by MIKE MACCOLLUM
Two well-reviewed films with (if the trailers are any indication) impressive visuals both open in Indianapolis this week; which one you’ll see first (or which one you’ll see at all) probably depends on whether you’re more in the mood for romantic drama or off-beat comedy. Plus, several (more or less) movie-related conventions are in Indy this weekend, the Indiana Black Expo Film Festival takes place, the Indianapolis International Film Festival gets under way, and a number of good movies are at theaters around the state. For all of that and more, read on below….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
I Am Love– Tilda Swinton, Marisa Berenson, and veteran Italian actor Gabriele Ferzetti star in director Luca Guadagnino’s drama, which opens this Friday, July 9, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis. Ferzetti plays Edoardo, the patriarch of the powerful Recchi family; he causes turmoil when he names two heirs- his son and grandson, Tancredi and Edo- to control his business empire after he passes away. Swinton’s character Emma- who is married to Tancredi- then causes further strife in the family when she falls head over heels in love with one of Edo’s friends….
Micmacs– Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s latest is about a fellow named Bazil, whose parents were killed by a landmine. Since Bazil is now also homeless after getting a stray bullet lodged in his head, it’s not hard to understand why he bands together with some other societal outcasts to get revenge on the companies and people who made the weapons that harmed him. Micmacs– which looks like a (somewhat dark?) comedy with an eccentric visual style reminiscent of Delicatessen and City of Lost Children– starts Friday, July 9, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
NOTES- Two naughty theaters- the Tibbs Drive-In in Indianapolis, and the Rave Metropolis 18 in Plainfield- have not posted their schedules for next week as of Thursday night. It isn’t very likely that the Tibbs will be showing anything that other theaters in town aren’t already showing (or didn’t show a few weeks ago), but the Rave sometimes does show more offbeat fare- which makes it all the more frustrating when they don’t do the logical, self-interested thing and post their schedules online ASAP. If either theater does have something interesting on offer this week, I will try to post an update late Friday afternoon/early evening.
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Casino Jack and the United States of Money– Academy-award winning filmmaker Alex Gibney directed this documentary-with-a-point-of-view about Jack Abramoff, the formerly high-flying lobbyist who is now serving a prison term for his illegal activities. But beyond the focus on Abramoff himself, the film examines the way that the crushing need for money to fund re-election campaigns enables the lobbyists to trade cash for favors, and thus negatively impact the American political system. (I hope they also cover Abramoff’s brief film career, by the way- he also produced and co-wrote the story for Red Scorpion, which I saw in a theater back in the day.) Casino Jack and the United States of Money will be shown in Bloomington this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday by way of The Ryder; click on their link at the right of the page for information on show times and locations.
Cyrus– John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei star in the latest effort from the Duplass brothers, Mark and Jay. Reilly is John, a man in his mid-forties who is still alone, even though several years have passed since he and his ex-wife (Catherine Keener) got divorced. He finally meets Molly, the woman of his dreams (Tomei, of course)- and is shocked to discover that she really likes him, too. But then John meets Mollys son, Cyrus, who is in his twenties, and has an unusually close relationship with his mother- leading to a battle between the two men for Molly’s affections. Cyrus– a most unusual romantic (?) comedy- holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Famous Monsters Convention- As noted last week, a number of film screenings are part of the convention, which takes place in Indianapolis from Friday, July 9 through Sunday, June 11. At least one “world premiere” screening (for Crustacean) is part of the festival, along with a 16mm showing of a copy of what is supposedly the only complete print of Life Begins (a film from the 1930s that was produced by major studio Universal- but then disowned by them). And this print is not available on video, apparently- the version available on DVD is incomplete, according to the entry for this film on the convention’s site. Not only that, but this screening will be introduced by Indianapolis’ own film historian/preservationist Eric Grayson. At least fifteen other films will be shown at the convention as well, and many, many guests are scheduled to be there too- way too many, in fact, to list (or type)… so anyone interested can click here for the complete rundown.
Fresh– The American agricultural-industrial complex that has arisen recently (from factory farms to big box stores that sell their products) isn’t exactly beloved, even by some of us who regularly consume its output. This documentary examines several people who actually are trying to change this system by growing healthier food in a more sustainable manner. Fresh will be shown at 5 and 7 PM on Sunday, July 11, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington.
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 has been running for over two months at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, and which holds over there for what the KAC’s home page says will be the film’s “Final Week” there- albeit with just one showing per day (at 4:15 PM). But even if this Thursday is the last day for TGWtDT at the KAC, fans shouldn’t despair- Salander ‘n’ Blomkvist will be at that theater next Friday, since the next cinematic installment in the Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Played With Fire, is scheduled to open at the KAC on July 16. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo also holds over this week at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne- and will be shown again in Bloomington this week on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (go to The Ryder’s site for show time and location information for these screenings).
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 will have several shows per day this week at the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.
I Hate Luv Storys– Jay is a world-class cynic whose attitude towards romance is (mis)spelled out in the title, while Simran just loves (luvs?) love stories. Since they both work at a movie studio, it’s almost inevitable that this pair will meet- and meet cute, darn it all- sooner or later…. and then (just mayyyyyyybeeeee) fall in love. I’m guessing that there won’t be many surprising twists and turns in the plot of this one- just like with 99.9999+% of all recent romantic comedies- but some Indian movies go in unexpected directions, so you never know…. I Hate Luv Storys holds over this week- at least through Tuesday, that is- at the Eagle Highlands 10 in Indianapolis.
Indiana Black Expo Film Festival– This festival takes place at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater on Saturday, July 10, and Sunday, July 11. Five films will be shown, including the recent documentaries Soundtrack for a Revolution and Ten9Eight: Shoot for the Moon. For information on what’s showing and when.
Indianapolis International Film Festival– This year’s festival gets underway with an opening night screening of Barry Munday at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater on Thursday, July 15, at 7 PM. (There will also be an opening night party at Forty Five Degrees in downtown Indianapolis later that same night.) The bulk of the festival takes place next week; for more information, click on the link above.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work– You know who she is, and you most likely either love her or hate her- but you may not know Joan Rivers nearly as well as you think you do, according to this documentary from co-directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg. The film follows a year in the life of Rivers; fellow comedians Kathy Griffin and Don Rickles also appear, along with Rivers’ daughter, Melissa. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Midnight Picture Show- It sure sounds like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but the site for the Irving Theatre in Indianapolis says that they cannot mention the name of the film in question. Whatever it is, the Irving will show it this Saturday, July 10, at… midnight.
North by Northwest– Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint star in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic, which will be shown at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s amphitheatre on Friday, July 9. The doors open at 6 for IMA members, and at 6:30 for everyone else; the movie starts at dusk.
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 holds over this week (with three shows per day) 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 young monk in a remote medieval abbey who embarks on a journey to put the finishing touches on an ancient, magical tome. The stills on the film’s official site make it look like the animation tries to capture the feeling of medieval drawings, so this definitely doesn’t look like your average animated film. The Secret of Kells starts Friday, July 9, at the Yes Cinema in Columbus; it will also be shown this week at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers– Stanley Donen’s classic 1954 musical comedy will be shown this weekend at the historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin; click on the Artcraft’s link at the right of the page for show times.
Solitary Man– Ben Kalmen used to have a big-time car dealership, but lost it all when he made some big-time mistakes. Now, Ben might be able to make a return to the auto biz- or his old habits might ruin everything all over again…. Michael Douglas is Ben; Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Jenna Fischer, Mary-Louise Parker, Jesse Eisenberg and Richard Schiff are in the supporting cast. Solitary Man– which was written and directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Knockaround Guys)- continues this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Twilight Convention– The second (more narrowly focused) horror-related convention in Indianapolis this weekend takes place at the Marriott East, on East 21st Street. Apparently, some “exclusive footage” from one or more Twilight movies will be screened, according to this week’s edition of Metromix. (The page for the Indianapolis edition of the convention won’t load on the library’s computer screen, so I’ll have to take Metromix’s word for that.)
The Ultimate Wave: Tahiti 3D– World champion surfer Kelly Slater is your guide through this 3D thrill-ride of a surfing movie, which continues this week at the IMAX Theatre in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.
Under the Sea 3D– You can go deep- both water-wise and dimensionally- with this 2009 IMAX 3D documentary, which will be showing at 10 AM this Friday at the IMAX Theater in the Indiana State Museum.
Also on big screens in Indiana this week: The Metropolitan Opera’s production of La Boheme will have two encore screenings (on Wednesday, July 14, and Thursday, July 15) at several theaters throughout the state- and the children’s film (or edited-together-TV-shows-or-videos, as the case may be) Sesame Workshop: Summer Beach Party will be shown at a number of Indiana theaters as well. For more information on which theaters will be showing these titles- and other information, such as show times- click on the dates or title above, and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumb links until you find what you need to know.
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
Unfortunately, the only updates to the home page for the Keystone Art Cinema this week are (temporary?) absences- both Winter’s Bone and Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky had been set for July 16- but neither one is listed for that date as of this week. As noted above, however, The Girl Who Played With Fire is still scheduled to open at the KAC on July 16. As for July 23, the Italian comedy/drama Mid-August Lunch and Lisa Cholodenko’s comedy The Kids Are All Right– which stars Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, and Mark Ruffalo- are both still on the schedule to open on that date.
As of Thursday evening, there was nothing posted about new/upcoming Indian films at the Georgetown 14 on manoranjaninc’s site.