thursday night. They have been slow about posting their show times since becoming part of the Regal family, for some reason- but this is the first time they didn’t have these times posted on the regmovies.com site by Thursday evening. As with the Tibbs, the odds that the Greenwood Park 14 will play something interesting and different this week are fairly low- but you might want to check, just in case.)
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 will be at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne again this week; they will have daily showings, except on Tuesday.
The Big Four: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax– Like the title says…. The four metal bands play on the same stage, in a concert broadcast live to theaters from Sofia, Bulgaria, starting at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, June 22. There will also be an encore screening of the supposedly nearly-four-hour-long event starting at 7:30 PM on June 24. For theater information, click on the link in the title above.
Burma VJ– This award-winning documentary about a 2007 uprising in Myanmar/Burma- which was shot by an independent group of journalists in that country- will be shown as a fundraiser for Exodus Refugee of Indianapolis at the Central Library in Indianapolis on Friday, June 18, at 7 PM.
Exit Through the Gift Shop– So once upon a time, a 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 holds over at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, where it will have two shows per day (at 7:30 and 9:40 PM). 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).
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.
The Godfather– 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.
Harry Brown– Michael Caine plays Harry, a widower and veteran 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 continues 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, with either two or three shows per day (depending on the day of the week).
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 shows this week (except Tuesday) at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
The Oath– Abu Jandal and Salim Hamdan are brothers-in-law- the former was once Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard, while the latter used to be bin Laden’s driver. Hamdam was imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for several years, and eventually went before a military tribunal; during the trial, Hamdan’s lawyers challenged “fundamental flaws in the court system,” according to this documentary’s official site. Meanwhile, Abu Jandal works as a taxi driver in Sana’a, Yemen. As he talks with his son and others, he shows how his beliefs have changed after 9/11. The Oath– which uses “Jandal and Hamdan’s intertwined personal trajectories…. to explore and contextualize a world which has confounded Western media,” per its official site- will be shown in Bloomington this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, by way of The Ryder Film Series. See The Ryder’s site for further information on location and show times.
Raajneeti– When the head of a regional political party in India suffers a debilitating stroke, he decides that his brother and nephew should take control of the party. This doesn’t sit well with the ailing politico’s ambitious son, who initiates a power struggle- one in which blackmail, out and out lies, and backstabbing betrayals are not the worst weapons employed by either side…. 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 Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis, which will have at least one show per day on every day except Sunday. I saw Raajneeti last week, by the way, and would recommend it. The opening is a bit rough- an indigestible and somewhat confusing lump of backstory, told by a character who presumably was not privy to some of the events he is relating (and who does not appear in the rest of the film, as I recall). Once you get past that, there are still a few other minor drawbacks as well- but overall, this is well worth seeing. Although Raajneeti has a running time of close to three hours, it never dragged or lost my interest- and it had some very cool/surprising plot twists as well.
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.
The Usual Suspects– The movie that answers the musical question “Who is Keyser Soze?” will be shown outdoors at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Amphitheater on Friday, June 18. The doors open at 6:30 PM (or 6 PM for IMA members); the film begins at dusk.
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 show at 6:15 on Friday, June 18, and Saturday, June 19, at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis. (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.).
Also showing theatrically in Indiana this week: Dinosaur Train, from The Jim Henson Company; a Wednesday, June 23 encore screening of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Romeo et Juliette; and a Thursday, June 24 encore of Romeo et Juliette. 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 the documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (which had been scheduled to start this week) will open at the KAC on Friday, July 2- and the film’s official site agrees. Mother and Child– which itself has been pushed forward on the KAC’s schedule once or twice so far- is still set to open at the KAC next Friday, June 25, per the theater’s home page. New to that page this week is the Michael Douglas-starrer Solitary Man; the theater says that this one- like Joan Rivers– will start on July 2. As for July 9, the official US sites for Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs and the Keystone Art Cinema’s home page both say that Micmacs will be at the KAC on that date- the same day that I Am Love will open at the KAC, according to both the theater’s page and the film’s US site. Winter’s Bone, meanwhile, was on the KAC’s home page for a while earlier this week, with an opening date of June 25. As of now, Winter’s Bone is missing from the theater’s page (for the time being, at least)- but the film’s official site says that it will be at the KAC on July 16.
Also, the official site for Cyrus (which stars Marisa Tomei, John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill) says that it will open in Indianapolis on July 2. I suspect that Cyrus is most likely to open at the Keystone Art Cinema- but since that theater’s home page doesn’t say anything about the film starting on that day (and since two other movies are already set to open at the KAC on July 2)- then it may go to another theater. Then again, the KAC already has a poster and/or a standee for Cyrus on display- so they might get the film themselves, but just not on July 2.
As for the Georgetown 14, there was no news about upcoming Indian films at that theater on the manoranjaninc site as of Thursday evening.
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.